Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Reason to be Thankful

Just thankful

Thanksgiving is just around the corner or so it seems.  It is appropriate to discuss one reason why I am thankful this month.

I board at a pretty awesome barn.  Care is personalized, horses are in good health, and the moment something is amiss, the family that cares for my horses is on it like my dog on his kibble (He’s a Labrador.  Use your imagination). 

It was April and I received a call at work that Donni was choking.  Donni is 21 and has choked previously, but not usually seriously.  She enjoys eating as her primary pastime and was even eating while she was foaling Chili.  Seriously.  I watched her nibble away on her hay, complete with feet and foal entering the world.  


Well, it appears her eating pastime failed her again.  This turned out to not be a simple choke.  Despite catching the choke early, veterinary intervention became necessary.  I was unable to leave work.  I work in a hospital, about an hour from home and it was one of those situations where I had to just turn it over to the capable hands of my veterinarian and the barn family.  The choke took approximately an hour and a half to clear and involved a cocktail of four drugs to relax the esophagus enough to move the impacted food.  Apparently, Donni had packed down some food which didn’t pass the esophagus and continued eating, until there was a minor traffic jam of food and a major case of choke.  Go big or go home.

The choke was cleared and life was good, or so I thought.

Until the following day when she began running a fever and had slight crackling breath sounds in one lung.  Aspiration pneumonia.

 Unfortunately for Donni, it was not in my pocketbook to ship her off to the university hospital for more intensive treatment, but I elected to keep her at the boarding stable and give her twice daily injections of Pen-G & one daily injections of Gentamicin.  If you’ve never been injected with Pen-G, let me tell you that it’s uncomfortable and animals generally don’t enjoy the process.  Donni was no exception.  A couple pokes into the treatment after giving her 20+CC of Penicillin daily, she was getting upset just seeing me.  I was going before and after work and often arriving at the barn well after midnight.  I was quite convinced that the barn owner was going to find me squished in the stall in the morning.

Donni apparently is a very lucky yet unlucky horse.  After a week or so, I wasn’t sure we were seeing improvements since her pulse and respiration was always high when I measured it each morning and night.  We started discussing dropping another thousand dollars or so on antibiotics.  My pocketbook cried.  My husband was crabby.  I then asked if my veterinarian could pop on out and do another physical exam to ensure exactly where we were in terms of her health. 

Turns out Donni had started developing “white coat syndrome” with me.  Just being restrained for her injections was enough to send her sky high.

It’s taken several months for Donni to reach the point where I think she’s forgiven me.  For the first while, this typically docile horse became hard to catch and certainly wanted nothing to do with being restrained.  Just treats and brushing only, OK and thank you.

But I’m thankful for this tough horse.  More than once she’s come through a difficult situation. 

I’m also thankful I’ve finally finished paying off those vet bills.   

1 comment:

Please leave a comment if you like. I love hearing from readers and would like to know that I am not always talking to myself. ;)