Part-time Vet

There is something no one ever tells you when you get your first horse:  You will become your own part-time, after hours, weekend vet.  This phenomenon is much stronger than with any small pet such as a dog or cat.  I guarantee if you own a horse, at some point you will be their vet.  This is just like when you buy your first car – at some point you will become a shade tree mechanic.

I learned a great deal from treating Jake and am not afraid to snap on my latex gloves and jump into any situation now!

When I was spending quality time with the horses this past Saturday morning, I noticed that Kobi’s sheath was very swollen.  I grabbed out my gloves and started probing.  Thankfully his sheath was not tender at all.  I kept a check on his ears the whole time and not once did he pin them or swing his head in my direction.  Knowing I like to throughly clean his sheath in September to make sure it’s clean and bean-free, I went ahead and cleaned it Saturday.

Nothing.  Clean and nothing unusually offensive in there.  Again, Kobi didn’t give me any indications that his swollen sheath was paining him.  He walked fine, trotted up for dinner, and was able to urinate without issues.  After dinner, I put the drawing salve, Ichthammol, on it to draw out anything that might be in there.

Another animal misconception is that animal owners live longer.  I think it’s because we don’t get as much sleep as non-pet owners so we just have more waking, and much less sleeping hours.  It’s a joke at the house that every morning I have 1 animal too many – always the one that woke me up.

True to form, I woke at 2:00 in the morning thinking of Kobi’s condition.  While it obviously didn’t bother him, it bothered me.  I remembered that we have both heavy-duty antihistamines and prednisolone for his gnat allergies and all the scratching that goes along with it, so I decided that whatever I have left he will start getting in the morning.  I’m out of the antihistamines, he’s starting his prednisolone treatment again.

I’m hoping the swelling will drop by Wednesday or I’ll have to call in a real vet!

About Heather Hamel

Growing up with horses is a little girls dream come true. Heather’s dream in life was to be a horse trainer - how dreams change - sort of! She moved to the wonderfully historic town of St. Augustine, Florida and was a historic tour guide and a ghost story teller while putting herself through college to become a special education teacher. After graduating, she felt the pull of horses in her life again. That's when she met Kobi! She learned quickly that when you own horses you become a part time vet, part time nutritionist, and full time equestrian. She wouldn't change a thing! In addition to being completely obsessed with her herd, she still teaches and tutors students with learning disabilities, and more specifically, dyslexia.
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