Tis the season for vaccinations, as always. At this point in my horsey life, I have so many equines on the property that yearly vaccinations has turned into something I dread. Previously I’ve had to catch ALL of the horses on the farm by myself for the endeavor, but this time K hauled her mare in to see my vet. She’s planning to breed her mare to Joey’s sire around the same time that Paige is to be bred back, so she and I split the farm call to get the most bang for our limited bucks. Unfortunately the 14″ of snow we got knocked the power out at the farm from Sunday-this morning (Thursday) so we didn’t have as much light as we wanted, but we made it work by opening ALL the doors to let natural light in.
For my horses who I intend to haul out and do things with, I do a rabies, 5 way, and coggins on them in the spring. The rest of the horses who stay home and make careers out of eating grass just get a rabies and a tetanus shot. The only vaccination that I have the vet give them is a rabies shot, and I buy the rest from somewhere in town and give them myself, so the entire herd was getting rabies shots on Tuesday, so everyone (all TEN of them) had to be brought inside to be convenient for the sticking.
Paige, Joey, and Copper get special treatment since they’re my “using” horses. For Joey, that just meant he also got blood pulled for a coggins and I had Doc check him because he’s had a weird cough for a while, but no nasal discharge or temperature to speak of. Doc couldn’t find anything noticeable, but noted that if it were hit he’d hit him double with dewormer to make sure he doesn’t have any roundworms sticking around from pre-freeze. Joey didn’t give any craps about being poked with needles. Thank goodness. I’d like to only have the one needle-phobe horse if at all possible.
Paige stood like a rock for a spring ultrasound and a uterine culture. Doc asked me if she’d been in heat yet, and I answered that while she’s teased the boys, she hasn’t gone into full heat, just being her typical slutty self. After the ultrasound, he said that she was still in transition between winter and summer “seasons” so to speak, which validated what I said about her not having been in full heat yet. I have some reservations about my knowledge about this whole horse breeding thing since I didn’t watch for any of it last year. I need to get back in the groove of counting days between symptoms and making determinations about when to have him out to check her next. It’s so much easier not to stalk your mare and track weird things on a calendar, but such is life if you want a baby horse… Her uterine culture went fine as well, though I haven’t received the results yet. Hopefully she’s clean and I won’t have to fret about that. Paige also got a coggins, which she also stood for like a pro, surprise…
Then there was Copper…who doesn’t stand for the needles if he can help it. K volunteered herself as tribute to hold him for it all. One of the many perks of having a friend who is a vet tech…your bad horse is never the worst they’ve handled. After what seemed like seventy sticks, Doc finally got blood out of my giant turnip and we talked about Copper’s lameness/feet situation a tiny bit. Doc looked at the shoes and asked if it was helping, to which I agreed that it was. I told him that if he came up lame again, I was going to do x-rays and he nodded. Have I ever mentioned that my vet is a man of few words? He did call the shoes “a poor man’s eggbar,” which made us all laugh. He agreed that pulling extra blood for a Lyme test to follow up was a good plan and even called Copper “FAT.” No joke. Doc hasn’t seen Copper since pre-Lyme treatment (well, months pre-Lyme treatment) due to his own health issues, so he’s seen ribby/thin/skeletal Copper more than normal Copper. I certainly wouldn’t call Copper “fat” right now, I mean, have you met literally any of my other horses?! hahaha. But he’s in a good place right now, I’d just LOVE to build up the muscle that atrophied during the 3 years he was likely carrying Lyme. If his soundness proceeds, I’d love for 2018 to be the year for that…and for dressage lessons…but I might be pushing it…
Robin, Kricket, Bentley, Poppy, and Russell all got their rabies shots. Emma and Chloe are going to get theirs post delivery so as to not introduce anything that could complicate their pregnancies. K’s mare, Jade, got a reproductive exam and culture like Paige, but since she’s a maiden mare and has never had an exam like that, they sedated her in order to keep everyone safe. And with that, the vet visit was over, well, outside of the adventure that was getting Doc’s truck out of the pasture. Our 14″ of snow left us with an equally impressive amount of mud. After much tire spinning, Doc managed to get out of the pasture without hitting anything, but he did coat H (who was there to help us and see Jade’s exam) in mud in the process. He also left some impressive ruts in my donkey field.
Since K and I also try to book chiro appointments when she can haul in, the chiro was scheduled for later that evening. I would typically do a separate post for a chiro visit, but since Copper’s issues were so few, I’ll just sum it up here instead.
Basically Copper was only out two places: his left SI and his right upper neck area. Chiro did note that his sacrum was rotated a little as well, but overall she was very pleased with how he felt and also remarked on his weight being so much better post-Lyme treatment. He was still a fruitcake about having his neck adjusted, but that’s to be expected from him at this point. She encouraged me to do daily carrot stretches with him to help him with the tension he holds in his poll/neck, so now I’m trying to figure out how to do that without turning him into an obnoxious treat whore, any suggestions?
Overall, doubling up the appointments made for a long day, especially considering that we worked with Copper, Paige, Joey and Jade between appointments, but that’s a post for another day.
Can I just say how excited I am to clean stalls with electricity to help me actually see the poop tonight? Small victories you guys…