In humans, it's cancer.
In horses, it's colic.
I texted my boss that I was going to be a couple hours late. Headed towards the barn. Completely ill-prepared for the 46 degree weather.
BM offered to pull Archie from the pasture since there was a giant puddle blocking the route. And, as I said, so completely ill-prepared. I could tell just as she walked him up that he wasn't feeling well. The other two geldings were grazing, walking around, and my boy just stood there, stock still and head not quite up and not quite down.
Walking him to the cross ties, I did the initial checks. Gum color, capillary refill time, abdominal guarding, skin turgor test. On all things, he looked okay. I went to get a temperature on him and found that my thermometer was completely dead. Derp. BM loaned me hers and I found that Archie had the slightest temperature at 101.5. BM showed me his feed bucket and when I held it up to him, he ignored it.
That is not my horse.
I called the vet a minute after they opened and requested that my vet come out. In the eight years that I've owned Archie, he has never missed a meal. The office called me back an hour and a half later and said that the vet was in a procedure another hour and a half away. They said that he would get to me, but not sure when. They advised giving banamine. I called work again and told them that I probably wouldn't be coming in. And then Archie laid down again, on the lead line. Cue minor breakdown.
I texted BM about the banamine and she met me and gave me some. I used to have it, but it expired and, since I never used it, I figured I never would. There's my adage, biting me in the butt: if you have it, you won't need it. If you need it, you won't have it. A quick IV injection (still have skills!) and more walking.
Vet got there at about 12:30. By this time, Archie was interested in grazing and finally had loud gut sounds, but he still hadn't had a bowel movement. Vet listened to about eight different places around his gut, took his temperature and checked his gums. He said Archie didn't appear that dehydrated and seemed like he was in good condition. I stressed that my horse had never missed a meal. Also, he's a pooper.
He gloved up and did a rectal exam. Archie had a lot of manure piled up, but it was dry. The vet asked if there was hay in the pasture, but it'd been pulled when the grass popped up. The reason he asked was because he said that the manure looked like winter manure. He said that he felt that the dry poop wasn't moving through the system like it should. So, he cleaned out all the poop and then sedated Archie. A quick nasal tube and two gallons of water later, I had a "fixed" horse.
|You're leaving me?|
|In the three hours that I was gone, he pooped and took a nap.|
|He did not mind at all.|
I'll also be adding electrolytes to his SmartPaks, which go out this Friday.
|When I came back from the grocery store, he had another present for me.|
Poop has never looked so good.
|Last photo before leaving the barn for the night.|