Sunday, September 29, 2013

You Asked for It! Wedding Pics

So I'll post a few of my faves, but if you want to see more you can hit up my photographer's website here.

The hundred year old barn on the property. Inside is an antique shop and the grooms quarters
My bouquet, our rings, and of course, deer antlers
Our beautiful cake made by the Best Man's wife. Topper is a Montana Silversmiths bride and groom on tractor
Getting ready with the help of Husband's cosmetology graduate cousin  

Our Wedding Party. The guys have shotgun shell boutineers I made, and the girls are wearing horseshoe necklaces I made as well. 

Dad and I
We're Married!!
We're missing one Bridesmaid in this photo, but the table decorations were white lights, deer antlers, Pendleton Whiskey bottles for vases and various spurs and horseshoes scattered. (Can you believe the blonde is my twin sister?)
I just love this picture with the mini donkey's legs too. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Outfitting horses is so fun

Milo got a new soft green halter and brown lead from a friend and Moose for a hunter orange rain sheet!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I Have Fallen in Love Again

It must be pretty obvious that I have grown attached to Moose already. I'm so happy we added him to our family. There was some natural hesitation at first, what with the veterinary and medical issues and general initial buyers remorse, but I wouldnt have changed anything knowing Moose now. He really adds another great personality to our farm and is definitely making Milo happy as well. I love that he is giving me more things to do outside as well, now I have a horse and a half to take care of everyday; a little man to love and bond with and teach him that people are pretty cool too. He is already obviously interested in me. I couldnt help but swell with pride when each and every time I went outside on Sunday, as the guys were working on the barn, when Moose would call when he saw and Milo would follow. One of our friends laughed too commenting on how every time they see me they call to me. Makes a Mom happy for sure.

Moose learned more on patience today (but this will be posted Wednesday, this was Tuesday). We spent time with the dressage whip touching him all over and moreover, standing still. Moose has a hard time standing still for anything (but eating). He's just fidgety and hasnt learned patience. So we stood around together outside the pen. When he stood for long periods without turning to look at me, beg for cookies, or move a leg, he got a cookie. He started standing like a pro! Then I tied him to the trailer and made him stand when I wasnt with him. I cleaned pastures while he stood and occasionally when I looked over he was quietly standing.

Good boy Moose!

Whatcha doing? I'm kinda bored. 
 I've discovered that cookies or treats make him lick his lips. But not normal licking and chewing, he shoved his tongue out the corners of his mouth:  :)

It's hard to catch on camera, but its seriously out far and in the literal corners!

He's a pretty neat guy. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Moose's "Little Problem"

So I got in touch with my vet. I had a fecal test done for Moose last week and I was able to chat with the vet who said that his results came back negative. At least one thing the previous owner said might have been true, he must have been wormed recently. I also got to ask her about the Coprophagia and she said that text still doesnt have any specific answers for it, however in her experience she has seen horses exhibit this when they are either on high diet or antibiotics/mediation. She suspected that the mediation we put him on for his strep has cleared all the good bacteria, flora, in him so he started munching the manure to give those back to him.

Her recommendation was to put him on a PREbiotic. I mentioned that I had probiotics on hand and she informed me that unlike a PRObiotic, prebiotics feed the good bacteria, versus feeding the bacteria to the HORSE like a probiotic does. I learned that probiotics in horses, unlike humans and dogs, dont survive. The equine stomach is so acidic that only about 5% of the bacterium make it to the colon, so feeding probiotics do basically nothing for horses. She recommended a few different prebiotics and I remembered something I had on hand...Proviable-EQ, one of the prebiotics she recommended. While I was on the phone with her I found it and she said it would be perfect for him. She directed me to give it to him for the duration of the strep medication and then maybe another week after that. If we still observe any of the behavior after that to call her and we can go from there.

How was I so lucky to have the Proviable-EQ on hand? Well, remember a few years years ago when I won that gift basket from Cosequin? Well, the Proviable-EQ was in that gift basket, and although I didnt know what it was, I held onto it cause, well, you never know! And nearly three years later I have a use for it!

