Monday, November 24, 2008
Our Day with the Vet
Filled with dread, I prepared for Red to have his day with Dr. Branch. Dread? His last dental session was an ordeal. After having one dose of sedative, Red went ballistic when the power float tool entered his mouth. A second dose of sedative was administered and Red was barely able to stand. We had to hoist his head up with a rope over a beam.
Yesterday's teeth floating was light years better. Dr. Branch was able to get the job done with one dose of sedative. When Red's adrenaline kicked his head up, Dr. Branch said it just made it easier for him to access Red's teeth. Good news, no wavy mouth or ulcers. There was evidence that Red was starting to bite the insides of his cheeks and our vet thought we did the procedure just in time. I was so proud of my boy - he did not fight us (unlike two years ago), not one bit. He just kept his one wide eye pinned on me. I was filled to the brim with appreciation for my horse's trust in me. Dr. Branch finished up with a hand float on a couple of remaining sharp spots. Gotta say, even doped to the nines, Red was still determined to try to steal some of our barn manager's hay.
Red passed his senior exam with flying colors -
all systems looked good and he trotted sound. He is holding a good weight on his current diet. Blood work will be in today. By the end of the
night he had fully recovered from his sedation and was back to his personable, opinionated, beloved self. When he ate he still experienced a couple of minor choke incidents. My friend Mary reminded me that his mouth was sore and he would have to get used to his new grinding surfaces.
Lyra did not need her teeth floated. Dr. Branch confirmed her age as "twenty something" and guessed it was closer to the twenty side of a decade. Her most obvious need is her weight loss. She needs to gain 75 pounds. She also had a slight rattle in her upper lungs. Dr. Branch was not concerned about this but noted it as something to watch. After examining Lyra's eye, Dr. Branch did not find anything that might contribute to her vision issues. Because they are so, so evident at night and when she is in a dark environment (seems worse when there is light outside) I've still got unanswered questions.
So putting weight on Lyra is a major goal. She really needs to be fed twice a day. This means I need a way to keep her in overnight. She cannot tolerate being in a stall and the photos give an idea of what happens in the round pen. My original plan had been to alternate nightly stall time and morning feedings between Red and Lyra. My revised plan was to use this pen I'm subletting for Lyra overnight. I don't think this will be possible. Just don't think it will work (it the big picture of my life) to find and retrieve Lyra from the general pasture every morning before starting work at 8:00 a.m. It is too soon to rule out the potential weight gain from beet pulp and rice bran. Today I will weight taped her so I can start closely tracking her condition. Dr. Branch wanted to guard against further weight loss. She "weighed in" at 975 lbs. The good news is that she is not losing more weight since adding the beet pulp and rice bran. OK. Maybe we have turned a corner on this.