Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Week

It's been a lovely few days off of work for Thanksgiving. The horses are doing well. After Roz tested negative for equine influenza I got a new bag of grain for him just in case there was something wrong with the other one I had. It may have been a coincidence but he actually ate all of his grain after I got the new bag and has been eating well since then. 
I let him have one naked day and this is what he looked like. 
This was a photo I posted on Emi's Facebook page...three faces I'm thankful for. All three have different personalities and they bring me a lot of joy. What's not to love?

I've had really great rides on Benny this week. I'm beginning to really feel like I have a dressage horse! His work is getting better and better and I'm starting to work him being more adjustable. He's got a good work ethic and seems to like having a job. Last night we were standing around visiting with a friend and he was being adorable. He was sniffing me up one side and down the other, cuddling with me, and having me blow in his nose. It's been fun getting to know him better.

After our ride this morning
He was hoping I'd have another couple cookies for him before he headed out to the field. 
In my opinion Emi colicked due to a quick change in the weather from a lovely late summer feel to cold winter weather. I suspect that she was cold and wasn't drinking like she should have been. To help with that I decided she needs a blanket. I had no idea what size to get her and Tarra said she purchased a size 66 for Mylo but that Emi seemed bigger than him. I tried on a size 72 blanket liner and that fit her fairly well. As it turned out, a friend of mine had a size 72 blanket that was too small for her horse. Its a big on the big side but I expect that in a few more months it will be the perfect fit. It's supposed to drop back into the 20's overnight so she got dressed in her warm clothes for the night. I can't believe she almost fits a size 72 at 18 months. Isn't she adorable? 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy thanksgiving to you all. I really enjoy this time of year and the Thanksgiving holiday. Many of us have SO much to be thankful for and I thought I'd write about some of the things I am thankful for (in no real order).

I'm so thankful for Emi and that she made it through her most recent ordeal. It's amazing to me how much I love her and I'm so happy to have her. I look forward to many more years with her. 

I'm thankful for the opportunity to have a riding horse while I wait for Emi to grown up. It's not only good for my riding skill but it's also good for me mentally. Benny has been a great fit and I'm so happy I found him. 

Of course I'm thankful for all of the wonderful years I've shared with Rozzy Ridge and that he's healthy and happy.

Beyond the horses though, I'm thankful for many other things. I'm thankful for a job that I enjoy. I'm thankful for a wonderful supportive family. Each day is a gift and I'm so thankful I'm healthy and cancer free.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you have a blessed day. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Never a Dull Moment

Apparently there is never a dull moment around here. I found out today that Emi was most likely exposed to equine influenza during her stay at the veterinary hospital. Although she is vaccinated this may have contributed to the fevers she had. I have also noticed her coughing a couple of times since she returned home. She is being tested although she's right on the edge of it being long enough that the test may not detect it (even if she did have it). I'm also going to test Roz. He has not cleaned up his grain either this morning or tonight which is a bit unusual. He's eating hay (and most of his grain) and his temperature is normal. I'll continue to monitor both of them and it will be interesting to see what the test results are. Luckily I didn't have any big plans for either of them and they are not in contact with any other horses. Now I just need to be diligent to not share the cooties at NDF, where Benny lives.

ETA: Both horses tested negative. Yah!

Tonight after fussing over Roz and Emi I headed up to NDF for a ride on Benny. He was so relaxed while I brushed him and got him ready. Most of the time I just leave him loose in his stall while I get him ready. He always stands quietly but normally has his head up and is a bit tense. Tonight he had a hoof rested, his head down, and a very relaxed expression the whole time I got him ready. I think he's beginning to trust me! We rode alone which I'm discovering is not his favorite thing. When he's alone at night he wants to be a little looky and tense on the open side of the arena. I just ignored him and gave him other stuff to think about. He ended up settling in to his work really well and he had some lovely moments.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Stinker Pony

The stinker pony is back in action and I couldn't be happier. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Home at Last

