Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A New Start and a New Name!

Today my students and I were discussing possible names for "the new guy". They came up with Chance, Frankie, and a few others. I let them talk for a few minutes, and then offered "my" suggestion. The second it came out of my lips, they all smiled and instantly agreed that it was just perfect for him...

Thanks to everyone on this blog, this handsome old man has a new name to start the next chapter in his life - Linus!

The last 24 hours have been busy, busy, busy...

First off, late last night his stitches let go and he was a free man again, so to speak. Dr. George says that he'll try larger sutures next time and try a slightly different stitching method, and hopefully those will work.

This morning Linus looked great! Dan brought him his hay around 5:30am, and he nickered at him the entire way over. He ate the majority of his hay and drank about 4 1/2 gallons of water overnight. When I headed down a bit later, I got his grain, supplements and meds ready.

For now, he will be receiving the following feed, supplements and meds twice a day:
1 quart of Hay Stretcher
1 quart of Equine Senior
5 grams of Probios
2 ounces of Electrolytes
10 SMZs1
Free choice hay

Below is a picture of Linus in his temporary quarantine stall, shortly before I began working with him today. Although he is away from the other horses, he can look out the clear plastic panels on the arena and see the naughty geldings in the paddock just outside. He watches them frequently during the day, but for now he has to wait to meet them.

My first big task with him was the one that I dreaded the most: delousing him. Yuck...

We were told that he was very headshy and it would take her hours to get a halter on his head. I walked into his stall, held his halter up, and he practically put it on himself. (Apparently he likes us better. Perhaps it's because we feed him.) I led him out of his stall, tied the lead in a safety knot to the panel and began bathing him. The water was warm, but he was not thrilled about the idea, and moved around a fair amount. It didn't take long for me to figure out his weakness: Linus loves ginger snap cookies! Thankfully our good friend Norma came to visit and dropped off a bag for him last night. Every few minutes, just as he looked as though he was going to get antsy on me, I'd give him a cookie. Then it was scrub, cookie, scrub, cookie, scrub cookie for the next half hour. He was finally as clean as I could get him, full on ginger snap cookies, and ready for his delousing powder.

Now, I have never deloused anything before, so it took me a while to get the process down pat. Of course, Linus wasn't too thrilled about getting powder shaken and blown out of a bottle at him, either. So it was shake, cookie, shake, cookie... You get the picture. A few minutes later, he was covered with a thin coating of white powder. He may have looked funny, but his breath smelled great. :-) Unfortunately the battery in my camera died, so I didn't get to take any "dusty" pictures. The next treatment I will - don't you worry!

A student of mine took him for a walk in the arena this evening while I cleaned out his stall, refilled his water bucket and put his dinner in there for him. He walked around like an absolute gentleman, never pulling on the lead or getting ahead of her. He was curious about his new surroundings, but seemed comfortable. After a few minutes, he slowed down and put his head down to the ground, playing in the footing with his nose. I told her to lengthen the lead and step away from him. Once he saw that she was out of his way, he laid down and rolled. He stretched his back out, rubbed his head and neck, and then stood back up. He looked finally looked happy.

Dr. George will be back tomorrow afternoon to put sutures back in his nether-regions and hopefully it will stay put this time.

Although I will be very busy over the next few days, I will do my best to keep everyone updated on Linus's progress!


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