Sunday, August 30, 2009
The C Word.....
Yesterday. 8am. I was happily ensconced as my RN self in the newborn nursery at work giving a brand new little one a bath. It didn't look like it was going to be a particularly bad day at all, at most we were slated to get four deliveries over the next 10 hours. I was skatin'! We have been so busy lately, this was the reprieve I had been dreaming of with weekend pay differential to boot! Of course, this was not to be so. That would have been just TOO easy. My cell rang and it was my friend Linda who keeps Jackson at her ranch.
"Hey Mindy, I came out just now and found Jackson down in his pen and he has gone down five times since I've gotten him up, what do you want me to do?" Now remember. I stand in a fishbowl at work. In our admissions nursery there are wall to wall windows so family and friends can ohhh and ahhh over the latest addition. And here I am as the coordinator (manager) walks in with tears starting to pour down my face. As soon as she and my co-workers heard, they pretty much pushed me out the door with blessings (thanks SO much guys!) to go and be with my horse. By the time I decided to leave, (one half hour later) Linda had spoke with the vet who was doing a clinic over an hour away from her house, covering for another vet. Of course! He is a traveling vet, (no office) but of course it was the one day he was helping a colleague out! Normally he could be there really quickly as he is right down the road! Linda had decided to put Jacks in the trailer and wanted me to meet her at the office. I said "NO WAY." Here we have a horse going down approximately every ten minutes and a woman on her own who just had knee surgery. This sounded like a disaster waiting to happen, and I told her I would leave work RIGHT THEN and come out. Jackson had been up and was staying up for periods of time, but if we got to a point where he needed to be constantly hand walked, I could not ask my friend who had just had surgery to even attempt this. Also, if we transported to the vet, again, she shouldn't have been doing THAT alone either. Especially with the vet one hour away.
I left work at the hospital to head out on the forty-five gut wrenching minutes to Pipe Creek. And OF COURSE, my car was on empty! I stopped and threw something into the Beetle's tank--SO many thoughts about my horse ran through my head on that drive. So many wonderful memories that made tears run down my face at the prospect of losing him. More thoughts about how much money I had in my bank account for vet bills, and the sinking realization that I would never have enough to cover surgery. Berating myself for not having colic/life insurance on him anymore, or having him on the Preventi-care program that would cover the cost of surgery. You name it, I needed to get there and see for myself because I was little Miss Worst Case Scenario.
When I arrived at the ranch, I RAN back to the horse pens to find Linda, and Jackson was up! He went down ten times all together, (I saw NONE of it) and Linda said when she found him he was wedged upside down against the wall of his pen. Not panicking, just upside down with his feet up in the air--stuck.We have no idea how long he was there. She helped him get up which wasn't easy (he is now Mr. Superficial Scrape--last count he had seven superficial wounds) and he then kept pawing and going back down. No interest in the grain she had in hand for the morning feeding (BOY, that is telling right there!) and no interest in the fact that his buddies were being turned out. Bowel sounds were always present and not high and tinkly either.
By the time I got there, he was in distress only because his buddies had been turned out to pasture and he wanted to be with them. I went up to him in my scrubs and clogs (hmmm...need to clean those before I work again) and gave him the biggest hug ever. So I settled in to watch and wait. I did let him out into the fairly large paddock area, but he wasn't going out with his buddies anytime soon, no siree. I sat and talked to Linda while she worked in her garden, and about one hour after I got there he pooped. I was ecstatic! I ran down the paddock to make an inspection. Normal form, normal color. Shortly thereafter he peed. He was still quite distressed over his "jail time" and gave us QUITE a show of bucking and running around the paddock because he wanted to be with his buds. Whatever it was had to have passed because NO horse would play and run like that who felt even slightly under the weather! I took him a small amount of hay to see if he was interested. OH YES! He dove in with his usual gusto and enjoyed it thoroughly. He was not given grain at all that day, just in case. He got to go out into the pasture under close supervision late last evening for two hours.
So far, we have had no more issues, and I never saw any of it as it was actually happening. THANK GOD, honestly. I am so grateful to have a friend who will take care of him like he is her own. I have no idea if it was colic, (it was MILD if it was!)or if he got himself stuck upside down for a protracted period of time, and that did something, but I am thanking God that he is fine. NOTHING was changed food or treat wise, and the pasture is the same as always (cruddy, almost dead...RAIN, oh for some rain...)! I have heard that due to the worst drought and the highest temperatures since 1919 they are seeing a much higher incidence of colic here in South Texas.
I suppose I will never know.