(Psst: The mustangs need our help, again today! Here is a link to a simple, cost-free way to help…)
Sometimes the simple things really make your day! I sure hope you don’t all already know these helpful hints… Hopefully at least one of these will make your day go swimmingly! (Ok, a bad pun relating to yesterday’s post…) ;)
As an aside, first I have to say that I’ve been besieged with weather today! As I sit here, clacking away on my tiny keyboard, I cannot help but notice the unusual tippytap sounds coming from my roof. But wait, I heard the shhhhshy sounds earlier. And, previous to that and ongoing currently, the whooosywhoooowho sounds. Huh? And sometimes I hear nothing but angels singing as the sun shines on the bent colored crescents. Am I living at Weather.com or am I in a Wes Craven movie? First intense wind, then intense rain, then intense wind and rain, then intense hail and now sun. The Gods must be crazy today. Actually, I’m waiting for the locusts. Or maybe they are already here in the form of frogs. We have so many frogs here it is unbelievable. I wish they stuck around all summer to eat the flies…
Anyway, onward to the simple tips:
A very wise and old style large animal vet once told me his “sure fire” way to avoid sand colic. Tapioca. Yup, he said to just get a box of tapioca puddin’ from the store and mix it into his grain. Works like a charm. Hmmmmm.
How, you ask? Yeah, I did too. OK, well the tapioca pearls get wet and gummy inside of the horse’s gut. So, as it flows through the intestinal track, it picks up the sand and takes the sand with it on its way out. If you use a full box per horse, it really does the job, so he says.
OK, well, since I have several horses, I went online and found bulk tapioca pearls. And, quarterly, I pour it on their supplements for a few feedings over several days. I like the idea of cleaning them out, so to speak. The horses don’t know the difference and eat it up.
I think it works! I’ve never had sand colic and never any residue of dirt or sand when they test the manure. That’s pretty good since there is a lot of sand in California. So, I highly recommend this cheapo way to keep your horse and his sand, moving!
COLIC PRESSURE POINT
I found this while searching for emergency equine acupressure points. I thought I’d pass it on. This is the kind of thing you wish you had tacked up in your barn when emergencies happen. So, maybe print this photo and nail it up to your stall door or something… I know I tend to forget the key stuff when I’m scared for my horses.
Here’s the drill. Its easy. All you do is lift the lip and push hard (within reason) on the gum line above and between the top two teeth. It is right under the middle of the nose.
I hope this helps. From the reviews I read, it seems to at least help settle the animal. Many equine body workers swear by it.
Ok, I saw this one already in this month’s HORSE AND RIDER magazine, so maybe you already know about it. I was glad to see it in print.
I’m going to say it again here because not all of you get HORSE AND RIDER. Anyway, it is a cheap and easy way to do a number of things around the barn.
1) If you put a half a cup in your large tank waterers, they won’t get as slimy and nasty between cleanings. Of course, the measurements depend upon the size of your buckets or troughs. I use a half of a cup in my smaller rubbermaid tubs. That would make me want to put a quarter cup or less in a bucket and a whole cup in a trough. Anyway, it cannot hurt them so give it a try.
2) The same old vet listed above with the tapioca idea told me that vinegar in bran or beet pulp would keep away flies. He also said it helps with arthritis. Well, since I already use garlic for flies and flying insects, I never tried it. But, since they suggested it again in the HORSE AND RIDER article, it might just work… I’ve also heard many folks say that the vinegar cures hot spots and creates a wonderful coat.
3) Vinegar can be used as an inexpensive rinse after shampooing your horse. It really cuts the soap out of the coat but still leaves the hair shiny. And, I hear it also helps white tails from staining.
KEEP CRITTERS OUT OF WATER TROUGHS
You probably all know to either add a piece of pure tree limb (no pressure treated wood or painted wood) to your tank that sticks out of the water, or cinder blocks or rocks so that small animals can climb out. I also saw this handy item if you have larger troughs or a pool. I did once have an unfortunate accident in my pool so I think this device called the Scamper Ramp is a lifesaver. That is an actual possum exiting the pool.
Many of you may have read the posts A Disease so Rare there was no name… and my Horse had it and The Hardest Fix of All… Both of those posts were about my wonderful gelding, Aladdin, who passed away earlier this month.
We now know how he died. He had a rare form of brain and central nervous system lymphoma. However, we don’t know if it was related to his extreme illness last year. We will never know.
Luckily, it wasn’t painful, they don’t believe. And, he didn’t seem as if he was in pain. Basically, he felt unsteady like had vertigo, but he wasn’t depressed or ouchy. I know he was annoyed… What is interesting is the medicine we had him taking for his previous bout of acute neuritis of his muscles is also the medicine you administer for lymphoma of the brain. One can also opt for chemo and radiation if you catch it in time. Unfortunately, when Aladdin had his spinal tap last year during his illness, this didn’t show up. Sometimes it doesn’t. Or, he didn’t have it then. Again, something we will never know.
Ultimately and ironically, the Prednisolone that he was taking for the neuritis was helping with the cancer. But, as I backed him off of it, the cancer took hold. (This photo is of Aladdin peeking into the feed room as I mixed up his medicine.)
I really doubt that this cancer is as rare as they say. I actually think necropsies are rare. My vet and I were surmising that most animals that behave neurologically and that don’t respond to the usual meds are humanely euth’d for very good reason. I can attest that it was quite scary to have a 1000 pound animal unsure of his footing while around me. So, I can imagine how owners decide to put these horses down before anyone gets hurt in the barn. It is written off as “one of those things”. He got sick and died. Totally understandable, especially with an older horse.
But, for me, I had to know what happened to my boy. I had to know if this related to the neuritis that almost killed him last year. I just wanted to know if he had been suffering. Now I know. He didn’t suffer pain, just his pride.
So, if you ever have the chance to help equine science, please cajole or work a necropsy into the equation with your vet or nearby equine hospital. Everyone learned here. And, that made his passing easier. He helped his Mama understand and he helped his fellow equines who might suffer this in the future. Atta Boy, Aladdin.