Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Big Day is Over!

The day before "the big day" (I'm referring to vaccinations and teeth float, no weddings around here!) I worked My Boy out in the arena. It was so warm that I was in a t-shirt and he worked up a sweet smelling sweat.

I am trying to convince him here, actually, I am BEGGING him, to be good tomorrow for his big day with the vet. I promised him all of the cookies and carrots in the world if he just cooperated.

Look at his sarcoid! It looks weird, but much better. The original bump and scab is gone. It has these interesting little veins fingering out from it now though, I wonder what the vet will say about those?

The big day is here! After arranging goats in a separate corral so that we have access to Paint Girl's mares big barn, we are set.

After Paint Girl's mares got their shots (lucky girlies, no teeth filing for them this year!) My Boy was brought into the barn.

Where am I? What's the fuss?

The vet and I decided to go straight for the twitch, since he is so difficult to get a needle near. And so begins the rodeo.

The good thing about the big barn is that we could back him into a corner. He nearly squatted on his haunches. He tossed his head. He evaded us until he couldn't stand the pressure then would burst forward and spin around. Wow, he's got a good spin on him, the vet declared.

Um, yea, I think all those years of reining were really working in his favor.

We tried the chain. We tried everything. We'd been down this road before. Then we decided to just calm him down and forget getting the twitch on, and go for the needle in the vein. You see, he had no anxiety about her tapping the injection site as we had him too worried about being twitched. We rubbed him and got him calmed down, then I used my gloved hand to form a sort blinder next to his left eye, and in went the needle. He started backing up but she was able to get him a good dose of the sedative. She gave him the strong stuff. The one for the difficult horses. Yea, my spotted pill is officially on that list.

Oh, Nellie! Within seconds, my horse began to get lethargic. It was strange to see him that way. He was so drugged but OH, he's a fighter! He still tried to resist the rest of shots. However, the vet got them done. When the sedative got to his brain and we racked him up in the dentistry gear, which is a halter sling of sorts.

He was perfect for the teeth floating. He hadn't had them done in at least three years (I've owned him for one year.) They weren't bad but did have some sharp points so I am glad I had it done for him.

Mercy, look at the size of that electric file!

One last squirt, the strangles vaccination up the nostril, and he was done. I'm just thankful I don't have to go through this more than once a year! I think it was as stressful for me as it was for him. That adrenaline gets going in both of us, which I'm sure does not help.

The vet was pleased with the way his sarcoid had healed. She said there was even some hair follicles and hair growing back on the original bump site, which I hadn't noticed. However, like me, she was concerned about those fingered blood vessels creeping down. She had me put some more Xxterra on it before I put him away, and told me to do this for 3 days.

I led my very slow and loopy spotted boy back into his own shed to relax until the rest of the sedative wore off.
He stood in a dozed stupor for about 45 minutes. Poor boy, he looked so sad all drugged up. I asked my sister, do you think horses know what is happening to them during sedation, but can't do anything about it? Or do they remember everything that happened once they came out of it? What do you think?

Then he wandered out and began to nibble on the itty bitty green grass shoots popping up around his pasture. All is well that ends well when my horse is trying to eat. Here he is back to normal, enjoying his dinner later that evening.

Oh, and guess what? Four hours after I applied the Xxterra to the sarcoid, this is what I saw at feeding time (warning: gross picture ahead. I figured it could be educational for those of you that have yet to experience 'the wonderful world of sarcoids.' )

Yep, can you believe how fast that stuff is working this time? It's already oozing! Obviously those fingers were "abnormal flesh" and needed to be treated (the Xxterra only works on abnormal flesh.) Hopefully a few more days and we'll shut down this sarcoid for good! But who knows, maybe it's a fighter like it's spotted host..... I'm just thankful those fingers are creeping down, not up towards his eye.

It was a stressful morning, but it sure feels good to have the horses vaccinated for the coming year.

The only complaint I got from My Boy was that he didn't get to pick a toy out of the treasure chest afterward!


  1. That is so great!! I'm glad you got through his big day with no catastrophes!!! I wish we had your warm weather LOL!!! His sarcoid is looking better!!

  2. There, done and over with... i think that My Boy will remember the part while he was under sedation as a less stressful ordeal, because that is the way it happened. Not knowing what made it easy, he only knows that there was no "rodeo" and nothing to fight over. He sure looks good - nice and healthy; good body weight; nice shine to his coat. He's got good care.

  3. Wow! A big day for PG and the pill! It is always scarey when they have things done. I have been with the Dustbuster everytime except the last and I worried all day. Glad to hear things went fairly smooth and hopefully you can get rid of that sarcoid for good!!!

