Monday, April 13, 2009

Annual Rite of Spring

No news yet on the 'noodler. I promise I'll let you know whatever I hear - good or bad - as soon as I know. I believe no news is good news at this point.

Now for my day...

Today was spring vet visit for Toby. His most dreaded day of the year.

Each spring, Toby needs to get his vaccinations, coggins and selenium tested. Here in Michigan, the soil has very low selenium content so the horses do not get any while grazing or in their hay. So we give it to the horses as a supplement and we test to be sure they are ok with the amounts in their system. Toby has always been at good levels.

The other part of the vet visit for Toby entails the annual teeth floating. Boy does he hate it and for good reason. Poor Toby wasn't blessed with a good "bite." He has an overbite, also called a "parrot mouth" and if he was a human child in the U.S. he would have had braces as soon as he could. But Toby is a horse and an aging one at that (long in the tooth). Not only does Toby have an overbite but his upper and lower jaws are not aligned. My vet referred to it as having a "shear" bite. His upper teeth on his right side in front were much longer than on the left. Needless to say, he had a lot of filing done! We evened out his teeth and leveled as best we could his front teeth. My vet tested out his jaw movement to see when his teeth would meet. He'd test, then grind, then test again. Eventually we got the teeth to meet where we were satisfied.

Toby is a fighter and he fought through this. We tranquilize him so that he's like a drunken soldier trying to stay upright but once the filing equipment is in his mouth he fights us and tries to pull away. Amazing because he's so "out of it". Toby ended up having to be given a double dosage and we did it in his stall where he backed himself up to the corner where he couldn't back up anymore. He loves to fight everything (maybe he has some Irish thoroughbred in his genes). In contrast, Jaguar Hope was the most saintly horse when it came to any sort of vet care, farrier procedures and basic ground work. Sigh...

The piece de resistance for Toby's day was having his sheath cleaned. He hates it and fights that too. But as all gelding owners know, it must be done! We did this before he started to get perky again. He was slashing his tail all over the place in protest but he now has a shiney clean "you know what..." and no bean. In contrast, Jag used to drop "it" whenever I was around and he probably WANTED "it" to be touched. His was easy to keep clean. Sigh...

Then Toby received his vaccinations and Coggins test (so we can go to shows!). It's a good thing I'm on a business trip until Friday so he can recover from today's activities. Poor guy.


  1. Yep, each one is different. Russell takes shots like nothing is happening, but tends to rear and fight if he knows you're going to try to give something to him orally. And Rick almost killed him once by giving him too much standing anesthesia. It was a normal dose for a horse Russell's weight, but now Rick knows to give him a "light" dose....

  2. I'm so lucky--both my guys are princes for all the procedures. As much vet work as each one has had (Huey from the track, Ryan from his "train wreck" over the fence that broke his ankle and ended his career), you'd think they would HATE the vet, but they are happy to be there. Even for "the cleaning" ;o)