damn ticks

It was hot & humid when we rode outside last Monday night. Yes, in October. I saddled Koda up, annnnd - I could barely get him to go forward. Great. Everything felt off, and no doubt looked that way too.

I mentioned Koda's odd sluggish behavior to Brad, he attributed it to me. I've been reminded lately that my riding has been let's just say less "polished", and it has. I thought perhaps Koda was feeding off my low energy. After all, I spent the three days prior at home nursing a bad cold. But something was really off. Koda was not very willing, to a different extent. It was uncharacteristic of him. We managed to fumble through a short ride, it wasn't pretty. 

I asked our wonderful barn help if she had noticed anything off with Koda. Nope. But come to think of it, he didn't run off to eat his hay after getting turned out. Hmmm, that got her started thinking. I also asked our trainer if she noticed anything off with Koda, she attributed his sluggish behavior to the humidity. Okay then, if everyone else who knows him thinks he's okay then it must just be me. I tucked my boy into his stall and headed home.

The next morning I got an urgent message from Brad, that our trainer was trying to reach me. The barn help noticed Koda wasn't behaving normal, thank goodness. Koda had a high fever of 105F and the vet was on his way...I was angry! At first because nobody ever listens to me, but mostly at myself. When am I ever going to trust my instincts?? I may not know how to train horses, or ride them perfectly, or know the best way to patch them up, but I DO know how my horse normally feels & acts!! I rely on others help for the rest. I felt terrible about riding Koda, when the poor baby wasn't feeling well. Lesson learned, take temp ask questions later. 

I have very good instincts and am an observant person to a fault. I honestly wish I didn't notice half the things I did. It's a blessing, and a curse. Feeling something is wrong, not acting (enough) upon it, resulting into something being really wrong - keeps happening over & over where horses are concerned - and it makes me mad! At me!! Poor Brad got an earful. Good thing I had a 40 minute drive up to the barn to cool off. Breathe in, brrrreathe out. The barn knew I was on my way. I received a phone call just 10 minutes away that the vet had left...say what?? I checked on my lethargic boy, hand grazed him and gathered the second hand story, and then promptly called the vet on my way home to get the information first hand. That crap doesn't fly with me. It was a new vet who apparently had no idea I was on my way, he did a nice job answering all my questions.

The vet observed none of the usual Ehrlichia symptoms, but said Koda was breathing & sweating heavy. They got his temperature lowered, and Koda continued eating & drinking. Not the norm with such a high temp (the indicator). He never did stock up, some horses do. Everyone seems to have an Ehrlichia story, but this was our first experience with it.

Apparently Ehrlichia is common in this area, so they treat it right away with an antibiotic while waiting for the blood test results. We should have results early this week. We just finished day five of consecutive vet visits & antibiotics, and yes I made damn sure I was at the remaining four visits. It took a couple days for Koda to snap out of it and act more like himself. He is feeling much better and that's all that really matters. The rest, is living and learning.

Snapshot yesterday, happy to be together again.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Poor Koda and poor you. I hope he feels better soon and puts this behind him. I know how you feel about not listening to your instincts. I do it all the time too. I never want to be the one to make the wrong call to the vet and have them come out for nothing. Then again we do know our horses normal behavior and should listen to our gut feelings when we think somethings not quite right. I've dealt with Lymes do much now that I can spot it right away. Hate those damn ticks too!

The Dancing Donkey said...

I've had this same fight with myself and others a thousand time. When you know something is wrong, you know, but it is easy to get talked out of it - from within and without.

I hope Koda is feeling better soon. You may be angry that you were not listened to, but I'm sure your concerns made people notice that there was a problem sooner than they would have otherwise. Good luck.

C-ingspots said...

Oh, poor Koda...I understand how you feel, but you're right about "knowing". Men aren't nearly as observant as women in general, (I think) and women have that built in intuition regarding those we love. Next time, you just trust your gut no matter what anybody else thinks. I'm glad that you found out what was wrong and got him help. Dancing donkey made a good point - your questioning obviously put others on the alert, and they were more watchful. Hope he feels better really soon!

Shirley said...

I have learned to always listen to that little nagging voice in my head- if I don't, something always goes wrong. I assume Erlichia is Lyme disease- I haven't heard it called that before, but we don't see much of that here.At least, not in horses.
I hope the treatment is effective and your boy is back to normal quickly.

aurora said...

Thanks all, it helps to know I am not the only one. Shirley, it is my understanding Ehrlichia (aka Ehrlichiosis) is not the same as Lyme's disease.

The Dancing Donkey said...

It is a separate disease, but they can get infected with both at the same time. We have been seeing combinations of Lyme with babesiosis here and many die from it. I have vaccinated my herd for Lyme, but there is no way to protect from the other tick borne diseases. I am finding 25-20 tick a day and I worry about it all the time!

Once Upon an Equine said...

I'm so sorry. I am glad Koda is doing better. I hate ticks; nasty things.