A few days ago I saw Tonka kicking at his belly through the bedroom window and my heart sank. Cold weather colic is a worrisome reality under these conditions, as dear EvenSong knows all too well. His blanket straps seemed a bit snug when I investigated, so I loosened them and didn't observe any further discomfort until yesterday when I found him kicking more fitfully and swishing his tail as if he had a fly on his belly.
His sheath appeared slightly swollen and when I gave it a scratch he was instantly in heaven, lifting his rear legs like a dog to give me better access. Other than the swelling and itchiness there was nothing unusual -- he wasn't particularly dirty and there was no bean (rude of me to check without lube, but he didn't mind in the least). I scratched for a good 10 minutes and wondered how to proceed.
This morning he was kicking with even more agitation so I decided to call Kerstin. She figures it is a bug bite some minor infection, and she was able to drop off some topical "Special Formula" this morning, which is indicated for treatment of mastitis in lactating cows. Tonka doesn't mind -- he is feeling much better already. David and I made the best of Tonka's misery while we were waiting for Kerstin by getting some funny pictures.
While I was applying the "Special Formula" Raven wandered up to see what was happening and Tonka squealed with fury before trying to bite her. I have NEVER seen him show any aggression towards her (despite her frequent and vicious attacks on him), so I take that as some indication of how uncomfortable he was. Afterwards I went about my chores and Tonka followed me around begging for more willy scratching. He was so persistent that I finally had to chase him off with the manure fork.
And one of the rebuffed Raven in her new blanket. It is up around -1C here today, so she might be back into her shell soon. The propane truck did make it up The Hill, so we will be warm for Christmas.