Saturday, May 30, 2009

I Knew I'd Eventually Have Problems With My Ass

As I was scrolling through my archives on Thursday morning, pulling select older posts to include in yesterday's "I-Don't-Have-Time-To-Write-A-New-Post-So-Take-A-Stroll-Down-Memory-Lane-But-Actually-This-Whole-Scrolling-Through-And-Rereading-And-Linking-Takes-As-Much-Time-As-Writing" post, I thought to myself: "Wow - we have had a lot of goat drama over the years." And: "OMG - thank God we haven't had any Dixie drama." And: "I can't even remember the last time we had any animal drama (other than the fact that I occasionally have to beat the ever loving shit out of Elvis when he gets all Alpha Goat on me and I have to show him who's *really* Alpha). And: "How long do you think this no-animal-drama streak will continue?"

So yeah. I might as well have asked a swarm of locusts to descend on my pasture followed by the Bubonic Plague.

Less then 12 hours later I headed out to feed the animals and I noticed Dixie's right eye was all swollen shut and full of pus. I immediately ran back into the house to grab Marty who calmly told me that he had noticed her eye was messed up yesterday and she probably took a horn to the eye because there were some lacerations and it was basically the donkey equivalent of a black eye. I was like: "Dude. There's no freaking way that's a black eye. Did you see the goo oozing out of her eye? Have you ever seen a human black eye ooze pus like that?"

So I returned to the pasture where it became clear that Dixie's allergies (yes - my donkey has allergies - severe ones in fact) were really bothering her because she was rubbing her face up and down against anything she could - the fence, the ground, the goats, my leg (ewww....). And the lacerations weren't lacerations but hot spots where she had rubbed her face raw trying to stop the itch.

So I called the vet because I am naturally neurotic and after all the drama we've been through, I didn't really want to take any chances. I was hoping they would tell me I could give her some Benadryl (actually she already has special donkey allergy medicine, Tri-Hist, but she doesn't care for it - I thought maybe cherry flavored Benadryl would go down smoother) but then there was concern she might have scratched her eye and gotten an eye ulcer so we all agreed it was best that someone come out and take a look. And although Dr. Mary is our primary vet, she was down in SC and so I was told Dr. Bob would be by around 7ish as soon as he wrapped up his appointments in Concord.

So last time Dr. Bob came to the house, I think he basically thought I was the goat parenting equivalent of a crack whore and that I ought to forfeit my rights as a goat parent immediately and for always. Seriously. So you can imagine the IMMENSE pressure I felt to show him that nearly 3 years later: I had my shit together.

Dr. Bob was a little late (he had to unchoke the choked mare he was treating - whatever that means) but as we headed into the pasture, he commented on how great all the animals looked and how nice the barn was. I was busting with pride.

Examining Dixie took close to an hour and here is what it basically entailed: 10 minutes of coaxing her into her stall, and 50 minutes of her bucking and kicking and freaking out because really: would you want someone to be poking around in your eye? We put her halter on, attached the-nearly-frayed-ready-to-split-totally-knotted-and-generally-worn-out lead rope on, and then tied her to one of the boards on the side of her stall. And despite giving her almost no slack, she was so rambunctious that on several occasions we thought about sedating her (Lord knows I knew I would need a little sedation after the ordeal). And I did my best to hold her and whatnot but she's 250lbs and I am not and there were moments where I thought she was going to seriously injure someone (herself included) but in the end, we managed to get her examined and treated. Sort of.

Good news, she doesn't have an eye ulcer. It just appears that the severe allergies and rubbing have seriously irritated her eye and face.

Bad news, treatment entails twice-a-day administration of meds for at least several days which basically entails a mini-repeat of what I experienced with Dr. Bob.

Here was the To Do List he left me:

1) Bush-Hog pasture. Overgrown fescue causing irritation and could make it worse if a seed gets caught in her eye. Ok. I totally agree but...oh yeah and by the way: IT'S BEEN RAINING FOR 10 DAYS STRAIGHT AND IT'S BEEN TOO MUDDY TO BUSH-HOG.

2) Buy a new lead rope. One that won't split next time she pulls it and one that's not all jacked up with knots.

3) Buy a fly mask to keep her from rubbing her face. Keep it on all day except feeding until she's healed.

4) Special ointment in her eye twice a day for several days (which entails tying her up because there ain't no way she's going to stand still and let you squirt that crap in her eye. And so for the record, I got a lesson on how to tie a halter knot. I felt kind of like a Boy Scout.).

5) Clean the sores on her nose twice a day and then apply another special ointment.

6) Give her an oral dose of Bamamine paste twice a day for at least 2 days to help with the pain and swelling. This is not as easy as it sounds but my other choice was to give her a twice daily injection. I opted for squirting paste into her mouth.

7) Keep trying to give her the Tri-Hist granules at feeding. If she won't eat them on her plain old boring horse maintenance pellets, try bribing her with sweet feed.

By the time Dr. Bob left at 8:45, I was relieved that Dixie was ok, but I was wiped. And severely stressed. Because I had to be up at 5:30am the next morning to board a plane to head to NY to visit family which meant that Marty (who wasn't there for the appointment and who missed the whole "how-to-tie-a-halter-knot" lesson) was going to have to deal with all of this on his own.

And I did my best to explain everything to him when he got home later that evening and he assured me he would handle it and I know he is capable but I felt incredibly guilty to be dumping this epic-level-of-2-people-required-to-make-it-happen care on his solo lap and once again he assured me that he would figure out how to get it done...

So as of yesterday, Marty assured me that Dixie was doing fine, he had been able to give her a course of treatment, and that her eye was already looking almost normal. Which makes me happy.

Almost as happy as showing Dr. Bob that I wasn't the goat parenting equivalent of a crack whore and that in fact, I was a COUNTRY GIRL BAD ASS.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...

PS So the coolest part of the whole thing was when Dr. Bob squirted something in Dixie's eye to flush it and it came oozing out all fluorescent green and Dixie looked like some kind of radiation afflicted zombie donkey but as it turns out they do this to humans too and it's simply something called fluorescine. Oh.


harmzie said...

"...problems with my ass" [snort]

Glad you're on the road to recovery. Dixie will be fine. You, however, need a drink. :-)

AndreAnna said...

So you've convinced me now that if/when I ever get that huge land/farm I want, I must also be rich enough to hire someone to do something other than pet the animals, like my intent is.

Glad she's doing ok. I'll keep your ass in my thoughts. :)

(Couldn't resist)