In final news, I rubbed bar soap all over the fence posts Milo was chewing on and on those nearby as well. Hopefully it will help with that problem. Have I ever told you that Milo tells me what he finds tasty and what he doesnt? I always tell people that Milo will always try something once, and if he doesnt take it again he doesnt like it, but if he does then he liked it. He came over to investigate my fence-post application and eagerly looked to see if the bar of soap was tasty or not. I figured, why not, so I let him try it. He went to take a bit and once he got his lips on it, instead took a small lick. He licked his lips then looked at me, puzzled. I handed the bar soap up to his mouth again and he didnt take it, instead giving me a funny face. Yay! Hopefully the soap will deter him.

Oh, but lastly, Moose was too cute to not share today:

Moose figured out pretty quickly how to fit his little head into the hay bag. That's the only thing I dont like about the bag, is that its easy for a mini (or horse probably) to get into the hay from either side. So first time I saw Moose do that I raised it up on the corral panel. But tonight I caught him redhanded again with his head in the bag! But it sure made a cute picture!

So one more rail up the corral panel it goes!

Weekend Progress on the Barn

I had to work a ten hour overtime shift on Saturday, when I returned Husband and a Friend had been busily working away on the barn trusses. They were up in the air when I got back and the rental cherry picker "Genie" had just arrived.

That big rig is Husband's "Daily Driver" as he works at a lumber company as Yard Foreman
By the end of the evening they had put the cross rail things up on the trusses (I dont remember the real name, but they are those little pieces of wood sticking up on the trusses where the support pieces will rest on for the roof). 

And there's cute little Moose! He has been a real trooper while all this crazy stuff has been going on alongside him. 

Husband was scaring the bejeebus outta me on that cherry picker. We have them at work (although far larger) but workers are required to wear fall protection when in the basket and they DONT stand on the railing edges as I caught him doing a few times!

That was how the evening ended Saturday, and Sunday we were all up bright and early and Husband was off to the lumber yard for more wood. When he got back the contractor was here too and they got right to work measuring and setting the support rails. 

The weather sure was icky out all day with period of thunder and pouring rain. At one point all the guys his under Moose's tarp shelter while the worst passed, but they would get right back out at it again. (If you look close in the photo you can see Milo's bright white face watching us all). 

Oh my gosh Donnie the contractor crawling around up there!
I had to leave later for a ton of hay, but when I got back the majority of the work had been done, just some final pounded nails for the rear truss. 

Phew! Next step is putting on the metal roofing and after that, this is how it will sit until next spring. A very good start!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Coprophagia and Pica

Ever heard of these terms? I had but didnt think much of it as I didnt have a horse that had it. But last night Husband told me, after I returned home from the store, that little mister Moose was eating his own manure. Red flags for sure, but I didnt think the vet needed to be involved yet...from what I remembered that meant there was a dietary or nutritional lack, from boredom, or even from not enough roughage consumption time . I googled searched and sure enough, those were the causes listed.

Coprophagia: consumption of feces; one's own or another's

Pica: eating non-food items such a s wood.

Lets start with the most skin crawling one, it grosses me out to really think about it, but nevertheless I need to figure out why Moose does it, because he doesnt seem to think its disgusting. My first thought is the boredom/not enough chewing time. As you know I have a "slow feed" hay bag that I use for him now and I have observed that he and Milo finish eating at about the same time, so I'm not sure if its really slowing consumption down or not as Milo's hay is on the ground loose right now. Boredom I can see as a real issue too as he's alone in a small dirt pen right now. I gave him an orange traffic cone to stave the boredom, but he hasnt touched it like Milo would have. Without making him a legitimate slow feed box, and with the conditions we have right now the least I can do is give him more chewing time without overfeeding. Today I gave him twenty minutes of in hand grazing for mastication and help the boredom. I do mess with him quite a bit daily from brushing, to cuddling and handling, to taking him out for walks, so aside from putting him in with Milo just yet thats the best I can do until he's healthy enough to start working him.

Now for nutritional concerns. I started him on the same vitamin supplement Milo is on. Dynamite, if you look at the label, has a whole heap of ingredients, but simply put their website says, "It is a complete balanced formula containing enzymes, coenzymes, biocatalyst microorganisms, amino acids, cultered gut bacteria, vitamins, and bioavailable minerals." Coprophagia, as I researched, can be caused from a lack of Vitamin E in a horse's diet, common with horses kept in grassless confinement. I searched the label and my supplement does have Vitamin E in it, however the amount is unlisted just measured in IU, or effectiveness, so it's hard to tell if there is a true deficiency of that in the supplement.

