Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Day One & Choke

I start my new job today. I'm excited but a little nervous! I'm not sure what to expect for the day. We'll find out soon, though.

Limerick is still keeping me on my toes. I was meeting with a client for a pet-sitting job on Monday night. During the meet, my Blackberry kept vibrating in my purse but I didn't want to be rude and check it. The meet lasted almost an hour and a half.

As we were leaving, I checked my Blackberry and saw a long list of unopened texts from my husband. I caught the beginnings of them--"Barn called..." "Dr. Camden said..." "She's ok now...". Anyone watching me at that moment would have seen the blood disappearing from my face. I felt dizzy. What could it be now? Colic again?

The last text came in. "Don't drive too fast and get in an accident!"

I only drove 15mph over the speed limit. The barn was an agonizing 20-minute drive away. I read the texts at the red lights, my fingers drumming on the steering wheel in anxiety.

My husband was at the barn with Limerick; another boarder had called him to say she was thrashing around in her stall with green gunk coming out of her nose. Naturally, with the recent colic episodes behind us, I assumed the worst--horrible colic with the stomach contents refluxing out her nose.

As I read through the texts, I got more of the story.

A boarder started walking Limerick and Lim began coughing up the green gunk, spraying it out through her nose. They called Dr. Camden, the emergency vet, and he said it sounded like choke and to give her Banamine.

Choke?! I found it hard to believe at first. Lim has never choked before, at least not that I know about.

For the non-horsey folks: choke is rarely life-threatening in horses; the food does not block their airway like it does with people. However, a horse with severe choke may thrash around and be very uncomfortable, as Limerick was. The choke can be so bad that the contents of the stomach come up through the nostrils, which was what the green gunk coming out of Limerick's nose was. On some occasions, the horse cannot dislodge the food themselves and a vet will need to tube water down their esophagus to dislodge the material.

Once I was sure she was okay, my husband and I went home and he called my regular vet to get her opinion. She agreed that it was choke and said I should strap Lim's cribbing collar on and remove all the hay from her stall for the night. I was already planning to head back to the barn and watch Lim for a while so it was no problem.

I stayed until midnight and watched her nod off in the corner, cribbing collar strapped on tight. When I patted her neck to say goodbye, she pinned her ears at me. I know she hates that collar and that it makes her miserable, but what can I do?

It's funny, before I left for the client meet that night, I had a really bad feeling. I didn't know why but I was dreading leaving the apartment. I wondered if it was because of the client but she turned out to be a very nice woman. Well, now I know why.

Like clockwork, for every two weeks in the past month, Lim has caused me to panic, stress, and worry about her. Limerick, I love you, but please stop scaring me!

No comments: