Reading Lists

There’s a lot I could post right now and I’ll be honest, I’m struggling.

Yesterday, one thing that bothered me most was select people from my profession. As a librarian, I am against censorship. Libraries are very much part of social advocacy (see the film the public). Yet yesterday a person in my field posted the following:

I’m learning that there are library administrators who are not allowing their staff to post readings lists, recommend books, etc. about race, racism, or even Black family life.

If this is you, take a long look in the mirror. This is shameful, cowardly, and racist.

And, don’t @ me with neutrality. There is nothing neutral about this choice. @lisalibrarian

As awful as this is, am I surprised? No. I am fortunate to work in an inclusive environment but we are nowhere near perfect. Far from it. And we have our work cut out for us. But, at least we have regular ally training, have readings set out to us, and group discussions this week via zoom.

But, this isn’t what this post is for. As a librarian, I’m sharing reading lists. None of these are my creation. This is not my area of research (I am a medical librarian) and while I could create my own lists, I’d rather share lists created by others.

I’d also like to share some resources circulating in my institution:

And finally, I just want to share the Colored Conventions Project. Many of my colleagues have worked tirelessly with the project while it was housed at our institution (it’s moving to Penn State). Part of being able to fight for change in the future includes understanding how we got where we are today.

None of us are perfect and most of us (I’d venture to say all of us) can afford to make some changes. But we have to start somewhere. Recognition of shortcomings (intentional or not) and privilege is a start. Listening is another. And learning is another place. I hope that we can all take a step, even if they are small at first. If there are resources you would like me to include, let me know and I’m happy to add them.

 

In which we took on the outdoor

I’ve talked a little bit about the random fear I’ve developed in the… last almost 7 months (I’ve somehow missed Nay Nay’s 6 month anniversary) of the outdoor arena. But, for some reason, this ring scares me. Nay Nay isn’t spooky AT ALL. But he’s anxious.

When we started riding together in December, our first trip over to the barn was… a mess. Nothing bad happened, but he was a pile of anxiety and his brain leaked out of his ears pretty quickly (this also happened at home quite a few times in the early days). He never offered a buck or a rear, but he was on high alert and his motion was up and down vs forward. When we ended, he was done and I could barely get his halter back on and needed help to load him back on the trailer. This was NOT one of my finest moments.

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Grazing is one of Nay Nay’s strengths

Since then, Nay Nay has become a solid citizen. His ground manners have improved, I can control him, and he is used to the arena. We have our bad days, but for the most part, things are fine. We walk into the indoor and we are, more or less, home. Even after 10 weeks off, he was fine going back inside.

The outdoor? That’s been another story completely.

We’ve ridden out there once. On a very warm winter’s day, we had a lesson out there. And it went ok.  We tried to ride out there on our last ride before his time off and… it didn’t happen. There was too much activity and he was just too stressed out so we rode inside instead. For me, the outdoor has just become this… big target that scares the shit out of me. Why? No clue. He was ridden out at the rescue. Probably because we’ve gotten so comfortable inside. And I hate riding inside. But it’s become my safety net.

But at least the outdoor has a fence. Or at least it did. It currently doesn’t. They just re-did the whole thing this past week to make it larger and there’s not a fence right now.

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I’m not sure if this shows the size of this thing… 

I picked up a lesson on Friday morning and it was hot and humid and gross. We rode inside. With the side door open for air (I’ve NEVER seen this door open ever, but…). The lesson was fine. We walked, we trotted, we cantered circles each way. It was good. Nay is crazy weak to the right and so is my right leg so it’s very hard getting him straight. Lol. Eventually, I may need to re-introduce spurs to help my leg out… I just can’t get him off my leg and there is only so much kicking I can do.

To end on, my trainer decided we were going to go outside and “walk around” which of course meant more than walk. The footing isn’t perfect yet and is a little deep which can make a looky horse tired. But, we walked and… nothing crazy happened. So we trotted. And circled and trotted around the whole arena (and one time around is exhausting). And we went the other way. And no one died. So we cantered.

The canter was less successful and I rushed the transition and we picked up the wrong lead. I wasn’t allowed to correct it so we cantered until I could correct it. And picked it up wrong again (he was distracted). He had a moment down the long side cantering on the wrong lead where there was a flashback to his life as a racehorse, but let’s all remember that he only won $1400… But, as I was reminded not to touch his mouth and just let him go, he slowed on his own after a couple tosses of his head and we cantered slowly on the wrong lead before walking (pulling = doing something wrong vs cantering slowly on the incorrect lead = perfectly OK).

