Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Guess Whos Home?!

Beau is back on the farm! He came home yesterday- he is walking much better and his central line is out...he is on oral antibiotics and bute. Yahooo, he's home. Well, I'll be honest, I wasn't that thrilled when I saw the bill, got "plan" for the rest of the treatment and heard that he will need stall rest and wraps and then reevaluation next week. We went well over "budget" and the financial cost is not even close to over... you should see the cost of this high test med. And, the bandaging will need to be redone every other day- to the tune of 2 rolls of vet wrap, 2 rolls of gauze, 2 rolls of cotton and a roll of elasticon. ka-ching, ka-ching! I keep telling myself that it's only money, right?! And the most important thing is that he is home...and on the right road...

He seems happy to be back, I think he was glad to see the others. He also has been eating well- one of the side effects of this antibiotic is sores in the mouth, so I have to watch carefully that he doesn't go off his feed. They gave me 2 doses, and I have to go back tomorrow for the next 2. It's pricey, and if he goes off of it I don't want to be stuck with too much left on my hands. They have to suspend it in a gel- which he gets in the morning only. And, the wrap is to be changed every other day. It is a lot less labor intensive than before! For that I am grateful. And also grateful to my Mom and Dad who floated a bigger loan than I ever anticipated. I'll be paying them off for eons, but hopefully I've done the right thing and he will be sound!
I was there when they took off the wrap yesterday- the swelling is significantly down. It is still somewhat puffy over the hock- but they want me to do the next 2 wraps with the sweat material and they hope the last will be gone. He is on stall rest until they reevaluate him next Monday; then hand grazing, then hand walking. So, we are looking at a few more weeks until he will be ready to go, but I can wait. I have no choice right?! And, the weather has been pretty crappy so motivation is low anyhow. I just want this all to be over and done with... well, it wont be done for a long long time. Let the payments begin!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another Busy Weekend

Last night Savanna and I hurried home so she and Bill could attend the Daddy Daughter Dance. This is an annual event at the school, and for the first time Savanna had Daddy all to herself! Olivia is now to old to go, so Bill had just one "date." Savanna was very pleased with the pink dress we found. The straps were a little long so I had to sew them up a bit to shorten it- but overall she was very happy! It reminded me of a ballet costume, but it was certainly her "style" and she felt great in it! I burned myself on the curling iron, and her hair is so fine it doesn't hold a curl well...but you have to get ALL done up for the Daddy Daughter Dance!
I ran off this morning to see Beau since I didn't get over there yesterday. He looks good, but his Dr. wasn't there- so I didn't get to talk to anybody about him. He was still in the wrap from Friday. I'm not sure if they were planning to redo the dressing today or not- but I had to go early if I wanted to see him since we had Jayson's birthday and I had a lesson to teach which meant I missed the vet.
He is very itchy. I'm not sure if it is being in a climate controlled barn with winter hair, or the meds or the wrap... or a combination of them, but he "bites" at himself a lot. I can tell he is getting bored- he wanted to come of the stall as I came in and out! I groomed him really well taking time to itch him as I went- he was glad for the company I think. I will be happy to have him home, although the mud is getting pretty nasty in the paddock! With the snow melting, you can see all the limbs and debris- we had a hard winter and have a lot of clean up to do!

To me, the leg looked good! I am going to go first thing tomorrow and hopefully be there when the evaluate him. I will keep you posted, I hope to have him home and am really looking forward to being able to ride! I hope it all goes well.
In addition to Quiz and the Dance, the other big event of the weekend was a birthday party. My little nephew turned 3 last weekend and with my Mom sick my Sister pushed back his party. We celebrated today with a "talking" Cars party. He loves the movie "Cars" and got lots of cool stuff. Long ago I took a cake decorating class, and have some tips etc. So I end up making the theme cakes a lot. I do them for all the kiddos when they want a cake to match their party. I did a Lightening McQueen for him this year. It was pretty rushed, and my icing was too thick and hard to pipe, but he didn't seem to care!

Happy Birthday Jayson!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Quiz Rally

Today was Quiz Rally, the first official Pony Club event the girls have done. It was a long day, but Wentworth PC did VERY well! The girls had a great time, and we came home with ribbons so all the better! The Wentworth Killer Whales (Olivia's team) got first place in the Junior D division and the Wentworth Sting Rays (Savanna's team) got 2nd! There were 10 teams in the Jr. D group.... so they did awesome! The Wentworth Senior team got 3rd in their category. So all in all we were very proud of the overall performance. Savanna had the Daddy/Daughter Dance tonight so she and I rushed home after the event and missed the ribbon awarding but it was apparently quite the event- the WPC kids dominated!

