Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mira's Melodrama: Life & Death Adventures of The Spoiled One

As promised, here is a photo of Mira eating from a lawn chair. :-) This was requested as a funny "look how (not) spooky the Arab is!" example. I think I'd better get some pictures of Andolu following the plastic and paper feed carrying bags around, too. I'm afraid he would puzzle a lot of Natural Horsemanship trainers - they wouldn't be able to sack him out with it!

I am glad to have had a chance to take this picture. This week was definitely a scary whirlwind, and at one point I was afraid I might never be able to get this photo.


On Monday, for the first time ever, Mira colicked. Colic in horses is by far their biggest killer, and there are many kinds of colic (stomach pain) caused by many different things. Colic is a life-threatening emergency, whereas the eye injury is not. In her case, the factors that could have contributed to colic include the weather FINALLY changing to sunny, (any dramatic weather change can trigger it) chronic low-level pain from the eye, the fact that I couldn't get her to drink enough for several days before, (no matter how much liquid I put in her wet food - she kept spilling the extra), a recent new hay purchase, and probably sleep deprivation from all the storms and hail. No matter what caused it, when I got home from work she was lying down in the sun.

At first I thought she was sleeping, but she didn't get up when I got her food ready. I went over and tried to get her up, but she kept looking at me and then drooping her head down again, in a very lethargic way. I started to really freak out. Right away I knew this was very bad.

I called the vet, and he came out about 45 minutes later and tubed her (inserting a nasogastric tube and flushing water and DSS, a lubricant, into her stomach) and gave her some Banamine to help with pain.

Unfortunately, her colic did not resolve with that one treatment. Over the next four days we had a rollercoaster ride trying to get her insides moving again, get her interested in eating again, and keep her from getting dehydrated. This is probably the most scared I've ever been about her. She never did sweat or roll from pain, or even look around at her sides, but you could tell she felt totally lousy.

Meanwhile, she started opening her eye and using it to look around a lot. It was MUCH less painful, and the vet said he was very happy with it. Since it was responding this quickly to the new meds, it's possible she didn't have a fungal infection after all; she might just have needed the stronger antibiotics to be able to absorb them. She doesn't even have as much blue ulcer area covering the eye as we were expecting - you can see quite a bit of brown iris! She was so sick though that that just made me feel worse, almost. I didn't want to win the battle but lose the war...

She was eating some grass and some alfalfa, but I could not get her to eat her wet food, which both horses usually think is the best stuff ever. I also kept squirting the inside of her mouth with a syringe which had warm water and molasses in it to try to remind her to take a drink! Finally, on Thursday after another tubing she started eating even her wet food, the gut seems to be working again, and she is drinking normal amounts! She is still restricted to small amounts of food for several days, until we can be sure things are working like they should, but I am SOO relieved. Hallelujah! Phew...



Now, I just need to get her cleaned up. No time lately for proper grooming for the dahlings, but at least I was able to brush them both thoroughly today. Compared to the photo from last post, she has definitely lost weight. I'm glad she had a little extra on as reserves during her illness... Here is Anatolian today... He's such a good boy, and he is getting rretty frisky. VERY athletic when he gets in the zooming mode!




















L

7 comments:

N said...

phew.

On The Bit said...

That is such a traumatic post! I think my bad horse luck is spilling over. At least she seems to be okay for now. I think you should just blame the weather change for this one. Keep us all updated as to her progress. I am glad the eye looks better at least. Hopefully she will feel better soon. By now poor Anatolian must be plotting all the ways that he can hurt himself to get some more attention. Seriously thouh I am glad that Mira is okay and I can't wait to hear how much better she gets over the next week.

Rising Rainbow said...

Have you thought about giving her extra salt when you're having problems getting her to drink? Some people will sprinkle it over their food but I like to just put regular table salt into a big dose syringe with water and squirt it into the mouth. Usually that will do the trick getting a horse to drink.

I'm glad that she is feeling better. Colic is such a scary thing. Also glad the eye is looking better.

Rising Rainbow said...

Forgot to say thanks for the pic of Mira eating out of the plastic chair. lol

"DJ" said...

I'm so glad Mira's eye is getting better. PTL! What a time you've been having lately. Colic was the last thing you and Mira needed, but your alertness paid off. I'm sure Mira really liked laying in the soothing sun even though she had a belly ache! Thanks for the updates. I've been thinking about you guys.

photogchic said...

Oh my gosh---You're right when you say "rollercoaster." So frightening...I am so happy she is recovering and looks playful in your posted picture. Oh Mira....cut your mom a break:-)

L said...

N - Hi!

OTB - I hope bad luck isn't catching :-) Andolu, however, has been strictly warned NOT to do anything to himself for AT LEAST a year!

MiKael - Thanks & you're welcome :-D

DJ - Yes, she does like the sun, now that we finally have some!

Julie - I hope Mira obeys you...