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We did it!

After a successful intro to the outdoor, I made it my mission Sunday to try and ride out again. That said, a brief incident at home (Subi couldn’t find Jiminy before we left) left Nay Nay slightly anxious and he was still a bit anxious when we arrived. I thought about starting inside but made myself go out and work on the lunge line instead. So we lunged (a lot) and Nay Nay screamed, but whatever. I finally got on and he was OK. Tired, but OK. We trotted and trotted and occasionally screamed.

All screaming stopped when we were joined by another horse. 3 may be crowd, but he’s thrilled to have one horse with him.

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He really is a good boy

I even cantered. I was nervous to the left as something bothered him right before we went to canter (no clue what), but we did it. The right lead? Absolutely perfect and likely one of our best right lead canters ever. So I’ll take it.

It may take me a while to get comfortable outside (and a fence would help), but we’ve taken the first step.

 

Everything old is new again

Well folks, we did it!

After 10 weeks off and way too much money spent on ulcergard, Nay Nay and I had our first rides back this weekend!

We started off on Saturday afternoon with me a nervous wreck and followed my vet’s plan for bringing him back. The main goal was to keep him as stress-free as possible. This horse is rarely ever UP (he just isn’t), but mentally is a worrier so we have a lot to deal with. Anyway, armed with tools, we headed out to the barn for our first lesson during Corona-Times…

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Someone has put on a good bit of weight! And his girth barely fits!

When I arrived, I was a bit dismayed to see so many people around (I have my own thoughts, but whatever). My county is still in the red but different barns are responding in their own ways. I already made plans to groom at home and tack up at the trailer so I tacked up, grabbed my gear back, put on gloves and found my trainer who told me both rings were empty (yes!), but that there was a lot of activity outside so her suggestion was we ride inside where Nay Nay was most comfortable.

Inside, I decided to lunge. He didn’t need it, but it was my way to just see what I was dealing with. 5 minutes of trotting (I even brought my own lunge line) just let Nay stretch his legs and see the ring again. Once we were finished, my trainer joined us and we got on.

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Handsome as always!

And things were… Fine. He’s very weak and I had to remember to SIT DOWN. Omg. 10 weeks off and I forgot how much this horse wants my butt in the saddle! But otherwise? No big deal. We walked, we looked, and nothing happened. If you all remember our first ride? This wasn’t it. At one point, Nay’s head was on the ground. We trotted around and there were a few steps of canter here and there when he was “inspired” by the other horse who joined us in the indoor, but nothing exciting. In the end? We even canter each way. It was an easy, unexciting, and overall boring ride. I could have done all of this outside of a lesson, but I need to make sure I didn’t die! I needed that ground person!

Because Saturday went so well and all dinner and breakfast were consumed Saturday night and Sunday morning, I decided to ride Sunday as well. We went out Sunday morning to an EMPTY BARN! My favorite! I again tacked in the parking lot (Nay was a little looky so we grazed first), then lunged again (this time I asked for more: walk, trot — large and small circles — and canter), before hopping on. I also set up some poles.

I had a quiet and distracted horse under me. There was a pony outside who Nay was a bit… obsessed with. So, it took a bit of work, but we got through it and by the time we were joined in the ring, were walking with our head low to the ground. On Sunday, his trot was nice and relaxed, but, I found that I need those spurs back because no amount of inside leg was helping me push him out going right! Still, Nay happily trotted over his poles and definitely enjoyed them (though I completely forgot to put my dismantled jump back together… oops).

And then we cantered. He’s weak and the right lead is bad (picking up the lead is definitely not there), but for 10 weeks off? It didn’t look ANYWHERE as bad as I anticipated.  I even have video.

We’ll try and ride sometime this week and take another lesson this weekend. The outdoor is supposedly getting expanded so it’s out of commission (I had originally planned to use it Sunday and found all jumps removed and no gate or mounting block so…  But a new larger outdoor is exciting!

They’ve lost their minds.

