Brett got the trailer hooked up while I threw the other horses enough hay to tide them over for lunch; not knowing how long we would be gone.
Oh, my. That UC Davis Large Animal Clinic is an impressive place.
Two vets and a graduate student worked on Flash. First the vets did a thorough physical and drew blood for lab work. Flash stood quietly with Brett, while they poked and prodded, shaved him for an ultrasound of his internal organs, and conducted a rectal exam (plastic sleeve on the vets arm - in through the rectum up to the vet's armpit - ewww). Meanwhile, the initial blood work came back: a low platelet and white blood cell count, anemia. Suspecting a tick related disease, the vets asked the pathologist to do a smear and look for anaplasma phagocytophilum (yeah, a mouthful). Anaplasma occurs in the Sierra foothills of Northern California. Who knew? Not us native Southern Californians.
While we waited for those results, they did the ultrasound. The vets kept exclaiming over how clear Flash's organs were showing up on the ultrasound. Apparently, many horses have images that show up grainy and hard to read on the screen. Not Flash; crystal clear and perfectly healthy.
Finally, the follow up lab results came back... positive. Anaplasma is a type of tick borne infection but, unlike Lyme's Disease, horses can make a full recovery with no long term effects. We caught Flash very early in the process so he should be back to 100% after treatment. After the first three days, the bacteria don't show up clearly on lab work so we were fortunate to get Flash tested so quickly. The vets took a couple extra vials of blood to put in their "bank" for teaching purposes. Blood that clearly shows the organism is hard to come by. Wasn't Flash the stellar patient?
Prognosis is excellent. Flash will remain at the hospital on IV antibiotics until his vitals are stable (three to six days). At that point he will be transitioned to oral meds and can come home. We settled him into a stall in the "B" barn where he looked comfortable (and tired).
Brett and I got home just before dark; in time to feed dinner to the rest of the critters and do a quick mucking job of the pasture.