Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘colic

Not Quite

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First of all, I have good news and bad news to report on Dezirea’s progress. The good news is that she is showing interest in eating and behaving much less depressed. The bad news is that she is showing very little, if any progress toward returning to normal manure production. She remains under close supervision, but we have decided on a path of minimal intervention for now.

I caught several frames of activity on the trail cam a couple of nights ago, but the best way I can describe what appeared in the series of images is, the camera captured Predator in invisible stealth mode. It was actually kinda creepy.

It doesn’t show up in a single image, but when a series of multiple images is toggled, the blur of translucent motion is detectable. One possibility is that a deer was moving too fast for the camera speed. I suspect deer because a minute later, the view picked up an extreme closeup of a fraction of the rear flank of what can only have been a deer passing directly in front of the camera.

There aren’t any other animals that size, except for maybe the Predator.

It’s not quite warm enough for the chickens to be given full access to their little courtyard, but in the days ahead, the forecast looks promising. The birds are showing great interest. Cyndie snapped a shot of two of them enjoying the view out their picture window.

Delilah seems even more anxious for them to come out than they are. Lately, there is nothing about her behavior that assures me she understands their protected status in the hierarchy of our domestic animals.

I’m pretty sure she is not quite there.

Just like Dezirea is not quite back to normal health.

We are standing by expectantly, sending love to all our critters for good health and mutual respect.

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Written by johnwhays

May 4, 2017 at 6:00 am

Safe Visitor

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The month of May arrives for the year 2017 and we are here to greet it with bells on. Well, with something on. I’m just not sure what.

On a bright side, ever since I moved the trail cam back for a wider view of the coop, the number of images captured revealing potential predators roaming around has been minimal.

Most recent, a captured image showed an appearance by a visitor we dearly love having around.

Seeing a deer wandering by seems like a message that there aren’t any scary beasts in the vicinity. How long do you think this will be the norm?

Meanwhile, this morning we reach 72 hours since Dezirea’s symptoms appeared. As of last night, she had not wavered very far either direction toward better or worse.

Cyndie and I spent a little time talking through the situation before turning in for bed. We want to remain open to whatever lesson this presents for us. We can only treat her through options within our means. Whether she recovers, or this becomes an end of life event, we must accept the outcome. We would like to achieve the peace that Dezirea is projecting.

We will continue to do everything possible to provide comfort to Dezirea while helping her get better if she can. She’s in charge of the rest..

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Written by johnwhays

May 1, 2017 at 6:00 am

Posted in Chronicle

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Trepidation Visits

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We don’t really know. Evidence is still rather vague about eliminating either of the two prevailing possibilities about what is ailing Dezirea. We’ve now had three vet visits in two days, and this morning it seems as though the only progress we are seeing is that she isn’t getting dramatically worse.

Is it colic, or anaplasmosis?

There is a second pile of manure this morning, which is generally a good thing, except it doesn’t look normal enough to inspire full optimism. She could still have some obstruction deep within the long tract of her digestive system.

Cyndie spent extended time with Dezi yesterday and came away with a sense that our senior mare is at peace. I’m afraid that has only contributed to our trepidation about where this could be headed.

Meanwhile, the other horses are growing frustrated with the forced separation and lack of access to the lush grass growing everywhere around their confines. It is hard to read their take on Dezirea’s predicament while they are simultaneously frustrated with their own situation.

We have spotted moments when they gather at the barrier fence to stand in close proximity, but not much more than that.

It is noteworthy how much the mental unease over the seriousness of Dezirea’s affliction looms over everything else for us. Finding a healthy and loving attitude and projecting that to our immediate world, and beyond, becomes increasingly difficult. Losing patience with otherwise trivial situations becomes easy.

Even though nature is forging ahead with explosive spring growth and our list of chores we would like to accomplish is longer than can be achieved, we find ourselves spinning in place this weekend.

Maybe our lesson has something to do with facing and dealing with trepidation. Once again, it seems prudent to be most fully focused on the present moment, despite the multitude of distractions lulling us away.

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Written by johnwhays

April 30, 2017 at 10:20 am

Startling Behavior

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Legacy gave us quite a scare on Saturday. Just as Cyndie and I were trying to finish all projects in order to get cleaned up for a wedding in the cities, Legacy began to behave uncharacteristically out of sorts. I was out among the herd, scooping manure, when I caught him repeatedly banging his nose against a board on the wall of the barn beneath the overhang.

Not having ever seen him do such a thing, I wandered over to check on him. I offered to scratch his nose, in case an itch was making him do this. He didn’t seem annoyed or relieved by my effort. Then he started pawing the ground, digging in strongly.