Of course I forgot my camera... so no pictures- but the teams looked great! Everyone was neat and tidy and had all the appropriate gear. I ended up being the chaperon for Olivia's team so I followed them all around- it made for a long day with no down time. But, it was good because I got a real first hand view of what they had to do! Some of the other parents had jobs where they sat in one spot all day overseeing the same test/activity. I was able to see all the events and watch the kids go through Quiz. There were some really tough questions given today- and I was impressed not only with our girls but with everyone there! Of course, as with any event there were a few parents that I thought needed to get a life- but the kids were all great! We have put in a lot of time and energy practicing for this rally and 5am was a really long time ago; but it was well worth it! The girls had a blast, and come on... the ribbons are spectacular!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Band of Brothers

While hanging out in the aisle of the barn at the clinic it is so obvious what a "club" you are in once you have a horse admitted. I already care so much about the horses that are there surrounding Beau. There is 'Harley' across the aisle who came in with colic. He is now being worked up to see if they can identify a medical reason as this is the second time recently where he has coliced. His owner is a lovely woman with whom I spent a long time chatting yesterday. She loves this guy dearly. Coming from what I like in a horse, and how I like my horses to act- we are in very different places. But he clearly brings her so much joy. You have to be one of us to know how she feels. I know nonhorse people just don't get it. But, even though I barely know her- I know exactly what she is going through.

Next door Beau has an older appy friend who was kicked in the head. He had to have surgery early this morning and he stopped breathing on the table. The vet team was able to get him back and his "family" were obviously very anxious today. They were so glad to have the outcome they did- and we spent a good long time just hanging over the wall chatting while they stood vigil over their guy. The (20something) son was there and he was totally loving on his old guy; we swapped stories and just hung out. You have this sort of acceptance that to be there- at this sort of place is a terrible thing. But, the other owners get that. We all know that you don't want to be doing this but everyone has resigned and accepted the situation and there is so much camaraderie among the clients.

I felt for 'Clay' and his family- they were in a stressful place... It is so interesting how at place like this; at times like these, you develop an almost instant bond with people. I found myself sharing like I would never normally do. There is something about this situation- about loving your animals so much that brings people together.

There is hope

I felt so good leaving the clinic today- even though I left Beau there. I arrived shortly after 10am and I had missed all the action! They had removed the wrap and done the antibiotic flush for a second time. According to the surgeon, Beau looked great! He said he was very happy with the progress, and that Beau had responded to the treatment as well as could have been expected! He didn't want to do a further sonogram- he felt no need to look into the hock again. He was walking so well he could tell clinically that there was no reason to! I was very pleased; when I arrived Beau was back in his stall with a new wrap. They redid the pressure dressing and also administered the sweat materials. I was told I could bring him home if I wanted, but once we began to discuss the risks of having a central line in, I decided I was not comfortable- especially since I am supposed to be with the girls at Pony Club all day tomorrow.

To run the treatment to it's conclusion the Dr. wants to keep him on IV antibiotics (but would be willing to go oral and send him home if that's what I really wanted) through the weekend. I feel as if this plan is working and I don't want to act too soon and risk not getting this cleared up for good. I asked if I could uncross my fingers for a sound horse and the Dr. said yes! So, with the progress we have made I am happy and I will be able to relax and enjoy the girls tomorrow knowing he is in good hands! I look forward to Monday when he can come home, and hopefully after that we will be injury free for a while! I know we are not totally out of the woods yet, but I am hopeful! He was alert and active today. Less stressed about the horses coming and going, he seems to have come to terms with it all. I can't wait to have him back! I forgot my camera- so no pictures tonight... but his new wrap is green ;)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Is that light I see?!

For the first time I have real hope that we are getting to the bottom of this! Beau is really at a first rate clinic. The New England Equine Medical & Surgical Center is an asset to our equine community- and I am so blessed to be able to have him there. It is amazing that just a few miles down the road we have such easy access to world class medicine. It is such a bummer to have to be there- but knowing he is in such good hands is great! His current Dr. is such a cool guy- I really appreciate all that he is doing for my man. Here he is in his stall. Yesterday when he arrived he was the second horse in that wing- it was just a mare who was recovering from colic and he. During the night a second horse arrived colicing too. So, the three of them were the only residents of the medical barn.

The mare was discharged this morning, and Beau acted like it was a personal insult that she go...and he stay! He was very unhappy. And that is an understatement. I, on the other hand was OK with it because it gave me some insight into how he is feeling; he was literally cantering around his stall he was so upset. Upset yes, but cantering!! He is getting IV antibiotics and some bute- but the Dr. agreed that it wouldn't mask that much pain- so it is certainly a sign that he is feeling better. He was walking better than I've seen in weeks. Yipeee!
Shortly after the mare left, his gelding pal was taken out for some hand walking. Well. that was just about all Beau could bear- he literally screamed every few minutes and reared and bucked and tore around the stall. He even kicked the wall! He seriously must be feeling better. In terms of medical treatment- I'm sure it was more than they would have like him to do, but I was glad to see all that movement!

His leg wrap was still tight enough that the Dr. felt confident enough to leave it alone for today- so he just got his IV meds and tomorrow they will flush the leg again and reassess the hock. I am hopeful that he will be able to come home- I will have to continue with the meds myself, and do a pressure wrap and dress him for sweating... but I can do it at home and hopefully save $$ So by tomorrow we will have a much better picture of how this treatment plan is working and what we will need to do to keep up with it- and hopefully come to a resolution! I will be so glad when all of this is over. Let it be known that I feel like this has been the longest winter on record- I am so ready for spring!

