Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fun with Strangles

Not really....but I was trying so hard not to be a Debbie Downer.

Anyway, that's why the blog has been so dull. I would share with everyone pictures of me doctoring draining abscesses, taking temperatures and administering bantamine, but I will spare you the seeping pus, rectal thermometry and IV shots.

Now wasn't that a pleasant mental picture?

If you do want to know what my horses look like right now, it's very similar to this (I posted a link rather than the picture so you have a choice whether to look or not): http://www.thehorse.com/images/content/strangles.jpg

Paula and Bambi are both mostly drained, back to eating a full meal but still a little swollen. Fabian is still the worst off--he had a node bust above his eye too, poor kid! But he still acts pretty good overall nothing over a low-grade fever and he eats really well, so I'm still doing supportive care for him as well and not much more, waiting for his immune system to conquer this nasty stuff. JJ doesn't have any swelling at all yet, but he wasn't quite as active today--he had a low-grade fever and wanted to be held (he is SUCH a sweetie, the big lug). Laramie is too funny--she barely has a bit of swelling under her jaw and she is completely off feed (thankfully still finishing her alfalfa) and will hardly let me even put the halter on her, she is such a drama queen. I mean, I'm sure it DOES hurt, but she is definitely the miss prissy pants of the bunch and I will have to really watch her carefully to make sure I can tell the difference between her being overly dramatic and really having problems.

I've been doing hydrotherapy the last couple of days and I'm very pleased with the results so far. It may not help them fight the strangles any faster, but it certainly makes the abscesses drain and heal more quickly and makes them more comfortable (which you would think would give them more strength to fight the disease). All the horses have been incredibly cooperative and patient. Even poor Fabian who thought that the water was horse-burning acid at first, finally settled in and let me run water over his abscesses. The difference 24 hours after the first hydrotherapy sessions was amazing, so I'm going to continue with it and I'll keep everyone updated if I think it helps in the long run as well.

Most horse people have encountered strangles, but if you aren't a horse person, or just want to know more, here is a pretty good article I found: http://www.horses-and-horse-information.com/articles/0196stran.shtml

I really have no idea how it got here--hardly any horses have arrived since I moved here and not one of them noticably sick. It really doesn't matter, though. With a herd of 4 yearlings and a 3 year old it's comparable to a classroom filled with snot-nosed kindergardners: everyone is going to get everything and share everything so you might as well just get through it and over with! :)

To leave you with a little nicer image, I thought I'd post one from the archives. This was from 2006. Layla is in the foreground and you can see she had a very worried look on her face. Paula and Bunny loved to take off and race around and Layla was in their path here. Of course she was fine--they went right around her, but I love this shot, with Paula and Bunny really taking off full blast. Of course this is Paula when she was little, the lovely gray mare I still own, and Bunny is a dun filly now owned by my friend Kristi Van Etten.


Sydney said...

Hydrotherapy will help it heal faster for sure. It gets the blood flowing.
Another form of hydrotherapy is ice. Try filling Styrofoam cups and freezing them. Peel away the cup and ice the abscess for 20 minutes at a time. Just rub the ice in a circular motion over the swelling. Easier than strapping ice packs.

knoyes said...

Oh Dear Jessie,

Laramie IS her father's daughter...he is such a weiner. He will act like he is dying when in all reality, his fan is broken and he thinks he is hot. And you are right, you have to work out if they are truely in trouble or just playing the Drama Queen roll REALLY well.

Things are pretty well, hang in there girl and Thanks so much for being there for me.


Jessie Baker said...

Sydney--thank you for the advice! I just happen to have some styrofoam cups and filled up a few and they are in the freezer now--I love that idea!!! I will have to use that on the kids tonight.

Kim--that is too funny that she's like her daddy. That definitely sounds like her :) I figured so much when she was acting pretty colicy that one time and she got over so quickly after her shot, but now she's definitely in her title role lol. I think about you and Brian all the time and I hope that you are enjoying your time together as much as possible. Let me know if you need anything at all. Yes, everyone here is sick but it's not that bad at all. It actually gives me an excuse to spend some time pampering them all without having to worry about being on a training schedule. Poor Fabian usually doesn't get messed with unless he actually needs something, so even he is enjoying the extra attention he's getting now. Anyway, please remember to take care of yourself, too, ok?!

Sydney said...

Oh by the way I forgot to mention, you have been scrapped