Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sick Horse

My neighbor's granddaughter owns an Arabian horse. This morning she came to our door, because the horse was lying down and wouldn't get up. Our house is between her house and the horse's area. G. was leaving for the dentist soon, but we both went down to see if we could help.
The experience I have had with horses is that my neighbor in the mountains had a mare that got colic from eating some 'weeds' that horses shouldn't and got 'down' and had to be treated very quickly by a vet.
When we got there the horse was moaning and rolling on it's back. It didn't look like it felt very good. It stood up briefly and then it's back legs collapsed and it sort of fell down again. It was very sad and disconcerting.
By that time grandma had arrived and the vet was on his way. The vet assessed the situation and we determined that the horse had gotten into the heifers food the day before. It has medicine in it for calves, but is deadly to horses. To verify this, I ran back to the house and called the Co-Op where the feed was from and sure enough the medicine was in this feed. Someone had delivered these heifers yesterday and put the horse in the wrong corral, and the horse helped itself to the cattle feed for a little while. The vet gave the horse a shot, encouraged it to get up but it wouldn't. He said the horse would have to get up and be walked for at least 1/2 hour, before he returned at noonish to see how she was. The other women and I got the horse to stand, I had to finally 'spook' the horse from the side, nothing else was working. Grandma had to get to work, I had nothing going on, so I helped granddaughter walk the horse. We walked her for about 1/2 hour, you could tell she was definitely feeling better. We put her back in the pen and she stretched out her stance and kept opening her mouth real wide, like she was trying to belch, it looked like those scenes I can remember from "Mr. Ed" the talking horse, when the horse's mouth moved around as it supposedly talked. Then, she looked as though she would lay down again, so back out we took her for some more walking. The vet came around 11:00 and listened to the horse, Jasmine's belly. He said it sounded better. She looked better and hadn't returned to the ground. Still, she is making those funny faces with the mouth open and stretching out, probably to let air pass through. So, I think she is going to be OK. We are going to check on her again about 1:30. I knew that one had to act pretty quickly on these things, good thing there is a traveling vet in the area and that he came so quickly. Granddughter thanked me over and over again. She was so afraid she was going to lose Jasmine this morning. But....time will tell. We collected the morning's eggs from the hen house, she gave them to me, and I accepted but told her "that's what neighbors are for"...to help when needed.
Colic is a scary thing, especially in horses!

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