I spent the better part of the day hanging with the other owners in the aisle and grooming Beau. Just as I was leaving a new neighbor arrived to Beau's left... he was trying so hard to see over the wall- but he is too short; or the wall too high. He was cracking me up! He is such a ham- when he wasn't being a spaz about other horses leaving, he was just hanging out munching hay and asking for scratches. The plan is for me to head back in the morning to see how things have progressed. I'm not sure if I'll take the trailer- that might jinx me... but I have fingers crossed... I do have to be gone all day Saturday with the girls to Pony Club Quiz rally- so I am a bit anxious about having him come home; but I'll be so glad once we are clearly down the road to recovery. Today I feel confident that we are on the right track. But ask me again how I feel once I see the bill...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A new plan of attack

I came home from the clinic tonight... but Beau did not. The long and the short of it is, that if I hope to have a sound horse at the end of this, they think that aggressive treatment of the infection is the only course of action. While I agree, I am devastated by this turn of events. The financial and emotional drain has been enormous. I am afraid for my guy, and tired physically and emotionally. Much of that is overshadowed by an overwhelming fear of what this is going to cost. I have an incredible fear that after all this he will have some lingering issues. Or, something else will come up. I just feel like it has been one thing after another...and I so desperately want him to be well! With the fear, and a sense of what is realistic I did give the vets a cap; I felt for the financial solvency of this family, I had to be honest with them about what I could carry. The best Mom and Dad in the world gave me access to their credit card, and Ill have to pay them over time- but it was very hard to think about what we can afford, and what the prognosis for him will be. I had to come up with a number in my head that I felt I could afford and that would also give them an ability to treat it the way they were saying it needed to be treated. I was given a reasonable hope that with this amount of money he would be serviceable and sound at the end. I know there is no guarantee, and things could certainly still get worse, but for now he is in good hands- and I have to trust that they will do all they can to help my little Beau-ley.

While I was there they did an ultrasound of the hock to look for any pockets of fluid with the hope that they could tap one and culture it so we would know what we were dealing with and pick the most effective antibiotic. There was no such pocket- which in one sense was good- it is a sign that things are not too far advanced. But, without a culture we still dont know what we are dealing with. And, on the ultrasound, there were some changes to the fluid in the joint itself- so the question remains...has the infection moved into the joint?! The risk is too great to draw a sample just now- the surrounding tissues harbors so much contamination it would certainly put the joint at risk to put the needle thru it now. He has a catheter in his neck- for IV antibiotics and pain meds, this will be part of the longer term treatment. For an immediate attack they used a tourniquet to cut off the blood supply to the lower part of his limb and put in a line to flood the area with a heavy dose of antibiotic local to that area (since the blood was not flowing in/out) After the antibiotic flush, they pressure wrapped him with some gel that is supposed to draw out the moisture in the leg. In this way they treat the infection in one way (IV and directly to the lower leg) and the swelling in another (pressure wraps with sweat bandages) He will certainly stay at the clinic until Friday, when this antibiotic flush/pressure wrap can be done again. Hopefully the hock will be ready for another ultrasound and then they will go ahead and look into the hock itself and go in if they see the need. If all goes as planned, he will come home after that and continue IV antibiotics here for 8-10 days. I will have to do the catheter and such- but realistically it was the only option for us... the cost of weeks at the clinic is too prohibitive. I know I can be vigilant, and my vet will be able to monitor his progress here... so, thats the plan for now. Hopefully Ill be able to get some pictures tomorrow- he is totally wrapped hoof to stifle and was pretty dopey when I left. I know they will take great care of him, and I have all my fingers and toes crossed that we can lick this. And Im so grateful to my parents for being so understanding, without them this would have been a much harder decision. I'll forever be thankful, and in debt to them for about as long!

Are you tired of this yet?

Because I am! Beau was better Sunday- he had a bit of turnout and I left him unwrapped for a while. By Monday he was back to hot and tender again. No fever this go round, but certainly more puffy than over the weekend, and much more reluctant to walk. He is eating again, which is great... so I think we nailed the ulcer/intestinal issue. He picks slowly, but he is back to grain and he took a carrot and a cookie yesterday.

Today he is about the same- swelling is slightly up, heat is back in the hock and he is tender to the touch. I have been avoiding it, but back to the clinic we must go. They will want to do x-rays to be sure there is not another issue going on here- then we will have to play around and find a new antibiotic. Ill keep you posted!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Twists and Turns