Emi got to come home today. They ran a CBC first thing this morning and it looked much better. I was expecting her to be a wild child when she finally got brought out of her isolation stall (that she's been in since Monday) but she walked out flat footed and proceeded to the trailer with out an issue. She loaded easily and off we went!
Waiting for the tech to come let her out of isolation. She was nickering at the door. 
When we arrived at home Roz was calling for her but she ignored him and quietly got off the trailer. Once I put her with Roz she cruised all around their paddock while Roz followed along like a lost puppy. They are just too cute together. I kept an eye out for a little while and then left them alone. She definitely lost some weight during the whole ordeal (although she had a little to lose). She's eating well and I saw her drinking too. I'm supposed to keep checking her temperature twice a day for the next week. If it exceeds 101.5 I'm supposed to contact the vet. I took her temperature tonight around 7pm and it was exactly 101.5. I'm resisting the urge to go check it again and we'll just see how it is in the morning. I think my baby pony is going to give me ulcers! LOL 

Rozzy Ridge said "thank you" for bringing his sissy home. He was being super sweet with me. 
Update:  Emi's temp was 100.8 this morning (Saturday) and she seemed back to her normal self. Yah!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Emi Update

A quick update on Emi. Her highest temperature last night (Wednesday night) was 101. She hasn't had any more banamine and continues to be in good spirits. She was quite social this afternoon when I visited with her and I noted a little bit of "wild" in her eye. It's like she finally noticed that she's been locked up for a week! I think that's a good sign and I hope her temperature remains low through out the night. She will have a CBC completed in the morning and we'll go from there.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Two Steps Forward....

And one step back, or so it seems. I was excited to hear more information on Emi today and pin down a date for her to come home. They ran another CBC this morning and although her WBC count has gone up her neutrophils are really low and they didn't see any bands (immature neutrophils). She also had another temp of 102.4 last night, so they administered more banamine. At this point they really aren't sure what's going on. She has salmonella cultures pending and I think we should have results on the first one tomorrow. She continues to eat well and seems happy. I got to see her this afternoon but she was actually more interested in eating than visiting. At this point we are stuck playing the waiting game. Either she will improve in the next couple of days and be able to be sent home or she will decline and then we will have to figure out what additional testing can be done to pin point the cause of her problems.

As for the other two; Roz is doing well and Benny is great. The weather finally changed back to our usual rain and slightly warmer temperatures. Benny and I had a super ride tonight. Things are really starting to click for him and he worked well for me. We did quite a bit of leg yielding work today and had a few that were pretty nice. I'm really enjoying his good personality and willingness to work. Plus he's just cute! :)
Getting ready to walk over to the arena.
Tucked in for the night

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Good News!

I finally got some really good news on Emi today. Last night her highest temp was 102.7 and all through out the day today she had a normal temperature. She is off IV fluids and banamine.  She's still in isolation but I was able to visit with and pet her. The poor girl is so bored! Her head popped up as soon as we opened the top of her door and once she put her head on me she nickered. I blew in her nose and loved on her before closing her door again. They will recheck her CBC in the morning but hopefully she will be ready to come home very soon. I can't wait!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Still Fighting

Keep praying for my baby girl. Emi is holding her own but she's not out of the woods yet. As soon as I arrived at work this morning I went to check on her. Her stall had been roped off and there was a fan blowing on her. I checked her chart which was nearby and her last temperature recorded was 104.2! I knew they were beginning to treat her as an isolation case so I didn't get close enough to pet her, although I could see that she was happily munching hay.

A couple hours later her "colic" doctor came to see me to let me know that she was being transferred to one of the internal medicine doctors (since the colic has resolved). She was also moved to the actual isolation area. The internal medicine vet came to visit me after lunch and was pretty positive about her case. He told me that Emi's physical exam was unremarkable and that her appetite and attitude were both good. Her feces are soft but she doesn't have diarrhea. Her two issues at this point are the fever and a dropping white blood cell count. He hopes that she will stabilize with in the next 24 hours. They are currently having a culture done to rule out salmonella and we'll see how she looks tomorrow. There's never a dull moment around here!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mountain Trail

Yesterday Benny got to go on a field trip to the Oregon Horse Center. Every year during November they put in a crazy trail course for a competition and then schooling. Benny and his two half arab pals got an afternoon scoping it out. I thought that Benny would probably be pretty amped up and snorty about the whole thing. However, he exceeded my expectations and was a super boy!

