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…

#Notthesharpesttoolintheshed

Guys, I need help. Or rather Nay Nay needs help. Or an intervention. Or a tutor. A life tutor. A life skills tutor.

You see, he’s not the brightest bulb. In fact, he might have burned out?

img_3293It started the other day when he walked in the paddock prior to pre-dinner dinner and couldn’t figure out how to turn around and walk to the gate and walk out to get to his bucket. I tried to get him to follow me and leave, but he couldn’t or wouldn’t. He just stood there screaming. I had to take my sweatshirt off, put it around his neck, and lead him the 20 feet to the gate so he could leave the paddock. Once at the gate? All was fine and he found his way to pre-dinner dinner.

Nay Nay has also been slowly ruining all of my fencing. This is my fault. I should have had all the electric up and running before he got here, but I didn’t. So, Nay Nay had no issue ruining fencing. It’s gotten especially worse since spring grass. Saturday, Erik and I fixed all the electric and now it’s working.

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MUST NOT GO NEAR FENCE IT BITES (subi rolls his eyes)

Nay Nay must not be well versed in electric fencing (unlike Jiminy — Subi is just very careful as he learned his lesson once and once was enough) as he leaned right into that sucker and ZAP. That would have been fine, he didn’t know, but he proceeded to repeat that 3 or 4 times Saturday.

By Sunday he was terrified of the entire field. Because now the entire paddock and dry lot is out to get him, not just the fenceline. Pre-dinner dinner? I had to hold his bucket and feed him because we couldn’t hang it anywhere because he might die.

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Tentatively stepping forward for a carrot… 

This morning? Now we can’t even eat hay because it’s too close to the fence line (20 feet). So Nay Nay is stressing and worrying and I just can’t. This isn’t good for his ulcers, but at the same time, GET OVER IT HORSE! You don’t want to go near the wire? Stand of the other freaking side of the hay feeder and eat from that side.

Happy 23rd Birthday Subi!

If you asked me back in November, I would have told you this day wouldn’t have come. And yet, here we are. That said, there’s no way I could have predicted a quarantine. And quarantine has made me go crazy. The craziness has led to hats…

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We fought over the hat. He wanted NOTHING to do with it. And then once it was on? no big deal…

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Completely unimpressed by this birthday “celebration” but unlike the hat, he was unfazed by the necklace

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Tell us what you really think

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the HAT in all it’s glory.

 

Friday Faces: peppermint and coworker edition

No energy to actually blog but here are some faces for your Friday morning.

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Subi is not impressed by Nay Nay and his insistence that he gets ALL THE PEPPERMINTS. 

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He’s worse than a dog…

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Seriously, it’s gross. 

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But the old man still gets all the peppermints and carrots he could ever need.

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At least someone around here is sitting in a saddle…

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My new coworkers, hard at work, answering reference questions over chat. 

Honoring Gentlemen

This is not my normal kind of post but I thought I’d do something different.

A couple days ago, a friend of mine posted on facebook asking if anyone knew what happened to Gentlemen (1993).

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A recent photo card donated to Old Friends… 

For those who may not know, Gentlemen was a champion 3-year-old in Argentina before coming to the US. In total, he won more than 3.6 million dollars on 2 continents. He was a winner of multiple Grade 1 stakes including the Pimlico Special, the Hollywood Gold Cup, and the Pacific Classic. In the US, he was trained by Richard Mandella and ridden by Gary Stevens. He was, arguably, one of the best racehorses of his generation.

Following his retirement on the track, he was less successful as a stud. He started off at Walmac in Lexington, KY before ending up at Elite Thoroughbreds in Folsom, LA with a stud fee of $1500. He was last bred in 2011. He was never heard from again.

Some sleuthing thanks to some wonderful friends ultimately found that Gentlemen died sometime between 2011 and 2012 with no fanfare at Trader’s Rest Farm in Carencro, LA. His death was never reported to the Jockey Club (I reached out, they confirmed that they had no death record).

A horse that won over $3.6 million was just forgotten. He never received any accolades or tributes or memories. He received nothing.

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Gone, but not forgotten by all

I made 2 small donations in his honor last night. It wasn’t much, but it was something.

To Gentlemen, I won’t forget you. You ran with a great generation. You were one of the greatest.  I just wish he had been able to spend his final years at a place like Old Friends. I wish he hadn’t fallen through the cracks.

 

And next step… Ulcers!

Ugh. I noticed that Nay Nay had started to drop weight. It’s hard to notice these things when you see your horses every day. This is one advantage of boarding. You don’t always see your horse daily, or multiple times daily. I’ve had blankets off for at least a week and the previous weekend he looked OK. I had been taking pictures every other week for weight/muscle changes and suddenly I looked at him and his butt looked… Bad.

He was still eating and I decided I’d take my lesson. He had gone on a hay strike the week before, but I sort of dismissed it. I was at the end of one batch of hay and Nay Nay was still inhaling hay outside. It was just inside his stall. Then, he started eating hay again in his stall so I figured maybe there was something in the last couple of bales he just didn’t like and he was holding out for the alfalfa. It HAS happened before.

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Nay says, “Don’t mess with my hay!”

Except on Saturday morning? He hadn’t finished0 his Friday dinner. Or touched his hay. And then he didn’t eat breakfast. There was too much poop to be colic though he looked like he just felt crappy. Shit. Looking more closely at his stall, lots of mushy manure. Another sign. Crap.

So, we’re taking this self-quarantine seriously. I’m not scoping because, well, it’s a lot of money and he’s got all the signs. I can scope, confirm he HAS ulcers, and then treat and be broke or I can treat and be a little less broke. Either way, treating is going to happen. Plus, I really don’t want to put him through the stress of scoping, ESPECIALLY with vet offices limiting appointments, reducing contact, and all that. If I need to scope after treatment, then I will. I’m using the call for social distancing to give Nay time off and try and heal the ulcers.

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I bought ulcergard as a pre-self-quarantine stock up… normal, right? 

I’ve had really good luck with Abler products in the past. Except, shipping might be an issue. I’ve placed my order and I’m hoping I get the stuff (they have a delay warning right now). I’ve started on ulcergard now and I’m hoping the abler gets here as quickly as possible so I don’t go bankrupt. I do have Nexium on hand as well.

Anyway, since he’s been on Ulcergard, he’s back to eating dinner (breakfast? not so much) and cleans up his alfalfa. He’s picking at his dinner hay, but spends a good chunk of the time outside eating hay so that’s good. As of yesterday, he is eating a meal at 5-6 pm (pre-dinner) as I believe his ulcers are stemming from fence pacing/stressing to come in for dinner, NOT stressing about work/riding. Every night, he comes to the fence/gate around 5-6 and waits there until 8-9 when we bring in. Some days he’s VERY anxious to come in (rain). I’m hoping pre-dinner will help curb this. While he’s still happy to come in, he’s been less panicky the last 2 days since eating “pre-dinner.”

Horses, they drive us crazy, right?