Welcome to 2009. We managed to keep the kids awake with back-to-back episodes of Most Extreme Elimination (one of my many guilty pleasures in life) and some rousing rounds of Stamp Stamp Revolution (thanks Daun -- that one is going to stick). It was all very pleasant.
I'm sad to report that 2008 went out with another big vet bill. Yesterday morning David was playing in the crunchy snow with the dogs and Willow started to bleed from abrasions on all of her legs. She is thin-skinned and I didn't worry too much about it until one of her forelegs swelled up like a baseball bat. I feared that something was broken and called the vet who was able to see us in the afternoon.
We stopped at the beach en route to the vet so that my sister, brother-in-law and nephews could do some eagle watching. Willow was waiting in a crate in the truck, but Tilley and Watson were out with us. We noticed that Watson's urine appeared bloody, so I just phoned the vet and asked if she could test him for a urinary infection while I was there.
When I got to the vet she looked at Willow's swelling and abrasions and asked me almost immediately if she had been into any kind of blood thinning agent -- aspirin, ibuprofen or warfarin. Then we brought Watson in and she drew a urine sample with a catheter. It was not blood in his urine but bilirubin, indicating a problem with his liver function. When I got Willow home she immediately took a big, red pee.
Much brain-wracking and discussion ensued. The vet is quite sure that Willow and Watsom must have eaten something killed by warfarin, which is possible as our neighbor across the street has a rat problem and they like to explore in her field. Tilley is fine, but she doesn't eat unusual things off the ground. This morning's test results indicated that liver function is fine in both cases so they have managed to detoxify the poison and dodge the bullet. We did not dodge the $400+ bill.
In horse news Tonka's sheath took a turn for the worse two days ago, and this morning the tips were swollen up like a couple of baseballs. I could have knocked them around a little with Willow's leg. Kerstin is on holiday now, but some online research suggest that this problem is semi-common for older geldings in winter. Others suggested that a gram of bute would go a long way, so he got that with his dinner. Keep your fingers crossed for the poor guy.
And in goat news we trimmed hooves again this afternoon. It went pretty well, except that I cut too much off of Roland McNugget's hind right and he bled like a stuck pig (sorry Jean). A sock full of corn starch staunched the bleeding, but he is limping quite badly. I'm hoping that he will heal up before we have to get another vet involved...