Horse people are a different breed. Probably nobody else in the world can get quite as excited about a pile of manure as horse owners -- especially a horse owner with a sick horse.
There remain a lot of mysteries about Dash's ailment -- what caused the fever (blood tests were all normal), why will she eat anything except the teff hay, was she impacted or just empty -- but last night things started to "come out" all right.
Anyway, I'm still cutting her meals into smaller chunks for another day but it appears whatever was ailing her no longer is.
Since the vet gave her a bucket of mineral oil Tuesday morning about 10, she has pooped six times. Three of them were since 5 p.m. last night.
My theory? Friday night she decided, for reasons I can't fathom, to stop eating the only hay she was being offered, which is this lovely teff grass that I planned to feed all three horses this winter. It's a wonderful hay, highly nutritious, palatable, fresh, clean, weed and mold-free. But I think Dash took exception to it for reasons of her own.
I had noticed Saturday that there was uneaten hay in her bin but didn't think all that much about it because I give them a LOT of hay these cold nights. But Dawn and Dash have access to each other's feed and they go back and forth all the time so I did have a moment to wonder why Dawn hadn't eaten the leftovers. But I didn't think all that much about it.
I think Friday night she ate the 2# of Strategy pellets and left all or most of the hay. I think Dawn ate Dash's hay Friday night. Saturday morning they only got hay. I think Dash didn't eat it and Dawn ate what she wanted and got full (since she already had a double meal the night before) and left some.
I think Saturday night Dash probably only ate the pellets and Dawn probably helped with the hay again.
Sunday was Christmas. I didn't pay much attention to what might have been left in the bins when I fed. I was gone all day. My neighbor fed at night and didn't have reason to look to see if hay was still left in the bins. I think Dash ate the pellets Sunday night but probably not the hay.
Monday I didn't feed; I swept the loose hay out of the garage into a huge pile and let them eat that. Some of that hay was alfalfa and bermuda, so Dash may have eaten some of that, but most of the sweepings were teff.
Monday afternoon Dash had the fever. She pooped around 3 and again at 4:30 and that was when I realized she was sick and refusing to eat. Gave her a fever reducer and expected her appetite to return when the fever broke (less than an hour later).
But Monday night she ate only the strategy pellets but didn't touch the hay and I finally noticed that fact. She pooped once overnight.
Tuesday morning she still hadn't touched the hay, but I gave her 2# of senior feed and she ate that.
Vet gave her oil about 10 a.m. in case she was impacted although she really didn't have any symptoms of it.
She was offered alfalfa and ate that. That was when we realized she was only "off" her feed if her feed was Teff hay.
She pooped once that afternoon. Sunday's pellets?
She pooped once during the night. Monday's pellets?
She pooped once Wednesday afternoon. Tuesday morning's senior feed?
Finally sometime after 5 p.m. she pooped twice, and then once again during the night. The small meals she was fed at intervals on Tuesday after the oil was given? There was oil in this poop.
Anyway, if I am correct that she started refusing hay Friday or Saturday, the lack of pooping may have been due to a lack of anything to poop.
But . . . we'll never really know.
I'm just glad to see that wonderful poop out there and know that she is NOT plugged and everything that has gone in, has come out.
And if you are not a horse person . . . you don't "get this" . . . but the horse people do, and are rejoicing with me over those piles in the corral.
And that's the latest from the Ranch.