Saturday, May 17, 2008

We Beat the Heat (Almost)

My Boy was much better this morning. I contacted the on-call vet anyway. It was a different vet than the one I talked to last time. She was great. She listened to my lengthy and anxious explanation of my horse's first episode, and this latest episode. And when I was done, her conclusion was that the fly mask was possibly contributing to his irritation, since both times he had the fly mask on when this happened, only to improve after it was removed. I inspected my fly mask this morning for anything that could be rubbing or irritating my horse's head, but it appeared to be fine. The vet gave me some eye symptoms to look out for, such as squinting, blinking, tearing at the eye, a red eye, and bluish clouding.
We decided that in two weeks when the vet is back out to finish My Boy's strangles booster, we would then also scope his eye. Pending any further episodes. My concern with ERU is that if a horse has this condition, he needs to start treatment right away to prevent permanent damage to the eye. I am not fully convinced that the eye mask alone was causing this kind of response in my horse. However, tonight after his dinner, there were little gnats flying all around his ears and causing him to be very annoyed. He stuck his head in the shed again, probably for relief. However, he did not show the more extreme reaction he did last night. So who knows. Back to the drawing board. I will continue to look for patterns in his behavior. The temperature was already hovering in the upper 70's when we fed at 9:00 this morning. Sadie Dog had to steal a carrot (intended for the horses) from my sister. "My dog" Bailey walked by and she gave him the look.
My sister and I went back out to spray the horses down with fly spray and give them their masks and sheets (My Boy does not have a fly sheet yet.) None of the eye symptoms were apparent on My Boy. For now, we will keep the fly mask off and see if we can avoid another episode. I am going to get a different style of fly mask. I am not convinced it was just the fly mask, although it is awfully coincidental. Rowdy is trying to get in on the fly spray action.
The goats were hot. They stayed in the shade of their shed. I like these goats, Walter and Edgar. They were my sister's first two goats. They were rescue goats and very emaciated when they brought them home. But really, I like them the best because they have no horns.
Well, actually, Edgar has a little nubbin. He lost his other little curly horn during some sparring last summer. It's hanging on My Boy's fence right now.
Last year Brandy's eye swelled up due to fly irritation. So she does not go without a fly mask. Fritzy looks glamorous in hers. Always looking for some attention and a handout....that's Fritzy. After the horses were armed with their fly protection, we decided to take the dogs to the river for a cool down. My sister and her boyfriend have private access to the river, so it was a short truck trip down the road. Are we there yet?
Oops. What were we thinking? It may have felt like August outside today, but it is really May. This was evident by the murky rushing river overflowing from snow melt and two recent days of steady rain. There is usually a rocky and sandy beach we can walk on to access the water.
We heard that the high temps had rivers rising everywhere, causing many to be closed to recreational pursuits.
Sadie is an Australian Shepherd. This breed is not usually known for their water prowess. But this dog will lay in puddles. And sit in the creek. And swim in the pond. She's contemplating negotiating the river.
But she opts out. It is a little too fast for her liking. A nap in the shade of the trees is more appealing! It was beautiful. Everything was so green. The mountain was in the background. I just call it the mountain because it is not a well-known mountain and I don't remember the name. On the way back to the house, it was fun to sit in the back of the truck with the (wet) dogs.
The breeze blowing through our hair. Or fur. If you should happen to be a canine like Bailey. We even said howdy to the neighbor's horses as we drove by. Magic the black Percheron, and her 30 year old Arabian pasture buddy. Our horses were sticky with sweat, just from standing in the heat all day. By the late afternoon, high clouds rolled in on the breeze and cooled it down. Tomorrow it will be about 20 degrees cooler. If My Boy is still back to normal, we plan to haul to the trails for a ride. Hey, whatcha eating in there? Can you share some of that with me?

Before feeding time tonight, my sister decided to turn her mares and goats out to graze on the grass that has grown up in the small center pasture. Well, it is not really a pasture. It is a truck pass to the arena, but they gated both ends so it can serve as a "spare" turnout. Well, My Boy turned into a stallion protecting his mares and a wild wild west show ensued. I have great videos of the whole thing and will upload and share them with you tomorrow.....We BBQ'd steaks and dined alfresco tonight. The house is too warm to be inside. Now we are sitting on the deck, watching the horses finish their dinner, listening to the cacophony of frogs (perhaps Frog and Frogette?) and watching the moon rise. So quiet. So peaceful. Well, until my sister starts yelling at her dogs as they run off into the yard barking at something. Ah well....


  1. I enjoyed reading your bog post very much. I felt like I was spending the day with you as you went through all of your rountines and experiences.
    The goats and horses and dogs were so much fun to read about. Wow! On that full flowing river, too.
    Nothing like a river that you can't even cool off in, eh?

    Thanks for the wonderful view into your daily life.
    And I can't wait to see the video!

  2. I have started using fly predators, so far, so good! I have the same fly masks, but every time I put them on, in no time, the girls have the eye portion squished and it makes me nervous, worried about them injuring an eye, think I might try won of those crochet hat things with fly stuff on them instead.

  3. I too enjoyed reading your post. Sounds like yall had a wonderful evening.

  4. Your boy seems to be doing better, hope he stays like that. We use the Crusader fly masks with the ears, and have never had a problem with the horses eyes. Love your dogs. We have three Aussies ourselves, Molly, Maggie & Murphy. I'd never get the two younger ones in the river, they won't even go out in the rain. Anyway, stop by and pick up an award when you get the chance.

  5. Been enjoying reading your last few posts! Your horse is beautiful, I love appy's, have one myself. Used to have just appy's but now have several breeds. I worry about the fly masks, I'm always afraid they are irritating my guys eyes. I like the knit kind with the fringe but they can rub those off very easily. I leave the barn open so they can go in if it gets real buggy. They go in and pee in each others stalls! Naughty boys!!!

  6. I love the goats! They are so funny! My little Joe is not affraid of any on the horses. He ate grain right out of our stud's feed bucket and didn't even flinch when the stud pinned his ears and pretened to kick and get all sorts of mad. Poor little Joe, he has no clue. I love all your pictures!
    I bet the fly mask isnt' really bother him all that much. Maybe it's the type of fly spray? The chemicals and then mixed with hot and humid. Who knows! I hope he gets better.
    It looks like the handsome dogs loved the truck ride. I bet it was nice to get cooled off!


I love hearing from my readers!! I truly enjoy all of your feedback, advice, helpful tips, and stories. You all make me laugh and I learn so much from you, too. I will try to post replies to your comments as often as I can.

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