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May 14, 2013: Veterinary Visit

I hurried home this morning after yoga, in order to get the horse enclosure clean before Dr. Wellington arrived. Last night I was out until 10 p.m., brushing the horses and spiffing them up for his visit. I figured that subliminally, clean horses and clean quarters better endear themselves to veterinarians than do dirty horses and dirty quarters. Alas, last night the mud fairies visited my facility and did a number on Raudi and Hrimfara. Try explaining this one to a veterinarian.

Dr. Wellington and his assistant, Donna Forrester, showed up at 10:20 a.m. and immediately began setting up shop. I plugged the extension cord into the

generator so that Dr. Wellington could use his electric tools when floating teeth. Dr. Wellington has large distances to cover, so he carries his supplies in his camper. Having a mobile clinic works quite well for him.

First up was Signy. She who came to the US from Ireland, and was examined many times along the way, was unfazed by all the poking and prodding. I noted that she had a runny eye. Dr. Wellington gave her a sedative and then flushed out her lacrimal gland. This didn’t seem to work, so he gave me ointment to put in the eye. He next floated her teeth, and after drew blood for an EIA. Lastly, he vaccinated her for West Nile, flu rhino, and tetanus.

Next up was Hrimfara, who bounced around like a ping pong ball. Seeing as she’s a yearling, Dr. Wellington was tolerant of her behavior. As with Signy, he drew blood for an EIA and vaccinated her for West Nile, Flu rhino, and tetanus. He looked briefly at her teeth, said they are okay for now. Next spring he’ll pull her wolf teeth.

And following Hrimfara was Raudi, who escaped the pen when I went to put Hrimmi back. She could have run off, but instead ran over the examination area, and started poking around. Fortunately, I was easily able to catch her. It was apparent to all that, yes, this horse has an attitude. I mentioned her reluctance to trot problem – Dr. Wellington first checked her ligaments, and said they were fine. He then used a hoof tester in order to determine if she might have any problems in that area. “She’s fine,” he said. The best he could determine is that she has thrush in her rear frogs, which are making them a bit sensitive.

I was pleased to hear she’s okay, but a bit mortified to hear about the thrush. I thought that I’d kept the pen clean enough. Guess I’ll have to up the pen cleanings from four to six times a day. Like Signy, Raudi had her teeth floated. Dr. Wellington also drew blood for an EIA and vaccinated her for West Nile, Flu Rhino, and Tetanus.

Horse number four was Mr. Tinni, who remained cool, calm, and collected as Dr. Wellington (as he had the others) checked his pulse. I then took the opportunity to ask Dr. Wellington about Tinni’s vision, adding that he sometimes startles when dogs and the like come up from behind. Dr. Wellington, using a magnifying lens and a headlight, looked into Tinni’s eyes, and said that he didn’t see any hardening of the lenses. Donna then interjected that perhaps the problem is related to his hearing – and suggested that I stand behind him and shake a can of grain. As he had the others, Dr. Wellington took Tinni’s pulse, and in this way determined that my Steady Eddy horse is still alive and kicking. Sedation and teeth floating followed. Tinni isn’t going anywhere this summer, so we didn’t have an EIA done. He also didn’t have to have a West Nile vaccine. So far, there have been no cases of it in Alaska.

Lastly, Dr. Wellington had Mr. Siggi step up to the plate. He wouldn’t stand still for me – now that I think of it, his seeing the needle (for sedation) probably reminded him of when he previously had this done. (This was when he had his wound). So, as asked, I handed him to Donna, who got him to stand quietly. By now, it was raining and snowing out, to Dr. Wellington and his assistant picked up the pace a bit. In short order, Mr. Siggi had his teeth floated, an EIA, and was vaccinated.

I gulped hard when I saw the bill. But in writing this, I realized that a lot was accomplished in a short amount of time. My innumerable questions (and they were innumerable) were answered, and all the horses were tended to. It’s also a small herd that we’re talking about here.

I have an attitude of gratitude when it comes to Dr. Wellington and the time and effort that are required when dealing with my supposedly healthy horses. And this is the way it should be. I would not want it any other way.

Next: 135: 5/15/13: Trip Update