Monday, December 27, 2010

A visit from the vet

Because I had a busy fall and then got sick, I was running a little late on getting the vet out for fall shots.  He came out today, and as I'd expected we also had to have my horse's teeth floated.  They weren't terrible, but he did have some points and was starting to develop sores, so he couldn't have waited until spring.

One of my barn friends, Spaghetti's owner, shared the visit with me so that we could split the call fee.  She also had her horse's teeth done — he is a young BLM mustang, so his teeth had never been done.  He had a few sores, but not as many as you'd think.  The vet suspects Spaghetti had learned to chew extra carefully, which he said isn't necessarily a good thing.

I thought it was interesting to see how differently Spaghetti and Panama responded to the anesthesia.  My vet said last time he did Panama's teeth that more high-strung horses need more of the drug to knock them out.  Today Panama was pretty fired up, and he said that sometimes mood can have an impact on how well the anesthesia works.  Both horses got the standard amount, but Spaghetti's nose was practically touching the ground and his butt was wedged into the corner to hold him up.  Panama, on the other hand, only dropped his head about shoulder-height, and was standing on his own without feeling he needed to lean against the wall.  He started waking up a bit during the float, too, and was moving his tongue around and trying to chew a bit.  He still behaved very well, but I was amused at how much milder the effect was on him than on Spaghetti.

My vet also gives a general exam when he does fall shots.  He said he was actually quite impressed with how good Panama looks now.  We've been using this vet for two years, so he saw Panama when he was still kind of awkward-looking from being malnourished and stunted as a baby.  He said he looks great now, and that looking at him back then, he never would have thought he'd grow up to look so good.  I was proud to hear that, even though I know that my part in it is minor — all I've done is to feed him and exercise him, and while I know proper nutrition and muscle tone has helped, I'm really just very lucky.  Heaven knows I had no idea when we rescued him whether I'd ever be able to ride him or not; all I cared about was saving him.

I'll probably try to ride a bit tomorrow, providing Panama is feeling okay, of course.  I haven't ridden since Friday, and Panama was pretty fired up when I turned him out yesterday (alone) and today (with Spaghetti).  I'm hoping to go for a trail ride later in the week, but he does better on the trail when he is ridden every day, so that is my goal until Friday!



At December 27, 2010 at 4:17 PM, Blogger Sydney_bitless said...

See I can't wait until I go to Oklahoma because I want to learn about floating teeth. I usually get my horses done twice a year. Though I can't float other peoples horses here in Canada legally because you have to be a vet to do it. I can do my own, which is what counts.

At December 29, 2010 at 8:51 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

You are braver than I am! There are a few things I'd like to be able to do on my own (give shots, even maybe touch up his feet) but I wouldn't dare touch his teeth. I couldn't get the speculum into his mouth without anesthesia, and I would never trust myself to do my own anesthesia.

At December 31, 2010 at 6:49 PM, Anonymous Melody said...

I'm with you, Katharine! I could never do that. Would scare me too badly. Shots? Sure, I could handle that. But nothing else. I would feel too bad if something horrible happened, even if it wasn't my fault (worked in a vet clinic for a good while, and saw all kinds of things with anesthesia.)

At January 1, 2011 at 5:28 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Melody, the funny thing is that I am diabetic, so I give myself shots 4 or more times every single day -- but I'm still afraid to give Panama his. Part of it is that I think half the reason he tolerates the shot is because I'm holding him, and I can't devote my attention to that if I'm giving him the shot, too. But part is also that it freaks me out -- there is more to worry about with him than with me!


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