So, how do I fix the problem? All I can start with is continued hand-grazing as I can, and try and keep his mind busy, unfortunately.

Moose out hand grazing
Now, Pica, or wood chewing, is not being displayed with Moose, but Milo. I assume most people know or have horses that do this. Its not really a huge concern except that it destroys fences and obviously also means there is either a dietary deficiency or boredom. In Milo's case...I'm leaning towards boredom. I've noticed him chewing wood for at least two years now. Back when he lived on a pasture and when he was in a stall and run. So the possibility of the nutritional deficiency is hard to prove as he had 24 hour access to grazing on the pasture, and even in the stall and run he has some roughage and was turned out regularly. I lean towards the boredom on this case, but now that he is home and I know goes through periods of time without any grazing or chewing, it begs the argument again on graze time. But being ongoing I just think its something he has learned to do to fill the time. Unfortunately for my fences, and my angry husband about it, all I can try and do is deter the behavior. I heard rubbing body bar soap on the fences help deter? But knowing Milo he might like the taste...when I bleached his water bucket he was licking the sides of it trying to get a taste of the bleach.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Moose Diaries

Today the lady came out with the white stuff in the tube again. She started doing that a few days ago. At first I was startled, but I always get a carrot afterwards so I guess the powder water isnt so bad. I've had a tube in my mouth before for stuff, but this didnt taste the same. I get my carrot afterwards though which I really like.

I dont know why I get fed after the big horse up the hill though. I neigh louder then he does and I always neigh first. Maybe because he is bigger he needs it first? I pace the fenceline though and neigh to the lady each time I see her to make sure she doesnt forget about me. She always brings me food but she puts it off the ground now and its harder to get the hay out of. I figured out how to get my head in it so that was faster but then she raised it higher so I cant do that anymore. I toss it around a bit but it doesnt get the hay out faster.

I didnt realize the lady was gone until I was done with my hay. The sun was starting to come out so I stayed in the shade where it was less hot. I dozed for a while and eventually the lady came back. I called to her as soon as the big loud red horse came in my view but she didnt come right out to me. When she did she had the white tube of stuff again but I saw a carrot sticking out her back pocket. I knew she was going to spray the white stuff in my mouth again but I stood still knowing I would get my carrot afterwards. She cleaned and filled my water bucket then gave me hay again.

I ate while she messed around on the big horse's back. I cant imagine why he lets her do that. She hasnt tried to get on me yet but if she does I'm not sure I will let her like he does. She came back down the hill and I walked towards the fence. Maybe she had another carrot? She put the thing on my head again and took me out of my area. I like leaving my area, it gets boring walking around and digging at the dirt. I wish I could go see the big horse too.

She tied me to the big white box that I came here in. I dont mind being tied but I'd rather move around then stand still. I have to make sure I know where everything is and can see everything. She started brushing me again like she does everyday. I dont mind her doing it, it does feel good and she gets my itchies, but I'm still a little uncomfortable with being touched, especially on my right side. I'm not used to people being on my right side. She doesnt do anything too odd, but I like to turn and make sure she isnt going to do anything, and sometimes I try and put her back on the correct side but she doesnt listen. She picked up my hooves again too but didnt give it back as quick. I pulled away cause I lost my balance but she picked it up again. She scratched all my hooves with a pokey thing this time which was weird but ok.

Then she pulled out this long stinky black stick from the big white box. I dont remember seeing one before, but it wasnt doing anything. Then all of a sudden it started touching me too. It didnt do anything too bad, but I wasnt ready for it. Then it tickled me between my legs. I kicked at it cause it felt like a fly does but it didnt go away like flies do. I paused for a moment and it went away. It kept coming back though but I figured out that if I didnt move it went away. After a little bit she put me back in my area and took the thing off my head. I sniffed her hands because sometimes there are cookies in her hands. But I found none so I went back to my food.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Good News!

I finally heard word back from my vet today - Moose does NOT have Strangles!