Beau has been progressing- a winding route that hopefully is taking us closer to sound again! The past few days have brought decreased swelling and tenderness- but we are certainly not out of the woods yet!
Here is the leg at one week. Well, actually just the hock- as that is where the remaining swelling is located. Over the past few days we have started to turn a corner... I think. We had a minor setback today, but as far as the swelling/tenderness goes we seem to be making slow but steady progress. Yesterday I could see the vein that runs down the inside of the leg for the first time. Today I can see one of the "knobby" aspects for the hock. I am hopeful. As the swelling continues to go down, Dr. Kehir wants us to start hand walking- just a bit at a time, and only as long as the swelling continues to decrease.
Both yesterday and today we ventured out the driveway a few times. I have been walking him out to the road before I hose the leg. I think he is bored and enjoys these little jaunts. The sun has been shining- although it remains cool. We have a serious mud problem- it is really icky- but the ice remains in the paddock, so its the best place to get him moving. I was so happy when she gave us the "go-ahead" to walk, I felt like we were finally getting somewhere...
Then this afternoon I had a scare (I am hopeful we were able to figure it out though...) Beau's temp spiked to 103.2 around 3:30! I called the Vet right away, and although the Dr. we have been dealing with is away- one of the others was able to talk me thru it. She suggests that because the cellulitis seems to be responding now, that this temp spike may be due to an ulcer or intestinal abrasion from/aggravated by all the meds he has been on. She had me stop all oral meds- and his temp went down! So, assuming it stays down tonight, we will either cease the meds- or have to go to an injectable anti-biotic if the fever or swelling return.
I was panicked for a bit, but he seems to be doing well, and it does make sense that it's his tummy because he has had little to no appetite for the past few days. He picks at hay but doesn't want grain. He has slowly stopped treats and wouldn't even take an apple yesterday. He munched a few carrots this evening, and ate some sweet feed from my hand tonight. Fingers crossed that the fever stays away, and the hock continues to improve! I can't believe what a nightmare this has been!

PineWood Derby

The Track

The Car

The Competition

The Winner's Circle

The North Berwick '09 PineWood Derby Winner
We are so proud! Regionals, here we come!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Amid all of the chaos and craziness that is my life these past few days I found this. My first crocus. These are planted right off the large field stone that is our back step- along the foundation between the door and the chimney. It is warm here, and I always get flowers in this spot first. I have been rushing in and out to Beau (and the others) constantly over the past few days. Today I stopped for a few seconds to move an errant log and noticed that the leaves were being pushed up. I am thankful I took a moment to slow down. Especially now, I am grateful for the reminder that each day offers an opportunity; in one little bulb, life begins anew.

Is that a corner I see??

I am trying not to get my hopes up... but I think we may be approaching a corner that maybe we can turn!? I think we are still days away, but I feel less panicky today... I only had to speak with the Vet once! That's a success in itself! I went last night to borrow an ice boot... the lovely ladies at Lucky Clover Farm lent me this awsome freezy wrap- the first time I put it on (last night) he panicked- it was tight and puts pressure right on that hock- but it is cold, and it buys me an hour- and we go hour by hour these days, so any down time is great by me!
He wore the boot and we continued with the cold hose- adding the boot increased his "cold" time, so hopefully that will decrease his "down" time. By this afternoon he wandered (and I use that term loosely: step step step stop. step step step stop) for 10 minutes in the paddock- the Vet says he can have a bit of supervised outside time if he is willing to move- let him dictate what his is comfortable with. I think it must have felt good to sniff poop piles and say hello to Squeeke. Sonny is being very protective- guarding the stall door, so a sniff to the pony girl lifted his spirits I'm sure! With his discomfort, getting him out to hose has been hard, but tonight he walked out of his stall for his Auntie Cindi with little disagreement. So we pushed our luck and took him out of the paddock to hose. I've been flooding myself while he wont walk, and he seemed up for it- so out he went! I was so pleased to see him move- shuffle actually, but its progress!
I was worried this am, as his poop looked like this (gross I know!) but Dr. says it is ok to see some of the rectal antibiotics come out in his poo. He also spit out his morning meds- so he got extra SMZs at lunch. He didn't eat his breakfast grain, or the warm mash I made him but I opened a bale that I deemed the yummiest looking, and he picked at that. Tonight he went nose deep in his bucket, so I'm hopeful that he will eat it all. He got bute again tonight, I didn't notice a difference with it last night but I figure it cant hurt. Even with loosing some of the banamine, his temp stayed steady in the low 100.s today, so maybe this is the beginning of getting better? I sure hope so!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


'Cause I needed something else to deal with... Sonny decided today was as good a day as any to COLIC!! Yes, you heard me right. Colic. Son is prone to these little bouts of tummy trouble. But today? Really? He was fine at 6:15 when I fed. He was fine at 8:30 when I put Beaus frozen corn wraps on. At 9:45 when I came out to take off the corn he was kicking his belly, looking at his flanks, and pawing. By the time I had the corn undone he was down. I ran for the house (of course the one time I didn't have my phone with me) to call his Mama and the vet. Since we know this about him- we usually try banamine and hand walking for a while to see if he will progress on his own. But, like I needed the extra stress today.

An hour and a half of walking and a dose of banamine and he passed manure. He was symptomatic a bit longer, but then seemed to get over the hump and went back to being his big ol' self. His Mom had planned to come out today anyhow- but this made her get here quicker. I called off my Brownie meeting- I couldn't stomach the thought of leaving 2 sick horses. We went to the clinic to pick up extra banamine... just in case. We spent the day just hanging with the ponies. Which otherwise would have been a great time- but all of this had me physically not feeling well. I don't take sick critters very well, and this just about did me in! Not to mention that I got my period today too, and my Mom is VERY sick (she has a sinus infection, the flu and phenomena simultaneously!) so I'm worried about her.

