Thursday, December 17, 2009

Twist's day goes to Hell

The boys were glad to see me home early today--in the day time even. We had our office Christmas party today at the boss' house, and it was swell. Even sweller, we got out around 3 and did not have to go to the office any more. I came home to change clothes to go to the farm and took this pic of Twist looking like he has no forelock, and a little bit like a yak, he is so hairy. Look at his cute little ears. He was perfectly happy...trotting around in the front pasture
By 5 pm. he had a tube up his nose. He was one sick bugger. I thought he looked wonky, and I told myself that if he was still wonky when I got changed, I would check on him more closely. I got distracted by Slater looking wonky, and started to run him to the vet for a check. Halfway out of the drive, I remembered to check Twist, so I backed up and got out. Sure enough, he was still standing in the same position---kind of stretched out with his head hanging almost to the ground. He had greenish foam blowing out of his nose and he was hacking. I crawled through the hot wire--the only hot wire you can be pretty sure works around here (it does, in case you were wondering) and fetched him up.

He was pretty distressed, making weird noises with nose foam blowing all over. I got him to the barn and tried to get him to drink, took his Miracle Collar off-for all the good it does--and called the vet. I heard Kevin was out doing farm calls so he would be awhile, but would come out to tube him.

I got Twist settled in a stall--nasty stall that has not been used in a while, but at least has a working door. I went to do the farm stuff until Kevin called. When he arrived, he said that he could see the actual choke spot from a distance, and he was concerned he may have ruptured his esophagus. Well good Lord--I had no idea that was something that actually happened. I have been lucky to have never had a real choke before--just a little half-assed one that was fairly easily resolved.

Twist was a saint. He was really drooping, and I have never seen a horse take a tube that easily. There was a time period where we did not think we could get the blockage to move, but after a while, we made some progress. It is amazing how relieved you can be when you get stomach contents snorted on you, but I sure was.

You cannot see in the pics but Twist had rolled so much, and it is so muddy here, that he was covered in black mud. He had it on his forehead, and from his jaw to his tailbone. He thrashed so hard that he was soaked to the skin on his right side. The grinding of his teeth as he Kevin shot water into his tube made my skin crawl. But when I saw mineral oil drop out of his mouth, I knew we were clear. And I should hope so--we measure how much tube was actually all the way into this stomach---over seven feet.

Kevin warned me that even though the choke was totally cleared that sometimes, eating will cause him to spasm at the spot he choked, which can start the whole cycle all over again. He is pretty confident that he did not aspirate junk into his lungs to cause pneumonia, so I should not expect to find him dead in the morning....and how lucky I was to have seen the whole thing happen so we can pinpoint the time and get him treated within ninety minutes of the episode starting. He is to stay inside so he does not get into the round bale and he should eat only softer hay from a rack so that he has to eat up and not down for a bit. He is to have oil on his Strategy if I feed him grain at all, and he should have three days of Banamine because he is bound to be a little ouchy for a bit.

I collected all of his supplies from the farm and got him bedded down pretty and explained why there would be no dinner tonight. He can eat tomorrow, but I first have to get some nice hay in a small square bale as we do not have those, and the large squares I have are at the farm and not particularly soft. I can have that for him by lunch tomorrow.

When I last checked on him, he was asleep, curled up against the wall in the stall, snoring. I listened for a while, to make sure it was snores and not some more of his weird choking noises. It was very peaceful in there, with Sly standing nearby to keep an eye on him, and Fonzie poking his little head into the stall to see what was happening. I went in to check his gums and he stayed down resting while I did it, but woke up and talked to me a little. I bet he is worn out He wiggled around some as I loved on him, then rolled over and went back to sleep. Maybe all that resting in the deep bedding will clean up him so he does not look like a transient when I see him in the morning.

Cross your fingers that he has passed the hard part and will be back to normal right away.


Holly said...

Good God! That must have been some kinda scary! I am glad the Dear Boy is ok! Cripes. Always something at your farm, huh?

Anonymous said...

Good Grief! and oh my!

Can I safely say," All's well that ends well!"

My fingers are crossed that you find a Twist who is feeling better this morning.


phaedra96 said...

Hope he is feeling a little better and you can ease your mind. It is so hard to see them hurting and there is not much you can do for them.

Michelle said...

Holy cow! I can see now where your blog name came from! Well, I'm glad he's doing better. I have never actually seen this in a horse before, and hope I never do. Sounds really scary.

The Wife said...

We've both had a bad run with our animals lately. Hope he's doin' better.

Gail said...

That was scary just reading about it. He is beautiful. Hope all goes well.

I always wanted a Ben Cartwright horse.

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Oh my, how scary!!

It's a good thing you caught it when you did!!

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