Saturday, 8 November 2008

Silas day 20

Well he was a lot brighter late last night and in the early hours of this morning. He even tried to climb the poo pile to follow me when I left him to go and see Rory and Hooty so I had to let him through into the taped off section of paddock. He was trying very hard to skip but his legs won't let him. He has done some fantastic poo so long may THAT continue. He's fed well, his appetite is up and down so when we take a feed up and he shows little interest we usually leave him another hour and try again and that is usually successful.

This morning we picked up a 10kg bag of Vetpro foal milk from Farmlands and by my mental calculations, it will last us 4 days, which means we should order another bag on Monday and basically have a running order. It is $256/10kg so have calculated it will cost us around $6k in milk powder alone to get him to weaning age - Good grief! He may find himself weaned a little earlier than normal with costs like that but, whatever it takes to get him big and strong! He is loving his Dunstan foal meal and the grass that we pick him so we will continue to encourage him to eat that in the hopes that he can supplement his milk nicely.

We just have to sort these legs out, they continue to worry me and will do so for some time I suspect. He got himself up once today but every other time, he tried but needed help. I am encouraged by his appetite. Oh, and his temperature was back under 39 as well, which is good.

We have the first of the outside mares arriving this afternoon. This is not a booked mare but a return service from last season - this lovely mare arrived quite late in the season and is a little older and a maiden - she did not conceive and had some pooling in her uterus so she has been flushed and PG'd and is primed and ready to roll. So, finger's crossed for this time around. I have had to stall a couple of mare owners because of Silas but can't hold off for much longer as we have a busy season ahead!

And, good news! Had a call from Petra's 'Mum' this morning. Petra (crossbred mare by Doug Isaacson's lovely SJ stallion 'It's About Time') foaled overnight. No surprises that she has produced a grey colt with a star and two white sox. Good old Hamish does love to stamp them! Now I am eagerly awaiting photos!!!! Mare owner is thrilled - Always a plus to have a happy customer. Must give the boy a carrot later, although I think a mare is probably even better, lol!

Friday, 7 November 2008

Silas day 19, Pt II

Ouch! That hurt!! Today I had two really big needles stuck into my hock and stifle joints and all this yellow fluid came rushing out. The vet took a sample of it and said he would get it tested. Last time he did this he took fluid from my hock but he said the lab were not able to grow anything on it so this time he wanted to try the stifle. A lot more came out of my stifle this time around too. It sprayed mummy on the leg, she went a bit green but I was so good, I didn't even flinch.

Mummy sat on my back legs just in case I decided to move and Daddy held my head. After the vet drained my joints he injected some cloudy liquid into them which he called cortisone. It should help me feel better. I sure hope so coz it's really hard for me to get up and move around and I have a lot of adventuring to do you know!

After I had been drained of my bodily fluids I kinda wanted to just lie there but they made me get up. It took three of them *snigger*, I was kinda lazy but I reckon that the exercise did them all good - the vet commented on how heavy I am, I thought I was quite slim actually!

My mum then wrapped my hock in a towel and soft fleecy bandage with some sticky bright green bandage over the top whilst I finished my bottle of milk. I drank just over two litres in total for my afternoon tea, apparently that is nearly a record for me - my tummy is certainly full now.

I really love the very white milk that comes in the smaller bottle. Mummy says that the lovely soft-eyed mare in the paddock next to me with the gingernut foal has been donating that - it sure tastes good.

Oh and I did a really great poo! Usually I have to push and push but this one just popped out - it was mostly grass, I love grass now, especially the red clover that my parents and Christina pick for me. It tastes soooo good.

Anyway, that is probably enough from me for now - I am sure my human mum will keep you up to date but I just wanted to share my eventful day.