With Sonny's scare, some of the attention was taken off Beau for a bit- but then it was back to hosing and antibiotics. I've spoken with 2 different friends now who have dealt with cellulitis- and it seems that this level of discomfort is the norm. My vet is comfortable with keeping him at home and continuing the treatment plan, but it worries me to see improvement be this slow. The hock is still swollen and hot, and he clearly doesn't want to be touched there. He is very hesitant to walk, until after he has been hosed- then he will go ahead and move. I feel like such a bad "mother" because he is clearly in distress... but it seems like this is par for the course with cellulitis- and I don't have a fortune to spend with other diagnostics. Sigh. So, we wait another day and hopefully improvement continues- even slowly; just as long as we continue to improve and he will bear weight. As per Andrea's suggestion in the comments, I asked about bute vs. banamine when I conferred with my vet tonight. She suggests banamine is a better fever reducer, and is better for soft tissue (bute works better for bone) but we added 2gr into the mix tonight to see how that affects things. I don't want to over medicate- I don't want him to go off his feed... I also will increase his hosings- that seems to make him more willing to move. I also borrowed an ice boot from a friend- so I can also use that in between.

I'm off to check on Sonny and do one final bandage change/ cold hose. It's got to get better right?!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

We battle On

This morning, I was so hopeful for Beau. He had 2 of his rectal antibiotic treatments yesterday... I wanted some good news but was not happy with what I found- his temp was back up (101.7) and his tenderness continues. The swelling, however is down- with the inflammation now primarily centered over the inside of his left hock. As Bill reminds me, this lessening of the swelling is great. But, I wanted to see more- and I don't want him to be in pain. He is not willing to walk and is still very unhappy with being touched; his hock looks like this

We continued with the prescribed treatment plan today, and when I spoke with the vet this afternoon, she was not pleased to hear he wont walk yet. She suggests he should be more willing to move by now (5 total treatments with the new antibiotic) He will bear weight- shifting leg to leg but was not at all interested in any real movement. He only came about 5 steps out of his stall for hosing mid-day. This is alarming as Sunday he walked out of the paddock and over to the hose twice, and went once yesterday. Tonight however, he actually walked off after I left him "parked" in the paddock where I had hosed him while I cleaned his stall. His gait was stiff and he was certainly protecting himself, but there was walking! The plan is to continue the banamine (which we should be done with today) smzs as a broad spectrum antibiotic in addition to the other antibiotic which will target the anaerobes from the infection in the abscess as well as continuing to cold hose and wrap. She asked me to drop my top stacked wrap down to cover the hock and criss-cross around the joint itself to see if we can get some of that swelling down. I thought the poor boy was going to fall over when I did him up tonight. If this pain continues tomorrow she says he will have to go over to the clinic... fingers crossed; we are about tapped out of "emergency" horse funds. I hope the morning brings some improvement.

It Continues

The picture of innocence right?! I swear to you, this horse is trying to kill me. Yes folks. This lameness junk continues... yesterday morning Beau's temp was up. He's pretty consistently a 99.8 kinda guy (you all take temps on random days right, so you have a baseline?!) well 101.2 after 3 days of antibiotics didn't make me happy. And, he was noticeably more uncomfortable... not as bad as Saturday, but worse than he had been Sunday. So I called the vet. Again. She wanted to start him on another antibiotic. OK, sounds like a good plan to me, she had mentioned that it might be a possibility. So, the bad news- both that she would recommend were over $300!!! Yikes. One would need to be reconstituted and injected IM twice a day, the other (which was her top choice) could be given orally- but in 1 in 1,000 horses have an allergic reaction and their lips/mouth swell. Geeze. What great choices I have! I go for the one she says would most likely be the better option- the oral. I'll save myself the injection bit, but with my luck his lips will swell. What can I do?! The good news was she said I could come to the office and pick it up, and save the farm call. Thankful, I drove off; checkbook in hand.

When I arrived, she started right off with "you're going to be so happy." What? Did you cure my horse remotely?! No, she had conferred with one of the surgeons from the clinic who recommended an anti-biotic that targets something that is fairly common in abscess'. So, now we are back to thinking this is a systemic infection working its way up the leg from the abscess- or cellulisits that started from the infection/abscess. OK. Now, get this. The new med is about 1/3 the price... great. But, it has be given 20 pills at a time.... 4 times a day.... for 5 days..... RECTALLY!!!!

