Wednesday, April 29, 2009

If it's not one thing, it's another...

Today was a long day, and I want to go to bed. But I can't. The vet is on his way back. Let's start at the beginning...

Our calendar today was full: The farrier was scheduled to put show shoes on 6 horses and the vet was coming to administer spring shots. I had two helpers in the barn today, (I plan these busy days around school vacations purposely,) and things seemed to run fairly smoothly.

By the time our farrier, Isaac, showed up around eleven, we had all of the barn chores done. The horses were turned out, the stalls were picked, the aisle swept, stall buckets and outdoor water tanks scrubbed and refilled. Faith was outside enjoying herself by chewing on one of the geldings' noses.

While Isaac began shoeing the first mare, the girls finished clipping one of the geldings and I began cleaning out and restocking our medical supplies. I thoroughly checked expiration dates on medicines, made lists of items that needed to be replaced, and reorganized our containers. We now have three first aid containers: the "Human" one, the "Equine" one, and the "Faith's Medical Crap" one. They are all labeled accordingly, the last one being the biggest. :-)

Dr. George pulled in the driveway around one o'clock and asked me, "Is that Faith?" Mission accomplished - he didn't recognize her! He said that she looked great and has made an amazing recovery so far. We put her on the cross ties and he listened to her heart and lungs, checked her eyes and teeth, and looked all over for anything out of the ordinary. Everything looked great. I asked him to check on the melanoma that I found underneath her tail, and he said that it appeared to be OK for now and that we should keep monitoring it.

Then it came time for Faith's least favorite part... the needles. Once Dr. George reached into his pocket, she knew what was coming. I blocked her eye with my hand, but it was too late. She gritted her teeth, pinned her ears backward, glared at me and lunged forward. I stopped her, he stabbed her, and just like that she was vaccinated for Rabies. Unhappily vaccinated, but vaccinated nonetheless.

Next was time to draw blood for the Coggins test. By now Faith was angry, there was no doubt about it. But she is smart and knew that she wasn't going to win this fight, so she stood like a statue. Unfortunately every muscle in her body was rigid, which made finding her vein all the more difficult. (And yes, she actually has muscles now!) It took a little while, but Dr. George got his blood sample. Faith was all set to go back out to her private paddock to enjoy the sun.

We finished up with vaccinating the rest of the clan, and with the exception of my old grouchy Morgan, it went fairly smoothly. Dr. George finished up and he went onto his next appointment. A few hours later, Isaac finished up with his work and left. The girls helped me with chores and as we were finishing up feeding the horses their dinner, we noticed there was a problem.

Amy, the chestnut mare that used to be turned out with Faith, was standing in the corner of her paddock with her right hind leg tucked up underneath her. My heart sank in my stomach. I put a halter on her and slowly led her in from her paddock; it took us about 3 minutes to walk up the 150-foot long driveway. She would lower her hoof down to the ground, barely touching her toe to the pavement, and then would hobble over it. I had Dr. George on the phone in an instant. He would come as soon as he could, but he had two other emergencies before mine. He suggested banamine and cold-hosing it if she would stand for it.

For the next half hour, I stood with Amy's leg underneath a constant stream of water. She stood with it elevated off the ground and away from her body. She kept looking at me with pain in her eyes. It was heartbreaking to watch. Thankfully the hosing and banamine started to work and she eventually could rest her toe on the ground. I put her in a stall to rest and I finally had a chance to eat dinner. When I went back downstairs to the barn twenty minutes later, Amy was flat out on her left side, holding her right leg off of the ground. The pain wasn't getting any better.

Waiting for the vet to arrive... Again...



  1. well by now im sure you know whats going on but all the same good thoughts going out to Amy.

    please let us know how she's doing!

  2. You and Amy are in my thoughts and prayers. Update us when you can.... I hope it is not as bad as it sounds....

  3. Keeping my fingers crossed for you and Amy. Keep us posted.

  4. Sending good thoughts your way, hope that things turned out ok last night. And that Faiths Appt today also goes well. Will be anxiously awaiting an update....