But, before I go and have a kip, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who has helped me make it this far. I know that my mum and dad are really touched by the incredible generosity and kindness you have all shown so, from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Silas day 19, Pt I

Yesterday Silas drank just shy of 11 litres. Not fabulous but could be a lot worse. His temperature is still 39.4 and he had one jab of penicillin last night. He's still bright in the eye but just cannot get up without our help and walking is clearly incredibly hard for him. We have the vet booked for 2pm and I am waiting for him to call to discuss where to next. I think his joints need to be flushed and I am unsure as to whether this is something that can be done here or whether we need to take him to Massey. I am pretty positive we're dealing with septic arthritis/joint ill now. We been waiting two days for culture results from the joint fluid drained earlier in the week and I am getting quite frustrated by the delay. I HATE seeing him in so much pain and I just want to make it all better. I hate that his short life has been so miserable so far. I know he still wants to be here but I really don't know how long is fair to make him suffer like this. I guess once he stops trying, we will know that enough is enough?

We've started him on Equine Herbals 'Equiflam Plus' for his joints, kindy sent to us by NZ Botanicals.

I have been milking Hooty every few hours and so far have managed to get around 4 litres off her to top up Silas' feeds. I had hoped that the Vetpro powder might fix the constipation but so far, nothing has. He is getting it out but it is very, very hard still. He's fed well today which is one positive, having downed 5 litres, 1.5 litres of which has been provided by Hooty - thank you Hooty!!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Silas day 18, Pt II

Quick update.

Silas' temperature is now 39.4 so, he's back on antibiotics, damn, damn, damn! Last feed drank 1.75 litres which was made up .650 Hooty's milk and 1.10 litres goat's milk. Today so far he has had 9.6o litres and he has one more feed to go before bed. Hopefully it will be a good one and we can break the 11 litre mark. Still not enough but could be worse.

He's been a bit shivery today, which is new. He's done more poo but it's still not passing easily and he's still very sore on his stifle and we have had to get him up for every feed after breakfast. I am still trying to be super positive but it's really very hard sometimes.

Silas day 18

So, to today ...

We're finally on the Vetpro foal milk (YAY!) and thanks must go to Sam at Little Avondale Stud and Shirlee & Alicia at Natural Equine, plus we have 10 litres of goat's milk donated by a lovely member of the Lifestyle Block community. John reckons it won't hurt to mix things up a bit for him and as the powder we ordered through Farmlands yesterday was not put on the overnight courier, it has not arrived and cannot be guaranteed to arrive by tomorrow so the goat's milk is an absolute Godsend! 2kg of Vetpro foal milk only makes 10 litres which is about a day's worth of feeds. I also managed to milk another 800ml off Hooty this morning so he had that and some Vetpro for his lunch. Afternoon tea will be goat's milk.

His temperature is up again. 39.1, so not horrifically high but not ideal. Will continue to monitor it and, if it hits 39.3+ and stays there, it's back on penicillin he goes.

We've been giving him anti ulcer meds, which we are continuing with and today we were able to swap the olive oil with paraffin oil and he will be getting 50ml of that three times a day until things are sorted. His poo is definitely improving but he still needs some help to get it out - poor wee boy.

The stifle is still obviously painful for him and he is still struggling to rise to his feet unaided. To be honest, this is the one thing that is most troubling me but we'll keep on trucking and, once he is stronger, if it has not come right, investigate it more closely.

We've also today started him on Transfer Factor, very kindly donated by Sonya Glennie and he has been taking his ulcer medication mixed with Tectonic, again very kindly sent to us by a friend, Anna Low. We cannot emphasise just how grateful we are to all the kind people who are helping us help Silas. I promise to try and get some more photos of him soon.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Silas day 17, Pt II

The vet just came to give Silas his last shot of oxytetracycline and brought some Vetpro milk powder with him. Unfortunately Silas did not want to drink very much and we only got 300ml into him but rest assured, we will be trying again and again and again tonight! He has had another day with his temperature remaining nicely within the normal range too.

Poor wee Rory is feeling off colour and has an umpshee tum so has not been feeding much and Hooty was leaking milk profusely so, I grabbed a milk bottle and milked about 500ml off her - GOLD! We will feed that to Silas later and I will milk some more off her if I can when she gets her dinner. Silas is still constipated however his poop now has individual parts rather than being one solid clay like lump - this is a good thing but it still needs to get better and soften up a lot. He has had another 60ml of olive oil tonight so hopefully the combination of that, the Vetpro milk powder and Hooty's milk will help things along for him. His poor little bottom is very sore and quite cracked so I have also started applying Lucas pawpaw ointment to it - the things we do!

