Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Swan on the lake
 Happy New Year, Everyone! Are we all relieved that we didn’t go over the “fiscal cliff”? Are we tired of hearing about the “fiscal cliff”? I know that I am. 

Now that 2012 is behind me/us and a brand new year has arrived, it’s time to do my usual end-of-year tasks. Last year for some reason I didn’t do all the usual things like assessing the past year accomplishments and important events and setting goals for the coming year which may partly explain why 2012 was so lacking in artwork being created or finished. I had no motivation, no goals to strive toward. This year I plan to rectify that by getting back to those old year end tasks and giving myself some benchmarks to strive for. 

As for the last few months of 2012, I’m sorry to report that they didn’t go much better than the previous months on the horse front. Scottie’s sinus infection came back with a vengeance, and we ended up hauling him to Michigan State University Large Animal Hospital for diagnosis and treatment. We had to leave him for four days, and I’m sure he thought he’d been abandoned there forever and unsure what his future held. He certainly acted like it. 

When we went back to pick him up, we found a very depressed, disengaged horse, but as soon as we walked him outside to the trailer, he knew he was going home. His head went up, his steps quickened and he was so focused on the trailer that he didn’t even flinch when the tornado warning siren went off nearby. Since getting back home among all his buddies, you can tell he is one happy, grateful horse who appreciates all his humans and friends even more than before.  

While at MSU, x rays of his head were taken. They revealed that he had advanced periodontitis, or badly infected gums, which had eaten away bone around his teeth and created pockets between them which resulted in food packing into the spaces. He was subsequently seen and treated by a veterinary  equine dental specialist who extracted one tooth, cleaned out all the pockets, medicated them and filled them in with a material that will keep food from packing in them again. She found two full blown abscesses percolating away which probably led to entry into the sinuses. 

Since he’s been home, Scottie’s nose no longer runs, and he is acting much more like his old self, pawing and begging for treats and generally being charming. We have gotten back to work albeit slowly since he was so very sick for so very many months. He will require months of continued antibiotic treatment and periodic dental checks, but we are hoping for the best; no return of sinus infection. If that occurs, it will be back to MSU for further treatment. 
Scottie searching. This will be a painting some day soon

The biggest lesson learned for me and my barn mates is that there is a huge difference between a trained veterinary dental specialist and a lay person who calls himself an equine dentist. The equine dentist who examined Scottie back in September missed all the signs of the disaster going on in his mouth. 

Rather than palaver on any longer, I’m just going to share some random photos from the past year that I hope you’ll enjoy. I won’t even mention the fact that our kitty, Molly, was very sick over Christmas and that our grand kitty, Terrapin, was also very sick and came home with her mom, our daughter, even though she hates Molly. We had to keep the two cats separated which was stressful for both of them. 
Our kitty, Molly

That’s all for now. Enjoy the photos and talk to you again soon. I promise. 
Road to the barn, Fall 2012
My barn buddies. Scottie's first trail ride since Spring. 
Scottie really enjoyed his trail ride


Willow said...

Lovely group of barns buddies you have to ride with Karen. My horses are at my home barn and I oft am left riding alone, still I never fail to enjoy the trail.
Enjoy your work and your blog!

Karen Thumm said...

Thank you, Willow. We are all very compatible at our barn. The barn owner has selected her boarders very carefully.