Tuesday, May 26, 2009

vet calls

Well, I talked to the vet and she said that it sounded like a classic case of strangles that the mare has. She also said that it is very contagious and my horses will likely come down with it. She said watch them and as soon as they start showing signs of it, we can start them on a 2 week course of oral antibiotic. Thankfully she said that it would only cost around $50 to treat all three of my horses (not including the new ones who will need to just let it run its course). I was very happy to hear that. She of course lectured me on how I need to alway quarantine any new horse coming to my place. I know, I've learned a lesson.

But then the vet had to go into how unpredictable these adult mustangs are and how you can never really get them to trust you like a domestic horse. She recommends to people to get a horse less than a year old. She said she knows a guy who's trained a few of them and one he has had for 12 years - but if you lose your balance in the saddle at all, this horse will dump you and head for home. Why do people have to say those things? I know they think they are helping, but really, domestic horses can act like that too! It all depends on the horse and how you work with it! At this point, I'm only thinking about getting the boy to let me touch him...I'm not even getting to the point of riding yet...I feel like the gentling will be the hardest part. Once he trusts me and I am actually able to touch him, it can only get better from there on out, right? I'm not so foolish as to think that it will be easy, but I think it is do-able! Tracey, you have a lot of adult mustangs...what do you think about the vet's statement?


Andrea said...

That vet is speaking from limited experience. Don't worry about it, your boy will come around, and if he doesn't it won't be because of his age. I prefer not to adopt them too young, myself... Tonka turned out just fine and I have no reason to believe Bella won't be a fine saddle horse when I get off my butt and into the saddle. I know of lots of other older horses that were adopted and did just fine. As a matter of fact, most of the Makeover horses are 3 year olds. Not that 3 is "aged" but it's within the range your vet said was too old. I understand your worry over the gelding but give it time and I bet you'll find it all turns out okay.

I hope she's also wrong about your other horses getting sick. And I hope the filly gets over it soon. I'll be crossing my fingers for you!

arlene said...

Don't feel bad. I let Foxsun sniff both my mustangs through the fence the day they arrived. I thought they would be healthy and well taken care of, as far as shots etc, by the BLM.

Linda said...

Hmmm....doesn't surprise me about her attitude toward Mustangs--heard it before--before I had a Mustang, that is. No one ever whispers a word bad about Mustangs around me anymore. ;) There have just been way too many success stories to give her comments much thought!

I doubt that your others will get the strangles if they had very slight contact with her, but if so, sounds like you'll be on top of it with the pen.

There is one thing I'm wondering about though...at my old barn, they used to tell me that the Strangles germ can last in a stall for a long time--and even in the dirt! Is that true? Did your vet say anything about that?

nikki said...

I can understand the quarantine thing but I've never done it with any of my horses either. We always keep them in seperate pens at first and gradually let them get aquainted. Hopefully the others wont get sick too but at least it's treatable if they do.

I'm surprised that a vet would be so opinionated with someone who just adopted new mustangs and who has trained/adopted them before. It would have been funny to tell her that you already have two others that are doing just fine.

I can see having misconceptions about mustangs but you can't bad mouth something you've never tried before... Her loss I guess, but then again it's a loss for the people that she scares into turning away from adopting.

Jessie said...

I agree with everyone else, the vet is speaking from limited experience. Like you said, even domestic horses can be unpredictable... they're animals, with minds of their own.

Just the other day I got bucked off of my "domestic" horse because I spurred her in the belly.... I can spur my mustang all day long and he barely bats an eye at me. I'd have to say he trusts me, because a spur to the belly seems like the closest thing to a predator with claws grabbing onto his back...

Good luck with the strangles situation. I'd recommend washing down your trailer with a bleach solution too, because I believe it's true what Linda has heard about the bacteria... It can live on surfaces and in dirt for a period after it's expelled from the horse.

Kara said...

Yes, the bacteria can live for a long time in a moist dark environment...so we will clean the trailer with a bleach solution. And I think that her pen will be okay because it gets plenty of sun (and regular rain to wash stuff away), but after she gets over it, I plan to wipe all the panels down with bleach and clean up all the hay that's accumulated by that time, then spray a bleach solution on the ground...thankfully it's sandy and drains well, so I think we can elminate it from the area after she gets over it. I'm pretty sure that the boy is coming down with it too (his coughing is becoming more phlegmy), but so far he has not had any ruptured lymph nodes. He is in better condition than she is, so it wouldn't surprise me if he never develops a full blown case...plus, they were vaccinated for it and it should reduce the severity.

The other thing that I worry might make the boy not calm down is that he is still a stallion at this point. And he's so fearful. I feel like it would really help if he was gelding right away, but we can't do that now...he panics when we get near him. I wouldn't want to try to put him in a squeeze because I know he'd fight it, and he is just starting to calm down...I don't want to destroy that tenuous sense of calm he is developing even when we are around. I am heartened that Froglander's boy was not gelded until very recently and he is 3 this year if I remember right.

Tracey said...

Smack her upside the head for me, lol! My vet was leery to begin with as well. He'd never met any of my mustangs in person; I never needed him for anything except when they were here fresh from the adoption, and then it was usually a phone call about fungus or some such thing. When he met Sandy for the first time last summer he couldn't stop hanging on him. Then he met Steve Holt!, and when he came out and treated little Empire just two weeks after getting her he was mightily impressed.

Yup...I think he's convinced in the right hands that mustangs are every bit as dependable as a domestic in the right hands.

Hope you get over the strangles quickly and easily!

Pony Girl said...

Hopefully the strangles won't be too severe and the other horses won't get it!! :)
Too bad the vet made that comment....it's hard when people aren't positive or supportive. Like everyone else said, any domestic horse can be just as bad!!