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July 14, 2021:Veterinarian Appointment

A few days ago, I mentioned (via the phone) to Zach Kaiser, our veterinarian, that Tinni gurgled when he exerted himself, which is when I took him trail riding or walking. I said that he sounded like Darth Vader on steroids. Zach took my description seriously; he saw the described condition as being serious enough that he scheduled an appointment with Tinni for July 28th.

Then yesterday he called and said he could come today. He arrived promptly at 10 a.m., as planned.

I had Tinni tied to the hitching post, ready to be examined. After exchanging pleasantries, Zach pulled forth his stethoscope and first listened to Tinni’s heart, then to his lungs. He did this several times, and after each time, remained quiet. The suspense was killing me.

Pete and Tinni on the bench next to a fresion

Then he put a plastic bag over Tinni’s nose, so as to change the oxygen/carbon dioxide ratio. When he removed the bag, Tinni was breathing heavily, this his way of balancing out his oxygen to C02 levels. Zach again listened to his heart and lungs with the stethoscope.

Zach was so thorough, his exam ended up taking over an hour. Tinni was his usual cooperative self. Sarah, Zach’s veterinary assistant also gave an assist. She noticed, very importantly, that when Tinni was standing still, he took weight off one leg and put it on the other. This, after I mentioned that he was stumbly on outings.

Zach then asked me all kinds of questions about Tinni’s health and maintenance routine. I could, as he did this, see his mind at work. His final assessment was that Tinni has an inflammation of the upper airways. It’s not serious now, but it could become more serious given his age.

Zach then offered three options, the first being to do nothing, the second being to give antibiotics as a part of his feed supplement, and the third, very aggressive measure being to give him antibiotic injections every 12 hours.

Pete and I decided to go with option # 2. So Tinni is getting eight, count them, eight tablets containing antibiotics, twice a day. This is 16 tablets a day. I thought, yep, another thing to put on the to do list.

I gave Tinni his slurpy this evening and he lapped it down, as would a dog. The mares, watching, were envious.

After, I took him for a walk. Running with him, and riding him are out, not because Zach said so, but because I intuitively feel that the walks are the best thing for him at this point in time. I may actually never ride him again, if so, this is okay. Tinni has served us well over the years and is still serving us well, so being his companion is just fine with me.

The reason Zach came out today is because he, like so many others, loves this old horse. And as he ages, Tinni just seems to get more mellow and fun to be around.

He has his own stall space, and indoor-outdoor privileges. I hope that he’s okay with this. I have thus far seen nothing to indicate that this is not to his liking.

Next: 194. 7/15/21: Just Another Day

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