We’ve had some cool mornings. Cool mornings combined with possibly too much alfalfa and I’ve had some crazy horses on hand…

Tuesday the vet came out for spring vaccines and I decided to keep everyone in as it was an early appointment. And then the vet was late. 9:30 turned into 10:30. I turned the boys out in the round pen. Boy was that a mistake.

I was planning to blame Nay, but now that I think about it, Subi did the SAME THING back when I turned him out in the round pen with Batty while waiting for the vet. It’s all on Subi…

So back in their stalls they went. It’s not that I cared that they were acting like fools, but they weren’t exactly eating like I planned or overly happy. So inside they went and munched on some hay…  Until Nay got annoyed and stressed so out he came to graze.

Which angered Jiminy.

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I’m running a 3 ring circus folks!

The vet finally came, everyone got shots and turned out.

And ran around like fools.

Nay was also cleared to start back in light work. We have a lesson on Saturday because there is NO WAY IN HELL that my first ride back will be solo. But it was nice knowing you all…

This post was powered by alfalfa.

Scoping update and vitamin/mineral supplement recommendation?

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Someone now has a corner feeder because he liked to dump his food on the ground… 

Nay Nay was scoped this morning.

The good news? We both lived to tell the tale.

The bad news? He was a complete turd requiring 2 tranquilizers, 1 twitch, 3 of us to hold him, and 2 to navigate the scope (4 people in total as 1 tech was holding and guiding the scope).

The very good news? His ulcers have healed. There was redness where they were (so evidence that he has had ulcers), but no actual ulcers. His gut looks good. We’re going to start tapering down the ulcergard… After 2 full months, I’m not upset about this.

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Ornamental grass tastes really good… 

But, he is looking at a life without grain.

But, a life without grain is better than a life where I dumped him on the side of the road. And that almost happened on the way to the clinic. That is how bad he was from the time I turned Subi and Jiminy out to the time I got to the clinic. So, between 9:50 and 10:20. It was a 15 minute drive. I wanted to murder him. My trailer has never rocked that hard. He screamed so loudly that other cars were likely trying to let me know my horse was…distressed? I ignored them. I got to the clinic and told them he might be injured and that was his fault. I never got his boots on because he was acting so out of control and I valued my life. Basically, he decided his life was over when Subi left. If I had walked him down to the field with Subi? All would have been fine. But, I was trying to avoid any chance that he’d get anything to eat and… All hell broke loose.

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MUST EAT ALL THE GRASS

But, we both survived. Somehow.

So there we go. Current plan is to add in a vitamin/mineral supplement. I can up his rice bran too know that I know it’s approved and keep him on all the alfalfa pellets he can eat.

Vet suggested Platinum Performance as her preference. She’s open to a ration balancer, but would rather I not go that route as we’re not exactly sure what he’s reacting to in the grain so if we go that route, we’re limited in lbs/day. Plus with his alfalfa, he doesn’t exactly need the protein. Any product suggestions?

All suggestions are welcome. At this point, Nay Nay is pretty open to food. Upon returning home, he even ate the crappy hay vs his preferred hay. So…

Angry Horse.

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Watch out buddy, your life is changing!

In a brief update on yesterday’s post, I just wanted to let you all know, Nay Nay is tentatively scheduled for at gastroscopy on Thursday morning. However, if someone cancels prior to Wednesday at 5pm for next Tuesday’s Gastroscopy Clinic at my vet office, we will take their spot and go on Tuesday instead. Basically, the 2 appointments are close enough that I’m OK holding out until Tuesday, but no longer. The price next Tuesday is $240 vs the $385 I’ll pay on Thursday so… But, he needs to be scoped ASAP so… We’re basically waiting on one client who may no longer need the scope hence the potential for Tuesday, but…

That said, Nay Nay’s life is changing and he is NOT happy about it.

We have pulled all grain from his diet (he does get a handful with his sucralfate 2x/day because he’ll eat it that way) effective immediately. He was NOT happy when he walked into his stall last night to discover he was on a forage only diet. His grain meals have been replaced with alfalfa pellets (he’s not crazy about them, but alfalfa = good so the vet advised me to offer them anyway), Purina Outlast (I can’t remember if I was to keep him on it or not so he’s on it until the scoping), and chopped hay.  At Michele’s suggestion, I bought Triple Crown Safe Starch Forage and dumped a bucket of that in his feed bin. It’s fortified and grain free and he could live on that if needed (but $$$$). He was angry last night, but his feed bin was empty (he was gifted a corner feed tub last week because he liked to dump his bucket on the ground with his head… he was super pissed that he couldn’t do that with this).

