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June 11, 2020: Tinni’s Bout with Colic

The days never go as planned. If, like today, they go awry early on, I can easily rise to the challenge. If they go awry later in the day, I can rise to the challenge but not as easily. Today was a case in point.

At about 9:00 a.m. I got up, dressed, and headed in the direction of the horse pen. I saw at the distance that Tinni was in his enclosure, on his side. I drew closer and saw that he was repeatedly curling his lip. This is known as the flehmen response. Horses usually do this in order to the trap the scent of members of the opposite sex, or when they’re in pain. The latter was the case with Tinni. I speculated that he was colicking, and the reason was that last night, I took him into the garden

Tinni with Hrimmi and Raudi behind

adjacent to the hoop house and let him graze for half an hour. The vegetation was more lush that what he’s used to.

I got him to stand up, then kept an eye on him as I cleaned the larger horse pen. He pawed the ground and bit at his flank a few times. I would have instead immediately taken him for a walk, but coincidently, our veterinarian, Zach Kaiser, was due shortly. He’d planned on floating Tinni and Raudi’s teeth.

I took Tinni for a walk around the loop. He started out slow and sluggish but picked up the pace as we moved along. He began taking an interest in the roadside vegetation halfway through our walk. I let him eat a handful of dandelions.

I returned home, lifted his lip, and pressed on his upper gum, so as to check his capillary refill time. I next grabbed some of the skin on his neck and released it, so as to check his dehydration status. Seemed to me like he was in need of fluids.

I was checking his gut sounds with a stethoscope when Zach pulled into our driveway. He said hello and headed to the back of the vehicle, to get his teeth floating equipment. His wife Brianna emerged from the passenger side of the cab.

I told Zach that Tinni appeared to be suffering from colic. He promptly examined him and said that all his vital signs seemed normal. Pete and I both reiterated that Icelandic horses are very stoic, and that Tinni is no exception. This was my way of saying that it’s very important in dealing with this breed to be proactive.

Zach decided to float Tinni’s teeth, first giving him a mild dose of Dormosedan. He explained to Pete and me that if Tinni had a bad case of colic, he would have sedated him anyways. Brianna set up shop, and Zach spent considerable time filing down the shape edges in Tinni’s mouth. He also removed the hay that was lodged between some of his rear teeth.

After Tinni, he floated Raudi’s teeth. By late afternoon, the sedative had worn off. We all stood around talking for over an hour. I gave Brianna and her four boys a handful of books. Lastly, Brianna mentioned that they have Australian Shepherd puppies for sale. We are going to look at a female that’s mostly black. I’m already calling her Shadow. The Icelandic people name their horses after their characteristics, and so we are going to do the same.

Next: 163. 6/12/20: Ryder’s Shadow

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