Friday, June 29, 2007

My Miracle Child

If you haven't read Lester's guestbook in a while then you missed the following comment from one of his vets:
Reid Hanson
Comments: Glad to hear from you, Denise, that Lester is doing so well. Keep up the good nursing care. He is a real miracle child. Dr. Reid Hanson Auburn University

We need the rain, but I HATE the storms. Laura turned Less out yesterday around 6pm and I brought him in around 8:30pm, right before a HUGE thunder storm. He has a new "friend", the deer was in his paddock again and she doesn't seem too afraid of me. I called to Less and he came trotting over :-) He's so darn cute!
The flashes of lightning made Less and I both "jump". Then when I put him in his stall he was so unsettled that we had to close his stall door, usually he's mellow enough we just use the stall guard.
Dr. Olsen is supposed to be out today to check over the incision site. I forgot to mention earlier that when I talked to Dr. Hanson last that he said next week he didn't see why I couldn't get on Less and walk him undersaddle :-o (where is the pee my pants, but happy emoticon?)
Note: Above pic has been photoshopped ;-)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

One Stormy Night...

Lester was mimicking his favorite "Breyer horse" last night; Fighting Stallion. *rolls eyes
Last night was very stormy with TONS of rain (my rain dancing has finally paid off ;-) No turn-out for Lester, I didn't want to risk it and have him running all over the paddock. He and I helped take out the other horses and by the time the last horse was let go the bottom fell out. We could "see" the rain coming. This was when Less wanted to practice his "rearing". He danced around a little (I had to tell him the dancing was no longer necessary as it was ALREADY raining) and with a couple of shanks on the leadrope he settled back down. He grazed a total of 30 mins I think. I would have been happy to stand in the rain with him while he ate grass, but he really just wanted to practice more of his rearing so I said enough and put him to "bed". He whinnied a couple of times too, man does he sound like a little girl! (don't tell him I said that!) At least his nicker sounds pretty manly:-)
I spoke with Dr. Hanson yesterday about what comes next. We have lowered Less' GastroGard to 1/4 dose each day, however I fumbled with the tube too much and he got a little more than that. Dr. Hanson wants me to schedule an appointment with Dr. Olsen so that he can give him a good once over on the incision site and check for hernias, but I swear it looks like he never even had the surgery- the site is so tight, clean, and there is virtually no scar (see under Medical pics/ information to the right). After that Lester will be able to have a buddeh! We've decided on using "Fella" as the guinea pig errrr I mean companion choice for Lester:-) He's very laid back and not at all a player/ fighter. Dr. Hanson heard that Lester had a blog and signed the guest book! They (the vets and students) were joking about it (the blog) when we took Less to get scoped for ulcers- a student gave me a print out of his ulcers and said "Here, you can put this on your blog". I really wanted a print out of the ultrasound of his small intestines- looked just like a baby ultrasound. I would have most definitely put it on the blog, but also would have put it on my bulletin board at work so people would ask, "Oh is that your baby?" and I could say, well sort of, it's my horse's intestines:-)

Monday, June 25, 2007

The "Look"

I get that "look" also when I try and administer the GastorGard...I get a pathetic "cute" look with head turned, then the high head and then a last "look" before he finally gives in and lets me give it to him. 5 more to go and he will be finished with the treatment. I will be calling Dr. Hanson/ Harper to see what the next steps are soon. Lester is still for the most part a very good patient, but he's getting a bit antsy and he thinks he's ready to join the "herd" and do more. Little bad manners are starting to show through like dragging me, walking off while ground tied and just not paying attention, I don't blame him though.

Monday, June 18, 2007

New Shoes!

