Friday, June 5, 2009

Life is pretty routine

Non horsey things have taken over life recently, hence the lack of recent posts. I've still been working with horses daily, but not much has changed from the last post.

Griffin ate grass right in front of me again this evening, but this time, I sat on the ground right outside the panels and held a hunk of grass in my fist extended between the panels right next to his grass pile. As he inched closer to the edge of the pile nearest me, at one point he sniffed my hand (from a couple inches away) then took a couple steps back, then advanced to eat again. Then a couple minutes later, after he sort of forgot I was there, he raised his head checked out my hand, but got too close and he bumped it with the side of his mouth. That scared him a little, so he stepped back, walked away, then took his time coming back to eat grass. I decided that was good enough, so I made things easier by getting up to pick more grass as a nice little reward.

Kachina is doing better. Her large lymph gland has slowed it's drainage and I don't see any other lumps under her jaw (which is pretty easy to examine, since she lost all her hair from the underside of her jaw). She still coughs and is generally sick, but her coughs aren't quite as phlegmy, so I think she is getting better! It'll still be a few weeks before she's not contagious anymore though, I think. I still ask her to sniff my hand every time I am in her pen getting hay for her, so we've got a system down where she knows that I will back off her if she stops and looks at me. She still gets a little worried at first and will turn a circle with her butt toward me, but then she'll turn around, back up and face me. And I can always get her to sniff my hand, then I leave. If I crouch down when I ask her, she gets very relaxed. I must be much more intimidating when I'm standing.

So far, the tame horses are showing no signs of strangles. Catlow is coughing some, but she was coughing before they ever came. She seems otherwise healthy and I've been feeling lymph glands daily with no lumps. Maybe we dodged it...but then, the incubation period is 3-21 days and it's only been 14 days so far (one source I found said incubation period is 3-14 days, so we might be in the clear). Unfortunately, after Kachina recovers, she can still shed bacteria for up to 6 weeks. Thankfully though, the bacteria seem to be pretty weak in the environment when exposed to drying and sunlight. So, if we've kept it at bay so far, unless it's just incubating in Cody, Chico and Catlow, I think we might yet escape any further problems! Griffin never did start draining. He has a cough and snotty nose, which could be a very mild form of strangles, so I'm careful about him too (treat him like he's contaminated).


Pony Girl said...

Sounds like some good progress, how cool Griffin is sniffing your hand! I'm also happy to hear the other horses might be in the clear. Once those 21 days pass, you'll feel much better! I'm glad I vaccinate for strangles, didn't know it was such a bugger to deal with. I'm having a hard enough time with my horse's sarcoid! :(

Kara said...

I've never dealt with a sarcoid before, but they sound terrible! I read an article where they've had some success preventing them from returning after removal by injecting a bit of the homogenized sarcoid tissue into the horse. This apparently is thought to cause the horse's body to recognize it as foreign material and mount an immune response against it. I think it's a pretty new treatment (probably still experimental), but I read about it in a recent issue of Equus. Apparently they had some success with fewer horses in that group having their sarcoids return as compared to horses that did not have it injected into them.