Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I THINK PENNY IS ENJOYING HER RECUPERATION





Judging from the way she is acting, you would never know she had major abdominal surgery less than two weeks ago.  She's perky, alert, and getting demanding about animal crackers, which is funny..!!!  Always before when she dealt with people, it was on her terms and at a distance.  If treats were involved her neck can get pretty long, so she didn't have to be close to you.  If she thought you were expecting something from her, treat or not, she would leave the area.  We've always had to use a squeeze to work with her and probably will still have to.  But for now, she expects crackers anytime someone is in sight and will actually let me fingernail scratch her back and will stand there as long as I'll scratch.  Usually she would stand for a few seconds and take off.  

Last night at dusk, John came in and said he had a run in with a rattlesnake in the driveway.  He heard it before he saw it and said it was moving at a pretty good speed towards Doug's RV.  He watched it go into a concrete block and curl up.  I would imagine it was going out hunting before it had to take into consideration a human in it's space.  We debated whether to tell Doug or not.  Doug is of the mind set that the only good snake is a dead snake, along with 99% of the population, but he's been here long enough to know our mind set of....... leave them alone and they'll leave you alone.  We finally decided to tell him and John went out to make sure Doug and the snake didn't accidentally find each other in the "almost" dark.  

The snake was still in the concrete block, so the only problem was when the dogs go in Doug's RV for the night around 8pm.  Saddik is snake wise, he gives them a wide berth, but we weren't sure about Punch.  I guess Doug figured it out, this morning everything was status quo and the snake was gone.

My doctoring is down to 5, Quilla is the worst one.  Both of his front legs are bloody from fly and sun damage and I've tried to get away from completely bandaging his legs.  But so far that is about the only things that works.  They both were looking good, no open sores one morning and by that afternoon both of them were bloody, I assume from the sun, so we're back to completely bandaging. At least we aren't having the 100+ degree days anymore.  We're not exactly into fall, but the nights are cooling off and 90 degree days, so LIFE IS GOOD...........!!!!  LOL


Friday, August 19, 2016

SHE'S MAKING PROGRESS.....!!!

She seems to have turned a corner.  Yesterday morning her stool was 100% liquid, which is scary.  It doesn't take long for a body to dehydrate under those conditions.  I got in touch with Dr. Karla and since we were going to be in town for John's last radiation treatment.....(YIPPEE...!) she put out some Bismukote paste at Jackpot Equine clinic for us to pick up.  I've never used this before but as of this morning this is what Penny put out.  Not perfect, but looks pretty good compared to yesterday.


She also said to give her Metronidazole which is a really rough antibiotic that kills nasty bacteria and protozoa, which is probably why she had such bad diarrhea.  A few years ago we used Metronidazole for Jenny after her hoof resection.  We found out then that it is so nasty tasting, if you can get it down them, it instantly ruins their appetite.  We found out then, that it can be given rectally, which is the only way to go from my point of view.   Dr. Karla said that was OK........whew...!!

Actually when dealing with Miss Penny, rectal is much easier than mouth.  The Bismukote is by mouth a couple of times a day.  What a battle royal we fight.  She has no problem going in the corral panel squeeze, John put in her stall in the hay barn.  She has no problem with you messing with her body or legs or anything else.  BUT.........her head and especially her mouth are "off limits" and she will fight like a tiger to get that point across, no holds or methods are off limits, as far as she is concerned although she hasn't tried to bite, thank goodness.  We are trying to work around the pipe on the corral panel, hoping not to get a broken arm out of the deal.  Since she's putting out more normal stool, Dr. Karla said we will only have to do it one more time, tonight.  Won't break our hearts that's for sure........LOL


This afternoon John led her out to the pen area for a couple of hours of fresh air.  This is Quilla's old pen and it's been closed up since we moved him to another pen.  Some sprigs of grass have popped up and I thought she might like to eat them.  No problem, John turned her loose and she immediately started eating them.  I'm sure when I go out, there won't be a blade of grass left.  She won't get much food value out of a few sprigs, but it will be more interesting than just standing around up in the hay barn. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

IT'S GOING TO BE A LONG RECUPERATION I THINK.



 This is where she spends her time, all the way in the back of the hay barn.  

This is where she ends up, when she sees someone headed her direction, this means she expects at least 2 animal crackers...!!