OMG when I was talking to the vet my heart was in my throat and then he said he DIDNT have it and a HUGE wave of relief came over me! I've already gotten pretty attached to him.... :)

He does not have the bad S word, but he has a form of strep. He actually have a few different strains of things but fortunately they are all very sensitive to medication and treating him shouldnt be an issue. There are a lot of routes we could take but my vet offered the most cost effective medication that he believes should do the trick no problem. Tomorrow I pick up his pills and drop off a fecal sample for worm count. Both those only totally $50! What a steal! Sure is nice when the dosage is much much smaller ;)

Moose-man you are going to be ok! Only ten days of treatment and you should be as healthy as a - horse!

Oh, and bonus! Vet said what he has isnt contagious! :)

I'm over the moon with relief and excitement!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Never Fear...

Milo got his shelter today!

I found a great deal on a Costco canopy on craigslist (my many, many, many searches finally paid off!) so Milo has a temporary shelter until the roof goes up on the barn, which the trusses should be put up next weekend (or so it is scheduled to be, hopefully the contractor doesnt cancel again).

Milo wasnt all too keen of his new shelter at first. He trotted and snorted around a bit, not going in to investigate. Even when I tossed his lunch in the shelter, he was still wary. But after I gave Moose his lunch too, Milo was wanting his enough to brave the scary canopy shelter. Once he figured out it wasnt so bad he was in and out a few times.

I'm not sure if I will go to the effort to mat his shelter though. Although I can use the mats later, the corner we put the canopy in is a little higher then the rest and shouldnt get too muddy in the next month. We got some torrential rain the last two days, with thunder and lightning, and even after that there is no mud over here.

Oh and in other news, today Husband and I officially named the mini horse Moose. It seems to be the only name that has stuck when I work with him. I've tried calling him by a few other names but Moose just sounded right and well, I guess thats the way you pick it by how it sticks.

Welcome to the family, Moose!

Friday, September 6, 2013

New Stuff is Always Exciting

A true horse owner absolutely loves buying new stuff for her horses. I needed another slow feeder for the little guy (still thinking about Moose). The feeder I have is all netting and I feared with that many holes his little bitty hooves might get caught easier. So I found another version of a slow feeder and it came today.

Crummy camera phone photos, bear with me.

I really like this net. Its 10x easier to put hay into it, and I like that the small openings are not only on the bottom half but also smaller amount. My other net is time consuming to fill and I wonder if it even slows Milo down as there is greater access to the hay then this one. I may be buying another one for Milo. This one will easily hold two or three flakes at a time, although for Moose I only fill half a flake in it :)

I need to figure out another solution for Milo's feed situation. I am a firm believer in the slow feeders. Not only for the horse's health and well being, but it also keeps hay off of the ground:

This is what happens with trying to feed bins. Moose did the same thing.

For my schedule slow feeders work since I can only feed twice a day. But for Milo I cant safely put one up for him. I dont want to attach it to a fence post because the electric wire is so close. I fear him trying to eat and the bag flying around (as it does) and getting caught in the fence, or Milo getting caught or zapped. I also dont want it too low to the ground for him pawing at it. Attaching it to the farm gate wont work either as I dont want him shaking that gate too much (its heavy and all the weight is on one fence post), and the same issues apply with safety.

For the meantime I cant do much, but this weekend we are putting up a shelter for him so I'm not sure if I cant put up more panels like Moose has so I could attach a bag to that then. We shall see...

Thursday, September 5, 2013

We Have Another Comedian on Our Hands....

So Moose (?) is starting to show his personality. He frequently pokes his cute little head out between the panels:

Today I fed him his vitamins (dynamite supplements are so good horses [and dogs] will eat it right out of your hands) and afterwards he had to clean his palette entirely:

Whatta cutie. :)

Vet calls me back tomorrow with hopefully a confirmed diagnosis. It came down to two choices, once it is narrowed we can know how to proceed. But Moose seems happy.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

New Stuff with Milo

So before we got married and went on our honeymoon (and I'm sorry I havent posted any info or pictures...not sure if anyone even wanted to see any of it), I was having some difficulty with Milo under saddle. Nothing major, really, the difficulty was in myself. Since I started my new job last November my riding time as tanked. The wedding kept coming closer, I was worked this last winter on minimum 50 hour weeks, mostly 60s, and I was attending mandatory after hours school classes. But now that the wedding is over, my horse is now home, I graduated from helper school, and our project has finally reached it's halfway point and is slowing down, I am beginning to have more time to myself. Which naturally means, more time to spend with the horses. (I can now say HORSES not just horse!)

