Sunday, August 17, 2014

Bopped!

. . . in the nose . . .

I had a fecal test done on Red - he's always carried more of a parasite burden than my other horses - and sure enough he came back with a heavy load of strongyles - he's a high shedder.  Here's some good information on fecal testing and deworming programs.  My barn has large herds and no manure management whatsoever - no picking up manure or even harrowing.  I'm now also testing Pie, who's in the same herd as Red, to be sure he also doesn't need deworming.  Dawn is in a separate herd, so isn't at risk from Red's shedding parasite eggs.

My vet prescribed a Panacur Powerpac for Red - that's a whole tube of Panacur (fenbendazole) - double the regular dose - for 5 days in a row.  It's a big tube, and Red says that it tastes just plain awful.  Yesterday, when I was working on getting it down him, he flung his head and bopped me pretty hard right in the nose.  Ouch!!!  No bleeding, and nothing is broken, but my nose is swollen and red and I'm breathing about like when I have a bad cold.

Those of you who've been following along may remember that Red used to be very good about medicines by mouth, but that was "untrained" apparently by mishandling (being forced) when he was at the vet clinic for his surgery - he's now inclined to fling his head around and pull and resist.  I used clicker to get him to accept his meds during recovery from his surgery, so it was time to use clicker again.

Today we had a good session, in the barn aisle, with Red on a loose lead.  I successively rewarded him for touching the tube with his nose, letting me hold the tube next to his mouth without him tossing his head, letting me touch the corner of his mouth with the tube, opening his mouth and letting me stick the tube in, and then letting me give him the meds - there is so much in one tube that it took a number of efforts to get all (or most - some of it ended up on the barn floor) of the meds into him.  He did really well and tried really hard, and we got there in the end - without any more nose bopping.  Three more days . . .

My bribery campaign with Pie seems to be having some effect.  He actually looked at me with ears up a couple of times when I was in his stall and grooming him, and we had a really nice ride in the outdoor arena, with some excellent, forward work at both trot and canter.  He even did a number of trot/canter/trot/canter transitions without getting worried.


4 comments:

  1. I do fecal counts on the horses and donkeys and we are very aggressive about manure pick up -- twice a day in all the pastures. Jackson is the shedder in our herd but has been clean the last few times I tested. People tease us about our manure pick up regime but it really reduces the worm load and flies.

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  2. The power pac has not made it to Germany yet. I've improvised but the vets look at you funny when you ask for so much.

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  3. It's kind of sad that you and Pie don't have a connection, I know the feeling and I sure hope that things improve.

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  4. When Rondo was a couple years old, I trained him very carefully to accept dewormer without any fuss. He was so good about it -- until he got kicked in the face the following year and had to have stitches and bute. Bute must taste a lot worse than dewormer, because I had to retrain him to take dewormer without fussing about it -- and we're still not quite where we had been. His first reaction is still to fuss, and then after a few moments he remembers that it's easier if he just lets me do my thing and gets it over with. Proof that it takes very little time to break a horse's training, and a long time to put it back into place again.

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