Horses: you gotta love ’em, even when they’re (fill in the blank)

So my injured Billy came home yesterday after two months of treatment and R&R at my vet’s barn. He was an angel on the trailer, and settled right into his new stall just across the aisle from his old one. That was yesterday.

Today, I arrived at the barn to find he can’t move his back legs, at least not without a lot of effort. The culprit turned out to be his spring vaccinations. He got them just before leaving the vet’s facility. We had always given them to him in his neck, but he was getting increasingly sensitive there (lumps and painful bumps that tooks weeks to go away). So we decided this time to give them to him in the hind legs. Wel-l-l-l, in typical Murphy’s Law fashion, that didn’t work out. The legs were swollen and stiff, he was running a fever, and he wasn’t drinking any water. Three hours later, after a dose of phenylbutazone (horsey anti-inflammatory and analgesic) his temp was down, he had taken a drink, the legs weren’t quite as warm but were still swollen. Because the “bute” tastes so nasty, he was refusing to eat. Not apples, not carrots, not peppermints, not horse cookies could tempt him. And on top of that, something in the hay he had previously eaten had disagreed with him and made his lower lip swell up, and he was drooling all over my head, shoulders and sleeves.

When the grain cart came around for lunch, he suddenly decided that actual horse food looked kind of good. After tossing the pellets around a few times, he plunged in and did justice to that old saying “eating like a horse”. The drool went away, thank God, and I was able to accept horsey kisses without drowning in horse spit. When I finally left him, he was happily munching hay again (hopefully without the offending allergic ingredient). We’ll see what tomorrow brings, hopefully legs that look more like they belong to the Thoroughbred he is rather than the draft horse he presently appears to be.

About Alli Farkas

Equine and landscape artist specializing in rural Americana
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1 Response to Horses: you gotta love ’em, even when they’re (fill in the blank)

  1. Sue Steiner says:

    Poor Billy!! If its not one thing its another…. Isn’t that always the way with horses? Glad he was improving.


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