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Grazing, the BEST part of the day

As angry as he was, the bin was empty this morning of all forage and powders. He didn’t eat as much hay as I’d like, but… He’s been pigging out on grass for 6+hours/day so… My vet feels right now any weight loss associated with cutting grain would be made up but possibly eliminating his daily colics. So, we’ll see. Still, he is ANGRY.

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Former home of our culvert if you remember that saga… Very green this spring. Still haven’t heard from TPTB…

This morning, he was less than impressed that his bucket contained the same crap as yesterday night. I’m sure he won’t eat much (and I left his stall door open so instead of eating, he’s looking outside). But, he was hunting for carrot pieces so maybe he’ll eat the some.

But, Nay Nay should enjoy life because Wednesday into Thursday is going to suck. He must be off of all food/meds 12 hours prior to the scope. So, I’ll bring them in for dinner at about 8 to give him 2 hours to eat and then pull everything from his stall but water. He can drink water until 6 am and then nothing. I need to figure out turnout but I’ll either keep them all in until I’m ready to take Nay Nay to the clinic or we’ll turn him out with a muzzle taped closed. This is going to suck and there is a chance I might die. LOL.

 

A little bit of an update

There is and there’s not a lot to report from my side of Pennsyltucky. Well, a lot to report, but nothing is good.

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Bug Man 2.0 reporting for duty

I’ll start by saying, Nay Nay isn’t doing well. I’m waiting for the vet to open so I can put a call into my vet and hopefully, she’ll call me back anytime BUT 2-3 when I’m meeting with my boss. Chances are it’ll be sometime after 5. It’s not an emergency, but he’s just not doing well.

A few posts ago, I mentioned that we were still struggling with ulcers. We’ve been fighting with ulcergard/omeprazole/some combinations of brand name/compounded since March 12. He’s still not himself. Now, I know this can take months, but his symptoms are worrying to me. I think we’ve done well to treat his gastric ulcers (honestly with the thousand-plus I’ve spent, hopefully, we’ve made a dent?), but Nay Nay still is off his feed/hay. He’ll eat up over night in terms of grain (and puts a good dent in his hay at night since we got him his new hay feeder), but barely touches his hay outside and breakfast is tough.

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New hay feeder is a hit!

He’s also started with mini colic-like episodes after each meal. They’re not full gas colics, but he’s uncomfortable (paws like CRAZY), paces, is super sensitive at flank, and then once he has a bit of diarrhea/supper mushy poop, he instantly feels better. My vet has been hesitant to diagnosis him with hindgut ulcers because he isn’t colicking constantly/more seriously and doesn’t have constant diarrhea, but…

 

 

 

Hindgut ulcers tend to have more profound clinical signs than gastric ulcers, according to Andrews. Signs include a recurring lack of appetite, lethargy, intermittent fever, colic bouts, occasional edema on the belly from a loss of protein in the blood, weight loss and thin body condition. According to Russillo, typical signs include a combination of loose manure and large fecal balls or, in some cases, complete diarrhea. Liquid manure down the horse’s inner thighs and legs also serves as an indication. —Problems in the Equine Hindgut

The last 2 mornings he’s had some dried sweat as well…

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First grass of the season

So, that’s where we’re at. He’s also broken my fence because he’s not smart enough to find the open gate, but that’s a different story that I don’t think has anything to do with ulcers. As of the time of this post, we’re scheduled for a vet visit on Thursday, 5/14 and a gastroscopy June 15. I’m not sure if we can start with bloodwork or if we need to go right to ultrasound:

A presumptive diagnosis of RDC can be made on history (recurrent colic episodes, intermittent diarrhea, loss of performance, weight loss), clinical signs as mentioned above, changes in blood work (mild anemia, toxic changes in white blood cells, and a high number of white blood cells, low blood proteins and high inflammatory proteins, and low calcium). — LSU Colonic Ulcers

In terms of diet, I’ve heard everything from no feed and all hay to no long stem hay to all alfalfa to complete feed only (ie: Purina Equine Senior) to low sugar/starch which would eliminate the Equine Senior recommendation. So, who the heck knows. It may also be getting in the right meds. I just want to get him feeling better. At this point, our current path is NOT working.

