Relative Something

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

Posts Tagged ‘hoof trimming

Pain Transfered

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Don’t let this image fool you. Delilah is almost completely back to her old self.

Tuesday, when I got home from work, Delilah was so full of energy that she wouldn’t leave Cyndie alone. After they came in from a walk, Delilah grabbed one of her squeaky toys and begged Cyndie to chase her around the house.

When Cyndie laid down on the bed for a moment, Delilah started repeatedly hopping straight into the air for more attention.

If she has any leftover pain, it wasn’t readily apparent.

Last night I gave her a fraction of a walk, keeping the leash short so she would walk beside me, at my pace. She strained to speed me up the whole way.

Every indication is that she is feeling just fine again.

On the other hand, or I could say, hoof… Cayenne seems to have picked up where Delilah’s pain left off. That mare has suddenly become almost incapacitated over an apparent flare-up of laminitis in her front feet again, particularly the side that hadn’t previously been giving her as much trouble.

It is heartbreaking to watch her struggle to move. I immediately isolated her from having access to grazing in the pastures, closing her into the smaller paddock. It seems like too little, too late, to completely turn the tide for this condition which is proving to be rather chronic for her.

Cyndie said Cayenne didn’t show signs of a problem earlier in the day, so maybe by cutting off her grass-grazing right away, this flare-up can be calmed quickly. I fear it is all part of a trend for Cayenne that may be out of our control to alleviate.

We’ve spent the summer watching George shape her hooves in increments to improve the orientation and provide her some relief, but it is a long, slow process because you can’t trim too much at a time. Now, just when we were hoping to have her beyond this problem, she is showing a turn for the worse.

We’re very happy to have Delilah free of pain, but seeing an extreme discomfort move from one of our animals to another puts a damper on our urge to celebrate our dog’s improvement.

When our animals hurt, it tends to inflict a fair amount of sympathetic pain in us, too.

Ouch.

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Written by johnwhays

October 12, 2017 at 6:00 am

Nail Appointment

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The horses had their hooves trimmed yesterday. We are nearing the end of the season of rapid hoof growth, as the days grow shorter and the horses’ bodies shift their energy to growing a winter coat of hair. The hoof growth is still going summer-strong and combined with the wet weather we’ve experienced all summer, our horses’ feet have looked pretty rough around the edges.

Cayenne has received some special attention since her days of lameness when she developed an abscess on one foot. George has been slowly reshaping the hoof over a period of multiple trims to correct the way it will support her weight. She has one hoof that tends to develop a crack in it.

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The horses weren’t the only animals having an adventure here yesterday. Delilah was exposed to a wonderfully submissive female bob-tailed Australian Shepherd. We are always grateful for a chance to work on Delilah’s socialization, and this episode verified we are a long way from having control over her aggression.

Delilah is good at blocking out our attempts to command her to stand down, soldier. I’m afraid she requires reprimands that equal her outbursts, and I’m not sure our level tends to match hers.

I don’t know how to balance an intense level of reproach between that which would be effective and one inducing unintended trauma to her canine psyche. We got her when she was already almost 10-months old, not knowing the full extent of her early history, and it seems to us that she shows occasional signs of possible past trauma.

Cyndie is considering shopping around for a training school course this fall. She has my full support.

Our feline had a different sort of adventure last night. Pequenita was conspicuously absent overnight and this morning, such that it was the very first thing Cyndie and I spoke of this morning. Where was the cat?

She has a history of wanting to get outside. Last night we had company over and ate dinner on the deck, so were in and out of enough doors that ‘Nita had plenty of opportunities to sneak out. Our first thoughts were to look outside, but logic told me that there are plenty of indoor places where she might have gotten trapped behind a closed door.

With that in mind, it didn’t take long to hear her distant call from the storage room downstairs. She was thirsty and starved for affection, but otherwise unharmed by her overnight confinement away from her peeps.

We dive into another day of relative animal normalcy with our crew…

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Written by johnwhays

August 26, 2016 at 8:22 am

Hooves Trimmed

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Taking full advantage of the quick-dry we are enjoying this March, I was out raking the lime screenings on the upper slope around the barn and picking up the never-ending crop of manure the horses like to deposit there. DSCN2948eAs I often choose to do lately, I had Delilah tethered to an outside hook on the paddock fence where she was doing her best to behave like she was an integral participant in my project.

For whatever silly reason that only dogs can understand, she picked a perch that looked like she was claiming ownership of one of the piles I was trying to pick up.

I was hoping to get the area cleaned up in time for the scheduled appointment to have our farrier/neighbor, George Walker, give the horses their routine periodic hoof trimming.

We are starting to get the hang of the process and for the first time since he has been coming to do this, we prepared by getting a halter on each of the horses and tethering them up near the barn in advance. I give Hunter credit for this bit of wisdom, as he always played hard to get when it was time for his turn. George would be stuck waiting while tried to quickly talk Hunter into cooperating.

Quickly cooperating is not something he is inclined to do, especially when it is our agenda and not his.

Case in point, just getting him into his halter yesterday took 3-times longer than it did the rest of the herd. Having done so, the 4 horses were in an out of the hoof trimming station in record time. The only thing that slows down the process is all the precious gabbing we end up doing while George works.

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Written by johnwhays

March 15, 2015 at 9:52 am

Stitches Out

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We traveled to the big city yesterday for Cyndie’s follow-up appointment to have the surgeon’s nurse inspect the incision and remove the two stitches in the long wound. The way modern medicine closes surgical wounds in this day and age amazes me. Everything looks good and Cyndie says she is a lot more comfortable having that sticky bandage finally removed. Her movements have improved visibly as a result.

This morning our farrier, George, is coming to trim the horse’s hooves. It was scheduled on his calendar after the last appointment, but I had completely lost track of it. Luckily, he sent a text alerting me. Suddenly my morning routine is squeezed a bit.

The horses were in good spirits when I showed up to serve their a.m. feed and put out hay. I’m hoping they will be cooperative for me in an hour, because Cyndie will not be able to do more than offer moral support as I take on the role of chief handler for George as he works.

Delilah is another challenge. She has been hyper-focused on critters out the window and doing her worst to destroy glass and window trim to claw her way after them from inside. We have tried resorting to instant “time-out” when she loses control and jumps at the window, bringing her back to the spiral staircase and leashing her in place for a spell. After the second instance in a row this morning, instead of lying down in acceptance of her fate, she took to boldly barking her defiance.

I tried the “ignore” technique, because I was busy trying to write, but that didn’t help Cyndie. She couldn’t stand it. I understand that totally. There are plenty of times when I absolutely can’t tolerate the bark. It’s interesting that I was determined enough to try to finish my task with the looming appointment in the barn creating a tight deadline, that I was fine in this instance with letting the loud bark float in one ear and out the other.

The dog will unfortunately be restrained in her kennel during the hoof trimming today, since we don’t have enough hands to tend to everyone at once. Sadly, I think her time in the kennel while we were gone yesterday is the reason for her rambunctiousness today. It just means I will have to give her extra attention this afternoon.

I have taken to letting her run off leash inside the pasture fencing, while I toss discs for her to chase. The fence has worked well to keep her from giving in to the urge to dash off into the woods after some tempting scent, even though she can finagle under it if allowed. The lowest strand is not electrified, and I think she has figured that out.

Time to go prepare the horses for their hoof-icure appointment!

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Written by johnwhays

December 6, 2014 at 10:31 am