Tuesday, January 20, 2009

1/19/09 Momma, My Tummy Hurts!

I was up at 4:30am, got ready for work, packed my lunch, filled my coffee cup, and headed outside. The boys were in their turnout blankets, and I needed a few extra minutes to take them off before heading to work.

I fed Ransom, fed Romeo, and removed Romeo's blanket first. Romeo nibbled on his grain, then turned his head and looked back at me, not devouring his food like normal. I removed the blanket, went out of his stall to fold it, and he still didn't eat, his back legs buckling just a bit. I walked over, checked Ransom, who was happily tearing into his breakfast like he'd never been fed. I walked back over to Romeo, and he was pawing at his hay. I haltered him, and we started walking. I called in a bankday at work, explaining, "No, I'm not celebrating MLK. I've got a sick horse, and he means more than a work day right now. I'll call later." I called Les, explained the situation, and when he returned my call, he said, "Lemmee get dressed. I'm on the way." I knew then I had about 40 minutes of walking until he'd arrive.

We walked and we walked. Romeo pooped a little bit, with a huge heavy sigh attached. I didn't realize that's what he'd done until a bit later, since it was entirely dark outside. I smelled what caught my attention as a huge load of gas at one point, happy. Romeo was licking & chewing a bit at this point, but still pretty quiet & almost too mellow for his normal self. Talked to Jen, who suggested "Hey! You've got lights on your round pen! Take him in there, lunge him a while, that might help, too." As we walked to the round pen, right in front of the gate, he pooped a huge load, letting out a massive sigh all at the same time. He walked & trotted around the round pen for about another ten minutes until I could hear Les' truck roaring down the dirt road.

We loaded Romeo up, and took him for a tour of my little town. He pooped a bit more in the trailer. When we unloaded him, he looked alert & responsive. We turned him out in the bare paddock with water, and went inside for human breakfast. All the time, we watched out the window, finding him standing upright, and mellow, almost like he was sleeping standing up. Thinking our job was done, Les headed back for his house.

I got into some big-clean jobs at home, filling up my trash can with assorted junk from my laundry room. About every hour I would go back to the paddock, and find Romeo laying down. He'd stand up pretty quick after I'd arrive, and as the morning went on, he looked more and more tired & unresponsive to me. His water bucket had gone untouched, and when I put some hay in his stall, he barely nibbled on it.

I called the vet, and waited for a call back. Meanwhile, I got the bright idea to get my thermometer & check his temperature. Old-style Hg glass thermometer (That's Mercury, for you non-chemists reading...*snicker*), I gently pushed it into his hiney. About then, the vet called. I said, "Great timing! I just started taking his temp." I explained the events of the morning, and responded, "No, I have banamine, but haven't given him any. I thought he was getting better until just a while ago, and didn't want to drug him if you wanted to see him without the influence first." I took the thermometer out, said, "Holy moley! It's all the way to the end of the thermometer! That means he's over 110F!" Vet said, "Jennifer, did you shake it down first?" "Of course not!", I answered. "That's what I get for using those digital ones all the time now!" I shook it down, and tried again. 98.4F. Vet said, "Well, he's not in so much pain to raise his temp. Give him a dose of banamine, wait about an hour, and call me back. If he's not showing any improvement by then, let me know." I got my banamine paste out, gave him about 900lb worth, and walked him around in-hand until he was done licking his lips, wanting to make sure he actually got the drugs.

About an hour and a half later, Romeo splashed around in his water bucket. I called the vet, said, "He's eating the hay I put down, and I think drank a little bit. We should be good for now." He suggested I continue to watch him carefully, and call back if he doesn't continue to improve.

I watched and watched. Romeo ate most of the hay, then stood in the sun, sleeping standing up. He hadn't laid back down, so I was comforted that maybe the banamine had worked. At 4:30pm, I put him back on his own pasture, gave him half the normal supper, but poured some home-made gatorade on it (bottle of water's worth with one of those little powder adder thingies). I left it soak in, hoping he'd eat it all up. About 5:30 I went back outside, found him with half the hay gone, almost all the grain gone, still standing somber. I went back inside, and worried and worried. Around 7:30, I decided he was either going to be out grazing, or in the trailer headed to the ER vet Shorty went to. I found Romeo out grazing in his pasture, and when I got to him, he seemed to look at me like, "Mom, What?! I'm fine now, go away.. stop worrying!" :)

He was happy to have his breakfast this morning, so all seems well at my house. I came to work today, so hopefully I arrive home to a happy horse.

1 comment:

SunnySD said...

I've been playing catch-up, so I just read up five posts from the bottom. Glad to hear Romeo's feeling better! That's so scary when they start looking off. I've been known to wish Sunny was a bit less of a stinker now and then - until he is, and then I want him back to being his obnoxious self as fast as possible.