Lester says "how does my foot look?" as he inspects his new shoe. He of course was a good boy as he always is. I finally got Ronnie to admit that Less has lost some weight;-)

Last night was my first night away from Lester. It wasn't easy. I tossed and turned all night and worried that my cell phone would ring. Luckily it did not. I turned him out in the paddock around 6:15pm and cleaned the barn apartment, cleaned Less' stall, made him a Bermuda grass and timothy/ alfalfa hay "parfait" in his hay rack, clipped the dogs' toe nails- in other words I wanted to stay as long as I could in order to "tuck" Lester into "bed" for the night:-) Around 8:45pm is when I saw him standing by the gate and getting a bit anxious. I went and brought him in and he had a nasty horse fly after him. It was hotter than hades out so I hosed off his legs and put him up for the night. He seemed a bit spookier then he has been, but I think there was a house party going on behind his paddock *rolls eyes.

I just talked to Laura and she said everything was fine this morning when she turned him out:-) Hopefully he doesn't act up any!

Look how good Lester is for Ronnie- ->

Friday, June 15, 2007


For us TGIF means it's FRIDAY, but for Lester is means THANK GAWD IT'S FOOD! Two weeks home now and he couldn't be doing better. He gets about 3 hours of morning turnout and 3 hours evening turnout. He seems pretty content with this schedule and is still minding his manners. I was a bad mommy yesterday and forgot to give him his GastroGard after work- I even wrote a big "G" on my hand to remember to give it to him, but at 10:30PM as I was washing it off in the shower it hit me that I hadn't given it to him yet! I thought I had made my approach to his stall clear with my voice, but I guess he couldn't hear me over the fan. I turned his light on and scared the poor guy to pieces! :-o He had his butt towards the stall door and was quietly munching his timothy/ alfalfa hay I had put in the corner for him. I felt so bad for scaring him and then having to give him the GastroGard that he clearly hates now.
His bloodwork on Monday was normal! His creantitine level wasn't high at all, it was 1.6 when the range is (0.6-2.2). Dr. Olsen removed the remaining staple which they said he didn't like very much, but of course he behaved. His farrier, Ronnie Deboard is coming tomorrow to do his feets! It's been almost 7 weeks!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Run Freeee

Of course I didn't want him to run at all, but this past weekend was the first time I let him off loose in a paddock. I started him off hand grazing in the riding ring and then eventually took his leadrope off- as you can see he didn't really even notice :-) Each time I let him off he was perfect, no running, no fussing- just grazing and walking. I would then move him to the "red barn" paddock and he would do the same.
But when John and Laura turned him out in the "red barn" paddock last night he was NOT the perfect boy- he rolled, he ran, he crow-hopped :-x. So they immediately caught him and brought him back in... Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad boy.

Believe it or not Lester is even MORE spoiled than he was before :-/. Since I have been handgrazing him on the best grass of the property he isn't at all impressed what is in the paddocks. I had him out for 2 hours this AM and he was waiting by the gate ready to come in!

I believe today he is getting his bloodwork done and having one staple that was missed in Auburn removed...

Friday, June 8, 2007

Lester's First Carrot

Yesterday I gave Lester his first "treat" since his surgery. It was a baby-cut carrot from a bag that Mindy, Ed, and Shawn left for him in the tack-room with a nice Get Well card! Since I have been squirting Cinnamon flavored GastroGard in Less' mouth everyday he was very leery about the carrot at first, but he eventually took it. Tomorrow is kind of a big day as he gets to be let off lead tomorrow in a paddock...

Thursday, June 7, 2007

*Knocks On Wood

Well it's once again a Thursday and so far so good. I feel a little guilty for cheating Lester out of 15 mins of "out" time this morning when I kept hitting the snooze button....ZZZzzzzz But I have been sooooooo tired lately! The last two Thursdays have been when Lester's tummy hurt again, so I badly want us to break that cycle! He's now had 5 good days due to the GastroGard...I still wonder why Less' ulcers/ tummy never acted up when he was in Auburn??? Maybe the trailer rides really set him off. I've added a link to the right that explains the causes of ulcers in horses at my sister's request: Lester had a lot of things against him and it's no wonder he developed ulcers! * Coliced, had surgery, trailered, off forage for days, stall confinement, high doses of medications* I wish I had had more knowledge on the subject because I would have given him a preventive. Laura is the one that brought up the possibility of ulcers and when I asked the vets this, they immediately concurred. She had remembered a case of Dr. Olsen's where a horse was chronically colicing and the owners wanted the horse put down. Dr. Olsen asked the owners to give him 4 days to treat her for ulcers and she's been better ever since with no signs of colic.