Yup, this is my life.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Note to Otis

Yup, folks. About 9pm last night Otis got skunked. Actually I'm surprised that it has taken so long given that we live in the woods and he is a very playful pup. I didn't realize it had happened until he ran past me through the door- so he rolled on the living room carpet and then bolted up to Olivia's room- where he huddled up against her bed for comfort since I was screeching at him! It took an hour of bathing him to get to the point where I felt he could sleep in the house. Bill wanted to lock him in the barn- I knew he would be miserable! I found a recipe online for hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap- soaked the poor guy outside, then brought him back in. It did a good job- then I washed him in all the smelly fruity shampoos we had (and bills orange hand cleaner to boot!) Now I have to deal with the house- it certainly smells more than he does right now- and the stench is greatest outside by the barn- so he must have been down there. I'll run down to the pet shop and see what commercial products they have- I'm sure there are a ton of choices.
Seriously. When it rains it POURS!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 2

This is what Beau looked like after I unwrapped him this morning. The swelling was only down slightly, but he seemed more comfortable- you could touch him without his flipping out! He actually went nose first into his grain for the first time in DAYS- yahooo! He had banamine and SMZs, then since he was interested in his grain I went back into the house. When I came back out an hour later, I opened him all up and headed out to hose him. Of course, the hose was frozen. So, the cast of characters:
Yup. 2 bags of frozen corn. Polos, and vet wrap (I know, it's not in the photo)

He needed cold therapy, so this is what he looked like when I was done! It turned out to be close to 50 again today, so the other hosings went much better! He still has no temp- and is tolerating all of the messing around so nicely. Its really a testament to his personality- he's such a sweet guy! He isn't pawing anymore- I'm happy to say... He went right for his grain this evening too, and is bearing weight when we walk to the hose. I'm hopeful that there will be even more improvement tomorrow and we wont have to go to the IV antibiotics. Ill keep you posted!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The saga continues

7:00am- Morning feed on the farm. I buted Beau with 2 more grams and soaked his hoof in epsom salts... he was not bearing weight on the left hind AT ALL. I made him walk the length of the fence line- he was hesitant to get going, but then was able to walk of 50 yds or so.. thinking abscess, I wanted to encourage some blood to pump through the hoof. I was so upset heading out this morning... last night he was miserable. He wasn't interested in his grain at all- he stood hanging his head and standing on 2 legs pawing with the 3rd, and had the left hind up in the air. I was very worried about him... I tubed his bute into him so I was sure he was getting the full 2grams, and I was hoping by this morning he would have some relief. Common knowledge being that once the abscess pops, pressure is relieved and pain should be mostly gone. Grrr. Here he is still sore!?

11:00am- Out for "lunch" and Beau now looks like this. He is unable to bear weight on the left hind at all. There is heat and swelling from the hoof to stifle. He is VERY tender to the touch- and still seems miserable. I'm not a fan of the baseball bat look- and with Bill's blessing called the vet!Of course, it's Saturday- that means Billy's birthday party... an an emergency call fee. But, he can't wait! Very concerned about systemic infection, I started him on SMZs and finished up my party prep. Dr. Kehir came just as I put the cake down in front of Billy. Of course she did. Bill went out to hold the beast while I finished up with the kiddos. lucky for me one of the Moms had stayed so I was able to rush out. The vet diagnosed him with cellulitis, and the obvious abscess, but said she was not sure that they are linked. She gave him penicillin and banamine and 3way (for the tetnus) She wants me to cold hose (thankfully it was almost 50 today!) 3xs a day for at least 15 mins. I'll continue the SMZs for 7 days and give him banamine tomorrow and Monday for pain. She says some cellulitis does not respond well to SMZs- so if there is no improvement in 48hrs, we will have to try another antibiotic.

She had me stack wrap him (not a wrapping technique I've had much need for- so no critique please!) after hosing... I am to wean him off the wrapping in a few days- once he starts to feel better and load more weight onto the limb. I was seriously worried about him today- but she says cellulitis often presents itself like this. Sigh- I think this horse is going to be the death of me!

Birthday part 2

Today was Billy's "friends" party. This was the World of WarCraft invitation that I made. Bill did a "print screen" of Billy's character and I took it from there- there are no WOW party items to be found in any stores, so I had to be creative!
He wanted a WOW cake too. I had grand plans to copy a map off the game, but then the day got crazy with Beau and time was running short. The best I could come up with was this- the WOW logo. Actually the logo is this wording on a shield (?) with a border around it. I opted to do the words only. I think it came out OK for about 10 mins of work!

Some candles and it was a party! As per our tradition we did a treasure hunt to find the goodie bags. I did all my clues with World of Warcraft themes- I was impressed with how many WOW words I know! And that I was able to rhyme them too.
I had the hunt outside- it was almost 50 and a beautiful sunny day... there was no way I wanted them stuck inside! I think Billy had a good time- he is fighting a cold, and with all the excitement he had his requisite meltdown...but what kids party would be complete without one?!

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's an abscess

Yahoooo. Never in my life have I been so happy to have a hurt horse!! It's an abscess... blew out the top of the lateral aspect of his left hind heel this morning! When I went out to feed Beau was worse than he has been all week. How could that be?! He has been on stall rest except for a few hours the entire week. He has been on bute am and pm since SATURDAY!!! How could he be worse?! I immediately "knew" we were going back to the equine clinic. I quickly check him over, and thought the hock looked puffier. Now, I knew and loved an amazing horse who died from complications from an infection in the hock. I was sure this was the end.... I came screaming in to Bill- he came out (after an agonizingly long time getting dressed) and ran his hands down the leg. Put his fingers up to his nose and "Pheww" diagnosed the abscess. I cried, I was so happy! Poor guy is in a lot of pain, and its going to be a long day of soaking- but he's going to live! No, seriously. I was really worried! Yipee. I was taught long ago that when they are that lame- it's either a broken leg or an abscess. Thank goodness for the oozy pus hole- epsom salts to the rescue!