Penny has always been a challenge to feed.  She is not a good eater, probably because of her broken jaw.  It's fairly straight but who knows what it's like inside.  That's one reason I was surprised that she was impacted with mesquite beans, who knew she even ate them.  Well, that isn't true, we always do POO101, when we are in the pens, so we usually know who the worst ones are for eating beans or anything else they shouldn't.  She would have a few beans in her poo, but not even close to how many Rosie or Coquette have.

We have tried her on just about everything we have, but she would just pick at it.  The vet said to feed her whatever she will eat.  Yesterday I stayed home to monitor her when John went to his radiation treatment.  I called him to bring home, grapes, watermelon, and oranges to see if that would get her attention.  She ate about a cup and that was all.  So we made a trip to town to get a bale of alfalfa.  For those that know me, they know this is NOT something I feed on a regular basis.  We put it in with her and cut the strings.  She immediately started chewing on it, although not very effectively.  This morning I put some in a feed bucket and fluffed it up.  She has been picking out the leaves, so I would imagine the dried stems are hard for her to chew.  

This afternoon before John got home from his radiation treatment I cut her up some more fruit and she ate all I had.  I fed it to her by hand, which seemed to work.  She has never liked me, so I think she might like the idea of me being her slave........!!!  LOL  She will also eat applesauce off a plastic spoon, BUT, will not eat it if I put it in a pan on her feed.   

Everyone else is very unhappy today.  Yesterday afternoon they all went out for a couple of hours.  When it was time to do round up for feeding, most of them decided they didn't want to be fed, they would rather feed themselves.  After a lot of chasing, darting around and in general being monsters, we got everyone in except BlackJack and Tula.  John had put Tula's food in her pen and shut the gate, so when she go there far ahead of us, she couldn't get in.  John got there, opened the gate and she went in.  Unfortunately so did BlackJack, which is a no-no.  Tula can't stand to have any of them in her pen, so out she went with BJ in hot pursuit.  She didn't even slow down, but headed right back over to Burroland. It was almost dark, I went over with a flashlight while John fed the others, but never found them.  When John went out at bedtime to open up the internal gates, there stood the culprits, waiting patiently for the gates to be opened, so they could go into their pens.  Since they were late to the party, they spent the night in their pens, rather than being in with the others. 




Sunday, August 14, 2016

SHE'S HOME............!!

We picked Miss Penny up this afternoon.  Our morning started out a little rough.  Because of the bean situation, the donkey are staying in the pens much to their disgust.  Sometime during the night, they managed to break one of the water pipes, which drained 2500 gallons of water out of the tank.  That meant no water available to fill up water buckets, or anything that took much water.  At the time we didn't know the pipe was broke, John thought one of the donkeys turned on the faucet, but once we got home this afternoon, we found out different.  It will take a long time to get the tank filled up again, because of the water buckets we use quite a bit of water each day, so now John is talking about having someone bring water in a truck to put in the tank, to boost the process.............SIGH.....!!!  We called Doug on the way home to see if there was water, before we found out about the broken pipe and he told us, NO WATER.  So we stopped and bought some gallon jugs of water to get us thru the night.  

Actually once we got home and John had a chance to look at it, he figured out some way to do something that will fill up the pressure tank, which is about 30 gallons.  So John plays with some switch and Doug fills buckets.  Not sure how long this new life style change will last, I'm sure John will fix it as soon as he can.  Thursday is his last day of radiation, might not get a chance until then.  In the meantime, the tank is filling up, but really, really slow.  

Penny is absolutely frisky, eyes bright, head up and ready for all the animal crackers she can get hold of.  They said this morning she tried using her front legs as weapons, guess she's tired of being a patient.  She hopped in the trailer and we headed home.  

We didn't tell her as per doctor's orders, she will have to stay in the hay barn "stall" 30 days, and then 6 weeks of "pen" time.  One thing, by the time she gets out of "jail", the beans will be gone.  When we go in the hay barn, she starts showing us, she knows where the "get out" place is.  I had John double latch it, not sure she isn't capable of getting it open.  

