No, not that word. Although I hate that one too. But I have now officially decided I hate this one more:
It sends a shudder down any horse owner's spine, that unpredictable monster hidden deep in your horse's guts which can twist and cramp and snatch his life away from you in a matter of hours.
Yeah, it scares the living bejeezus out of me.
Sunday night, I was on feeding duty and noticed Encore had stopped eating mid-meal and walked out of his shed. He stood making funny faces for a minute and I watched with concern, as he is a steady, if slow, eater who works his way through the meal, then goes and gets a drink. He returned to eating and I continued my rounds, but with a yellow warning light in my head.
I led him down the barn, his head hanging, his feet dragging at a slow walk, which hardly helped as this TB usually takes a big swinging step that I can't keep up with.
I called the vet on the way down and put him in stall with warm water while I simultaneously crouched in the dark with my ear against Encore's belly and tried to carry on a conversation with Dr. Bob's junior vet. He got some very mushy food with bute mixed in and I went to hang out in the BO's house for an hour to see what happened.
I was kindly fed a delicious dinner while I worried, but I came out to find my horse perky, with good gut sounds, and when I led him up to his pasture, he took a drink from his trough and wandered off to comfort an annoyed Solo. Driving home, I breathed a sigh of relief and assumed an "all clear" text from the BO Monday morning.
|Yeah right. Never worked for him either.|
Encore had eaten his breakfast, but was laying down in the field. He may have wanted to nap in the sun, but BO put him on the hotwalker to keep him in sight for easy monitoring just in case (Encore's owner may or may not have a reputation for being the crazy lady...). The horse got some more bute and mushy alfalfa pellets, but no more dry hay, and he was relegated to a prison cell for water and poop monitoring. His owner was forced to drive to Southern Pines for a work presentation, a fine chance to work on her stomach ulcers.
After flying back north following work, I arrived to find Encore pouting quite noisily in his cell, demanding release after knocking one water bucket over, although hopefully at least drinking part of it. I stirred a possibly illegal amount of salt and electrolytes into an alfalfa pellet mush and confess to being slightly shocked that he actually ate it, albeit stopping and slapping his tongue out after every bite at the brine component.
|Oh, because we have a really important thing in 5 days!|
Our insanely bipolar weather is no doubt to blame, although the biologist in me finds it completely nonsensical that weather should have any effect on a endothermic animal's digestive system. But Dr. Bob and his junior sidekick were all over the place tending to moaning horses, so it wasn't just us. When it is 60-20-50-30-70-20-55-20-30 all of us are just damn confused. It will be 70 today and then 42 again tomorrow. I curse they bones, climate change...