Let it be known, I hate March. I think March is the ugliest month of the year. There is nothing green, everything is brown and gross. We osculate from dirty snow and ice to mud. I just don't like the transitional crap. Fast forward right on to spring please. Take me from big white fluffy snow flakes and give me daffodils and green grass; thank you very much. The only redeeming qualities about March are the two birthdays we celebrate!

Billy turned 7 yesterday!! I know, can you believe it?! He wanted a World of Warcraft themed party. Well, there is no WOW licensed stuff around, so I had to get creative. He seemed happy with it all. We had his "family" party last night. Our tradition is that on your birthday you get to choose the dinner for that day. Billy picked pancakes. So, my parents and the boys and Auntie and Uncle came over. As per his request, we had a breakfast buffet. Pancakes with all sorts of toppings (strawberries, whipped cream, syrup, bananas) and bacon and sausage. A perfectly lovely dinner- if I do say so myself! He had his presents (he got the i-pod he really wanted!) and then cake. Ice cream cake. My camera battery died, so I didn't get cake shots, but it was very yummy.
He will have his "friends" party Saturday afternoon. We will have some kids from school over for a few hours for a second celebration! Last night as he went off to sleep (with his i-pod on the shelf next to him) he told me "I think I love my i-pod more than myself." It's the simple pleasures in life. How is it, that something so trivial can bring such joy to a kid?! I feel so blessed that Bill and I can do things like this for our children. Ah, to be 7 again; nerf guns and WOW cards and i-pods and gift cards. These small tokens made one little boy VERY happy! And, in 2 weeks it's my youngest nephew's turn! I can't believe little baby Jayson is going to be 3!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Acadia bound

I am so excited! Today I made our reservations for a camping trip to Acadia National Park. I have been wanting to take the horses up there for as long as I can remember... and this year we are finally going to do it! I booked 3 stalls and a camp site for Labor Day weekend... We will leave early Friday am to make it up there, and head back Monday evening- 4 glorious days to ride and explore the amazing trails Roosevelt established in the park! We have invited a few friends and family along- and I hope we have a great group who can go... but even if it's just us, I'll be thrilled! Dreaming and planning have taken some of the sting out of Beau's most recent lameness. He had a few hours turn-out today, the first he's had since Saturday. He did move a bit better, but you can tell that limb is still causing him some discomfort. There is still no heat or swelling, so I'm pretty baffled. Sigh. I hope he gets better soon... until then it's stall rest and bute, and I can dream and plan and imagine what it's all going to be like. And what with a cold drizzle all day, September can't come fast enough!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Another Snowy Monday

This is what it looked like here today. Yet another snowy Monday morning. It was dry when Olivia and I went out for the bus- but by the time I headed out for the second time, it was really starting to come down. I was surprised that the kids were not sent home early, I kept waiting for the call, but it never came! Billy's Cub Scouts were canceled but Olivia still had Juniors. Its not much more than 6 inches- not worth plowing says Bill- more a nuisance than anything. But seriously, I'm tired of it!
And this is what I mean. I really love my setters- but by this time of year I'm really over them and the snow. This is what their feathers look like every time they come in! I have little snow balls dropping all over the house that melt into little icy puddles everywhere! They sit and chew them out and spit them wherever they lay. I have wet floors until they get their trails all packed down out there. Really, I am quite ready to be done with all of this- especially following two 50 degree days. Sigh.

My dismay at more snow led me to tonight's supper. Home made soup and bread. Yumm. I love my bread machine... It was here before me, but Bill didn't know how to use it and he didn't have the books for it either. So, I looked up a basic bread machine recipe and have been making it ever since. I do at least a loaf a week- sometimes more frequently. I know some more adventurous housewives make all sorts of bread- but I just stick to the basic white loaf, and man oh man is it good! And whats another cold snowy winters eve without chicken soup? I had made a "thanksgiving" dinner as the kids like to call it- roast chicken and all the fixings a few nights ago. So when the flakes started to fall I put a pot on to simmer and made my chicken noodle soup. My Dad makes a turkey/rice soup and I have made variations of his as I go along. This is one of my favorite "snuggle-in and stay warm" dinners. I shouldn't complain too loudly- I guess its not too bad, spring is right around the corner.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Riding Squeekers part 1

