I was sitting at the table eating breakfast and watching one of the horses out in the pasture. To turn around, he kept his front feet in place and walked his back feet around to face in the opposite direction.
Hmmm…there are so many reasons he might have done that. Usually, when a horse is out on his own, no one telling him what to do, he walks around and makes his turns kind of like you do on a motorcycle. The front wheel turns and you make that arc.
This just didn’t look right. He is an older horse. Maybe he was a little stiff and didn’t want to twist or stress that hind end.
I logged it in the file cabinet I call my brain. Watch him for a few days and see if it continues.
Then I saw another horse walking like he had something between his back legs. His rear end moved stiffly and he kept swinging his head back towards his hindquarters like something was getting him back there. I filed that too. That didn’t stop. The next day, I went out in the pasture to check on him.
Yep, he was swollen in his “private area” and some flies had started a sore spot on his belly that was making him miserable. But when I say swollen I mean like two grapefruits. Ouch!
Most of the horses will walk with me if I cup my hand under their jaw bone so I grabbed him and we made our way to the barn. After I called the vet with my questions, (Hey Doc, it’s “her” again)…I decided to wait and try some home remedies first. I don’t like to just give a horse antibiotics first thing.
I wormed him a second time, started some hydro-therapy and waited two weeks. Not any better.
So, this morning I load him in the trailer and hauled him 30 minutes up the road so they could draw some blood on him.
Yep. Bacterial infection probably due to those dang flies. The edema just settles into the lowest area, hence the swelling.
Now we ARE going with antibiotics AND switching wormers.
Those pesky parasites develop a resistance to my usual wormer. Okay, we will see how it goes. Preacher loves it. He is getting a bunch of sweet feed with his medicine on it and a good belly scratch every morning. I said BELLY scratch.