Wednesday, June 17, 2009


This sign hangs in my barn, visible to all. I got it as a joke with my students when I was instructing. I bought one for my farrier also, and he hung it in his blacksminth's trailer for all to see.
But I may need a little cheese, as I am about to whine, here.
Here on the east coast and southeast, recently, we have had extremely wet, damp, humid, stormy weather. Weeks and weeks of it. All over North Carolina and Virginia and other states, flooding has been terrible. It has prevented us from getting our hay up, and ruined several raked fields of it that hadn't neen baled up yet. It is simply impossible to cut the hay when we know it will not dry, and be a total loss. It is pretty bad, as hay is our main farm crop, and we are unable to supply our customers right now; let alone fill our own barn.
Yesterday, just bringing in a feeding the horses and feeding the chickens left me soaked through, my boots soggy, and my spirits very grumpy.
Several of the horses have one degree of rainrot or another, and thrush. I usually keep my horses turned out 24/7 in the summertime, and they have a turnout shelter - but do they use it? NO. The horses seem to be damp all the time, causing the fungus. I have to soak all my brushes in bleach water.
My QH filly, Millie, started with a nasty nasal discharge last week, and I have no clue why. She hasn't been off the farm in recent months, or had any changes in her life. I think it may be an allergy, causing the thick white mucus. She has no other symptoms, no fever, no loss of appitite, but it is still disturbing.
To make everything worse, the Thoroughbreds recently started dropping off in the wight department. It was as if I left one day, came back the next, and while my back was turned, somebody with a weight vacuum came by and sucked weight right off their bones.
My beautiful dapple grey OTTTB, Gunny, is just languishing. He seems downright depressed. I suspected he may be in pain, and last week, he started limping around. If I give him a dose of Bute he seems better. I have an appointment with our farrier tomorrow to have the boys shod, which I am hoping will do the trick for Gunny's limping around; IF he doesn't have an abcess, and IF it isn't something much worse. I decided to have the farrier check him out first and then notify the vet if it doesn't help.
On the days the sun does come out, it heats everything up, and everything is so muggy and damp, the bugs are horrible. My three mares are fine with some flyspray, a flymask, and hanging out in the shade in their creekside pasture; the Boys (OTTTBs) get eaten alive. One day last week, I brought in the guys, and Gunny was bloody from his throatlatch all the way down his front legs, covered in bumps, itchy, and miserable. The other two were in similar condition, and baths were in order. Poor Major was rolling in his stall while he waited for his turn in the wash area; up and down, up and down, he was so itchy. Baths cooled them, and made them feel a lot better. Now I won't leave them turned out during the hot day. I felt so awful about it.
I got some high fat Purina Feed, and some corn oil; I have been feeding them twice a day. Gunny's appitite seems to be in the dumps, and it takes him forever to finish his feed. Then, he hardly touches his hay during the day. Last Summer, when we got our first OTTTB Jett, he did this same thing - depressed, off his feed, sore and lame, eaten by bugs, and we did this same treatment; plenty of good feed, staying inside during the day, good hoof care and shoes, lots of nice baths and TLC, and within a few weeks, he was fine and dandy. I hope this will work with poor Gunny as well.
If he isn't better in a few days, I'm ringing up our vet. Our Vet and our farrier work together a lot, so I know if I call the vet today, he'll just ask me "What does David say?" and tell me to call him after the shoeing appointment tomorrow. I'm afraid he might have an abcess. Yuck. :(
If the feed we got and the corn oil don't put on the weight, I am going for the "big guns" with senior feed, and strategy pellets. Kevin doesn't like feeding beet pulp and I dislike feeding alfalfa, but we might have to try both.
We rinsed Gunny last night with a nice Vetrolin wash; which he really seemed to appriciate; and this morning, he actually nickered to me when I went in the feed room to fix his breakfy; so I think he knows we're trying to help him feel better.
When my horses feel bad, I feel bad; but I hope tomorrow, our farrier and I can figure out what is making him so miserable.
Now, if only it would finally quit raining.
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1 comment:

  1. Hosanna - We all hear you in the east! We feel your pain because we are in the same wet, soggy, buggy boat! There is nothing we can do but keep them comfortable.

    Good luck!