Saturday, August 25, 2012

Under the weather

You need to go to barn Fiona is not feeling well.  Not colicking.  Vet on his way.

No one ever wants to get that text.  Ever.  But I got that message from my trainer today just before heading out with my husband.  He got a frantic 'Fiona's sick bye!' as I bolted out the door.  I didn't even bother to change out of the slacks and cute little flats I was wearing.

No one wants that text, and no one wants to hurry up the driveway and see their horse in the barn aisle with an IV bag hanging next to her.  The vet beat me there by quite a bit since I live forty minutes away.  I was told that she had colitis of unknown cause.  She had a fever, diarrhea, was reluctant to move, and was stocked up.  The whole thing unfolded in a matter of hours.  Her temp went from 99 at 11am to 101 by 1pm.  Fortunately her junior rider was with her and noticed that something was wrong right away.  The vet arrived and started supportive treatment.  As of right now, it doesn't look like she has to head to the clinic.

We won't know exactly what is going on until the cultures are done.  Right now she's being treated for dehydration, diarrhea, and fever.  Fiona was already perkier by the time she was moved back into her freshly cleaned and disinfected stall.

The Irish knit went on when she started to get chills from her fever.  The poor thing was shivering so hard I worried she would fall and her hair was standing on end.  Even her ears felt cold.  Her temperature got all the way up to 103, but another dose of banamine and some time has her back down to 98.3.  She's on all she can eat hay and she's taking full advantage.  The world would have to end before this mare lost her appetite.  Everyone is giving her anything she wants.  The princess is loving all of the extra attention and fussing.

Until we know what the cause is, the princess is in quarantine.  Quarantine is tougher to keep with a horse as popular and friendly as Fiona.  Everyone wants to check on her and she wants to touch everyone looking in at her.  It was definitely touching how many people were there and worrying about her.  Everyone jumped to get her stall stripped, power washed, and sprayed down as quickly as possible.  She got lots of petting and love, followed by all of us having to take advantage of the foot bath and bucket of water and bleach.

I reek of DMSO and bleach.  It's a terrible combination.

Hopefully she'll bounce back from whatever this is so the fall season can go as planned.  However, after standing outside of my mare's stall and watching her shake and knowing that there was nothing I could do, things have been put into perspective.  I don't care if she misses this show or the next, I just want her to feel better.


  1. Oh my gosh! How scary - sending healing vibes Fiona's way!

  2. Sending my good well wishes Fiona's way! And my thoughts are with you - we all know how it is to worry over our horses. Hoping for a swift recovery!

  3. I hope she feels better asap. Has your vet pulled blood to test for Ehrlichia?

    1. Actually yes and she's starting on doxy just to be safe. Another horse in the barn had it this spring and the symptoms are quite similar. Fiona was just more dramatic about it.

    2. That's good to hear - it's easy to treat once you catch it but it can be devastating if left untreated. It's great you got the vet out so fast. Lucy had that a couple years ago and displayed the exact same symptoms. I'd take Ehrlichia any day over Lyme!