For the last week, I’ve been writing about Giardia, Salmonella and Equine MSRA… it was as if I was having a premonition or something…
Because last night – on a Friday night, of course – Slick started runny, wetter than wet diarrhea while I was feeding.
Me: “What in the heck was that?!”
Slick: “Sorry. I can’t help it.”
Me: “Are you OK?!”
Slick: “I don’t know. I feel OK…”
Me: “Why did you wait until Friday night to tell me?”
Slick: “The vet told me that if I got sick on the weekend, he’d palm me an apple!”
Well, it wasn’t really like that as I’m sure my vet would never make a deal with Slick, but it does seem to me that my horses get sick on Friday nights…
Anyway, even though Slick looked OK and seemed OK, I was very worried since I had just learned all about Giardia, MSRA and Salmonella in equines!
Would he colic?
Would this spread?
I looked at his back end and saw the manure all over his back legs. This must have started sometime earlier today. Sigh.
So, of course, I called the vet.
I CALLED THE VET
I’m such a worrier when my horses get sick because they rarely get sick… and when they have become ill, it has been bad. So, I tend to become very fretful. I have to keep my emotions in check.
“Did you tell my horses that if they got sick over the weekend you’d give them an apple?”
Vet (long pause): What?
“Aw nevermind… it just seems that my horses always get sick at night or on the weekends.”
Vet: “That’s what everybody says… What’s up?”
“Well, I’ve been reading up on Giardia, MRSA and Salmonella and…”
WHAT COULD THIS BE?…
I explained to my vet that Slick appeared absolutely fine except for the diarrhea. He had no temperature, he was eating and drinking, he didn’t seem colicky, he appeared normal acting – the only difference is that lately he seemed to have lost weight – but I attributed that into my changing hay…
The vet said that he would happily come out. However, if Slick had a bad bug like Giardia, MRSA or Salmonella, he would be very ‘off’.
“He wouldn’t be eating… he would look ill, act ill and you would know.”
With no temp, normal eating/drinking and normal behavior – but loss of weight – the vet thought it was sand or dirt in his gut.
Now, Slick has been in the same pasture for a very long time and never had sand or dirt in his gut… But, I was willing to suspend disbelief and treat him for that until Monday rolled around.
You see, the vet said that there were no labs to run the blood or stool samples so if he came out, he would only guess at this point. The vet figured he may as well tell me over the phone what to do – and then come by on Monday… as long as Slick’s symptoms did not worsen.
OK. What do I do?
VET’S INPUT ON WHAT TO DO UNTIL MONDAY ROLLED AROUND…
As long as his symptoms didn’t get worse, the best things to do were:
1) Serve him really, really wet and gloppy beet pulp (soaked pellets). My vet felt that wet beet pulp clears the gut equally as well as any product designed for this.
2) Fill a syringe with yogurt and 2 oz of Pepto Bismal. (Slick weighs 250lbs) This will ease his stomach lining and put some good bugs back in quickly. (I also have other supplements for that….)
Poor Guy. He will hate me when I do this to him.
3) Do the ‘sand-poop thing’. Take a baggie, invert it, pick up some poop, revert it, fill the bag with some water and hang it diagonally so the sand falls to the bottom of the bag. In this way, you can see the sand and know the culprit.
Or, if the manure is too runny, put on a glove and feel the sand in the manure as you rub it between your fingers.
4) What my old tyme vet said to do was feed the pony tapioca pudding for a week straight – morning and night. The tapioca pearls will adhere to the sand and drag it out.
NOW I WAIT…
I’m watching Slick as if he was an egg.
I’ll keep you posted.
Monday can not come around quick enough…
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