Sunday, January 8, 2012

Have You Smelled Your Horse's Stomach?

Okay, where do I begin.....

Friday afternoon was Loretta's vet appointment. We tried to load her on her own but she wasn't having any of it. It wasn't time to do a training session, we needed to get her in to her appointment.

So, we ended up loading an older gelding from the ranch first. Why didn't we use My Boy? He has always loaded like a champ but in the ranch's straightload, can be a bit iffy and I didn't want to deal with that nor have Loretta see that as an example!

So, good ole Buck jumped right in, and as I was loading hay into the front Loretta hopped right in, too! Whew!

At the vet clinic, we entered the barn and went into a stall and she started shaking (I've never taken her inside a barn.) She got her sedative and then we led her into the stocks.

First the doc did a rectal. He found no impaction, nothing abnormal. Only a little poo which he said was just slightly dry.

Next up was drawing a blood sample. They'd analyze it while we were there so this could rule out any other issues.

Next, headgear for the teeth inspection. That was interesting. (I'd watched My Boy get his teeth floated but never actually got to look inside his mouth.) Loretta had several sharp points on her teeth. Now when I've heard about "sharp points" I'd always imagined large sharp shark-sized teeth. These were tiny sharp points on her bigger teeth, like little puppy teeth! She had several lesions (like canker sores) along her gums and one in her tongue that was a hole and fairly recent. She only had one small wolf teeth grown in, which he said he would pull even though it's location didn't look bad it was just best to do it.

After her dental, Miss Loretta got some oil and water just to help hydrate her system. After they got the tube in her stomach the assistant said "Her stomach smells sweet." She asked me if I wanted to smell the tube. What was I thinking? At first sniff it was a bit sweet....but it still melled like stomach. I did pucker a gag.

Her blood work came back good. One area showed that she might be slightly dehydrated. 

We gave Loretta half an hour in a stall to come out of sedation before loading her and hauling her home. Getting her into the trailer wasn't too bad. The vet assistant lifted her leg up and Ranch Boy gave her a swat and she leaped in. She was NOT fond of backing out. That is something we will have to work on.

That night, she got another dose of Banamine and a senior feed mash. Saturday, she started getting a small amount of hay again, and mashes with free salts and some oil. She has been separated from My Boy and I think they miss each other! My Boy whinnies for her off and on during the day. She can hear him but they can't see each other.

Today, she continued to look okay. I am guessing today would have been the day her tooth pull would have been most sore, and I did not give her Banamine as I only have one dose and she wasn't showing any symptoms of pain. I brought her out for a nice walk and we found some yummy grass where the snow had melted. When I put her away she refused to go back into the corral. I don't blame her, I think she wanted to go home! But I need to monitor her for another day before returning her to the pasture with My Boy.

It will take a week or two for those sores to heal. At least now when she is chewing, she should not be experiencing the same level of pain in her mouth from those points digging into her cheeks and tongue!

So, we will see what happens from here. I think how she is tomorrow will be a good indicator. If her agitation starts up again, then we have to go back to the drawing board, perhaps change diet or have her scoped for ulcers. I truly believe the pain when chewing was a major contributor to her behavior, and even her gut issues as improperly chewed hay will not digest as well. I just want her to get better, she has lost a bit of weight over the past few weeks and she didn't have a lot to lose to begin with!

Before I go, I wanted to show you my new cap by Balconi! Ranch Boy got it for me for Christmas. He saw it in my Country People magazine and ordered it online. It was mild enough today to wear something over the ears but would have been too warm with a full-stocking cap. You can find it here if you want to check them out:


Have a good week everyone!!

{All photos in this post taken on my I-phone4 and edited with the free app Instagram. I LOVE it!!}
Ranch Girl


fernvalley01 said...

Great hat! Hope the dental solves her issues .Poor sweet girl! Will be keeping a you all in my thoughts and prayers

Leah Fry said...

So exactly what is it supposed to indicate if their stomach smells sweet, or is that the way it is all the time? I'd imagine it does because of fermenting fodder.

Rockin Heart Jewelry and Vintage Finds said...

{Leah}~ I think they are trying to make sure 1)they have the tube in proper place, i.e. the stomach 2)the stomach must have a smell they know is normal to horses. I don't think "sweet" would be overly typical, but let me tell you "sweet" was an a big of an exaggeration for what I smelled, LOL! My girl had only been eating sweet senior feed for about 24 hours, so perhaps that is why it was a bit sweet.... ;-)

Crystal said...

Hope it helps, I usually get my horses teeth checked once a year and most dont need much work but it sure helps stop a problem before it becomes one.

baystatebrumby said...

Sometimes when my Lilly isn't feeling well (thank goodness this hardly ever happens) I think to myself: Should I call in the vet? And my cynical self says: What will a vet say? What will a vet do? And then I answer: a whole lot of nothing. But sometimes, they DO know! isn't it so great to find a problem in a concrete way! I hope that Loretta's problems all go away now that her little teeth have been discovered. She is too darn special to be suffering.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I've been trying to keep an eye out for your post on how Loretta is doing, and my RSS feed gadget broke. I've been thinking about her symptoms and wondering if it might be ulcers. Hopefully, the dental work will be the fix.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

I have been reading along, but you have been getting such good advice, I have had nothing to add. (I know...hard to believe right? LOL)

Hopefully, getting Loretta's teeth done does the trick.

Rockin Heart Jewelry and Vintage Finds said...

{Nuzz Muzz}~ I won't know if ulcers are a possibility yet....I would say if we make it a week without another incident then we might be okay with just the teeth being the issue. If this agitation comes back, then scoping for ulcers might be the next step. We had a horse colic at the ranch tonight and his behavior was totally different than Lo's~ he laid down at feeding time right next to the hay. Vet said heart rate was normal and everything felt good but it gut sounds were a little low, so we did the oil and water hoping it's just some gas and dehydration. 'Tis the season.....

Cousin B said...

Wow, isn't it amazing what we can learn at a vet appt.? So sorry she hasn't been well. Prayers coming your way! I hope the teeth issue is all it was.