Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Startling Behavior

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Legacy gave us quite a scare on Saturday. Just as Cyndie and I were trying to finish all projects in order to get cleaned up for a wedding in the cities, Legacy began to behave uncharacteristically out of sorts. I was out among the herd, scooping manure, when I caught him repeatedly banging his nose against a board on the wall of the barn beneath the overhang.

Not having ever seen him do such a thing, I wandered over to check on him. I offered to scratch his nose, in case an itch was making him do this. He didn’t seem annoyed or relieved by my effort. Then he started pawing the ground, digging in strongly.

Cyndie came out of the barn a few moments later, to see what the banging was about. I reported my findings. She recognized his behavior right away as a sign he was agitated about something. Luckily, we were able to get a quick second opinion from George and Anneliese in a fleeting moment before they were to leave.

Legacy’s breathing was noticeably elevated and we thought he felt a little warm. Anneliese listened for gut sounds and noted good activity. They said the situation deserved a call to the vet and advised we put a halter on him so we could walk him and keep him from lying down.

Walking a horse that doesn’t want to walk is not high on my list of things I like to do. Cyndie was trying to reach a vet late on a Saturday afternoon. It quickly became apparent that our odds of making it to that wedding in the cities were getting worse by the minute.

Those minutes while waiting for the answering service to reach the vet and for the vet to finally call us back can be rather stressful. They also tend to last what feels like an eternity. Meanwhile, Legacy was growing increasingly agitated.

After listening to our description of symptoms, the vet suggested we administer an anti-inflammatory. She was an hour out. Legacy was beginning to drain thick snot from his nose as Cyndie prepared to get him to accept a dose of medication.

I busied myself with tending the pile of composting manure while Cyndie alternately walked and soothed Legs. Before we knew it, our herd leader was calming back to his old self. When the vet arrived, she immediately commented that his ears looked good.

If I were to simplify the story, we cured him.

Whatever was causing his pain, most likely colic –a common digestive disorder– the relief of an anti-inflammatory may have relaxed him enough to get his system readjusted and back to normal. The vet took vital signs and collected a blood sample to check for infection.

We had to quarantine Legacy to one side of the paddock and not allow him anything to eat. The key sign of progress was when Cyndie found poo piles Sunday morning. Worst outcome averted.

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Written by johnwhays

April 10, 2017 at 6:00 am

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