Wednesday, June 17, 2009

When things go from bad to worse....

SO I shared the fact that Possum was shivering the other day when it was raining but wasn't even cold out. SO I go to the barn the next day. It's slightly misting but I don't worry about it because he has his good rain sheet on and a shelter to go into if he has any problems. PLus the temps are in the upper 60's, not cold at all for Maine weather. So I bring him in the barn and take off his blanket and go about grooming him when I look at his side and flanks and they are all sunk in like he hadn't had anything to drink in years and had just ran 20 miles non-stop. It's very tight and you can hardly see him breathing because his muscles are so tense. I then go to his head and his glands where gthe head ties into the neck ae swollen like crazy. Both sides. I start to get a little worried, Possum has never been sick and this is just puzzling. He is pooping, eating normally and has a shine to his eye of normalcy. He is not slow and wants to move and acts normal in that aspect. His gums are pink and normal and with the pinch test he is not dehydrated. I walk him down to the indoor and by this time he is slightly shivering again, weird. I have the barn owner look at him and she is also puzzled. We take his temp and it's only slightly below normal. His skin is still cool to the touch. She advises that I maybe work him to get his temp up and maybe relax his tight flanks. She says to only do as much as he wants to. SO I tack him up and everything is normal. I get on easily and he walks off with purpose, he's ready to move. I ride him on a long rein for about 20 min. A good long walk and trotting and then he wanted to canter so I let him go large around the arena. I keep feeling his chest for signs of sweat or warmth, hardly any.

So I untack him and give him a good rub down and offer him water. I opt to put him in the stall for the night and get a heavier blanket for him to wear. I grab an armful of hay and he eagerly tears at it. I give him one more once over and he appears to be fine. His swelling in his glands has gone down some from the ride but his sides still look tight. The next day after work (yesterday) I go to the barn and he is happily standing in his stall. I go in and he is warm under his blanket so I take it off. His sides look much better, still a little tight but not bad. The swelling in his glands is gone but he is a little dehydrated. I give him some electrolytes and 10 min later he drinks half a bucket of water. I let him out to grave for a bit while I get ready to ride and talk it over with the barn owner. The only thing we can come up with is that he was allergic to soemthing and went into a little bit of a shock. The shivering, the swollen glands and the tight sides. His body was fighting off something. I make the decision to ride today since he looks good and is trotting around the yard like a crazy man. We have a decent ride and even throw in some jumping. He is acting perfectly normal and after riding I offer him some more water. I check him all over again, gums are pink, he is fully hydrated, his sides look normal and no swelling. His eyes are bright and he is not even tired. I out him in the stall again just to be safe but this time leave the blanket off since it's going to be 80 degrees tomorrow.

I really have no clear explanation as to why this happened. Nothing different has happened in his world, no immunizations or vet things done recently, no new hay, same paddock and everything. It's baffling unless some kind of bug bit him and made him have that kind of reaction but I couldn't find any sting marks or anything and I looked him all over. On a good note all of his cuts from the barrel incident are healed over and just little scabs now. Their clean and healthy looking and I'm happy for that. Tonight I'm going to the barn to check on him and throw him back out in his paddock before he goes crazy in his stall. I'm grabbing my tack and going home to sit on the roof and clean my stuff since it's actually a really nice day out. Just taking it day by day with Possum but this whole sickness thing is very odd, but thankfully he looks and feels great like nothing ever happened.


Stephanie said...

Huh - maybe it was just a fluke. He was fighting something off - or maybe had a teeny tiny stomachache - not enough to make him colic.

Your so lucky to not have had him sick ever! And lucky to have spent so much time with him to notice when he's feeling even a little off.

Just keep an eye on him - I am always a nervous ninny about colic since losing Gracie.

Leah Fry said...

Sure hope he's okay now. That's scary.

Stephanie said...

That is a bit perplexing! Good thing you noticed right away, hope that whatever it is it's done with!