Thursday, April 17, 2014

Updates on All

Dawn got groomed this morning - she was very snuggly and there was lots of muzzle wrapping.  She hasn't been ridden in a week but that's OK - she's fine with things.

I went out to visit Red in the afternoon and was able to get some clarifications from my regular vet - the surgical folks are less "user-friendly" and I had called to complain about the lack of information they have been giving me.  I had bought and took out some Equilite Relax Blend - it has valerian, chamomile and passion flower to help with calming - to start adding to his feed as well as some U-Gard pellets to head off ulcers.  I've also ordered some pure ground valerian, chamomile and passion flower from to use going forward.

When I got there Red was fairly unhappy - apparently there had been a lot of activity at the hospital with horses coming and going.  He'd pulled out his neck catheter overnight and his neck was wrapped - we were able to take this off to make him more comfortable.  He was restless and his eyes were big. He was also unhappy with his leg bandage - it's a surgical compression bandage.  I spend a fair amount of time grooming him and doing some relaxation work and he did start to relax a little bit and eat his hay - I think he appreciated my visit.

The surgeon is wanting two weeks of complete stall rest, but my regular vet knows Red and his personality and will talk to him about getting some leeway in that - some hand walking, if only up and down the barn aisles to sniff noses with his friends - as well as being on cross ties for grooming, would go a long way for his mental health.  I told her I don't care a lot what the wound looks like when it's healed as long as it's medically OK.

Bandaging his leg until sutures come out - two weeks - is very complicated - The bandage runs from his hock to his foot and I think there are at least 6 layers.  The vets will come and give me some help with that every other day, so that's a relief.  Red will be going home tomorrow afternoon and will go in his regular stall, which is 12'x14', and either Pie or Dawn will be in the next stall during the day so he won't be alone when the other horses are in turnout.  It does require some moving Pie and Dawn into and out of turnout, but I'll be spending a lot of time at the barn with Red anyway so that'll work out.

On my way home from the clinic, I stopped back at the barn and gave Pie a good grooming - he's been neglected a bit recently and seemed to appreciate the attention.


  1. I have this image of you right now as a juggler ;)

  2. I'm glad that you are so tuned into Red's personality and needs. He'll be much happier when he gets home to his own stall and his own routine with you.

  3. I think you know Red best, and you're right.

    When my horse was a weanling, he was shot by a deer hunter (I presume, the season had just started and he was the right size and color). He lost a fist sized piece of skin and muscle, and it took my vet hours to clean and stitch up what he could. He was supposed to have 2-3 weeks of stall rest, cleanings, medicine, debriding. He developed a terrible attitude and temper. I had to start walking him up and down the aisle. He's eight now, you can see the scar and white hair, but oddly, he has grown back the muscle and hide.

    But he was a terrible patient for years, when he was gelded, and one other time when he needed stitches (I thought he wouldn't make it to two). He was bad about any oral medication or wormer, and he had a bad temper when he felt threatened.

    Just this year I've begun to feel that connection, almost like a surrender, that Mark talks about in "Whole Horse, Whole Heart." He was a lot of work, but I'm glad I did it, and didn't have him put down.

    Poor Red, it won't be long and you'll be able to make him feel better. They don't always understand what we do.

  4. Glad your guy's coming around. Red has actually become very cooperative over the past year if he understands I think something is important, and he's great for oral meds. But he is a very alert high-strung horse who can be prone to anxiety.

  5. Poor Red. I'll bet he feels much better after he's back home in familiar surroundings. He's got a loving caretaker who will see to all his needs.

  6. Glad to hear Red is doing well. I'm sure he will be happy to be home.


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