  4. I feel fortunate. None of my horses have to be sedated for anything.

    Have you ever tried the hand twitch? Just grabbing and pinching the upper lip with your hand rather than a twitch?
    At first my pony needed to be twitched and he would wig out over stupid stuff. He would wig out over the twitch too. It was more of a hassle to twitch him than it was worth so I just started grabbin his lip. Same effect you just gotta get a good enough grip.

  5. I'm glad it all went okay.
    I had a horse that had to be tubewormed by the vet (barn policy). He fought and fought until he was bleeding from the nose. He was in a stockade for this too. The vet had to come back the next day so we tried again. I suggested inserting the tube up his other nostril. He was an angel and we didn't have any problems at all worming him. It turns out that his nostrils and windpipes were different sizes and he couldn't breathe when the tube went in so he'd panic.

  6. Yeah, I couldn't believe how fast the XXtera took this time! It was so strange.
    Another vet day, check that off til next year! (hopefully)!

  7. Phew! Done and over! I hate when they sedate my horses. I feel so bad when they are all loopy. Glad everything went well even though he started off a pill!

  8. My horses are good with shots and everything but need to be sedated for the teeth float. Last time, the vet gave one of my horses too much sedative and he almost fell over. I always feel bad about the sedation and the head gear thing but the horses seem to get over it.

  9. I think the thing to remember is that horses don't view time like we do , Its hapening and ... its over . they don't anticipate and attach emotional stuff to things , so what happened under sedation is of no consequence to him . He seems to fear needles or just not like them and has developed a behavior pattern to associate with them (see the twitch,tense up , resist, panic) by changing things up today you may also have begun to break his pattern. The sarcoid is certainly changing fast this time!

  10. So glad his wound is healing and that he is got his vaccinations all right. Our girls are pretty good with needles, but Arwen has been losing her patience after all the long treatment involved around her equine piroplasmosis state. Hmmm - it makes me wonder what it will be like to have the fillies vaccinated for the first time. How does one prepare for such a thing???

    Big kiss to the Boy from the Girls in West Africa,

  11. Wow! I don't know where to start! Glad the sarcoid is getting better -- hopefully it will be gone soon. My horse (Divna) used to be so nervous about needles. She was almost impossible to vaccinate and even de-worm (we never sedated her for this process). But when she had her eye problem and had numerous visits to Purdue and 3 surgeries, she started to calm down about all of that kind of thing. Then when she lost her eye I just started giving her the vaccines on her blind side and now I don't have any problem. It is probably a good idea for you to cover his eye on the side where the injections are being given. I can fully understand about having to get the goats under control before you can do anything with the horses (goats make EVERYTHING difficult! But I love mine anyway!), and I can also understand about how the trauma over the twitch is sometimes worse than the injections. I don't even try to twitch Divna anymore. But your teeth floating process was fascinating to me -- our vet does not do it like that at all. Probably because he has an assistant who travels with him. They just sedate the horse, the assistant holds the horses head on her shoulder, and the vet files away using hand files (no fancy electric one). And yes, I feel sorry for mine too when they are all buzzed up like that -- they do look pitiful when they are trying to come out of it! And yes, thank God it does not have to be done more often!

  12. {Sydney}~ My sister's boyfriend used to hand twitch My Boy so that we could get him paste wormed. It'd take him a minute to get a hold of that upper lip, but he is big and strong and once he had it, didn't let go. At 5'3" and 105 lbs, I'm not so equipped to deal with my 15.2 hh horse. I sure wish I could, because I do think it would work!

    {Fern Valley}~ I think you are right, horses don't attach emotions to the events like we do. Today my horse showed no residual animosity...in fact, he even let me catch him for grooming and more sarcoid meds! It was like yesterday never happened.

    {Regina}~ My vet did use regular files, too. I think she'll use a head "stand" for support if an owner doesn't have the "o" ring above on a barn beam. Paint Girl installed the "o" ring specifically for the head sling rope to hook up to. It did look mighty uncomfortable. My Boy might be sore from his filing today, but I'm sore from holding and fighting him for the shots! My arms are aching! :)

  13. I am lucky all of mine dont even flinch when they get their shots. When we had Easys teeth checked last summer the vet didnt even sedate her for it, she is such a good girl! The other two I would sedate, they wouldnt take it I know. Worming is easy with Easy LOL, the other two take about 15 min to convince, then I can give it to them, silly girls! When I gave Easy her strangles, because it was required by WAHSET grrr. I wiggled the tube in her nose and she didnt even move, she is so funny, but at 24 she has been there done that! LOL
    I knew someone that had a mare that they had to crosstie and blindfold to give shots to, they built special crossties out in the field for her. I cant imagin having to do that just for shots!