I have discovered a way to graze Lester and entertain the mutant hound at the same time;-) Limo likes to play tug-o-war with the leadrope now--Lester doesn't seem to bothered by it. I let him graze 3-4 times a day and try and get at least 30 mins to an hour each time. He's getting better "pickings" then he would if he was turned out in the pasture. He's still being a very well behaved "stall rest" patient though he's had a couple of hyper moments. Yesterday, he was grazing one minute and the next he had leaped up, partly reared and got his left front leg over the leadrope. I was able to hang on despite his backing up and trying to get a way. I think he had caught Laura in the corner of his eye and thought she was a "monster"...though two horses had just galloped past him so maybe he wanted to go too.

He gets some more blood work done tomorrow and I've been taking his temp periodically which has so far always been normal.

Monday, June 4, 2007


Lester has quite the view doesn't he? I continue to increase his amount of hay. I added timothy/ alfalfa to to his diet and he LOVES it. I found that since it was heavier and more course it's easier to spread around his stall- something that Dr. Hanson suggest I do. He will barely touch the grass hay now :-p which I guess proves that he doesn't have that "starving" feeling anymore. I hope he hasn't forgotten to use his automatic waterer- he seems to always drink out of the bucket I provide now. With that bucket a lone I would guess he's drinking around 8- 12 gallons a day. I've added electrolytes to his senior feed as well and still put in a 1/4 of mineral oil or wet it down to a soupy mush. He grazes 3-4 times a day, for 30 minutes or longer. As you can see he has some new grazing companions:-) For the most part Lester will just happily graze, but he has started to get a little hyper now and then. It was really windy yesterday so he spooked really big at a tree. I'm obviously not a "grass expert"- every time I think I've found Less the perfect patch of grass he walks right over the top of it! (guess a dog could have pee-ed on that particular patch though and I don't know it). All in all it was a good weekend:-)
I think I worried Dr. Harper today by calling him (again)- but I was just reminding him to please send out the rest of the GastroGard.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Today was a good day

Every good day with Lester is a gift. I was told again yesterday that some horses that have had this type of colic and surgery don't make it even a year. We've enjoyed a few grazing sessions today, it's so peaceful listening to him munch on the grass. Stall resting him should have been the least of my worries, he's been so resonable and pleasant to be around. He's had 2 treatments now of the GastroGard. He seems quite content right now. We have worked up to a flake of hay today that has been scattered all around his stall. He gets about 3 mashes a day too of equine senior and oil and electrolytes.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Got Ulcers?

Lester does have ulcers. The scope showed a few moderate to significant ulcers. Due to the fact he still had some food in his system I'm sure we didn't see them all. The good news is that ulcers are very treatable and he's already had his first dose. Dr. Harper said it tastes like cinnamon and it's a paste that you just squirt in like a de-wormer. It smelled like cinnamon and tasted like the really bitter cinnamon without any sugar :-x ewwww, yes I tried it. I figured I had a few ulcers myself after all this, joking. We are back home, Lester too, this time he didn't want to stay, he wanted to get home. Oh the good news? Seems the Ulcer treatment makers were having some kind of special so we got the tubes for half price! So in a way the scoping was free;-) He was a stellar patient as always. So we will treat his ulcers and go from there.
Dr. Hanson admitted to being very concerned about Lester. His bloodwork looks normal except for his creatinine level.

Colic or not?

Laura and I are going to trailer Less back to Auburn later this afternoon. He was uncomfortable all through the night, but had some quiet moments. Since Less is still pooping Dr. Olsen doesn't believe it's an impaction rather something is just painful. Let's pray for ulcers, if it's not then diagnosing what it is gets rather tricky.