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

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 parking lot is nearly full at Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital

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.

When this place clean the stalls, they really CLEAN THE STALLS
 Soon enough, Fiddle was settling into her stall, making the acquaintance of the horse-next-door.
"Hey, you got food?  Why don't I have food?"
 The "restricted diet" prior to surgery has been the hardest part of the process for me so far. 

A muzzle.  Not popular, but she accepted it without fuss.

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 Fiddle to be in DefCon 1 Dragon Mode this morning, because her dinner was small and breakfast was not served at my surprise, she was quite placid about the lack of food. 
"Hey Dude, you gonna eat all that?"
 Hungry, but calm.  I do love a Sensible Mare.
Dr. Michelle Delco with her patient
 Doctor Delco endeared herself to me (and to Fiddle) by expressing her appreciation for a Sensible Mare.  She told me that she had done an internship in Lexington, Kentucky, where many of the patients are...(insert tact here) ... not especially Sensible.
 Although Fee isn't allowed meals prior to surgery, she gets to take short periodic walks around the property to nibble grass...or as Fiddle calls it "FOOOOOOOOOOOOOD" in order to keep her G.I. tract functional (but not full).
pre-surgery exam and dress rehearsal
 The pre-surgery exam allows Dr. Delco to discover some baseline stuff about Fiddle, including her response to a new and potentially scary room (not a big deal)

Fiddle thinks the vet tech is really nice

her tolerence for the seditive Sedivet ("wheeeeeeeee?"),

Fortunately, she's a friendly-drunk
 and her basic reaction to being poked and prodded ("wake me up when you're done, okay?").

not exactly a glamour-shot, Dr. Delco, sorry.
Rorshach test?...I think this one kinda looks like a bunny...
 After the ultra-sound, we're almost done.  But first:
Artistry in action
 time to clip the surgical area.  The incisions won't be nearly this big!  The area is clipped to make keeping things clean much easier.
Maybe she could clip in a skull-crossed-bones pattern? No.  Just a square.  Boring!
 After the clipping comes the scrubbing.
This is a pre-pre-scrub with Betadine.  She will be shaved again (with a Bic razer)
and re-scrubbed again just before surgery in the morning.
 We all know that as soon as she gets back to the stall (and wakes up from the Sedivet)
"I am totally planning to roll...probably in manure"
she's gonna roll.  But the pre-pre-scrub also gives the vet a good idea about how ticklish the horse is. 

In Fiddle's case, not ticklish.  Which is a good thing.

Tomorrow morning, bright and early:  SPAY DAY!


  1. I'm really nervous for you guys, even though I know everything is going to go great. Warm hugs from California... or, since this is Fiddle, a bit of feed and a sensible distance so I dont' intrude on her bubble.... and a big bottle of rum to you!

  2. I'm waiting with bated breath and prayer to hear about how the surgery went. Mom

  3. Give us an update as soon as possible! Any idea of how long the surgery will take?

  4. Good luck! What goes well with rum? Some sorta death by chocolate cake, right? (And a beet pulp/peppermint/carrot mix for Ms. Dragon!)

  5. Good luck, Fiddle! Hope it all goes well tomorrow.

  6. Thinking about you this morning, Fiddle!!

  7. Will be thinking of you both tomorrow, hope all goes well.

  8. Dear Fiddle,
    This will be perfect. I am not a mare, but I know how tiresome hormones can be. I'm a gelding and quite thankful someone had the foresight to, uh, make that happen. I hear the anesthetic at the hospital is the good stuff. Hopefully you'll be able to have some fun with that part.
    Wishing you a speedy recovery and minimal hot flashes.
    Report back when you can,
    nudges and nibbles

  9. Holding good thoughts for Fiddle today. I well remember my anxiety when Henry went through colic surgery (much more problematic than Fee's procedure) and I'll also hold good thoughts for your peace of mind. I hope Fee comes through with the same bright eyes that Henry did--I could hardly believe how absolutely normal Henry seemed the very next day.

  10. Thanks for the well-wishing, everyone!

  11. When I first read the title I though it said Spa Day. I'm betting Fiddle thought that's what you said. "SPAY DAY??? I thought you said SPA day!!!"

    Fiddle's picture popped up on my Facebook this morning since I've used Pilchuk for my pony too! Good luck with the surgery and I can't wait to hear how it affects her moods.

  12. Checking in here, hope all is well!


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