"United we bargain, divided we beg."

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rosie Pony Update (And Notes on the Cow)

The vet came out yesterday to look at Rosie Pony's crusty eyes. We had thought that she had plugged tear ducts, because last time the vet tried, two years ago, to irrigate them, she was unable to clear them. This time, however, the vet was able to irrigate both tear ducts. First he had to drug her into insensibility, but then he was successful.

He says that she is an "unusual case," which is what they say when they mean "I haven't the foggiest clue." What she has is chronic conjunctivitis, but why is a mystery. It might be allergies, he suggested. What he did say is "this is probably incurable." That's a bummer, I was hoping for plugged ducts that could be restored with minor, inexpensive surgery and restore Rosie to perfect health.

Instead, I have a pony with a chronic, incurable, uncomfortable - if not painful - condition that will require treatment for the rest of her life. For the short term, I am poulticing her eyes with warm salt water twice a day and applying topical antibiotic. That's a two person job, but it only takes a minute or two. Usually, she is much better in the summertime, so I'm hoping that as the cold season ends we can leave off for a while.

While the vet was there, I asked him about the dairy calf. I wondered if he could tell me why she wasn't eating hay, only grain. He did; in one quick glance he looked at her droopy ear and bulging cheek and said "she can't eat. She has facial nerve damage and she probably can't chew very well." I felt like an idiot - I could tell she had nerve amage, but it never occurred to me that that was why she wasn't gaining weight. The vet said she probably found grain easier to chew and swallow. He suggested I buy pelleted alfalfa and wet it down, it would make a kind of mush that ought to be easier for the calf to get down.

He asked me what I was raising her for, meat? I said yes, we figured she probably wasn't a candidate for breeding. He nodded curtly and said "good." So that's our official vet opinion - the calf is now certainly a meat animal, not a dairy animal.

I'm scared to call the vet's office and ask for the bill. With sedation, I know it will be a minimum of $400. At least now I know what's wrong with Rosie and that there is no magic bullet. Everything that can be done for her is stuff I can do myself, at home. There's no more need for a vet - at least, as far as her eyes are concerned.

That's all for now.


Laura said...

Sorry about the answer, but at least it's an answer... Try the fennel water I suggested. It will really help!

Aimee said...

Laura, I will definitely try it.

Maven said...

Re: Poultice, try doing up a hot tea bag. Brew up a cup of tea as normal, then when the brew and bag are warm enough (not scalding), use that as a poultice. I use this for an assortment of things from pink eye to compresses for boils etc.

Aimee said...

Thanks Maven, I'll try it.