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Calm evening

Morning Snack and Feeder Update

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It appears I skipped this gem the other day… Smile! It’s your birthday!

Blog content is slow around here. Honestly? There’s not much.

But, I have my boys and I’m super thankful for them.

A couple of times a week I started morning snack right after I turned Nay Nay and Subi out. A couple times turned into a few which turned into daily. Honestly? It’s the highlight of my day. Snack is usually peppermints. Sometimes hard starlight peppermints but sometimes puff peppermints. Somedays snack is carrots and other times includes apples. If I ever take the nickermakers out of the truck, they’ll also be included in morning snack. Jiminy sometimes partakes but is usually still in his stall. I’m mean! But he also doesn’t need extra sugar… A few times a week he does get a small snack (he also sometimes doesn’t realize snack is happening and gallops off to the hay feeder so there is that too).

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SNACK! Catch a Jimmy eye… 

Snack consists of the thoroughbreds mugging me for treats. Snack consists of me getting coating in licks and slobber. Snack consists of soft thoroughbred noses in my face. Snack is AWESOME.

Yes, people will saw mugging horses is bad, but they are SO HAPPY and they happiness makes me happy. And right now? I need all the happiness and smiles I can get. So snack continues. For a while, I doled out snack from the other side of the fence (Nay standing appropriately far away from the hot fence wire), but I missed those soft noses. So I’m back to bad habits and providing snack from inside the field.

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I’m not sure if he’s licking hot wire… Freak. 

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Donkey. 

In other news, as a hay feeder update, I ordered Nay the Slow Feeder Saver Junior from SmartPak and it should be here by Monday (drop shipped from manufacturer in Iowa). I also spoke to High Country Plastics who makes this feeder as well as the others I was considering and they talked me out of the CF-24 Corner Feeder as they didn’t feel it would be the best for my purpose, but said that if I did want to order the CF-32 Corner Feeder in the future, most of their suppliers can order it WITHOUT the dividers as a special order which was why I wasn’t seriously considering it. Removing the dividers would actually drop the price even though it would be a special order. So, if the Slow Feeder Saver doesn’t work out for Nay, I can transfer that to either Jiminy or Subi and reach back out to High Country Plastics and find a retailer to special order the CF-32.  I can see now in the picture that the compartments are screwed in.

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For a cheap horse, he’s VERY expensive. But he’s a good snuggler. And very goofy. 

I also think Nay needs some kind of toy in his stall to play with. He’s so mouthy. I left his halter hanging on Subi’s stall latch (vs on the ground) after morning meds pre-breakfast and where was it when I came to turn out? In his stall. I can’t leave halters on one gate anymore because Nay Nay chewed Subi’s nice halter. So maybe he’d actually like a jolly ball? Or something else? Freak.

 

 

 

Happy (Belated) Birthday Nay Nay! And a question… Stall hay feeders

Ok, yes, he’s a thoroughbred and his birthday is officially January first, but he was born on April 19th so we celebrated Nay Nay’s 9th birthday yesterday. It’s quarantine-time and what else do I have to do with my life? I mean, I “go” to work, meaning my kitchen table, I pick up orders at the feed store dock (Oxford Feed & Lumber, you people are amazing!), and I watch too much NCIS and Rizzoli and Isles. Oh and I bake banana bread. It’s pretty pathetic. Honestly, I could really do all of this for a long time if I could figure out the riding part. I don’t actually miss anything. I mean, going into the feed store would be nice and running into the grocery store would be nice, but other than that? No. I love working from home (though I’m nervous about budget cuts considering universities have lost 40-125+ million this semester and summer and fall aren’t looking good. Impacts will be huge). On that note, I’m celebrating horse birthdays because, why not?

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Face is always looking right at the camera! Birthday pictures are no exception.

img_3376Nay Nay celebrated his birthday with carrots, apples, and peppermints for breakfast and peppermints for morning snack. There was a brief incident in the afternoon where a neighbor’s visitor’s dog got stopped by and started chasing the horses around and almost got kicked in the head, but thankfully when I started yelling woah out the window, the horses calmed somewhat down (until the dog started chasing) and the owned arrived as I ran outside — this always happens when I was trying to shower (had to throw clothes back on) — and grabbed his dog apologizing. No one was hurt. Kids got some extra treats and they calmed down.

img_3395Nay is BACK ON GRAIN! And eating out of the hay feeder again though still not as enthusiastically as I’d like. Obviously his ulcers aren’t healed yet (still thinking it’s hind gut crap), but he’s licking his bucket clean. He’s showed his preference for hay on the ground vs in a net, but is a pig and pull only what he wants out and stomps the rest to death when I feed from his muck tub.