  14. Poor My Boy, he really got a workout, didn't he??!! He looked so pathetic all loopy and drugged out, silly by. ;o)
    Glad the sarcoid is responding so quickly this time around. Wow!!
    Busy horse day for you. Glad it's all done for another year!! :o)

  15. Yes, that's never a fun day, but well worth it. Do you have to vaccinate against West Nile Virus there? I noted there are a few cases now in Eastern Ore. I've seen ir run through my little village in NM and kill five horses, including one that lived right over the fence from my horses. (It was new to the family and hadn't been vaccinated when the others had...a bad oversight.) Lost an Appy mare that day....oh, sigh, we all have stories, don't we?

  16. {Reddunappy}~ My vet considered blindfolding this time, but we tried that last year and it didn't work. I think when he feels the needle going in, he freaks. I mean, it must hurt him, I don't know? He has really sensitive skin, more so than the average horse, everything tickles and irritates him. Then again, my sister's mare just stands there and could care less.

    {Julie}~ Yes we did West Nile, as well as strangles. We are traveling with our horses this summer and boarding them where other horses have been, so it just makes sense. I'd rather err on the side of caution!

  17. The powerfloat system makes the job of floating teeth quicker and easier for the vets and the horses. Since the carbide blade rotates so fast there is less "pull" or jerk on the horses' teeth. Makes the job much quicker too. So glad that My Boy's dental and vaccines are finished for another year. I'm also happy to hear that so many other people think it's sad to see the horses drugged as well. I've always thought that, and my boss thinks I'm crazy. He's just so used to it, I guess that it no longer phases him.

  18. Whew, I think I was sighing a big sigh of relief when I got to the end of your post! Glad to hear My Boy is doing well. I also HATE vaccination day because I get so worried about the horses...can't wait until ours is over, too!

  19. That reminds me.....I need to get to the vet's for my babies shots this weekend. I always give them myself. Does anyone else do that? I never even considered having a vet do it.

  20. Wow you both had a stressful day! I am glad it's over for both of you and you don't have to worry about it for awhile.

  21. Wow, that stuff you put on the sarcoid is interesting. And amazing. Hoping for a full recovery for your spotted butt boy on that one.

    I always feel sorry for my horse when he's been drugged. When he got his teeth floated a couple of weeks ago, his best buddy took advantage and bit my boy but good. Payback and all... Ah well!

  22. Re: Trailboss- if I called the vet to worm or give shots to everything that I worm or give shots to- I'd be so broke. I call a vet only in extreme cases. I'm about to learn to stitch one up too. So only in cases health papers, blood tests, coggins or lameness will a vet be a necessity. I have good relationships with several vets in the country and get whatever drugs I need on a regular basis. Have an open scrip for injectable banamine and bute, lol.

    PG- I'm glad it went well for you. Funny how different horse's teeth wear different. I try to have my horses that I'm competing on done at least once/year. Gump has to be done every six months because he is missing a tooth.

    I think his sarcoid is looking good. Hopefully it won't scar too bad. Do you keep him in a fly mask in the summer?

  23. PG- did you give a 6 way too? or just WN and Strangles? And did you know that Strangles is like chicken pox? I don't know how old your boy is, but I don't vaccinate against it for horses over age 6.

  24. {SD Cowgirl}~ Last month, my aunt brought up the Strangles not having to be administered every year and something about antibodies in the blood, and I completely spaced about asking the vet about it! I don't understand why she would give it two years in a row if it wasn't necessary? Something to check into, for sure. I think we did the 5-way. My sister gave her mare vaccinations herself the first year, but says she'd rather pay the vet. Her hand shook too much, she hates needles! ;)
    In regard to the fly mask, funny you should ask! Both times my horse wore a fly mask last year, he developed a strange headshaking behavior, almost a frantic tic. Once the fly mask was off, the headshaking improved and was gone in a day. I posted about this last spring, here is a link: http://ponygirlridesagain.blogspot.com/2008/05/allergic-headshaking-reaction-in-my-boy.html We couldn't pinpoint it to anything, other than a flymask I'd put on him. I had the vet out to check his eyes. I even checked the mask for something on it that might be irritating, to no avail. I was thinking of trying a different style, but quite frankly I'm afraid to put one on him again after watching him go through that! :)

  25. I only asked about the fly-mask, since it would help him not get skin cancer around his eyes. Though he's not got a lot of pink skin around there. Interesting that he exhibited that behavior. I've never seen one do that. Mine are quite the opposite! Can I have my fly mask and sheet now, please? lol. Horses are so funny. I wouldn't worry about doing strangles on him again. I might give him a 6 way. I am not sure where you keep him- is it a private barn?