I was very disappointed today- I had really wanted to ride. The forecast was for a 50 degree day with mostly sunny skies. Bill had agreed to go with me to the indoor after his morning clients- so we could see how Beau looked and take Squeeke for a test ride. But, I guess it wasn't meant to be...when I let Beau out this morning he looked a bit off- took an odd step with his hind after I put hay out. And, in hindsight, he came slowly out where he has been cantering out in the mornings lately. Yup, by the time I came back out to clean he was 3 legged. Lame again!!! I was so upset. I just stood there with him crying. I can't believe it. I had been looking forward to this all week! He has looked so good lately- and now left hind is off- no heat/swelling/cuts. I can't find a darn thing to explain it! I don't know what he did- I guess slipped or took a funny step on the ice, but you would think that if he had pulled or strained something there would be some swelling. After I cried for a bit feeling sorry for him and myself I went into the house to use the bathroom and just then Bill got home. He came out with me and went over him too. He can't find anything either- I was praying for an abscess- but he didn't respond to hoof testers anywhere. So, back to bute and stall rest. And no ride for me today. I think I may have him tested for Lyme with his spring shots. It's just all too weird for me. But, Bill was whooping because its a HIND!! He was so happy it's not a front again. Small blessings right?!
Speaking of small blessings. Look who still got ridden today! I didn't want to truck her to the indoor alone- I think it would be unfair to take her just yet. She still needs to settle and trust us. I figured with Beau it would be fine, but there was no way I was going to take her alone. So, I hopped on Sonny and Bill got on Squeekers and we took her for a little spin on the only ground that doesn't have snow or ice. The driveway!

She was great for girthing and mounting and all that. There was really no problems at all. Bill and I walked up and back a few times- he worked on brakes and steering and trotted just a few strides. We switched and he got on Sonny and then we spent some time passing each other and he walked/trotted/cantered up behind us, and up to us head on. I wanted to be sure she was going to be good with other horses- she passed that test just fine! She was great with him following or leading. The dogs also dart in and out of the woods around here, and can run pretty fast right up behind you. She wasn't bothered by any of that at all...
So we put the girls up on her! Olivia rode with Sonny and I first. We walked back and forth and they just spent some time getting to know each other. Olivia is certainly on the upper end of Squeeke's size capabilities, but they didn't look too ridiculous. I think they actually were pretty cute together! It was good to have Olivia test her- she is much more confident and I think it did Savanna good to see her up.

After Olivia had her turn... then came Savanna! Olivia was very supportive and helped to get Savanna's stirrups and girth checked before she mounted. The girth I got yesterday fits fine, but it has elastic on both ends. I think it's easier for the girls if it's just on one- less stretch means less fussing with getting it tight and even.
I was so happy with Sonny. He walked up and down and up and down that driveway today on the buckle without batting an eye. He has had the whole winter completely off- and much of the fall too. He was awsome! When I first got him out, the other two were still in the paddock- they were calling and calling and he wasn't flustered one bit. He is starting to shed out, and loved the attention I think! I was bummed to say the least when Beau came up off again, but Sonny and Squeeke got me feeling much better. I'm still sad- I want him to be sound... but I had a great time out in the driveway none-the-less.

Riding Squeekers part 2

Savanna and I walked down the drive so she could get used to Miss SQ. They were doing just fine, so after a photo op at the end of the driveway, we headed back to the house to swap horses.
Savanna and Squeeke were doing so well, we let Olivia get on Sonny. The girls were so cute with their matching Palomino ponies! Sonny was being very good about babysitting both the girls, and Squeeke! I was so pleased with him (given his time off!)

Bill walked them down and back the first few times- they did great! We were reminding Savanna of all the things Bill and I had "tested" Squeeke on earlier. She did great keeping her distance and making her point when needed. We want her to be able to really ride- not just be a passenger; I think Squeeke will be great for this job. She is the perfect combo. Really safe but with a bit of a challenging personality. She needs to know who's boss- and Savanna needs to learn to assert herself. They are going to be a great pair! Squeeke tested a few times and with some coaching Savanna was able to firmly make her point and be more of a rider than a passenger. I hope it was the beginning of a fine relationship!

After a million walk trips up and down, they did a wee bit of trotting. The driveways was not the best footing, but they made the most of it! They both even got a bit of accidental canter- Savanna was having a hard time regulating Squeeke's trot (she kept saying- "she has such a fast trot!") and she broke to the canter for a few strides, they did fine though and she got the trot right back. Then, on the way back towards the house Savanna got ahead of Olivia and Sonny cantered to catch up. It sort of scared Olivia- she wasn't sure how to stop him and didn't want to run up Squeeke's butt. But we worked thru it, and she did great! Frankly, it was a lovely canter- and I was shocked that he offered it! Lazy beasty that he is (and I mean that in the nicest possible way Cindi!)

Both girls had a ball, and weren't afraid to say so...about a million times! We were so happy with all of them, and as much as I wanted to ride today- it was good for me to stand there and watch them "play!" Hopefully we will have many other opportunities to ride together- and getting Squeeke under saddle was just the first step in a long riding future here!

Girl Scout Cookies

Got a hankering for a Thin Mint?! This is what 600 or so boxes of Girl Scout Cookies look like. Today was pick up day for leaders- I was shocked to see how few cases were delivered this year... I guess the economy really affected sales. My troop was about even with last year- but by the looks of it, other troops were down significantly! Anyhow- if you ordered cookies, they are in... Ill be getting them to you ASAP! If you are in the area, and didn't get any I can still get them... let me know and I can hook you up!