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Showing posts from April, 2012

In which worrying is discussed, and also manure (with pictures)

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Fiddle continues to do well on day three post-surgery.  

Her appetite is good, she seems bright and cheerful--well, as cheerful as Dragons get.  She isn't exactly "Oh what a beautiful mornin'" but at least she isn't "Marvin the Paranoid Android" either.  Her temperature remains normal.  The problem isn't her.  It's me.
Last night was a fretful one for me.  I couldn't help thinking that Fiddle's gut sounds were pretty quiet...and there just wasn't much manure happening.  
This is where I run into difficulty on this blog sometimes:  I was raised by nice people.  Polite people.  City people.  
People who don't talk much about poop. I'm sure that the people with whom I spent my formative years spent more time than they ever wanted dealing with poop (actual and metaphoric poop, to be specific).  But,  in my experience, these nice polite city people don't talk much about poop.  
And, as far as I know, they almost never write about p…

In which Fiddle returns home, and there is another nice quiet day

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Two days after surgery, we got the call: "She's doing fine, come get her."
Fiddle seemed quite pleased to be back at home, in her own stall again.When she figured out that the feed was soaked hay + beetpulp, she was unenthused...but agreed to eat what we'd provided.


Later in the afternoon, I set up her "lawn-mowing paddock", and she spent about an hour (enthusiastically) eating fresh grass.
We can move this paddock around the yard so she can spend time eating fresh grass each day.  


The enclosure is small enough that she doesn't really have room to misbehave.  Also, she's very familiar with it, because she lives in it whenever we are in a ridecamp, so she doesn't mess around: she walks in and immediately starts eating.
 Her incision sites are a little puffy today, which appears to be leftover air (from the surgery).  There is no heat and no seeping, and she doesn't mind if I touch them.


She's "careful" still about the way that she mo…

In which Spay Day is followed by a nice, quiet recovery day

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Fiddle was brighter of eye if not bushier of tail when I showed up at the vet hospital this morning.  
Apparently her temp went up slightly overnight, so she got a dose of Banamine this morning, but that was mostly worn off by noon.  
Today, the plan was to stay quiet and not do much.  
I brought my laptop so I could camp out by Fee's stall and do some work on the Endurance 101book.  Fiddle helped.  
I've never had horse spit on my keyboard before.  I guess horse people will find a way to work horses into every aspect of life, given a chance.

Periodically, we'd stroll out to the edge of the parking lot so she could snack on some grass.
 Here's a close-up of the bandage:

This evening, we ripped off the bandage to expose the staples. The left side shows a little more swelling:


If all goes well, she'll come home tomorrow morning!  


Her stall is clean and waiting.  


I'm eager to have my Dragon home again.

In which the vet staff is a great bunch--they even got Fiddle to smile

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There were photos from Fiddle's vet in the In-Box this morning when I checked email!
Here's a photo of The Team.Note that Dr. Williams (who was getting understandably cranky yesterday at Fiddle's refusal to stay sleepy yesterday during surgery) is bribing her with food.  That's the way to this mare's heart, y'all! 
Anesthesia Record.  If you haven't read THIS BOOK yet, Vet Team, you might want to try it.


The team, including Fiddle, smiling for the camera.

Life is good--and now, I'm off to the vet hospital to visit everyone!

In which Spay Day is explained in text and photos (not icky/graphic)

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Big props today to Dr. Michelle Delco, who not only headed up the surgery on Miss Dragon Pants today, she spent time after answering my questions and then more time answering my email queries!
Here's an account of Fiddle's Spay Day, start-to-finish, with most of the narration provided by Dr. Delco:
8:30am Fiddle gets her "pre-meds":  Banamine and antibiotics.  She also gets sedation before she goes into the stocks.  Note the upright ears and interested face.  This will haunt us later in the day. 9:00am:  The dripline is installed, providing a steady infustion of 1) fluids 2) Sedivet infusion (sedation) 3) Butorphanol infusion (feel-good/happy drug.)  .  Ears still upright.  While waiting for the drugs to bring her ears to "airplane posture", the surgery site is cleansed again.
(Ears still upright, no sleepy pony yet)
 10:00am, she is outfitted with gear to minimize outside stimulus, including cotton balls in the ears, a drape over the eyes, and a soft blanki…

In which we ramp up to Spay Day : preparation before the event

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It's a rainy, dreary day in the Swampland when I load up Fiddle and ferry her over to the vet hospital for the pre-surgical routine. 
The barn was full when we arrived, so we tread water for a little while,
waiting for patients to be discharged and stalls to be cleaned and turned over.
 
 Soon enough, Fiddle was settling into her stall, making the acquaintance of the horse-next-door.
 The "restricted diet" prior to surgery has been the hardest part of the process for me so far. 


Three days prior to surgery, hay is gradually cut back and replaced with a complete pelleted feed like Equine Senior.  As an endurance rider, it's against my very nature to withold food from a hungry horse, but the reasoning is sound:  when the gut is less-full of fiber (like hay), the surgeon doesn't need as much air pumped into the belly to make room for surgical instruments. 
Less air = more comfort = less colic risk.
But that doesn't make it easy for me! 

I expected …

In which there is blue sky and some unusual winged folks on horses

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 It was the kind of bright, warm, spring day that brings all the winged things up out of the ground and into the sunshine!

 Swampland Fairies enjoy sunshine as much as the floaty, fluffy kind of fairy. 

This should not surprise you.





Everybody enjoys a bright, sunny day in the Swamp! 


This is the last chance we'll have to ride before Fee's spay surgery. I'm so glad it was a blue sky day.  

I'll be able to ride Hana while Fiddle is recovering, and Patty's young horse Rocky needs some practice on trails, so I won't be grounded for a month.  But now that I've gotten used to flying Dragon Airlines, nothing else is ever quite the same.