What I was noticing before we left was that I was losing not only my strength in the saddle (twenty minute rides felt like our average forty minute ones before) but also my leg. What I mean by that is I was loosing the sensitivity to my leg and seat cues that Milo and I once had. I realized, harshly and with remorse, that I was riding with my spurs now, and it really shamed me. But my riding times were few and far between this last spring and summer so any time in the saddle was good time and I figured I would go back to "working on stuff" later. Well, now its that "later" and I have more time back on my hands.

When we returned from our honeymoon and I brought Milo home without really a second thought, I removed my spurs from my boots and headed out the door. I climbed aboard, prepped with a dressage whip on the fence if need be, and started our ride. I didnt ever need to reach for the dressage whip.

I was discovering a few weeks ago (about the time that I realized I no longer rode with my leg) that if I used the weight in my seatbones the opposite way that I was, I would receive better results. It all started when I watched a short video online of a reining trainer who mentioned that riding (cuing) is all about opening doors. I was searching videos on spins and in this instance he was mentioning how you need to get your inside leg off and put the outside leg on, thereby "opening the door" to the inside of the spin. A basic concept and one I already knew, but I began to think about it more as I rode, and how he mentioned that throughout our ride it is all about opening doors. I wondered this as I shifted my weight from seatbone to seatbone throughout my ride, and realized that I would sit on my inside seatbone when asking for Milo to turn to the inside. It makes sense to do that, I suppose, but from what the online trainer mentioned I was actually closing the door I wanted Milo to walk into. This realization got me thinking and I started working on doing the opposite and giving Milo clear "doors" throughout the ride. And it was working.

So anyway, now that I have been back and have had a few rides to practice opening all the doors, I've removed my spurs and have worked more on riding with my legs (primarily meaning my calves not my heels). And I have had some really good rides. I can only ask for so much in my sort of arena right now, but considering the circumstances I have had some excellent work from Milo. And honestly, I think we are both happier in our rides. Milo feels almost more willing (probably because I am actually using my body now and not the force of the spur) and I feel more relaxed in my ride as well. I'm not sure if the spurs will come back. Although I am no hater of spurs now, I could see myself needing them down the road for specific maneuvers, but I do see this as a start of something new. And good.

P.S. I also took off his sliders last Friday when he was due for a reset and trim. With the condition of my arena and wet weather coming up, there just seemed like no point. And I am a lucky horse owner in that he hasnt taken a single bad step since the change again, even with all the rocks on my property!

Monday, September 2, 2013

"Titan"? Got a Shelter Today

Among a few others things today, we put up a temporary shelter for the mini horse. Milo has some tree cover where he is (although I'm still on the hunt for a carport), but the poor little guy being separated needed some sort of cover. Husband was gracious enough to make this rain shelter for him with our boat tarp. At least now he can have some shade and rain cover. He already checked it out before I headed back inside.

This will at least do the job until the roof goes up on the barn. Once the roof if up, we will set up this panel and the other six I havent picked up yet to fashion two nice large stalls under cover, and I can then use my arena for turnout. In the meantime, I can feel better that the little guy has shelter now.

You can see the puddle to the right. I cant the little guy a bath today...well more of a half bath. I dont think he has ever had one before so it was really touch and go and I only really got his back, neck, and part of his butt. He was being good and using his head, but I had already worked with him for nearly an hour on touching and handling and he was starting to have had enough. I was pleased though even when he reached his end he never bit, kicked, reared, leaped or anything. All he did was circle on the end of the lead rope. I really could have used another set of hands but I just wanted to give him a brief bath anyway as today was warm and the forecast for the rest of the week calls for rain. Who knows when I would have had a good day to wash him again?

We made progress today though. He nickered a lot to me as I did chores and fed this morning. He comes up to the fence now to get pet when just yesterday he still shied away. As we discovered at the vet, he's sensitive to touch in certain areas still: legs, belly, rear, ears, but he is coming along. Even doing things on the off side were wary for him and he's already starting to come around. He's very trusting he really just needs some time. But already he seems happier with lots of licking and chewing.

As for Milo, he is already jealous of Mom spending time with the small one. He nickers and screams at me, stamping his feet when I'm in the little guy's pen. He will have to get it over it though. He's still my main queeze.

It was all Going too Smoothly...

