Sunday, December 30, 2007


We had a couple out yesterday that work on sheep, goats & pigs, trimming feet or tusks or whatever has gotten too long. This is poor Fred getting his tusks cut off. They flipped him on his back, Donna stuck a hoof pick behind his tusk, to protect his mouth. Justin used a wire cutter that looked like a wire pruner, wrapped it around the tusk & started pulling it back & forth quickly. Sure didn't take long, although I'm sure Fred thought it took a "lifetime". He was not a happy camper. As soon as they flipped him on his back, he started squealing. The sheep started running, the dogs were barking & running, the donkeys all started braying & Molly the mule came up to the fence to get a bird's eye view of what was going on. Everyone else ran the other way, braying, but not her..........!!! It sounded like a zoo gone wild around here for a few minutes until he gave up on squealing, & resorted to squirming.

Then they did the sheep feet, which were pretty long. In fact Annie had a dew claw (that's what they are in dogs anyway) growing into her leg. She also has a growth on her chest with a piece of hoof growing out of it. We thought maybe she had a twin that absorbed back into her body before she was born. It's a good thing Justin can rope, or we would probably still be out there trying to catch sheep, they weren't interested in having their feet or anything else trimmed. While we had them "captured" we cut the old fleece off them. Boy that was a job, since we didn't have shears we used scissors. Barbie had a large mat that covered her whole back. Justin managed to hack it off, but it wasn't easy.

Every morning John has to break ice on the water buckets & it's cold enough that by the time we get everyone fed we have to break ice again.

This is what the well dressed old guys are wearing this time of year. Pepper on the right has a "real" horse blanket & shipping boots to help keep his bony old body warm. I only had one "real" blanket, so Sha'ba is wearing one of those microfiber blankets, that are lightweight & clingy. It stays on thru the night & I'm sure helps keeps him a little warmer, these cold nights. I have 2 new blankets ordered, but don't know when they will get here. It seems like this time every year is bitter cold. As long as it isn't rainy, & they can stay dry, the others do just fine. Much better than their caretakers, we have to keep taking breaks to come in & warm up, until the sun gets up high enough to start putting off some heat.


Laura Lee said...

Two questions Tish!
1)When doing a rather traumatic procedure on any animal, is there a calming paste or something tht can be given to a stressed furkid? One of our horses will have her teeth floated soon, and she gets really ampy having anything done to her!

2)I tried putting a blanket on Tio Mio (sweet donkey)last year when his winter coat looked a bit thin. He shook it off and ate it. What to do? Jack is doing great!!

Thank You, Laura

Tish said...

Are you having a Vet or equine dentist do her teeth? The Vet can give her a happy shot. If you're using an equine dentist, there are quite a few calming agents available you could give her. I've never used any of them, although I've heard good things about APF.

Valley Vet Supply has a web-site you might check for something that would help her stay calm.

Tio Mio is probably just fine without a blanket, as I recall he has a lot of "natural" insulation on his little body......!!! (G) Poor old Sha'ba & Pepper have no fat or muscle tone, & need a little help.

Laura Lee said...

Dear Tish,

Thank You!
I shall order the paste on the website that you mentioned!
We have a ferrier coming on the 7th. He has floated horses teeth numerous times, and we have known him for years. No equine dentist will come all the way out here! And you're right, I'm just being a over-protective Mother when it comes to the donkeys!
Thanks again for all your advice!