Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Blog Bog Down

When bloggy buddies suddenly quit blogging, we all wonder what is going on...usually it is because they just get too busy to take the time and the ones that decide to drop their blogs kindly offer an explanation. No, I am not dropping Farm Tails, but I owe all of you virtual friends an explanation about my 'six week sabbatical'.
Besides having company for about 10 days in August and being an attentive hostess (I hope!) we finished the arena, (thank heavens) finished the road, finished the garden and I made a Shutterfly book! These are just a couple of my favorite pages.
The arena is a Godsend. Blue does well and I can tell he likes it. He has been such a good boy under saddle. Jessie likes it too. When her small friends visit, she walks around on the good footing instead of marking up the front lawn.
The scrapbook is about my vacation with Mom and my sis when we traveled up to Vermont. I am getting to know Photoshop Elements a little bit better so creating cool pages was a thrill and I totally immersed myself in the evenings. I love the creative process of scrapbook page design. If you have followed my blog during the summer then you know what the title of the book is...and I misspelled biddy on that post...sorry! So, that makes two Christmas gifts that are done and out of the way. Am thinking of doing another book for the good husband which will be a very long and tedious process. His life experiences are phenomenal and he has accomplished so much (sorry to brag but it is true!) that I fear I won't be able to do it justice, but we'll see.

By the way, my Jessie seems OK, but that edema is huge and it is still not going away. She rolled in the field this evening allowing me to see her remains so swollen. Her udder area has shrunk a bit but not to normal and some parts are still firm I find strange. I do appreciate your comments and prayers so thank you all so much! She is a such a good horse and as everyone knows...I love her very, very much!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Severally Stung!

My dear Jessie is suffering from an attack of yellow jackets. I didn't know what happened in the first few days. She showed no drastic signs last Thursday evening when I think she was stung. The following Saturday morning, she didn't want to eat her hay which is not good as she loves to gobble hay although she did eat a 'cookie' and she did graze a little bit. All gut sounds were normal in all quadrants. Her poo was excellent but she was off and didn't track up when I hand walked her. I figured she was sore since both horses were running and bucking as they often do when it comes time to bring them in from the 'barn' paddock. I gave her Banamine paste since she responds best to that anti-inflammatory. She ate some of her grain and seemed to perk up so I turned both horses out in the larger paddock down the lane next to the cemetery. She tracked up just fine on the way back to the barn after a 5 hour turnout although she was walking a bit slow, but she does that at times. She is 25 years old and it was a relatively warm and muggy day. Her legs felt cool and held no heat. I always feel the legs and hooves being an eventer.

The next morning she was off hay and grain and treats and her water bucket was untouched! I went to walk her and she was extremely stiff in her hind legs so I immediately quit. I knew she was in a lot of pain. I felt all over her body, looking for sore spots, tissue damage, bite or kick marks, anything. She had no leg heat except overall she felt too warm and when I bent over to feel at her 'ankles', I looked up and discovered her udder area was severally swollen and huge. OMG! What is going on? My good vet came within an hour. She was in such pain that she could not stand anyone touching the hot red swollen areas. He lightly sedated her so she wouldn't kick while he visually examined the tender areas. Her temperature was 102.5 (slightly elevated) with horses the average is 100-101.I shined this huge spot light for him which helped tremendously. She began to develop breathing problems and acted totally 'drunk' as they say (can be common in sedation but Jess has been sedated many times with ankle injections, etc. and this was a first). I couldn't stand watching the labored breathing and tears began to well up. It was difficult to remain calm. Jess is my baby and this was not a good sign. My vet had no idea what caused the swelling. No snake bite evidence. No marks at that time whatsoever. Even her 'private area' was a bit swollen and underneath her jaws was puffy. Had this been a brown recluse, the skin would have shown damage by now. Black widow bite? He didn't think so. Maybe Blue kicked her? No shoe marks, no nothing! We were clueless.He prescribed antibiotics (Uniprim smz only called sdz which signifies it is in powder form...anything stronger she colics) and Banamine paste twice a day and mercifully he injected her with Banamine IV. That helped so much! I also gave her Gastroguard as she can be sensitive to all of those meds at once. Long story short, she is eating and drinking, and her blood test results were fine. The huge edemas have moved to her belly (they travel to the lowest point) and the udders themselves were never swollen, just the surrounding areas which remain swollen and firm but with no heat. I have added Tri-Hist to her daily regimen and Ulcerguard as a preventative. She is finished with her Uniprim and gets Banamine once daily. I can now see tiny black hairless marks all over her stomach, udder area and back legs. I found a couple of tiny scabs. I called the vet Friday evening, worried that the udder area has not shrunk at the pace I expected and thinking Cortizone would be the next step but he cautioned me that founder could be a result and with her age and the fact that she is eating and drinking and pooping very well to wait it out a couple of more days. This has to be yellow jackets. We killed a nest near the house two weeks ago. My poor baby girl. I pray she heals 100% with no complications very soon. Prayers to you my dear Jessie. I love you so very much!