I woke up the next morning at seven. My bed was cozy but I got up to go feed the horses. I love having a real reason to get out of bed - work just doesnt motivate me like feeding horses does! So I put on a zip-up hoodie and headed out. I grinned as I saw both horses look out the gate to me. Milo large and first, and the little guy close beside him. They both nickered happily - hearing the little guy nicker for the first time was cool!

I watched them both as I prepared their hay. Then I noticed the little guy was shaking. I stopped and watched further. He still shook. A cold kind of shivering shake. I immediately got worried, but maybe it's just a weird thing he does when fed? It wasn't cold last night...then I looked closer and saw mucus coming out of his right nostril.

Oh no. Please no.

I tossed their hay and hurried back to the house. Why hadnt we set up a separate pen for the mini last night when I thought we should? What if he has a virus and my horse, my baby, was out with him and caught it? I kicked myself, I chastised myself. I woke up Husband; "we need to set those panels up. Now". I explained, and called the emergency line for my vet.

I had Husband convinced enough to get out of bed when the vet called me back. I further explained to her and we agreed to meet at the clinic in an hour and a half. I let Husband dose a little while longer, guilty knowing all he wanted to do was sleep in. I had about forty minutes before we had to leave. I immediately headed towards the mini, lead rope in hand. I needed to get him out of the pen with Milo. He was a little bugger to catch. Not running or truly evasive, just shy. I took as much time as I could, until I got close enough and just grabbed his halter. Training time and bonding could come later. I studied his little face. His nose had a good blob of snot on his right side and his eyes were a little crusty from the night's weeping. But he wasnt shaking anymore and didnt feel hot. I checked his capillary refill and he seemed hydrated. I led him and a small armful of hay to the trailer and loaded him up.

Time to deal with possible contamination. I dumped out Milo's water trough, but without bleach on hand all I could do was scrub, rinse, and refill just enough until I got back to properly sanitize. I didnt touch Milo and begged him to stay away from me.

Immediately after the mini was loaded, Milo was frantic. He had gotten attached quickly and called and called, trotting the fence-line. Poor guy finally had a friend and I was taking him away. Just as I was heading in to get my purse, Husband was coming out. We got in my truck, which was still hooked to the trailer from getting the mini yesterday, and headed to the vet. The entire ride I was wrought with guilt. Better judgement told me that the mini needed quarantined from Milo at least for a little while. Even though they were getting along I should have erred on caution's side. How could I be so stupid?

My vet was unavailable so I had to use the on-call vet. I had met her before but never used her for veterinary work before. I had heard mixed reviews, but she was approved by my vet, clearly, and I had no other options. I shook her hand when we arrived, mini horse called a few times. She immediately commented on the little guy's condition. I agreed: he was in rougher condition then the photos his owner had sent to me, but at least he wasnt emaciated. And when I got him off her trailer he had no signs of mucus or runny eyes. Even that evening my frequent checks showed no signs of things amiss.

She immediately sounded his gut and heart, commenting that both sounded surprisingly well. Then we took a temperature, which I had discovered earlier he doesnt like his bum touched. He hopped once, but eventually gave in. 100.5 - a little on the high range of normal, but not a fever. She looked over his nose and eyes, and felt his lymphnodes and guttural pouch as well she could. She then took two samples of the discharge; one surfacing and the other deeper. He didnt like the deeper collection so much, but gave in. I was glad to see the wheels in his brain working a bit - he's smart and makes good choices. She gave him cookies between tests and he was coming out of his shell a bit which was nice.

She determined that it probably wasnt a virus being as the runny nose was coming out of one nostril (although truthfully as she noted it was starting a tiny bit on the other side, she said one nostril and a quarter) and his temperature hadnt spiked. She said a fever usually comes first with a runny nose second. Also weepy eyes arent always connected to viruses either. For these reasons she thinks it could be an infection in the guttural pouch or respiratory. That was good news to hear actually, as a virus I was far more fearful of. However, she did say that we had to keep the "S" word a possibility (strangles). Such a bad word.

