Monday, December 7, 2009

It Takes a Village to Tend a Sick Horse

Snubbers, age 25, was not doing well Sunday morning and so I called my vet. After we discussed all the symptoms, he said it really sounds like she has sand in her intestines. It has been well over 10 years since I've had any sand problems with my horses because I continually improved thier feeding areas to prevent sand and I had not even considered sand as the source of her problem. A check of her manure showed no sand, but it is not a definitive test as the sand can be in there but not coming out in the manure. And her symptoms just did not fit anything else. In times past, back in the early to mid-90's, the vet would tube with about a pound of psyllium and mineral oil to move the sand. But that particular brand of psyllium is no longer being made and all other psyllium will simply clog the pump and tube. So the answer is to give her Banamine for comfort and feed oat hay and psyllium in the hopes that the sand will get moving. I had Banamine on hand and gave her a shot and she perked up a lot about 30 minutes later. She even ate some psyllium. But I had no oat hay and I no longer have a truck.
I called my feed store, which is open on Sunday, and they were willing to make a special trip out with some oat hay. While they were organizing that, I called my friend & handyman, Mike, and asked if perchance he could make a run to the feed store. He could! I called back the feed store & told them he was coming. I surely do appreciate that the owners of the feed store were willing to do extra for me--hats off to Big Pete's, aka Diamond Valley Market.
So Mike brought up 3 bales of Forage Hay--oat hay, barley hay & wheat hay. Snubbers chowed right into that and has been eating that happily.
But, I was down to only one more dose of Banamine. Over the years, my vet and I have had various "drive-by drug deals on corners" as we call them. One actually was on a corner, as I waited there for him so I could pick up some meds. Other times, I have chased him down to another ranch, and sometimes he brings meds to me at my book store. I called him and he dropped off more Banamine for me this morning at the cleaners next to my store as he was down there very early. Thank you Lewis Cleaners for my strange request that you hold a bottle of horse medicine for me.
It is now more then 24 hours since her last dose of Banamine and she is drinking water, eating her forage hay and has a good demeanor. We may be over the worst; I certainly hope so. I am truly grateful for the people who went the extra mile for Snubbers & I.


phaedra96 said...

Been there, done that. I have helped and I have had help. A colicing horse is scary as all get-out. Just feeling like you are not alone in this can be a relief. Glad she is okay and you are okay.

quietann said...

I hope she continues to improve!

My husband and I might come up to your store sometime between December 22 and 27 if you are open... He loves used bookstores!