They had been feeding her soaked alfalfa powder, whatever that is.  The guy at Tractor Supply didn't seem to know either, so I just bought a bag of alfalfa cubes.  John ran some of them thru his leaf shredder and she ate some of that.  She also tried her regular beet pulp, senior feed  and Lakin Lite mush, and I even tried wetting her shredded alfalfa cubes and she tried that too.  I separated everything, so I can tell what she prefers.  They said to feed her what she will eat.  She has never been a big eater and in fact they said she is anorexic.  So we'll keep trying different things to see what is the biggest hit.  I feel funny feeding alfalfa, never have, never thought I would............LOL

You might know, I took my camera and didn't take one picture, either up at the clinic or once we got home.  Maybe tomorrow I can get one of her in her "new" home for the next 30 days

The races got rained out last night, so we got to bring the car home safe and sound.  I actually got to run the heat race, finished 3rd, but we don't know if the race will count or not.  We're suppose to race again next Saturday, so they might just throw last night out, and start all over again.


 

Friday, August 12, 2016

GOING TO PICK UP THE GIRL


 COQUETTE WILL BE GLAD TO HAVE HER BEST FRIEND BACK

The clinic called today and said Penny will be ready to come home Sunday.  She still isn't eating very much, although I guess she is enjoying the fresh grass a couple of times a day and they are feeding her alfalfa of some kind.  She won't want to leave all that attention and yummy food to come home to bermuda hay probably.  

Glad she is doing well, I hope she will continue to improve with no more problems.  John has the hay barn ready for her to stay in for a few days, it's softer in there and if it rains she will be out of the weather.  

So we'll feed early, and hit the road, Doug will let the others out in the afternoon.  Right now they are only going out for a couple of hours before time to round up for supper because of the over abundance of mesquite beans this year.  Last year wasn't bad, this year is making up for it.  The "fatties" are fattening up nicely and needless to say we are pretty gun-shy about someone else getting an impaction.  Of course they come out of the pens like a race horse coming out of the starting gate, their heads go down and their lips start vacuuming as fast as they can.  It's almost like they know we're going to control their time and they want to make the most of it.  

Right now Gigi has a swelling around her udder and belly.  We've had others have something like this before, in the summer.  Had the vet out a couple of times and they prescribed an antibiotic, that I keep on hand for emergencies, soooooo she's on her 2nd day and it's going down.  Gigi isn't really thrilled to be messed with.  We have to put her in a redneck squeeze to work with her.  I tried to put the antibiotic in her mush and that didn't work.  I have used powdered jello before to mix with something that doesn't taste very good, so I figured what the heck.  Yesterday morning when I "presented" it for her perusal and she almost swallowed the syringe.  Guess she likes strawberry/banana..........LOL  

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

PENNY IS IN RECOVERY.........!!

Dr. Voss just called and said she was in recovery and doing very well.  They had been calling every day to report and unfortunately there wasn't anything to report, nothing was moving in the pipeline, although they had tubed her with oil and Epsom salts.  The liquid was by passing the impaction and x-rays showed the impaction wasn't going anywhere.  So we were down to two options, actually three, wait and watch, surgery or euthanize her.  The longer we would watch the more damage could be done to her colon.  The impaction was passed the cecum, which to me would be a good thing.  All her test numbers were good, she's not acting painful, was more than willing to go out and eat grass a couple of times a day.  OK, so she's a 20 year old throw away with a nasty attitude towards people, is hunchbacked and has had a broken jaw and we have the power of trying to save her or not.  There's a saying from the movie Seabiscuit, "you don't throw them away, just because they are a little beat up", or something like that.  

Hopefully we'll get to bring her home in 2 or 3 days and she will be able to hang out with her friend Coquette.  Probably won't be going out to eat "wild" food for awhile, if ever......!!!  LOL  Actually everyone is on restriction now.  They are only going out from about 2:30pm to 5pm when they come in for evening feeding.  The 4 fatties, Rosie, Gigi, Buddy and Coquette (yes, Penny's friend) as of today are getting to go out for 2 hours at the most.  And we are watching poo, like detectives.  If anyone starts having more beans than actual poo, the restrictions are going to get more restrictive.  Unfortunately keeping them from going out doesn't do anything to get rid of the beans.  John and I raked up beans around the pen area yesterday morning and after some wind in the afternoon, you couldn't even tell it.  The ground was covered under the trees.  Georgia cleans pen a couple of times a week and lives just down the road.  She said she doesn't have very many beans at all......!!!!  SIGH....!!  


I just talked to Dr. Taylor that did the surgery.  My main concern was damage to her colon.  It's been 8 days since we noticed she had a problem.  I was afraid there might be damage to her colon since the impaction wasn't moving at all, but he said it was fine, no damage.  He also said his opinion is, we could have treated her for 2 months and the impaction wouldn't have moved, so we did the right thing.  I hate to have to second guess my decisions, but this was a good one. 

