Monday, December 6, 2010

Some Answers and a Couple of Avian Visitors

The vet has come and gone.  Dawn was sedated and the vet took a good look inside her mouth.  No damage to her teeth, which is good news, but she does have a 4-inch long laceration that's pretty deep - into the muscle - on one side of her tongue.  No wonder there was so much blood.  We'll never know for sure how she managed to do that while at the gate waiting to come in from turnout.  The vet said it should heal up really well in 10 days to two weeks, without stitches.  She's on Banamine for the swelling for a few days and also on a course of oral antibiotics (Uniprim - which is sulfadiazine and trimethoprim).  I'm also supposed to rinse her mouth out with a 50/50 solution of Listerine a couple of times a day to flush particles out of the wound.  We'll soak her pellets and add the powdered antibiotics (which are apparently apple-flavored, so here's hoping she eats them).  No riding except in a bitless bridle (if she's comfortable with that) for two weeks.  She's in her stall recovering from the sedation, and I'll go back in an hour or so to check on her and feed her dinner and her hay.

* * * * * *
We feed birds over the winter from a variety of feeders.  We get lots of American Goldfinches at our thistle feeders - they're in their olive-green winter plumage.  Recently, though, we've had another visitor who joins the usual goldfinches - he's on the right in the photos that follow:

He's a European Goldfinch, and one of our local birdwatchers says he's been around for about two years or so.  He could have somehow made it over here from Europe, or more likely he's an escapee from captivity - in any event he seems to be thriving.  His black and white and red face is distinctive, and he's larger than our usual goldfinches.

This morning we also had another visitor to our feeder area - but one not interested in seeds but in the bird life at the feeders:

I believe that this is a Cooper's Hawk.  We often see him swooping over the feeders, and from time to time he catches a bird.  Today he had no luck and flew off after a few moments.


  1. I'm glad it wasn't more serious, but that sounds painful. Good luck with the treatment.

    We have a Coopers Hawk that haunts our bird feeder as well.


  2. How the heck horses manage to do things like that is beyond me.

  3. yikes! that sounds horrible! but i'm glad the vet thinks she'll heal quickly. mine also have a talent for finding new and exciting ways of injuring themselves, so i feel your pain :-\ speedy recovery!

    the birds are gorgeous. i see so many around the farm and i always wish i could identify them...

  4. Poor Dawn, that must have really hurt! OUCH!! Glad it wasn't more serious, I mean that's bad enough!
    Dawn must be a good girl to let you do that, Gilly would be having a fit and probably wouldn't open his mouth. He is a bugger about his mouth.

  5. I can't imagine how she did that! It's great news that none of her teeth were involved, though. Hopefully she heals up in no time!

    Those birds are beautiful! I hope the hawk has terrible luck getting a snack!!

  6. The little Finch with the red face? he`s exactly like one of our Goldfinches over here!

  7. Poor Dawn! Thankfully their mouths heal faster than any other part of them, so hopefully she'll be feeling better soon. I wonder if you were right, and she did get her tongue stuck to the gate and somehow cut it when she pulled back? Or maybe she cut it on some ice in a water tank or something? I'm a little afraid of birds... so I have to confess I did not read the second half of your post!

  8. Kate, So sorry about Dawn's injury - but glad the vet said it will heal fine. Things in their mouths are always a bit worrisome since it affects their eating, but I'm glad she is interested in her food!

  9. I guess Dawn isn't talking about this one. *G* Whatever did she do? Glad it's not too serious and will heal well.

    Every now and then we have a sparrowhawk drop by the bird feeder areas. It's kind of unfair, but unfortunately, nature is not always kind.

    Lovely finches. I have to start filling my feeder, although the birds still seem to be finding lots to eat as we have had no snow yet. I did buy a nice bag of feed the other day, so I've no excuse.

    Give Dawn a hug from me. She deserves a little extra TLC.

  10. So glad Dawn's going to be okay. Those bloody pictures in the last post were drastic!

  11. It's good to find the source of her discomfort and all that blood. Glad she'll be healed in two weeks. Then it's just a matter of waiting to see what she can find to get into next.

    The birds are pretty. I have no idea what half of the ones around here are except for those darn geese.

  12. Oh no! I'm behind in my blog reading, so I just read about Dawn's injury. I am so sorry she got hurt. I'm glad she's expected to have a speedy recovery.

  13. Grey Horse - I hope she takes an indefinite break from getting into trouble!

  14. Holy Cow!!! I just got home and am catching up. That Dawn Mare finds trouble doesn't she!

    Here's hoping for an uncomplicated recovery.

    That hawk is very intent on a meal isn't he.

  15. I'm glad the Vet came and was able to determine what was wrong in her mouth. Hopefully she will be more comfortable...soon.

  16. Now, how did she do that?! Strange!
    I took care of a polo pony who was elbowed during a game. It cut his tongue almost in half. Although eating was a challenge his tongue healed rather quickly. Evidently tongues are very difficult to stitch as the stitches rip out quite easily.

    Love your hawk picture.

  17. Wow..wonder how she did that!? I read an article about horses nibbling on gates that are mineral searching..maybe she cut her tongue on a sharp piece? Mouth wounds heal quickly so that is good.
    Poor girl.

  18. Glad there was no tooth damage. Still... ow!


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