Friday, March 28, 2014

Twelve crazy hours

Actually the last twelve days have been absolutely nuts (more on that later), but today was the icing on the cake:

Part I
6am: Pull up to the barn to help with morning chores. I wasn't originally scheduled but Dan is temporarily out of commission and Jan is out recovering from arm surgery.
6:30: All horses are fed and turned out, stalls are being cleaned, everything seems right in the world. Hahaha. 
7:25: Flint is laying down in the field. Maybe he's enjoying the sudden warmth and sunshine? I'll keep an eye on him. 
7:40: He's up, roaming....or is that pacing?
8:10: Uh oh, down again....
8:15: Up. But definitely not looking himself. Aaaand there is the bellyache stretch. Crap. 
8:25: Brought both drafts In and started a cursory exam on Flint. All signs pointed to colic: despite the normal temp he had a hunched stance, lots of stretching, tense nostrils, and minimal gut sounds. Damn. Called vet and left message. 

Part II
8:40: Coty's owners show up. They are early for their 9am appointment where I'm supposed to show the horse to a potential buyer (PB). Luckily they start getting him ready while I talk to the vet on the phone. He can be here in 30 min. I put both drafts in the round pen so I can keep an eye on them and start lunging Coty and doing groundwork.
8:50: Flint tries to lie down as I saddle up Coty to show him under saddle. Luckily having both drafts together means that Finnagan immediately got his brother up and pestered him to keep moving, wouldn't let him be still. 
9:05: PB gets on Coty to try him out. Flint goes down again and kicks at his belly. Where is the vet??
9:15: Dr. Gomez arrives!! 
9:30-9:45: My suspicions confirmed, I call the owner and we determine a plan. Meanwhile Flint is being a big jerk so he will definitely need sedation. He can easily strike at head level, hates needles and has trust issues. Yikes. Luckily he likes me! Commence crazy juggling of multiple phone calls, drugging an anxious horse, potential buyer and morning staff leaving. 

Part III
In the midst of speaking with Flint's owner on the phone I turn the corner to find Dr. Gomez supporting one of our boarders under the arms (who is like 80 years old and stills insists on coming in every day to see her horse). Did she get kicked? No, just collapsed when trying to change her horse's leg bandage. Succeed in getting her to a seat, clean/medicat/wrapp her horse's leg, got owner to the office to rest until her legs could hold her again. Back to Flint.

Part IV
After an initial fight to get the needle in to sedate Flint, the meds start to kick in and Dr. Gomez gets to work. In goes Banamine. Rectal exam reveals a large gas bubble and impacted mass, possible twist. Pump him full of mineral oil and water and start the waiting game. Meanwhile the collapsed boarder comes out of the office intent in driving herself home and insisting she is just fine. She leaves. PB says she likes Coty and would like to come out for a second ride next week. We exchange info. She and his owners leave.

Part V
10:15am: how could so much have happened in such a short time?? Dr. Gomez has to leave to see other patients. I assume horse watch. While waiting for the sedation to wear off I do random barn chores and make sure everything is settled for this weekend in Jan's absence. For the next four hours I alternate hand walking, free walking and resting Flint. He looks like crap. I talk back and forth between the owner and the vets trying to determine a plan. We organize a trailer in case we have to take him for ER transport. Oh, did I mention the owner is on vacation?

4pm: Still no poop. Eventually Flint has started to perk up and seems to be passing small amounts of gas but still no manure. He isn't trying to lay down anymore, and I haven't noticed any stretching. 

5pm: Dr. Gomez returns for a follow up. Flint is definitely feeling more like himself (which makes the exam fun, esp since the sedation was gone). Thankfully Dr. Gomez can hear some gut sounds and the gas bubble, though still there, is much smaller. I receive feeding and care instructions. Gomez leaves while I sit for another half hour until someone gets here to relieve me.

5:30: I leave to get something to eat. Care is handed off to the night feeder.

6:45: WE HAVE POOP!!!

7:30: Horse sitting job.

9pm: Arrive home. 

10:30: Owner is home from vacation and stops in for night check..... POOP!!! Two piles and Flint is calm, cool and dry. Yay! :)

What a day. I hope to not have to repeat that in the near future!

Next post will be happier, I promise; I do have a lot of good things to share as well :)

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