Sunday, August 17, 2014

Day by day

First, the lambs are doing well. Bumblebee and Cricket are still separated from the main group until they are strong enough to avoid getting trampled (um, yeah, that requires a whole lot more strength than I thought, sorry Bumblebee.) Otherwise, they're good.

Anyway, phew on the lamb problems. For now at least.

Hard to say about Josie. Sarah at CSL rightly asked how do you keep a 1000 lb pony off a broken foot.

The short answer?


Josie is still restricted to her stall so that she can't go walk about even if she wanted to, which she doesn't at the moment.

She's also on a long-term sedative to keep her calm. Since she's the easily frustrated type (who, for instance, kicks her stall walls when pissed off), this is drug strategy number 1.

The second drug strategy, though a little counterintuitive is equally, if not more important. Josie is to get just enough bute to benefit from its anti-inflammatory properties, but not enough to dull the pain. It's the pain that will keep her from using the foot before its ready. Yesterday I think I gave her a little too much. The paste form does not come out of the tube easily. This makes the dose harder to control than it should be. Arghh. I saw her pick up the unbroken foot at one point in the afternoon. Not good. On the other hand, for the first 48 hours she went nearly bute-free, because she refused the powder I was giving her. She kept her foot pretty clear off the ground then. Today I am shooting for the middle ground.

The final strategy is ice. For both feet. These are wraps that you keep in the freezer when not in use. This is in lieu of cold hosing.  Cold hosing requires her to walk out to the hose outside. She's not allowed to walk anywhere. And, um, yeah, I can't hose her in her stall. So, ice.

It's the front foot that is broken. 

Good thoughts for Josie everybody, please?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

And then Josie broke her foot

No joke.

Josie, the appaloosa, who'd been on stall rest for a relatively minor, and NEARLY HEALED,  suspensory injury in her right hind leg, got frustrated yesterday and kicked her stall wall with said leg.

I heard the impact inside the house. The house is not particularly close to the barn.

As always when I hear loud, unexplained noises coming from the direction of the barn, I went out to investigate and there she was, back on three legs. Somehow I knew this time was different. She was in much more obvious pain and distress than before.

The vet came out and said, Yep, broken foot. I don't even need to take a picture. I can feel it. 

The coffin bone for anybody who might wonder.

We're looking at weeks and weeks of rehabilitation time. Stall rest, daily hoof wraps, meds, etc.. The biggest worry is the foot she's still standing on - the left hind. (For those who might not follow horse stuff, they're not designed to stand on less than four legs for any length of time. To do so can cause serious problems in the weight-bearing feet).  But the vet says absolutely no standing or moving around on the broken right foot while the break is fresh for fear the bone will splinter further. This means 2-3 weeks before we can do anything for the weight-bearing left foot, like put any kind of supportive boot or shoe on it, or even pick it up.

I am a little sick to my stomach about the whole thing.


On the up side, the lambs seem to have truly turned a corner. And I am now an expert on sheep parasites and treatments. Not. But, I know a lot more than I did a month ago.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Firefly and Ladybug waiting their turns for tests yesterday. Too tired and weak to go anywhere. The good news is that though their numbers were low, they were nowhere near as low as Bumblebee's were. They spent the afternoon in Cricket's stall (who never stopped eating) and then all three came home with me. Cricket, though worse off than these two, was also not as sick as Bumblebee.

Bumblebee says Um, I feel pretty good thanks.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Here we go again

This is Cricket, the littlest BFL wether.  

 He spent the night at the vet hospital, getting a blood transfusion. He's in slightly better shape than Bumblebee was. 

When I found Cricket down I put him and Johnny Blue in the car before I even spoke to the vet. It was a regular business day though, so they were able to get blood from the sheep barn. (The ag school has a sheep barn -- I should have guessed.) Johnny got to return home untouched. We'll save him for an after hours emergency.

Today I'm taking Firefly (behind Cricket in the first picture) and Ladybug in for tests, before they go down. If the entire flock eventually goes down...well, I can't really even go there. In the meantime, I have to find alternative pasture for these guys. Somehow. The vet says they shouldn't go in with the existing flock for several months. 

It's interesting to me, that Jethro and Ellie Mae, the littlest Black Welsh lambs who are even younger than these guys, are absolutely thriving. They are with their mothers. I will think long and hard before I ever consider taking a lamb freshly removed from its mom again. I am newly astonished that bottle babies ever survive.