Of Beads and Beans and Floats... and Horsing Around

Friday was a marathon of equine veterinary care.

We started our morning early... bringing the herd in from the upper
pastures, where they had spent their night.

Everyone was exhausted, which was good...
 because we had scheduled a full morning of equine maintenance.

First on the schedule was Chloe and her continuing sarcoid saga.
Of course, in typical Chloe style, the most difficult part of the morning
was catching her and getting a lead rope attached to her halter.
She always knows when something is up.
She's the smartest donkey, and doesn't forget anything... ever!

Dr. Becky gave her a sedative which made her a little "loopy".

(In case you haven't yet met Dr. Becky...
she is Hubb's sister, a veterinarian... both large and small animal,
and a Board Certified equine surgeon.
It goes without saying that we never could have had such a
menagerie without her loving care through the years.)

Once the sedative began to work,
I led Chloe out into the front pasture, where Dr. Becky
gave her anesthesia.

We rolled her onto her back and propped her up with hay bales,
while MaryAnn came over to inspect the O.R.

Friday's procedures would include removal of incisional staples
(her infection appeared to be cured),
and placement of fifteen Cisplatin (chemotherapy) beads in the areas
where her sarcoid tumors had been.

Hubbs, himself a retired orthopedic surgeon, helped
with the procedure... brother and sister working side by side.

Anna, our neighbor, friend, and farm help was there as Becky's assistant.
(Anna gives us a morning off each week, and does pasture mowing,
and weed whacking for us.)

The procedure went without issue and new staples were placed
in each of the tiny holes where the beads were placed.

Another area of suspicion was surgically excised and sent for pathology.
I believe this is going to be an ongoing issue for Chloe...
making her the most expensive critter on the farm.
(But worth it!)

Waking up from anesthesia is always the hardest part...
but eventually, Chloe was back on all fours... wobbly, but standing.

The rest of the morning was filled with dental care for Moonbeam and the ponies.
On Friday I mentioned that we had scheduled the horses to have their teeth floated.
This prompted quite a few questions as to what it meant to "float."

Floating is simply a term used to describe a procedure where a horse's teeth
are filed off so that there are no sharp hooks.

You see, a horse's teeth continue to grow through most of its life.
Chewing helps to keep the teeth ground down, however,
over time this happens unevenly...
causing there to be sharp hooks on the teeth in areas that are not ground
down as much as others.

Taking a metal rasp (or float) to the teeth removes these sharp hooks
making chewing much easier and more comfortable for the horse.

A mild sedative is given, then a speculum helps to hold the mouth open,
so that it is safe to work within.

While sedated, Dr. Becky checks each of the males for a "bean"...
which is a waxy accumulation of dirt and smegma that can accumulate
beneath the sheath of the penis.  If not removed it can cause a urinary obstruction.

After that, she gave them their final vaccinations for this year.

Whew!  What a morning!

Grizzabella Barncat, Certified Veterinary Technician
Equine veterinary work is hard work.
Kuddos to those individuals who choose this as their life's work...
it's not an easy life!
Thanks Dr. Becky for taking such good care of our herd.

You scratch mine... I'll scratch yours!

We were treated to another spectacularly beautiful weekend.

and on Sunday spent much of the day with Tyler and his Mom...
riding bikes and swimming.

It seems like only yesterday that I longed for grandchildren.
Tyler will be 10 on Thursday...
and it seems almost impossible!


colleen said…
Sounds like a packed weekend to me. Grizzabella Barncat,CVT, has a very nice ring to it. I was following you when Tyler was born. It has been so much fun watching him grow over the years. Sunday was the perfect day to unwind and have some fun. xoxoxox
jaz@octoberfarm said…
you are SO lucky to have dr. becky! i wonder if i will ever get grandchildren. i'm waiting!
This N That said…
Equine maintenance is an ongoing process even if it is just routine..I guess all of our animals have their needs..Some more than others..I hope Chloe is OK...thanks Dr Becky!! This was indeed a beautiful weekend..I would order ir again.Really hard to believe that Tyler is 10...Wow. Love your CVT....Have a fun week..
Karen said…
Isn't it something that Grizz shows up and is just now SO part of the family? We've rescued so many dogs and cats over the years - and you think they can't possibly fit in all together - but they do! Mean to be . . . I can't believe we only have two dogs now and one cat! It seems empty . . .but then I can visit your farm every day and get my 'critter' fix - thank you - as always - for sharing them all with us! Best wishes to Chloe the donkey, from Chloe the dog:)
You always keep your animals so healthy and well-maintained!
Joyce F said…
I read cisplatin and I cringed. Worst chemo I ever had. I didn't get the full set of treatments because it caused me too many problems. But here I sit 15 years later. Hope it works for Chloe and doesn't cause her any problems.
I was interested in Dr. Becky's treatment of Chloe. I had cisplatin chemotherapy last year at this time. I had no problems with it and as of today, I am cancer free. I also had another chemo drug besides that. Praying your Chloe will do well. Thanks for your always great and informative blog! Blessings to all of you!
What a morning is right! I will keep Chloe in my prayers. You take such good care of all your companions at the farm. They are lucky to have you.
Have a great week, Bev