Happy to report our horses were well behaved at their Spring vet appointment. Even after being stuck inside for two days. They all got Spring shots and are working on shedding their Winter coats. Which means, Spring is coming!
Both boys had their teeth floated. Harmony is on a Fall rotation. We held off doing Cierra's, because she is pregnant. Ideally she will be able to wait until Fall.
Cierra was up first. She taped at 1324 lbs (up from 1257 lbs) The vet said she looked great, and was big. No changes with her care.
We talked in general about birthing, and foal expectations. Brads said no again to stitching a small digital device into Cierra, that would alert when delivery starts. I agree. If we miss the birth, we miss it. And we might. Especially with the rapid speed it typically happens. The clinic uses the device with mares brought in. Many of those mares are there for high risk equine birthing, where unpredictability is even less ideal.
Key things our vet wanted to make sure we knew: Any scenario other than both legs & head first, is an emergency call. I was surprised to learn one of their dairy vets comes out for birthing emergencies. Due to frequent practice.
Not to worry, we aren't completely clueless. The basics are familiar. Brad has life long experience with various livestock birthing, although it's been years.
We truly love sweet Cierra! I sure hope things go as well as possible for her. Our level of concern, combined with nerves and excitement (and sleep deprivation!) will only heighten the closer we get.
Also mentioned, was leaving the foal alone to lay on the ground at first. As long as the sack is off their face. Better for cord disconnection etc. Their goal is for the foal to nurse within 3-4 hours and they want to check the foal after 12 hours.
The figuring out timing conversation came with some humor. The two things mentioned as good indicators were milk drop (usually 24 hour window) and calcium drop. I had not heard of testing calcium hardness as an indicator.
We did ask about Cierra's chromosome abnormality. The vet had the same response we all had. Surprise. Of course our vet has heard of the abnormality, but said the mares are usually sterile.
Brad recently picked up some nice large bales of wheat straw for bedding the double stall. Those empty stalls are finally going to get used for something besides cats! We still need to pick out a foaling camera. There are many, open to recommendations. We continue thinking through different turn out scenario's vs potential future needs. Can you predict the future? Me neither.
Nemo was next. He taped at 1252 lbs (down from 1277 lb).
Nemo getting teeth floated, with Koda watching intently
Koda was the horse needing the most care this visit. He taped at 1288 lbs (down from 1350 lb). Evidence Brad is doing a great job adjusting hay portions!! Our vet would like to see another 70 lbs come off. It will help with his lameness. Which has not gone away, and needed to be addressed.
He walked out of his stall gimpy. No need for additional observation. Koda has shown soreness off/on, more than usual lately. It was time for xrays.
such a good boy standing still on those small blocks getting pretty pink playdoh pressed into his hooves larger platform for view from underneath
We all got a good chuckle when Koda decided to mess with the vet and casually move his foot off the larger platform at key times. All I said was "welcome to my horse" he is such a player/tester. I swear I saw Koda smile ;)
Our vet saw no signs of arthritis. His earlier diagnosis of Navicular (at 8 yrs) showed no sign in Koda's right foot, and at this check deterioration was barely visible. Koda's left side showed a slight increase. He said Koda is a bit young (coming 16) but recommended trying Osphos shots. We are catching it at a good time, and gave him his first shot.
Osphos studies have been done and it is not recommended for young horses. Apparently it is used in the racing industry and there has been evidence of bones not forming correctly on young growing horses that were given Osphos.
His trim looked good, although taking slightly more off the left toe might help. He will connect with our farrier & send xrays. No shoe recommendations at this time.
Brad & I are really hopeful the shot helps. Time will tell. I will be thrilled if Koda can continue to be ridden at home in the arena's and on our sandy trails. Home is where we are happiest. Hauling to other trails just isn't as important anymore.
We are keeping Koda on Cosequin. We got a couple more suggestions to try for his less than ideal ploppy digestive system.
- probiotic supplement
- senior feed
- small amount of metamucil and/or sand clear
- feeding some alfalfa pellets
Basically, changing/adding things that are easier to digest. I was going to try giving Koda yogurt, but read mixed reviews online. I decided not to. We have friends who swear by yogurt, and have given their equine plain yogurt for years. I suppose beet pulp might be worth trying down the road. Will pick one thing at a time to try. I'm thinking probiotic.
Harmony was seen last and needed the least amount of care. She taped at 1183 lbs (down from 1217 lb). Our oldie has done so well here, and staying sound barefoot.
It will be interesting to see how she interacts with Cierra and her baby.