Sunday, January 19, 2014

Oh, Jackson

I picked up Heather from the Sacramento airport Friday afternoon and we got to the house with just enough time to take the dogs for a long walk before chores. When we pulled in the driveway, Jackson was laying down in a bed of leaves in the pasture. He's not one to stay down for long naps so I was surprised that he didn't pop up to standing when we drove in the gate.

I grabbed the dog leashes out of the laundry room and called the dogs. Sedona stood still with her tail wagging slowly from side to side while I clipped on her leash. Kersey collapsed onto the ground in a fit of excitement and wriggled so violently that I didn't think we'd ever get the leash attached. Jackson was still laying down as we walked by and my concern increased. He wasn't in distress but was resting comfortably with his head up, his ears pricked forward, watching us go by. We walked up the dirt road that circles behind our property, along the fence line behind the pasture. As we passed by Jackson again, he stood and gave his body a good shake. I sighed in relief and we started up the first hill.

An hour later when we returned home with two tired, happy dogs, Jackson was still standing ... in exactly the same place. Uh oh. He was lame. Three legged lame on the hoof with rotation of the coffin bone. No heat, no swelling, no rocks in the frog. Just lame. I smashed some horse cookies with a hammer, added bute, a splash of water and mixed it up. Jackson hates bute or vitamins or anything other than grass, hay, carrots and apples. I had to hold the mess of wet smashed cookies in my hand and only then did he reluctantly eat it; more to please me than anything else.

Saturday morning, he was standing but reluctant to move. I mixed more bute with some sweet feed and he ate most of it. In the evening, he was still off and getting tired of the sweet feed that tasted like apple flavored bute (special ordered for him because he won't go near the peppermint flavored stuff). He ate half.

This morning, he was STILL very lame and he flat out refused to eat anything from the bucket. He hobbled away from me when he realized I wasn't going away. I gave up with a mixture of annoyance and worry. Why does the horse that needs medication have to be the picky eater?!

Heather and I spent the day at a dressage symposium at Starr Vaughn. At lunch time, Brett and I were texting about Jackson. I suggested that he mix the bute into some applesauce, put it in a syringe, and shoot it into Jackson's mouth. Brett went to the market and picked up a jar, found a syringe in the tack room medicine chest, and loaded the syringe. Jackson let him shoot it in his mouth but didn't swallow the whole amount. At least he got some. Tomorrow morning I'll be able to give him the bute. Fingers crossed that he works his way out of this. This is his first lame episode since we moved up here which is phenomenal. He has been feeling very good, galloping around, bucking and playing like a healthy ten year old. His spirit is willing but his feet are weak. Poor guy.


  1. poor boy! i hope he lets you give the bute to ease his pain!

  2. Sorry to read about Jackson. Fortunately my horses will eat bute in their grain. I would use the syringe with applesauce too, to make sure he is getting enough of the bute. The key is putting it pretty far back in the side of the mouth. Do you feed beet pulp? That must be what masks the bute in my grain.

  3. Hope Jackson figures out to cooperate so you can keep him comfortable...

    I second the suggestion about shooting the applesauce way back, and then holding up his head if you can. I know once Val tastes the bute it's all over... like all over me. ;D

  4. Poor fellow - hope he starts to feel a bit better soon.

  5. Oh poor Jackson :( I am sending lots of good thoughts to your handsome boy!


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