Cyndie came out of the barn a few moments later, to see what the banging was about. I reported my findings. She recognized his behavior right away as a sign he was agitated about something. Luckily, we were able to get a quick second opinion from George and Anneliese in a fleeting moment before they were to leave.

Legacy’s breathing was noticeably elevated and we thought he felt a little warm. Anneliese listened for gut sounds and noted good activity. They said the situation deserved a call to the vet and advised we put a halter on him so we could walk him and keep him from lying down.

Walking a horse that doesn’t want to walk is not high on my list of things I like to do. Cyndie was trying to reach a vet late on a Saturday afternoon. It quickly became apparent that our odds of making it to that wedding in the cities were getting worse by the minute.

Those minutes while waiting for the answering service to reach the vet and for the vet to finally call us back can be rather stressful. They also tend to last what feels like an eternity. Meanwhile, Legacy was growing increasingly agitated.

After listening to our description of symptoms, the vet suggested we administer an anti-inflammatory. She was an hour out. Legacy was beginning to drain thick snot from his nose as Cyndie prepared to get him to accept a dose of medication.

I busied myself with tending the pile of composting manure while Cyndie alternately walked and soothed Legs. Before we knew it, our herd leader was calming back to his old self. When the vet arrived, she immediately commented that his ears looked good.

If I were to simplify the story, we cured him.

Whatever was causing his pain, most likely colic –a common digestive disorder– the relief of an anti-inflammatory may have relaxed him enough to get his system readjusted and back to normal. The vet took vital signs and collected a blood sample to check for infection.

We had to quarantine Legacy to one side of the paddock and not allow him anything to eat. The key sign of progress was when Cyndie found poo piles Sunday morning. Worst outcome averted.

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Written by johnwhays

April 10, 2017 at 6:00 am

Special Day

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September 19 is doubly special to Cyndie and me. Today is our 33rd anniversary, and it is also our son, Julian’s 26th birthday. Happy birthday, Julian. Happy anniversary dear.

We had a bit of a scare yesterday with the discovery that Dezirea was ill. Coincidentally, or if you believe in the power of energy connections, not a coincidence at all… Cyndie woke up with gastrointestinal upset that kept her home from work. That was a great relief for me, in that I wasn’t alone in trying to deal with the situation.

I sensed something was amiss after I served the horses their ration of feed first thing in the morning. Dezirea didn’t appear to have eaten, and was standing with her head down. It wasn’t a normal look for her. I felt that something was wrong.

DSCN2392eBack at the house, I checked on Cyndie to see if she felt able to go down and assess Dezi. Luckily, that was within her ability. By the time she got there, Dezirea was down on the ground. Cyndie made a call to our veterinary office and waited for them to call back. When I made it back down, I was shocked to see Cyndie standing over Dezirea and Dezi flat on the ground with her head down and legs straight out.

Looking in the horse’s eyes, I saw a total vacancy. There was no stress or anxiety, she just looked gone. It was a very stressful few minutes, contemplating the possibility that this was going to be her time to go.

Then suddenly she reappeared. While I was looking right at her, I saw life return to her eyes and she sat up again. I had to run to the house for something and when I returned, Dezirea was up and walking. Cyndie said Hunter came over and started biting her neck and pulling her mane. Legacy had been nudging her and gently mouthing her hind quarter, but Hunter’s actions were more insistent and that is what she responded to.

DSCN2394eThe vet arrived and provided something for pain (she required a second dose), an anti inflammatory, a sedative, and about a half-gallon of mineral oil to treat colic.

There are a variety of possible causes for colic, none of which are glaringly obvious probabilities for our situation. Maybe she wasn’t drinking enough water. Maybe she found a little too much clover in our pasture. It’s hard to say.

There is also the possibility that there is a twist in her intestine, which will seem more likely the cause of her problem if she doesn’t get better today.

I took this picture while the vet was asking if Legacy was her companion. Looking back into the paddock, Legacy was standing at the gate, closely watching us, while the two younger horses were ignoring our activity and giving each other back scratches.

IMG_iP0671eAfter the vet left, I got a chair for Cyndie to sit in and Dezirea put her head down in Cyndie’s lap and took a little nap. Her snoring made me giggle. We were supposed to keep her from eating, but after the short duration meds wore off, she was behaving as if nothing had ever happened and she wanted to join the herd in the pasture and eat.

By evening last night, she was looking a little off her game again, but nowhere near the severity of earlier. We are hoping for the best when we get down there to check on her this morning.

The alternative is not something we want. Thank goodness I had Cyndie home to help yesterday. I tend to believe that wasn’t a mere coincidence.

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Written by johnwhays

September 19, 2014 at 6:00 am