Endurance develops strength of character in us~ Romans 5:4 NLT

Thursday, March 23, 2017

In Retrospect~

Yesterday, I'd scheduled Farah's yearly exam with Dr. Black at Nebraska Equine.  Again, taking the recommendations of friends & from everything I'd read - this is the place to go.  Pilchuck Vet had forwarded all Farah's records - she was due to have her tooth checked again & for vaccinations.
On I-80
Butch hitched the Bronco, we picked Farah up, dropped Butch in town & were on our way by noon - our appointment was for 1 p.m.  Trucks rule!  I was surprised at all the truck traffic.  Of course since I was the one doing the driving - I noticed it more.
We've arrived!
The day had gone from sleet & 24 degrees in the early morning, to sunshine & some wind.  The Google Lady's instructions were great - right up to the last turn - where we had about 100ft. to go from 60 to zero & make the turn from four lanes to a gravel road.
Poor mare~
Dr. Black is an imposing man - well over 6', direct & extremely knowledgeable.  Farah, as usual walked in like she owned the place & was soon anesthetized.  The two of us have more in common than I thought.  Dr. Black explained that the tooth that has given her difficulty is being squeezed out - on both sides of her jaw.  Her jaw is somewhat short - so all her teeth can't rest flat on the bottom & instead, the last are where the jaw begins to curve upward.  (I had my wisdom teeth removed for the same reason!  :-)  This creates pressure on the next - so over time, those teeth will probably die.  Reduction of her usual hooks - otherwise all looked really good.  No scale here - but Dr. Black taped her at 1,050 - 50+ pounds down from the top end of her weight range. We've been working on that~
Dr. Black & Farah
Next, vaccinations - a five-way.  She was given Prestige V + WNV Combination Vaccine & a Rabies.  We completed her Health Certificate & used the Coggins we had from the trip out.  Farah snapped out of the sedation - one she'd received before - at Pilchuck.  I walked her out into the sunny afternoon & we headed back to Glenwood.  Butch was waiting on the main street so we could pick him up :-)  We put Farah back into her stall/run - gave her hay & headed home.  We planned to go out after our evening class to check on her again.  We didn't get the chance.

Just two-hours later, I got a call from the lady who helps out at the barn.  She'd found Farah down - down in the worst possible place - in the doorway between her stall & the paddock - in a very steep spot...  Being an RN - Candace got a halter on, got her up & called!  We made record time getting to the barn & called Dr. Black on the way.

Farah was standing, but looked dazed when we arrived.  Very stiff  - her stride in the rear short & choppy.  She was shivering in the wind, I was so thankful that we had her blanket in the truck!  We started walking her - more for our benefit than hers.  She pooed a nice pile - that was good to see!  She became more alert, her eyes brightened as the sun set... 

I called our Go-To Man - Dean Essex, DVM.  Even long-distance he diagnosed a reaction to either the sedation - which she'd had before, or the vaccine adjuvant.  He told us to stop walking the mare & wait for Dr. Black - who made the 40+ mile trip in record time.  Gut sounds - good, temperature - normal, heart rate 44 & not dehydrated.  Her HR had been 40 at the clinic.  There was a slight swelling at the injection site.  Farah was given Banamine & blood was drawn to be tested for any other possible issue.

There was an inside stall open, Farah had stopped shivering.  Dr. Black too, thought she was having a reaction to the adjuvant.  By the time he left, Farah looked much more comfortable.  I think we were home maybe an hour - when we both had to go back to check on her.  She looked so much better - we watched as she took a nice long drink of water.  Sweet relief!
Informative Chart~
Dean taught me better - I knew better - than to schedule more than one thing to be done at a time.  With everything new-to-us here - I'd forgotten the basics.  Dean's protocol has always been to give each vaccine as an individual shot - in a different spot or side of the neck.  That way - if there's a reaction - you know where it came from.  This was the first & will be the last time we do a five-way.  I even hesitate with certain vaccinations - but with the traveling Farah does & numbers of horses she's exposed to - I feel it's a necessary evil.

We drove out again - first thing this morning & seeing her head over the stall door was as good as it gets!  The swelling at the injection site was completely gone.  Temperatures had warmed back up, we removed her blanket, gave her carrots & put her back into her stall.  She busily began eating the wet beet pulp we'd brought & her hay.  Dr. Black called to follow-up; saying that her blood work came back normal. We'll be watching her closely for the next few days.   I've very thankful that he was right there to take care of her!


  1. How scary. My girls had their shots Wednesday, not as many as we do not travel and knock on wood they are fine. Glad she is ok.

    1. It was... I'm not against vaccinating, it's needed - but I'll be more cautious as to how we do it...

  2. How scary for you! Glad it turned out okay. My vet just gave my horse a 5-way on Tuesday, which is what we've always done without an issue. But it always does worry me, the barn owner knows to keep an eye on him, I always go back to check on him. I've never had a problem with it, but I'll also say that I leave teeth work / sedation for another day, we do that in fall when I don't vaccinate. Because I trail ride and compete so much, like you, I believe my horse needs the protection of vaccines. Hope Farah's good by now!

    1. Sorry I missed seeing your comment - catching up a year later. Us too! Vaccination is necessary, agreed! I was bad not to remember to schedule teeth at another time, which is what we'd always done...


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