Monday, August 29, 2011

We're Getting There!

Ben's blood work has improved in the week he's been home.  The GGT (gamma glutamyl transferase) value is still elevated, but it's come down significantly.  Everything else is in the normal range.  This is really good news.  Dr. Gary wants Ben to stay on his high carb diet of hay, corn, oats, brown sugar and Red Cell for the time being.  Ben says Yum!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

How's Ben?

Ben looks pretty darn good.  He cantered in for lunch today.

Yesterday he did laps.  He's been home a week tomorrow, so he'll have more blood work done.  That will be the real test.

I'm ready talk about what happened to Ben and why.  I'll tell you straight off we don't know.

Lori Skoog asked "what were the signs?"
In Ben's case, he just stopped eating.  He never displayed typical signs of hepatitis such as dullness, lethargy, jaundice and muscle tremors.  Ben did not look like a sick horse (other than not eating, which is never good) but Dr. Gary took blood just 'cause he's a good vet.  It was a big surprise to all of us that Ben was seriously ill.

My big question is why did this happen?  We'll never know is the very unsatisfactory answer.  Could it be something in the pasture?  This isn't Kentucky, but for Colorado, our pastures are good.  There are always weeds, but in general toxic weeds taste terrible, and they are the last thing a well-fed horse will eat.  Paj had ulcers, so we feed timothy hay 4 times a day.  The boys are very well fed.

Could it be the paint he chewed off the pipe railing on his run?  This is about the only firm answer we have.  Dr. Gary said no way.  Paints don't have lead anymore, he'd have to have eaten "gallons and gallons", and since half the horses in the USA chew paint off, they would have hepatitis too.

Could he have had this before he came?  He's been here since May 1.  Dr. Gary says there's no way of knowing.

Flartus asked "is this something he'll be over completely, or is it a managed condition from here on out"?  It's a managed condition in some ways.  We need to limit his protein (no alfalfa), and at least for now he needs lots of carbs.  He's a little pumped up from corn, oats and brown sugar, so we'll be asking Dr. Gary if we can cut that down a little.

It's time to stop torturing ourselves with why,
 accept what is,
and hope for great blood work tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, there were 3 little pigs 100 little bunnies living under a hay shed.  The big bad wolf Mickey said,
"I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down!"

Editor's Note:  No bunnies were harmed in the making of this video.  The big bad wolf is leashed.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Look Who's Home!

It's Ben!  I don't know who's happier - Ben to be home, or us to have him home.  He looks good, and he seems to be feeling fine.  Dr. Gary wants him to get lots of carbs, so he's prescribed cracked corn, oats and brown sugar (and meds, shhh!) in addition to his hay.  The rest of the guys will be so jealous!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ben and Visitors

Ben's blood numbers have started improving.  We are hopeful that he will be able to come home Monday.  Thank you all so much for your good wishes and concern.  Mickey and I visited him yesterday, and I think Mickey's calling in life may be Equine Therapist Dog.  He is most welcome in the clinic - his sweet nature seems to cheer the horses and the humans.

Today we had visitors that would bring a smile to anyone.  Bob and Diana brought Cinda (Diana's riding instructor) and her children Tyler and Cooper for a visit. 
Boomer gave an excellent surrey ride
pony rides (stationary)

and gently accepted single blades of grass.
Mickey was a doll too.
What good boys.  We all had a good time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Better Day

Both Bob and David visited Ben today, and David came home with a smile on his face.  Ben is eating very well and acting like he feels fine.  His blood work is not where we want it, but all in all it was a better day.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Update on Ben

Ben continues to receive the best of care in the hospital.  He is eating and his spirit is strong.  We are hoping his blood work will improve soon.  Bob, David and I are taking turns visiting him.  He is very affectionate and a great favorite with the staff.  Bob hung his favorite toy, a milk jug, in his stall.  I hope that soon he's driving the staff crazy with the noise from his toy.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, herd dynamics have become a bit more tense.  Boomer misses his buddy, and he and Reggie are doing a little trash talking at feeding time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ben is Sick

Ben has been diagnosed with hepatitis and is in the equine hospital.  We can use all the good wishes and prayers we can get.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Welcome Home Mickey

Most folks go out to dinner to celebrate their anniversary.  We went to the Humane Society.  My frozen heart had thawed at long last after the death of Clifford, and I was finally ready for another dog.  We were looking for a medium to large dog, 1-3 years old, good with cats.  Mickey, a small older dog, had other plans. 

As we looked at dogs and scanned their bios,
 he locked eyes with us and said
"Please take me home." 
We said, "Mickey, are you good with cats?"
and he said "Why, yes I am!"

After a long day of checking out his ranch
Mickey is tired.
Welcome home, little Mickey.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Here's my dear husband, back when he was my boyfriend.  He was driving his father's old pickup after a day at the bay.  I lived on the Chincoteague Bay, and David lived 2 miles inland on the family farm.

photo by Joe Bauman, 1970