  26. {SD}~ He's at a private farm- my sister's! Luckily, he WILL wear a fly sheet! :) I had another theory about the fly mask this past summer. He has a long eyelash that curls in towards his eye. I thought that perhaps this rouge eyelash that was being pushed into his eye by the fly mask, causing a tickle/irritation and headshaking. I now keep it trimmed so this doesn't happen. So maybe I should try the fly mask again.

  27. Gosh, no wonder you are sore. What an ordeal. I suppose I should count myself lucky with how calm Bay Doll is for vax, worming and floating. She is such a good girl and never even puts up a fight for any of it.

    Now if only she didn't spook sideways. :P

    That sarcoid stuff is just crazy. I appreciate you explaining everything and including photos. I hope this treatment does the job and My Boy is through with it. :(


  28. What is a twitch? I've never heard of that before. Glad the "big day" is over for you!

  29. Hi there,
    My three year old just got his teeth floated too last week and he was fine. Same procedure only with a head stand instead but the vet has a sturdy man to help hold it too! LOL! So glad your boy let the needle go in without the twitch. They remember a lot of negative experiences but you're right, they're very forgiving. Some, however, I've heard (we don't have any that fight us)remember the vet and will not relent bad behavior when he visits. That's really hard so, therefore, drugs must be administered. Glad it all went well and he's set for a while. Ours is going to the trainers to get broke so we wanted to make sure everything physically was good before....otherwise it sets them up for behavioral problems later! Have a good day!

  30. Great pictures. The teeth floating is so good for them in the long run--mine are always sedated, too. They do real good with it if the vet comes to the house, but if they go to the vet, they're on high alert. That sarcoid is CRAZY!! I'd never heard of one until this--so I'm getting an education.

  31. I'm soooo glad to hear that My Boy is doing so well.

    I sure wish I had some of that Xxterra when I was a teenager suffering with zits!

    Garlic Man

  32. {Garlic Man}~ I joked with my Dr. about trying them on those....she said NO, NO, DON'T! Geesh, I was joking. They did compare the Xxterra to a product called Alderra, which I think is used to treat some forms of skin cancer.

  33. my oh my...I'm so happy that's over and done with for you and your spotted boy! I've got appointments next week for dentals for the herd...what a day that will be. I am NOT looking forward to it ;) Give the cute boy a special squish from me please! Congrats!!!

  34. I wish there was someone at my doctor's office who would make encounters with needles more pleasant for ME! I really empathize with the horse.

  35. Wow!
    I'm so glad Stewy is so good for the vet. While I've owned him, he's never had his teeth done, so I'm not sure how he is for that. J
    Your boy is sooooooooo cute! Give him a big smooch on the nose for me!


  36. Funny that your boy is on THAT list. I'm sure he's in good company. It can't be fun or relaxing having all that done.

    The teeth floating pictures are too funny.

  37. Glad to see all is well that ends well! We have a few that put up quite a stink for the vet as well! And one with a strong dislike for male farriers..... So happy his sarcoid is healing up! Hopefully those nasty fingers dissapear quickly as well!

  38. Wow...Pony Girl, you have been busy this past sunny PNW weekend! Glad everything got done...however you did not mention..."the sheeth"!!! Jesse also had his spring shots last week, I was out of town, but Jesse is so good that they don't need me for anything. However, to clean his sheeth...they have to give him a dose of the "good stuff". Jesse is a cheap drunk, I aways have to remind the Doc of that. The Boy cleaned his sheeth and Jesse had 2 beans. Teeth were ok...he had them done in October. So...who does clean "your boys" sheeth???
    Also the titer (blood test) for the strangles vaccine should be back this week and we will know if he needs a shot this year!

  39. LOL first let me say your interview was great and glad your sis took "the plunge!".
    I just recently had my horses teeth floated, it was both of our first time! Interesting....twitch...no go, reverse physcology...useless...finally sedative...the kind for the big-unwillful boys! And an extra half a dose before he began to work...even then he fought...found out he really isnt a dead head and he is quite a bit younger than we thought!
    Great post and glad to catch up!

  40. I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.



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