Wednesday my phone buzzed with one of those messages from the barn that makes your blood run cold.
|We're not going to go into how the horses got a hold of 30 lbs of oatmeal in this blog post. Bc the internet is forever, and not a place for petty drama. It's not the barn's or my fault in any way, that's all you need to know.|
Cue panic for me. (And also several days of explaining to the non-horse educated people in my lives how binging on grains can cause a horse to up and die on you. Fun!) Luckily the vet was already on their way out to the farm.
We assumed Bast and the other new horse (S) to the field ate the majority of the oatmeal. (Side note: I realize oatmeal is a strange grain to be in a barn. But Pig's buddy is ancient and struggles to keep weight on. The oats apparently help.) However, we couldn't assume Pig didn't get any. Pig and S are really starting to hang out a bit more, and S is the type of benevolent overlord who likes to share his meals with his friends. Bast, however, is not. So, Pig couldn't have gotten much of the bag.
|Cute, but does not share with lower ranked citizens.|
With that assumption in place, Bast and S were tubed with oil by the vet. All three got banamine, and were stuck in stalls for 36 hours for careful observation. We were looking for signs of inflammation (increased temperature), colic, and laminitis (digital pulse/soreness). Luckily they all seemed to be well hydrated and doing well that evening.
By Thursday morning, all three were SO ANGRY. Bast and S were screaming a lot, despite being stalled right next to each other. Bast looked like he'd stall walked continuously since being stuck in the quarantine stall, and wasn't really interested in eating the small amount of hay he was allowed to be given. Cool.
|Hello. This is a horse throwing a tantrum.|
Being a good neurotic thoroughbred owner, I dug into my supply of ulcergard so both boys could get their stressed out selves dosed. Then, I headed out to hand walk them and check their vitals again. Bast had a 1° temperature increase, which the vet said wasn't too alarming. He had no digital pulse, and his feet were nice and cool. However, he had magically morphed into a wild screaming dragon. Or, at least he impersonated one for about 6 seconds after leaving his stall. After that he just tried to crawl in my lap repeatedly so I could save him from the difficult world he had to face on the hand walk ... in the indoor arena where he gets worked regularly. What a total Drama. King.
|"Hi. My name is Bast, and I am totally over the top about everything. Thnx. Bai."|
Luckily a 10 minute walk and short jog in hand seemed to have deflated Bast quite a bit. By the time we went back to the stall, he was much less frantic. I tossed him a tiny bit of hay (his feed was to be heavily restricted while stalled, per the vet), and headed off to see how his brother was coping in his stall.
|"MOM! SAVE ME FROM THIS BOX OF EMOTION!"|
Unlike his brother, Pig was super chill. At least externally. He's such an internalizer, though. After owning this horse for over 10 years (omg, that's a hell of a long relationship), I feel like I have a really good handle on when he's taking a lot of stress and shoving it deep down into his soul. This was one of those times. So, I dosed him with ulcergard and gave him a good wither scritching. Then a jog, in hand.
|"Bish. Plz. Do I look like a dog? I do NOT run on a leash."|
Despite his initial horror about being asked to trot in hand, he actually seemed to really enjoy stretching his legs. I was impressed he wasn't incredibly stiff or stocked up after a night locked up. It's like he's reverse aging. Wtf.
I guess I should mention, Pig's vitals were perfectly the same as the night before. And he had exactly zero digital pulse, which is kind of amazing. Because of his fetlock arthritis, he can often come up with a faint digital pulse, especially after standing for long periods of time. I was legitimately impressed he was pulse free.
|Unlike his brother, Pig did not turn down his small quantity of hay. In fact, I'm 99% certain he prefers hay to grass or even sweet feed. He's a weird one, this Pig. Also, I have no idea why he is standing so weird here. He just is weird, okay?|
I left the boys for the day, feeling optimistic they were going to be fine. And you know what? They were.
The next morning, we moved Pig back to the field immediately. He never showed any changes or signs of inflammatory response. Thank god. It probably helps that he is the furthest from an IR horse these days, despite having the belly of pony Santa Claus.
Bast was also doing great, but I wanted to work him first. I threw him on the lunge in the indoor, as a trial to see if he'd be sane and safe to ride after 36 hours circling in a stall and screaming. By some miracle, he was.
|The concern in his eyes is so endearing, but he really seemed to find some comfort in being asked to focus on the work. BREAKTHROUGH!|
We only did basic things, mostly because I wanted to keep his stress levels low. However, he also felt sort of funny behind once I actually got on and started asking him to trot forward. Not lame exactly, but somehow loose behind. As if he'd taken muscle relaxers only in his butt. It was weird, but didn't seem to be related to his indiscriminate diet issue. Plus, he looked pretty darn sound on the lunge. So, I just figured he was sore from walking his stall for 36 straight freaking hours, omg. So I gave him some banamine and turned him out with the rest of the group.
And that, friends, is the story about how my boys tried to kill themselves with food and did not succeed. Now, go forth and ensure all the food stuffs in your barn are secured in animal safe containers. Go... now ... SHOO!