Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Reflections of Foaling Season 2006 - The Twins Part 14

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9
Part 10
Part 11
Part 12
Part 13

Instead of things getting better, it just seemed that they were getting a little more and more complicated all the time with this Arabian mare and her twin foals. In addition to the dysmature foal issues to watch out for, the filly’s navel ill also know as equine septicemia we now had to worry about complications with the mare. If it hadn’t been for the outward signs that these young horses were getting stronger each day, I think I’d have become depressed by now.

Fortunately, the filly’s temperature returned to normal levels except for a couple of short term scares and both foals were gaining weight daily. They were becoming more and more active and nursing more on their own without needing to be encouraged. So even thought the surgery to remove the growth from the mare’s nose had seemed like a setback, there were enough other things looking better it seemed to balance out in the stress department, anyway.

Flushing out the mare’s wound turned out to be a major obstacle. While she was good with everything else, her nose was sore and she didn’t want it touched in any way. It was the only thing I did with her that I had to but a halter on to be able to accomplish. The horse would see me coming through the door and her telepathy would tell her I wanted to flush that thing and she’d head for the corner. I’d approach her to try and put her halter on and she’s turn her head the other way, thinking she could get out of my reach. I’d reach up and grab her mane and she’d give a huge sigh and turn her head back and put it in the halter. She really did all she could to stand quietly while I inserted the tip of the syringe into her wound. You could see the pain in her eyes. It’s hard for me to do things that like when they so obviously hurt. The only way I could get through it was reminding myself I needed to do it for her to be safe and the twins. Every day was a little better as the swelling went down and her nose got less sore.

At the same time we were coming close to the end of Surprise’s treatment with antibiotics. The swelling in her umbilical stump was completely gone and we only had two more rounds of injections to go. I was beginning to feel like we might make it through this without incidence when I came back from the house to find something wrong with the filly’s catheter. I had to call Pilchuck Vet Hospital for instructions because I wasn’t even sure what I was looking at. Unfortunately for Surprise, the end of the catheter I was seeing dangling was the end that was supposed to be in view. The rest of her antibiotics were going to have to be given by injection.

Thank God, we only had two more to do. For a very little horse, she sure could put up quite a fight. With the helpers I had a home, I couldn’t even get the job done. I had to call Dr Gillette’s and get help from his vet assistants and it took two of them. That darn filly was not happy she was getting poked with a needle and she had no intentions of making it easy on us. I sported more than just a couple of bruises because of those two injections.

Originally the plan was to take them back up to Pilchuck when the antibiotics were through to do another ultrasound on the horse’s umbilicus. Since the mare had had such problems with her milk supply we decided that it was too risky to make the two-hour trip. Dr Gillette and I both decided we would take our chances that this was going to be our only course of antibiotics and we would skip the ultrasound because of how good her umbilicus looked. So now we just had to wait. If the infection was not gone, but simply “hiding” in her central nervous system we would see symptoms of the infection returning in five to seven days. The horses needed to be monitored as closely as before but hopefully the end was in sight.

To be continued...
Part 15

Don't forget to view the Horse Lovers Blog Carnival today. I will be hosting the carnival in two week, I think.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely hate giving injections to my horses. Thank heavens I am not diabetic or something because I would be a lost cause, I cringe at the sight of the needle. Unfortunately I have had to do several courses of penicillin injections on various horses over the years and when they are done twice a day for 5 days (20 cc at a time)the horses either run a mile by the time you are half way through the course or get resigned to the fact, most of them hate it.

    I was so lucky with Blue when he cut his leg so badly in the roundpen accident, he allowed me to soak, rub and dress his fetlock joint and pastern every day for 4 months without any stress, he just stood and let me get on with it. When I first started out it was -8F the first morning and -6F the next morning which was Christmas day. I used to put his feed in his feeder and that kept him amused while I soaked, soaped, rinsed and dried his leg and then put the salve and bandages in place. I documented the healing process in photos once a week, I didnt think to start when it first happened, it was only a few days later when I saw the proud flesh starting that I decided to take the photos. After 4 weeks or so I found out that I had misunderstood the vets instructions and wasnt putting enough tension on the bandages and instead of the proud flesh getting less it had got bigger. I am tempted to do an article and see if I can sell it to some of the horse magazines.

    Well I am rambling. I am really enjoying the story about the twins, but am sorry it was so hard on you, I know the feeling.

    Fond regards