On Tuesday, the soonest business day with the holiday weekend, she would send the mucus collection to the lab for diagnosis. But if by Tuesday when I call her for an update, if he has spiked a fever, the mucus begins truly coming out of both nostrils, or he goes off feed (among other changes like diarrhea or other obvious behavioral changes) then she will send the deeper collection for a respiratory panel. That alone will be another few hundred dollars, but worth it to determine if my baby Milo is at risk. She only sent me home with Equinoxx, similar to Bute in case anything happens but I was given strict orders to not administer unless she says so. We didnt start antibiotics yet as if it is the S word, antibiotics can cause it to go Bastard and could create abscesses in areas within the body. We also didnt collect a fecal sample yet for a routine worming check as his owner told me she wormed him last week (although I have a hard time believing anything she says now) and we would need another week from then to determine any resistant bugs.

So she sent me home with no real relief or prognosis, but things are what they are. We immediately set up the six panels we brought home and made a temporary pen for the mini where he and Milo can still see each other but are a safe distance. After that, I bleached out Milo's feed bin and water trough. I designated mini me's brush from Milo's as well as the lead rope I was using. I will use all bio-cautions as necessary at this point in case it could be viral including changing shoes, hand santizer, and doing my business with Milo first, and mini me second. If I can get my hands on some Dynamite Histacorbadyne I'll start Milo on that to give his immune system a boost.

The little guy in his temporary pen/quarantine. You can see a little mucus coming out of his nose now, but he's pretty good at blowing it off his sweet little nose. I mean, look at the pitiful halter that his owner sent him with too! I just feel bad for him, but he is in good hands now. I just hope he doesnt give Milo anything he might have...puts a knot in my stomach.

I emailed the old owner after we got home. I was a little sharp but I wanted her to know the repercussions this could have on my healthy baby. I also thought I should warn her of the possibility of "S" within her own herd. I questioned further any more history she could give me on mini me. I fully expected to not hear back and was surprised when ten minutes later she replied saying her herd recently had the vet out for both pneumonia and sinus infections. The mini he was kept with had the sinus infection. Oh and they brought two horses whole that had "flu like strains". Gee, thanks for telling me about this before when I asked you medical history! Thankfully she said he has been vaccinated, but is due again in October. She sums up by saying how sorry she was she didnt think his condition was that bad. Wow. She she must have wiped his nose and eyes but left the mud all over him! Needless to say, I guess I learned my lesson on trusting the honesty of other people...but hopefully it is something that antibiotics will help with and not life threatening...

More updates will come as I get them.

I'm considering "Levi" (which Husband doesnt like) or "Titan", which has a more warrior-like feel, or tough guy. Thoughts?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Milo meets his Mini

To the sounds of both large and small horses screaming, I unloaded the little one, who called to Milo. I led him to the fence-line and let him tenderly sniff Milo's nose. I was cautious, as normal for all introductions, but immediately both horses fell silent. Things seemed calm so with Husband's help, we led mini me into the paddock with a haltered Milo. Again, an exchange of sniffs and neither one showed any signs of escalation.

I really wanted to put mini me into a fenced off panel area, but we weren't able to get the panels until that evening. We let the little one go, then let Milo off the line as well. He walked to him eagerly, but not aggressively. Again, more sniffs, then the two of them wandered around together.

As much as I wanted to avoid the possible food drama between them, it was now 1:30 and I knew the little guy hadnt eaten since before seven, if he was even fed at all. So I tossed a flake in for Milo, and a partial flake to the mini. They both hunkered down and ate, but we stood watch. Mini me walked towards Milo's feed bin and I held my breath. Milo raised his head, but then continued eating allowing the little guy to eat with him!

As time progressed, Milo moved to the small bin and the little guy had Milo's bin. It was cute the swap of bin sizes and horses.

Milo came back towards little guy, but didnt give him any ears or anything, just shared.

It was a quiet and peaceful introduction and I was happy to see food time went well. But that evening's feeding was concerning still.

When we got back from getting the panels (and going to a friend's wedding) we saw the both were still side by side and peaceful. I wondered if I needed to even set the panels up. Something kept telling me that I should separate them, just for sake of not knowing much history on the little horse. But Husband noted that they were doing fine, how about just leave them be until the end of the weekend, then decide from there? It seemed like a fair decision, I would check on them again in the morning.

Poor little guy looks a lot better in photos then in person. He needs some groceries and vitamins, a bath, and some TLC. With the holiday weekend, I figured I would call the vet office Tuesday and schedule a routine check for him then. As it turned out, I would need the vet sooner.