I’m debating a hay feeder for his stall. I can’t buy 2 to see which I like better so I need opinions.

First up, High Country Plastics Slow Feeder Saver Jr. Price: $195 shipped

Pros: the size is good for the stall, nylon grate vs metal, holds 1/2 bale, etc. Easy access to hay (until the portagrazer, he doesn’t have to stick his head in something. It’s flat).

Cons: Nay is just not great with slow feeder crap. Is this just another one of those things? Also, would I need to mount this thing? Some reviews indicate that it’s light so could he knock it over? But, it’s also used in pasture situations and surely no one is mounting out there…

Next: CF-32: CORNER FEEDER, 32″ Price: ~$220 plus shipping

Pros: I’m not actually considering this one because I don’t need the 3 compartments, but I I like the design. I’m mostly linking this for the pictures that are included on High Country Plastics’ website so that you can see the feeder next to a horse.

Cons: I don’t have need for separate compartments. Nay is a sloppy eater, he doesn’t always finish his feed. He tosses his grain and then eats wherever. At some point, he may go back to soaked cubes/pulp. Plus, my feed is not stored at the barn so I cart the buckets and it’s just easier to hang their buckets vs dump. I don’t need to have the extra compartments.

Final option (for now), CF-24 Corner Feeder $77 plus shipping

Pros: It APPEARS to be very similar to the above feeder but without the fancy multiple compartments. If that’s the case, the height looks good and it could be a viable option for Nay. I can put a few flakes in the bottoms and let him eat.

Cons: Will he just pull all the hay out and toss on the ground?

I may reach out to the company and ask questions. Any and all advice is appreciated!

 

 

 

Blogland? I need help.

 

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Would like this goofy boy back ASAP!

All jokes aside. Nay Nay is struggling. Really struggling. The electric fence was more than his little brain could handle and combined with his ulcers? I’m just not sure what to do at this point.

 

I chatted with the vet last night and I…don’t feel better. Her advice? Keep up with the ulcergard and wait it out. I asked about hindgut and she’s not convinced. He doesn’t have the symptoms exactly. Close but not quite.

img_3219He’s got mushy poop, but not diarrhea. He’s not exactly colicky though he’s uncomfortable whereas she’d think I’d see more definitive gas colics. He has the weightloss and the poor body condition and the loss of appetite. Without ultrasound and bloodwork, we can’t diagnose and no one is non-urgent stuff right now if it can be helped… Stupid covid…. And to just throw him on Misoprostol before we know he needs it… So yeah. That’s where I’m at. ::slams head on table since I don’t have a desk at home::

img_3218I actually just ordered a month of voodoo in terms of succeed. I’m probably throwing money away, but maybe it’ll help? If there is ANY improvement, he’ll get month 2. If not, we’ll call it a failed experiment. Dover has great and fast free expedited shipping right now…

img_3223The vet also suggested that I try to get him a nice orchard grass with a tiny bit of alfalfa. Since he lost his freaking mind on a half flake of lovely western alfalfa (Subi lives on that stuff), we figured maybe a tiny mix would be ok. So, I purchased some from one of the local suppliers this morning (the Hay Grocery Store — literally you walk around and have 30 different hays to choose from, it’s amazing — I don’t get my hay there regularly, but I do get my 3 string alfalfa and supplement as needed or special stuff–they always have hay and always have nice stuff). Hopefully nice soft, gorgeous hay mixed with his regular hay will encourage him to eat.

The vet also suggested that in a couple weeks if there is no improvement, we test for lyme. All his symptoms also mimic lyme. So yeah, there is that. In a normal world, I could hitch up the trailer and take him 20 minutes to New Bolton for a complete work up but they’re not taking non-emergencies either. Have I mentioned I freaking HATE COVID?!

So blogland? What should I do? I started by turning off the electric this morning. It’s not like he’s going anywhere near the fence right now…