He came off the trailer quietly and stood nicely while I got him ready to go. I started the course with him in his halter just following me around. He followed willingly behind me and navigated through logs, over rocks, ups and down hills, through ditches etc. Once I hopped on him I thought he might not be as brave but he was still quite good. The pictures are not fantastic but they give you an idea of what we did. It was a great outing and I'm looking forward to doing more with him.

On the Emi front, she is still in the hospital. When we arrived to see her tonight this is how we found her. 

I went in and petted her for a few minutes but she didn't get up and didn't really seem to care that I was there.  I decided we should track down the doctor to get the scoop on what has been going on with her through out the afternoon. After walking away we heard Emi whinny and when we got back to her stall a couple of minutes later she was up and seemed to be watching for us. Too cute!

She did well over night but this morning her temperature started to rise. Her top temp was 103.7. They started her back on banamine and when they took her temp tonight it was 99.7. They rechecked a CBC and belly tap to make sure they weren't missing anything. Her white blood cell count is decreasing but it's still in an acceptable range. She did drink a whole bucket of water and we left her happily eating part of a flake of hay. She won't be coming home tomorrow but maybe Tuesday if her fever stays away. 

Below: The many faces of a bored baby. 


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Impaction Colic

Emi is currently in the hospital due to impaction colic. I went out to feed Thursday night around 7:30pm and fed grain first (as usual). While the horses were eating I dumped my wheelbarrow and filled a hay net before stopping back by Emi's stall. Normally we chat while Roz finishes up his grain. Instead of being her normal curious self Emi was standing in the middle of the stall with her ears back. I stood watching her and she moved over to the wall, pawing at it and then rubbing along it before she circled to lay down. At that point I knew something was going wrong and I was trying to figure out if her hives might be what was bothering her. I grabbed my thermometer and got her halter on. Her temp was 100.7.

I called the vet and he said he'd be there with in an hour, maybe sooner. I stood outside watching her and texted a few friends to let them know what was going on. Emi continued to get up, lay down, wander around, flank watch, stand with her ears back etc. By the time the vet arrived I had reinforcement too, in the form of April and Tarra. The vet performed a quick physical, sedated her for a rectal exam and tubing. There were no remarkable findings beyond a slightly elevated temp and heart rate. They administered some banamine and told me to watch her over the next 2 hours. If she started acting painful again they said I should take her in. April, Tarra and I sat out in the barn visiting while we kept an eye on Emi. My dad had hooked the trailer up before the vet arrived, and my mom brought us hot chocolate and brownies. Sitting in the barn with a sick horse on a freezing cold night is made much better with friends and chocolate!

In about an hour Emi started to wake up and began backing up and flank watching again. At that point we all agreed it was time to just take her in. April called ahead and we got the baby loaded up. She was such a good girl and loaded easily. We are super blessed to live about 20 minutes from a vet school (which happens to be where I work). They were ready for her when we arrived and they quickly drew some blood and set an IV catheter.  We got a weight on her of 815lbs before they sedated her for a belly tap. Both her blood work and belly tap looked good. They got her settled in to a stall with IV fluids and said they'd keep an eye on her overnight. If things continued to go okay they would get her going on feed in the morning and hopefully send her home with me Friday afternoon.

We left her at the hospital about 1:30am with the understanding that they would call if something changed during the night. At that point they said no news was good news. Apparently Emi did pretty well during the night but then began displaying colic symptoms around 8am on Friday. The performed another rectal exam and determined that she did have an impaction in her large colon. The hope was that they could continue to provide medical support to her and that she would be able to break down the impaction on her own, although surgery was a possibility. Of course I was thinking worst case scenario and was feeling sick over the thought of my 17 month old filly undergoing colic surgery.

When I arrived to visit her on Friday afternoon she was laying down and did seem uncomfortable. After she got up I took her for a walk, groomed her, and just hung out. For a couple hours she was quite bright and acting like her normal self. One of the doctors working on her case told me that she has a "winning personality." Right before I left for the night they passed a nasogastric tube to give her warm water and epsom salt. After they pulled the tube out she got a pretty bad bloody nose. I felt so bad leaving her, but a little over an hour later the doctor called to tell me that they had performed another rectal exam. The impaction felt smaller and softer, so we were headed in the right direction.