Monday, August 08, 2016

THE DONKEYS THINK WE'VE LOST OUR MINDS..........!!!


 This morning Buddy was acting colicky laying down and wiggling around.  Between that and seeing how much weight Rosie and Coquette have put on, not to mention Gizmo the little mule is starting to plumb up nicely too.  So..........I made the decision that everybody's time out of their pens is going to be sharply curtailed for awhile.  The problem with this scenario is, if the beans don't get eaten, the beans will still be there when they do get out.  Once the beans fall, if it rains on them they will turn black and the donkeys won't eat them.  But in the meantime there are beans everywhere and every time the wind blows more beans fall.  Our whole acreage is pretty well covered with mesquite beans, so there is no way we could rake them up. 

Buddy got a colic dose from Equine Colic Relief USA, and Coquette, Rosie and Gigi got to stay in the pens too.  Doug let the others out at 1pm, much to the disgust of these four.  As of tonight the whole herd will be staying in all night until 1pm tomorrow.  Using this routine, they will get about 4 hours out in the afternoon, but that's all.  I don't know if even 4 hours will be a problem, or if the beans on the ground will continue to be a problem.  We'll just have to see.  I know one thing, they are NOT going to be happy.

When we got home from John's radiation treatment, Buddy had passed some poo, in fact quite a bit with plenty of beans.  And he was acting normal, wanting out of that pen.......!!!  LOL

BUDDY BRAT LOOKING OUT OF DONKEY PRISON..........THANKS DOUG


 COQUETTE WANTS OUT.......THANKS, DOUG

The vet clinic called today and said Penny is doing OK.  She still hasn't eaten much, but they did more x-rays and said she is impacted with mesquite beans.  She actually passed a couple of wads of them and they saw plenty in the x-rays.  Although they did take her out in a grassy area and she ate some grass.  She's had an IV with glucose and will get another one, plus they will tube her again with water and add oil this time.  Hopefully things will start moving soon. 

Sunday, August 07, 2016

NOT GOOD......!!! UPDATE FOR SUNDAY AFTERNOON..........!!

We are headed out the door this morning to take Penny up to the Equine Clinic in Gilbert, up by Phoenix.  She is still not pooing or peeing and Dr. Karla and I decided that's where she needs to be.  They have all the "toys" to diagnosed, that a field vet doesn't have.  Since we don't know for sure what it wrong, it's best to make the effort to find out.  

Since John is going into Tucson for daily treatments, and the the clinic up there operates a 24/7 clinic, this seemed like a good time, especially since the longer something like this goes on, the worse it gets. Hopefully they can "fix" whatever is wrong and we will be able to go back up and pick her up.  We've already figured out how we can do it.  Haul the stock trailer to John's radiation treatment which is on the NW side of Tucson, 70 miles closer to Gilbert than we are here at home and leave from there.  Biggest problem with that is where to park the truck and trailer.  I think they make parking spaces as small as they can these days.  I'm not even sure we can get the rig into their parking lot, so we may have to walk.  Won't be the 1st time we've had the trailer and had to walk.  We just hope we get to bring her home.

UPDATE:  4:50pm  We just got back from from Gilbert.  First of all I must say I was very proud of Penny.  We prepared them for her behavior before we even took her out of the trailer.  That she is a fear kicker and will use her head and front feet as weapons, and will avoid you touching her if at all possible.

They may think we brought them the wrong donkey.  She was very good thru running an IV and suture it into position, temperature taking, x-rays, all the diagnosis tools they use.  Through it all Penny was a trooper, not what she had planned for the day, BUT, she didn't fight what was happening.  She was such a good girl.

Once all the tests were done, they put her in a lovely box stall with a nice window under a tree, a box fan, and wood shavings on the floor.  At first she was a little stunned, I doubt if she had ever been in a nice stall like that before.  But after awhile she started exploring and even started picking at the wood shavings on the floor.  So they gave her some senior feed, unfortunately it was in a black pen rather than the blue she is use to, so she acted like it was probably very dangerous and wouldn't even go near it.  They can be so funny sometimes.

