Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The vet comes to call

This morning we had a little excitement when I went to let Cairo and Bentley out to the pasture Bentley the 17-year-old Thoroughbred mare was laying down in her box stall and wouldn't get up. She looked tired and sweaty and was rolling in her stall. I put Cairo out fast and then ran to the house to call Donna. Bentley is our neighbor Donna's horse and she's keeping Cairo company as a stable mate. Donna came over and together we coaxed Bentley up and began to walk her in the barn's hallway. It is windy here today and she was sweating. Donna called the vet - a woman - who got here in 45 minutes from nearby North Branch. Ian brought a 5 gallon bucket of warm water so the vet could flush mineral oil and water through a tube in her hose into her gut to loosen things up. Bentley wasn't passing gas or pooping ... and we KNOW from cleaning her stall that she can poop .... so the vet said she had colic and also gave her two drugs via intravenous needle into her neck artery. The vet also performed a rectal exam that required her to wear a glove that went from fingertips to her shoulder. Bentley stood for all of it like a trooper. Bentley is a retired money-winning racehorse and has no doubt been through these types of exams before. I don't think I would have been so nice had I been the patient. Cairo was VERY concerned and in fact I brought him in while we waited for the vet to arrive. He was quiet and she wasn't so concerned about him neighing and running around outside like a nutball.

The vet said no grain for 24 hours and after trotting her for a good 20 minutes on a lunge line to "get things moving", she was to be kept inside. Cairo is in too and is being very solicitous.

Donna asked the vet to exam Bonnie, her chubby quarter horse mare too. Bonnie is 17 too and is next door in Donna's pasture along with a three-year-old Thoroughbred gelding named Beau. Like Bentley, Bonnie too got the long plastic glove treatment. Guess what? Bonnie is nine months pregnant. The gestation period for horses is 11 months and 10 days, so we could well have a foal in March. When Bonnie begins to have milk in her teats (it's called "bagging up") we will bring her to our barn and put her in our third box stall -- especially at night, because that's usually when horses give birth. We don't know what kind of stud Bonnie was bred to, so it will all be a lot of fun! Donna is a bit depressed, as she didn't realize that she had bought a pregnant mare last July and wasn't counting on more horses.

The vet will return to geld Cairo in the spring ... probably around the time Bonnie has her foal or maybe in early April.

Oh, and we're probably going to get a black labrador female dog this week. Her name is Lady and she's 2 years old. She's very sweet and likes to fetch and be petted. Luckily for Tiger Lady gets along with cats. I hope Tiger returns the courtesy. Lady belongs to Donna's daughter Katy, but there's no room for Lady in Katy's apartment anymore.

We will go to Minneapolis tomorrow afternoon with the moving truck and the Mazda. We will spend the night at the apartment and load the truck Thursday morning. Richard is coming to help. I will clean the place and then turn in the keys and return to the farm in the car. It will be nice to be here 24/7!

This afternoon, after all of the excitement this morning, I am scraping remnants of wallpaper from the bead board ceiling in the living room. It's kind of a pain, but it will be worth it when its all finished.

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