This morning I arrived around 9am and again took Emi for a walk. She was quite perky and we had a nice 15 minute walk before heading back to her stall.  They tubed her again, this time with warm water and electrolytes. They used the other side of her nose and everything went smoothly. I went back in later today and the doctor was just getting ready to do another rectal exam. She could not feel the impaction and the feces that she found were very soft. With that news she said they'd be starting her back on hay tonight and if all goes well Emi can return home tomorrow. 

I am so relieved that she is doing better and I hope that things continue to go smoothly so that she can come home. It's no fun having a sick baby girl.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

So Cold

We are experiencing unusually cold weather right now, like a large portion of the United States. Benny got worked last night but I just wasn't feeling it tonight. Fighting the cold weather sucks the life right out of me! Instead I'm cuddled up by the wood stove shopping for horse blankets and researching hives...both of these being for my baby girl. Emi doesn't have her full winter coat yet and she seems like she's cold. Additionally her hives are worse tonight. 

When I first saw her I thought they had spread over most of her body. After I got my hands on her I realized her coat is just full of static and so parts of it are sticking up and parts are flat. Phew. However, her face has more bumps on it tonight than it did last night or this morning. A friend brought up bedding being a possible source so I pulled out their bedding pellets. I've stopped the smartgut ultra, the turn out, and now the bedding. She's getting the same grain she has been on (same bag even), the same hay etc. Hopefully I can pinpoint the cause and they will go away as quickly as they came on.  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

She's Outgrown Another One

I put Emi's halter on last night and noticed that it's getting small. Of course then I needed to pull out all of the big halters I've been keeping for her. Her leather halter that was a gift from her breeder now fits, although it's a bit large in the throatlatch.

The same holds through for the cute flowery halter that Tarra got for us. The final one I had was the larger version of the halter that is too small. It's a hand me down from April and Pants and it was hardly used. I have to say, it's kind of sad to retire her baby halters.
They grow up fast!
Then while I was doing her evening brushing I came across an owie on her face. As I was messing with that I realized they are hives again! Seriously!? I started her on Smartdigest Ultra on Sunday night and she was on the pasture for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday. I didn't notice any hives last night. I suspect it's something on the pasture but I really wish I knew what it was. Does anyone have any great recommendations for a horse that seems to get hives easily? They are on her face and the underside of her neck.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Catch Me If You Can

Apparently Benny does not like being caught. The past two Sunday's he has been difficult to catch. Last Sunday I didn't have food with me, but this week I took carrots out. Even with carrots he still played hard to get and it took me 10 or 15 minutes before I was able to catch him. While he was racing merrily away from me he slipped and fell all the way on to his side. Thankfully he got up and trotted off just fine, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

The upside of him running around is that I know he's already thoroughly warmed up when I get on and I also know he has plenty of energy. At this point Benny may have been thinking "oopsie." We had an excellent ride and I really pushed him to give me higher quality work. We've been in a nice getting to know you phase but it's time to really get in gear. He stepped up to the plate and I'm looking forward to seeing how he progresses.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Awesome Day

I had a super day today. Not only was it Saturday, but it was sunny outside, I got plenty of pony time, and then tonight I got to watch Cardi win at the National Dressage Finals.

I rode Benny late this morning and took him on our first "trail ride." We didn't go too far today but it was nice to get out of the arena and see how Benny would handle the wide open spaces. True to his normal good pony self, he was awesome. We encountered a big trailer, a few brush piles, a large metal chicken, two horses blasting at the fence, and some cows.  A little looky in a few spots but willing to keep going with just a little side step here and there.  I can't wait to start taking him out more.

Then this afternoon Roz and Emi got some pasture time. They were so stoked and were blasting around the moment I let them out. I glanced down for a minute to latch the gate behind them and looked up just as Roz was wiping out! Thankfully he got up and carried on like it didn't happen and his smartpak blanket seems no worse for the wear. I took some photos while they played and then  left them on their own while I tidied up the barn. I could spend hours out there!

Picture perfect
In the time they were outside, this boy rolled at least 5 times. What a goofball!