Dr. Voss got there, Dr. Emily is the intern that "checked" her in, but Dr. Voss is the deciding vote I guess.  He looked at all she had done, had already looked at the blood tests Dr. Karla did this week, and decided although Penny does have sand it isn't enough to be causing her system to not work.  The x-rays basically showed them what isn't happening, so the plan is to treat her as if she is starving, as in not eating, with glucose in the IV and insulin shots to hopefully kick start her system.  The one real problem they are dealing with is her renal numbers are really high, as in possible kidney problems.  But they could be caused by the lack of eating.  So over the next 24 hours hopefully there will some change in the right direction.

When we got ready to leave, they have a policy of you taking all equipment like halters, and leads home, and they use their own equipment.  NOW MISS PENNY SHOWED HER TEMPER.......!!  LOL  Dr. Emily and I tried to change halters and Penny let us know that although she had been relatively cooperative up until now, the party was over.  We finally managed to get their halter on her but it was too large.  We had left our halter on, planning on slipping it off when we got the other one on, rather than take a chance on not being able to re-halter her from "scratch", so to speak.  So we decided that if for some reason our halter got lost, we'd live with that little problem.  LOL

Hopefully after a glucose IV tonight there will be some good change to report when they call tomorrow. 

Friday, August 05, 2016

THE VET JUST LEFT............AGAIN........!!!



Miss Pennypacker still wasn't eating, although she is bright eyed and didn't seem to be feeling bad.  Offer her animal crackers and she is more than willing to take them.  But that old hay and mush stuff, not so much.  

I called Dr. Karla this morning and she said she had an appointment in Tucson at 3pm, but would be out after that.  She also asked if for some reason she could get out earlier would it be OK.  She knew we would be in Tucson for John's radiation.  Doug was going to be here, so I told her of course.  I also tried to bring her up to speed on Penny's "quirky" disposition, like fear kicking and all that goes with that.  

We came in about 3pm, dropped some stuff off at the neighbor's and when we came out of her driveway, there was a SUV headed out for the main road that looked suspiciously like Dr. Karla's SUV.  Came in and Doug asked, if we saw her........!!!   LOL

I called and left a message on her phone and she called back while I was out checking on my little patient.  

Dr. Karla said she heard sand in her gut and probably beans too.  So Penny got put in the squeeze, got a happy shot and got tubed with Epsom salts.  After all my big buildup on "vicious" donkey, both Doug and Dr. Karla said she was really pretty good.  Doug said she even went in the squeeze without a lot of drama.  Usually John puts her in, but she let Doug work with her this time.  Good thing it wasn't me, she hates me for some reason.  As far as I know I've never done anything to her, she'll take cookies from me, but anything else and it's rodeo time..........!!!  

So we're on "watch" for whatever is in her system to meet up with the Epsom salts, which should get things moving in a hurry, hopefully. 

Thursday, August 04, 2016

I'M SICK OF BEANS AND IT'S ONLY AUGUST......!!



As of yesterday we are watching Penny.  She isn't feeling good and isn't pooing, not much interested in eating.

Yesterday morning she came in, but wasn't much interested in anything and laid down in her pen which isn't normal for her.  I have her a shot and we went for John's daily radiation treatment in Tucson.  When we got home, she let us know she had been in there all day with nothing to eat and was hungry.  Last night she ate all her supper, so we let her out with the others at bedtime. 

This morning she was standing in the wash, willing to take an animal cracker, but not interested in anything else.  I gave her another shot, called the vet and she said to just keep her in the pen and let her know how Penny was doing when we got home.  We rushed into Tucson, and rushed home, still no poo, but she had eaten her breakfast hay, not her mush.  She's not really a connoisseur of mush, so I gave her some senior feed and rolled oats, which she did eat.  

I'm keeping Dr. Karla in the loop and we all have our fingers crossed looking for poo.  She doesn't seem to be uncomfortable, but with donkeys it's hard to tell.  They are so stoic and can be in a great deal of pain, and you'd never know it.  She isn't laying down, so that's a good sign and she is very alert.  Of course Penny is always alert, she never lets her guard down.  

As of today we are cutting down on the donkeys time out of the pens.  They got out at noon today. We were gone, but Doug said they let him know how mistreated they were by yelling and screaming when they saw him.  

The ones that are already obese, will probably end up having to stay in the pens 24/7 before it's over.  We have a better crop of mesquite beans this year than usual unfortunately.  We use to let the range cattle into Burroland for a few weeks and they'd clean them up.  But there aren't very many cattle left on the range and there are so many beans everywhere, why would they bother to go thru a gate to eat ours?  We found that out last year, even with John putting salt in the gate opening I think one cow went in and I don't think she probably ate very many beans.