Friday, August 22, 2008
It's Almost Official
That wasn’t so easy, was it, Siete? My poor little horse was very lame today when the vet showed up. The vet tried to lift Siete’s front right leg, and my girl squealed in pain. Today, the worst leg was the back left. Siete just wasn’t going to let the vet look at her hoof to see if there was an abscess, so we decided that things might go easier if we sedated her.
There was another vet who was observing or visiting or something. Neither of these women could find Siete’s vein in her neck. They poked and poked the needle into her, and she got more and more upset. I got upset too. Finally, after so much poking, they got a vein on the other side of her neck, but it took two of us to hold her down. Even with the sedative, she fought having the vet hold her back foot. I suggested that it was because the other legs hurt so bad that she couldn’t support herself. The vet agreed and decided that we should just start the doxy and call it a day. She said it was the worst manifestation of Lyme Disease that she’s seen. Of course, it's taken five days for her to get here. The blood test should be back next week, so we’ll know more.
My horses have never been afraid of the vet. They are really good about everything, but all that changed today. My guess is that the next time Siete sees this vet, she’s going to be very unhappy. I’ve had it happen with my dog a few times before. The vet couldn’t find the vein, and it made me really freaked out when it happened. They just kept poking and poking the needle in, and I kept suggesting that they try a different place on the animal’s body that wasn’t so difficult, and they got annoyed, and I got mad. The vets that I’ve loved just know how to do it right every time, no drama.
Tonight, I mashed up 40 doxy pills in the grinder, mixed them in vanilla yogurt, added salt, Stevia (a natural sweetner) and a little molasses. I filled two syringes, dipped the tips in sugar, wet a washcloth and stuck a few bits of carrot in my pocket. My routine is that I give Siete dinner, leave her halter on and lock the stall door. Then, I offer her a bit of carrot and clip the lead rope on. I use the stall door as a brace between us. She knew exactly what I was going to do since we had done it twice a day for 30 days last fall. She objected a little bit, but let me jam the first syringe into her mouth and squirt the gunk down her throat. She twists her head, and there’s so much soupy liquid to swallow. It gets all over me and the barn too. I wiped her mouth with the wet washcloth and quickly shoved the other syringe in. Afterwards, as I cleaned off her mouth and my arms and the stall door, I suggested to Siete that there was another way we could do this.
I pointed out that her mother just eats the pills, coated in molasses mixed into her food. I asked Siete to open her mind to how much easier it would be for the next 29 days if she would try to do what Silk does. The perverse truth is that she enjoys this crazy drill. I could tell last fall that she missed it when I stopped doing it with her. I have to admit that it is a bonding moment between us when she lets me squirt the disgusting sauce into her mouth. I’ve tasted a tiny bit and it is really bitter and gross, even with all my attempts to disguise it. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll explain to her that if she wants to bond with me, I can come up with much more pleasant ways to do it. Maybe she’s a little older and wiser and she’ll listen.