Drugs, broken horses and all the rain.

First of all, apparently someone found my blog for the first time yesterday and read every single post (or close to it…), so welcome new dedicated soul.

Update on things…Joey is still an amazing little guy. Poppy is still a cracked out mini donk who runs circles for funsies. This is pretty normal for the baby donkeys I’ve raised (her mother and Emma), they’re generally all hyper crack heads when they’re little. It is adorable and highly entertaining.


Crappy screenshot, but handsome Joey.

Copper’s drugs have finally arrived. My substitute vet called University of TN vet hospital and apparently they recommended oral tetracycline, so, unbeknownst to me, my vet ordered that for me, so that’s what Copper is taking. It’s $13 a day, so could be better could be worse. He’s also (kind of) getting a probiotic after each meal. Luckily the tetracycline is a 1x a day drug, so he gets it in the evenings after I get off work. No worries about him getting all the powder, he literally licks the bucket clean. The probiotic on the other hand, is posing an issue.


My view on the regular here lately. 

Since Jason has been working at TSC, I get a discount, so naturally I bought the probiotics there. My husband talked me into getting the chewable apple flavored sort instead of the cheaper powdered probiotics and I went for it…spoiler alert…Copper isn’t a fan. So I tried wrapping the chewable in a piece of white bread (he LOVES bread), but he KNEW what I was doing and ate the bread pocket from around the treat. Such a turd.

So now the game plan is to crush the chewable into bits and mix it with yet more feed to see if he’ll eat it that way. I plan to buy a thing of apple sauce to toss on top should he turn his nose up at it. Safe to say he’s likely going to be very spoiled by the time this is over, but hopefully sound.


The good thing is that he comes running when he sees me, EXCEPT on Saturday night, when I thought the world itself had ended. Let me start at the beginning. On Saturday when I got to the barn, he was HIGHLY annoyed at all the flies and stomping a lot, so I decided to drag him in and put a mask on him and drown his problems in fly spray.

Naturally I didn’t have a halter, nor was I wearing a belt. So I decided Paige could use the exercise and I just let him slip in the pasture. I figured he could run them around for a few minutes, then I’d grab him and pull him in the barn. I swear this horse knows what I want when I want it (which makes it that much more frustrating when he goes “lol, no”) because he was at the top of the hill taking a breather and I clicked to him and he followed me to the barn, where I opened the door and let him in to halter, mask, and fly spray. So based off what I’d seen that morning, everything had went perfectly well.


Maybe he needs to be a cow horse. 

Well, when I got to the barn that evening to feed him his drug laced dinner, he merely looked up at me from the corner and then continued to graze. I thought he was being a stubborn mule, so I got on the golf cart and took his food to him. He literally stood and ate his grain, then hobbled off like he had foundered. Wtf. So naturally I was sure he was going to be pasture sound at best forever because he was sound that morning for shenanigans (minus the normal NQR) and now apparently has a broken leg. It seemed to be localized to his left front. I’ve literally never seen a horse present this lame in my life, so I thought the end was nigh and I was going to be selling tetracycline on the black market and have one less Copperhorse.


Cause this is totally normal. 

I stalked him for while and told A that I needed to borrow some drugs for the night. So I brought him in and waited on A to arrive with her banamine. We gave him IV banamine (holla at large animal vet assisting) then turned him back out. When I got there the next morning, he was still really lame, so I pulled him in again and we gave him yet more banamine and found this:


Bruised heel. 

So apparently his big bad lameness was a bruised heel, because on Sunday night he was lame, but not nearly as bad and now he seems to be back to just NQR (which looks pretty dang good after Saturday if I’m being honest). So basically Copper got stuck 97 times (because he’s an ass and won’t hold still…) for a bruise.

So, as usual, Copper is killing my soul. Maybe one day I will be able to ride him again and he can attempt to kill my body too. Until then we have tetracycline to bring us together.


At least I have this cuteness to distract me. 

I’m really hoping this torrential rain we’ve been getting will chill out this weekend so I can do some things with Joey. Currently the sun is out, so I have my fingers crossed. There’s a LOT of mud out there though. :/



15 thoughts on “Drugs, broken horses and all the rain.

  1. Copper and Irish were obviously separated at birth. As soon as you described his behaviour I was thinking bruise/abscess. Ponies. argh.

  2. most all of mine like the chewable probios! Lito…picky guy he is does not……..these dang horses. Question…why do you keep Cooper shod?

    • Of course the one who needs it doesn’t like it at my place. :/ Copper is shod because he came up lame in the front end last spring (possibly due to his lyme disease in hindsight) and we put special natural balance shoes on him to help him have more heel support and the natural balance shoes seem to keep his toes from getting too long since they break over further back. Will be resetting him in regular shoes next time to see if he stays sound in them, and maybe barefoot after that set if all goes well. I don’t want to leave him barefoot suddenly after being shod in the NB shoes all year. :/

  3. Hi there, I do a lot of farrier work and there are a couple of things that you can see in that hoof photo. Just below your thumb is a spot where a subsolar abscess ruptured, that is what caused the extreme lameness. It shows up as bruising in both heels. The spot you should really check out though is the central sulcus of the frog. That thin crevice you can see is likely the cause of a lot of your lameness issues. Take a hoof pick and probe into it. The sulcus should be solid and firm like the rest of the frog, if the pick sinks down into that crevice, you have a problem. Your horse will likely flinch just from that pressure so you can imagine how sore it is to walk on. Check out this page for a good treatment option:


    I have found that horses who have Lyme often develop hoof problems as well. Treating the Lyme will help. There is also a very strong nutritional component to any hoof problem. In the northeast, horses get too much iron and manganese and not enough copper, zinc and selenium. I am an equine nutritionist and can help you analyze your ration if you would like.

    Hang in there, Copper will feel better with treatment.

    • Thanks for the info! It very well may have abscessed. I found it so odd that he went from (his version of) sound to very lame in less than 6 hours, so I wasn’t sure if an abscess would strike that quickly. I just looked through your blog and saw your donkeys! They’re precious! I love mine as well!

  4. BTW….save yourself the misery of trying to get him to eat the probiotics until after the antibiotics are over, they will just kill the probiotics as fast as you feed them.

  5. I’m sorry I laughed so much when I read this post. Copper really isn’t making it easy, is he?

    Also, TheDancingDonkey is right, the probiotic is kind of being negated by the antibiotics 🙂

  6. Poor Copper. And poor you having to stress through all of This! I hope the twin gives way soon so you can get some quality horse time in.

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