Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The day the lights went out for Hank, George and Alan...for a little while anyway

What better time to take Hank to the vet for his annual exam than when I have a ranch hand in residence. 

Not only did said ranch hand lend much-needed moral support, she took pictures! 
Thank you, ranch hand Danni. I could not have gotten through the day without you.

Once a year, I haul Hank to our favorite vet in Albuquerque for some routine maintenance
and to have his arthritic knee examined and x-rayed.
Hank was the model patient for his x-rays, cooperating and behaving himself every step of the way.  

The arthritis is spreading to the back of his knee joint, and there's a new bone spur on the front, but the spot in the joint that could cause the most pain actually looked a little better than last year. And we came home with a new injectable drug called Pentosan, which "exerts anabolic effects on cartilage precursor cells to decrease erosion of cartilage." So maybe we bought a few more years for Hank. One can only hope.

You know you have a great vet when he remembers your musical preferences
and sings a few bars of "Turn Out the Lights" 
when he's sedating your horse. 
Once Hank's lights were dimmed, his teeth were floated, his sheath was cleaned, 
and his ears were checked for ticks (and there were none). 
Quote our vet, "If Hank's knees were as good as his teeth, he'd live forever!" 

I am so very blessed to have this vet. And so is Hank. I think we'll be traveling back to Albuquerque every October 
for many years to come. And I'm hoping our favorite ranch hand will want to join us for the adventure. 

After a full day in town ... and the quintessential New Mexican lunch at Mary and Tito's ... 
we finally made it back to the 7MSN.

Lucy: Hank smells kind of funny. Where do you think he's been?
George: I'm thinkin' he went to that place where that guy pokes stuff in your neck.
Alan: Whew. I'm sure glad mom didn't take us to town.

Little did they know...

I brought home fall vaccinations for Lucy, George, and Alan, and a little something so that I could sedate George and Alan 
and treat their ears for ticks. Maybe they had them, maybe they didn't, but I was erring on the side of caution. 
They were rubbing their ears against the pipe fence enough to make me suspect.

(This is the part where it gets boring if you don't have equines to care for. 
Feel free to leave now and come back tomorrow. I won't take it personally.)

The "little something" I brought home is a relatively new product, Dormosedan Gel. A little dab under the tongue is enough to safely turn out the lights on your favorite equines for a few hours so that you can fill their ears with tick dip, or do any other objectionable procedures, and they won't mind.

This is me squirting 1.5 ccs of the gel under Alan's tongue.

This is Alan and George 30 minutes after I squirted the gel under their tongues.
Lucy didn't have itchy ears, so she didn't get squirted, 
though she acted as if she had been. Call it the placebo effect. 
Anyway, their heads were drooping and they were probably seeing many pretty colors.

Ranch hand Danni helped me squirt the tick dip into all the ears, then we kept an eye on the boys - and built a fence - for the rest of the afternoon while they came to. Call us the queens of multi-tasking. I think she'll probably fill you in on the whole fence thing over at her blog.

The Dermosedan Gel worked just as the instructions said it would. It was very easy to administer, 
it kicked in 40 minutes after they were dosed, and we had more than enough time to do what we needed to do. 
Two hours after we dosed them, they peed and peed and peed...and then they peed some more.

Another hour later, they were anxious to drink water, and four hours after being dosed they were ready to eat. 

It's great to have a safe sedative available that I can administer myself when necessary. 
But it's also great to have a capable ranch hand around to help me. Thanks, Danni. We all hope you come back soon.


  1. It is also great to have the skill to administer drugs to your animals without suffering injury.

  2. Good news about Hank (my favorite resident of your ranch). Long may he reign! Also, thanks for the info about the sedative - I will pass that info on to my riding instructor - she has many retired horses that she cares for.

  3. Funny as usual! I got a kick out of seeing the " 3 " of them stoned. Good news about the new sedative, I will ask my vet.

  4. I love it that Lucy experienced a placebo effect.

  5. Interesting sedative method... SO nice not to have to stress them out.

  6. I hadn't heard of that sedative. Funny how Lucy hangs her head and looks sedated right alongside her brothers. You are getting a lot done. And Danni seems to enjoy her visits with you. Here's to Hank having a good time on the ranch for years to come.

  7. I hope you see positive results from the Pentosan. My friend gave that to her TB event mare this year and saw amazing results. She almost felt too good, and was running and jumping like a rock star!

    Love the sleepy pics of George and Alan :-)

  8. Thanks for the info on Domosedan. I wonder if it's available in Canada.
    Did you find any ticks?

  9. Hank is such a beautiful and good-spirited horse.

    I'm also pleased to hear that there is a safe sedative that you can apply to the gang.

    And a great vet is one of the most priceless treasures in the world.

  10. veeeeelllly interesting eh!

  11. How great is that? To have a sedative you can administer yourself. (I'm thinking you also have a great vet to let you take it and use it!)
    Love the pictures of the droopy heads. Sleep, sweet boys!

  12. That Dermosedan Gel looks like a good thing to have in the first aid kit. Not something you'd need very often but invaluable when you do.

    I had really good news about my horse's future as well yesterday. Looks like she may make a full recovery from a very bad injury. I am very happy about it and wanted to share the news with everybody! I hope Hank does just as well.

  13. That sedative sounds interesting -- easy to administer. I'll have to ask my vet about it, it might be useful to have around.

  14. Great photos once again! The vet ones were really interesting!

  15. Ohmygosh, sigh. I had such a great time. I'm going to miss you all so much!

    That photo of Lucy with her sympathetic drowsiness standing next to the - honestly drowsy- burro boys just cracks me up.

    My next flight from Salt Lake to Portland is about to board, so -one more time - Byeeee 7MSN!!! Love you guys!

  16. We have the Dormosedan Gel on hand - Dr. D gave it to us in case we needed to use it on Patrick when he had his feet trimmed. Turned out we didn't need it, so glad to know that the product works for when we do! :)

    You and Danni made a lot of hard work look like fun! :)

  17. Cute sleepy boys. I hope Hank continues to keep his October vet appointments for many, many, many years to come.

  18. I didn't know Hank's knees were bad - do you ride him? I thought for SURE Lucy had her ears done... placebo effect indeed! ha.

  19. Love it - am going to see if it' in Canada yet. Would make things a lot easier for Bart and I

  20. Oh, I need some of that!

    Do they make it for 13 year old girls?