Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Gifts for Jackson

It's almost Jackson's birthday.  On Saturday, he will be eight years old.  Today his birthday gift arrived in the mail.  The other gift was delivered by the vet and wasn't quite as popular with the birthday boy.

Because Jackson is grey, with a white blaze, I worry about sunburn on his nose.  I read about a great fly mask and ordered him one.  It fits him perfectly and will allow him to enjoy the California sunshine without sunscreen -- or flies.

He immediately went outside to model it for Tuffy.  I tried to explain to Tuffy that it wouldn't fit over his ears but he said he wants one anyway.


Our vet delivered a bag for Jackson as well.

We are going to try a course of GastroGuard.  I'm getting REALLY tired of washing Jackson's back legs and tail every day.  We've tried everything else so this is the last shot -- we saved it for last because GastroGuard is soooooo expensive.  We think that Jackson may have ulcers in his colon.  Most of the time when horses have ulcers, they are gastric (in the front gut) and cause belly pain.  The horse is colicky - which Jackson has never been.  But recently there have been a number of studies done on horses who have issues similar to Jackson, and they found ulcers in the back gut (colonic).  Our vet has successfully treated a number of horses recently with similar symptoms and the results were pretty amazing.  I am hoping it works for Jackson as well.  He definitely has something going on in his back colon.  I keep him free of parasites (I am the fecal test queen), give him good quality hay three times a day, give him as much turn out as his feet can tolerate, and limit his stress as much as possible (we don't go anywhere in the trailer).

This morning's ride was interesting.  Jackson started out slow and lethargic.  I wasn't sure if it was the heat or his feet or his gut.  We did a little trot work and he woke up.  After trotting for ten minutes, he decided it was time to canter. 
Um, no, I didn't say canter.   
Yes you did! 
No, I didn't.  Trot a nice circle and then we'll canter. 
No!  I want to canter NOW! 
He kept trying to run off with me -- he comes back in a stride or two, it's never scary, but he sure was feeling pushy. 

I may regret the ulcer treatment.  I may end up with a very sassy horse. 

Bring it on.

6 comments:

  1. Hope the Gastrogard does the trick - a lot of vets seem unaware of colonic ulcers so you're fortunate to have a well-informed vet.

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  2. I hope the GastroGuard works. It's been great catching up on your blog and reading about your trip. That's funny about the peace treaty with the donkeys! :-)

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  3. HOpefully it will work.
    Did you say rhubarb pie next week????

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  4. Well, happy birthday early to Jackson! I think my boy has a very similar mask to that--Cashel with the nose attachment. At least it looks like that. Fancy!

    It sounds like you take PERFECT care of Jackson. It seems to me that horses with the best care are often the ones who this happens to. Go figure! My first two bottle-fed baby goats--I treated them as I would my own children--it was only the best. They both developed urinary calculi and the vets were unable to save them. Later I was talking to an old cowboy friend/farrier and he could see I was broken up about losing them so he tried to cheer me up. He said, the next time you get goats, you need to kick them around a bit and feed them straw--then they'll live forever. It did cheer me up and make me laugh--and my next three goats are doing great six years later--but I don't kick them around. lol. BTW, I don't fee them straw either. ;)

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  5. Happy birthday to beautiful JAckson. SO glad he's feeling lively. Hope the gastro guard works.

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  6. I hope the Gastroguard is working. :) Silly Jackson. Oh and Happy Birthday Jackson!

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Thanks so much for commenting! I love the conversation.