All this said, the most worrying thing for us right now I think, is his stifle and the obvious pain he is in because of it. Four out of five times we have to help him to his feet and this is very depressing. But, we need to address the constipation issue first and, once that has been sorted, if the stifle is still giving him trouble, we will look at investigating it more closely. I just hope and pray that it is nothing truly sinister. Silas continues to fight the good fight.

Silas day 17, Pt I

Hmmm, this morning is OK, just OK. He's still shi**ing bricks, despite the acidophilus and weakened milk. He drank about 1100 at 4.00am and at 8am downed 1100 but I went back up 15 minutes later to check his temperature (38.4) and he finished his bottle but he would not get up. I also gave him 100ml of olive oil (no paraffin or cod liver handy). Now will wait for that to pass through his system. Hopefully we will have some Vetpro milk to try soon, just got to work out how we pay for it, although, we have had the most wonderful support from so many people that it is going to be a lot easier than if we were doing it all on our own.

To all the people who have helped us, I know many of you read this blog, please know that your help means everything to us and we are more grateful than I can express in words here. When we get Silas through the other side of this, we will have a huge party and you are ALL invited!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Silas day 16, Pt II

Just got back from the 11pm feed. Silas was hungry! He stood unaided and drank 1 litre straight down and another 500ml in a couple of efforts, after a couple of pees and a bit of a walk around the paddock. He also had 40ml of strawberry flavour acidophilus yoghurt (all we had in the cupboard - a trip to the shops tomorrow methinks!). His temperature has been under 39 ALL DAY - it was 38.4 at 11pm. The thermometer was also easy to insert which means that his 'back passage' is clear. Please let this be him turning the corner. The milk mixture has been diluted to 50g/litre which is 1/2 the recommended rate but maybe his wonderful Clydesdale constitution is demonstrating that it really does not need lots of fat, gawd knows his mum used to do frighteningly well on grass alone for all but the last couple of month's lactation! He also downed a litre of electrolytes earlier tonight as well as having three litres of milk in a three hour period in the afternoon. He's still very sore but he has not been grinding his teeth today so something at least must be feeling a bit better. I am going to bed hopeful tonight ...

Silas day 16


This is such a roller coaster ride. Not so great today. Temp is fine, within normal range (and vet really happy about that, as are we!) but he's not feeding at all well - We're still getting something into him but about 1/3 his normal intake. Our vet did not get to us until 6pm so it has been a long day of waiting. We've been trying every hour to tempt him with some milk or foal meal and some times are more successful than others. He has got to his feet by himself a couple of times but his stifle is very, very sore, poor baby boy. It's really doing my head in. It seems so unfair that, in his brief time on this earth, he has had such a rotten time And, we just miss Deb so much that the thought of losing Silas too is more upsetting than words can express. The portrait Nick drew of Debi hangs on our wall and I can barely bring myself to look at her without dissolving into tears.

We have decided that Silas will tell us when he has had enough and right now, he still has some spark in his eye and a very obvious will to live. Tonight we will try feeding him a big dose of oil and electrolytes in the hope that we can help his upset gut plus we will get a good dose of acidophilus yoghurt into him. We will also dilute his milk further. He won't starve and, who knows, perhaps it will be enough to make a difference - maybe his big tough clydie gut is just too efficient? Please continue to keep everything crossed for him.

Video montage

Yesterday I went out and took a few random video clips, mainly of Rory who tends to demand the attention (!) as he is such a bl**dy ratbag! That is one colt foal that needs gelding! Shame really as I would love to keep him entire and use him over my Kingsway Diamond mare and Bella but I value my life and my sanity too much to try and tackle him as a 2 year old with balls! Boy does he need some lessons in manners. I have to say, he is however fabulous to halter and handle. He's just a right sh*t to his mother and a scallywag through and through. But I do love to grab his head between my hands and kiss him squarly on the nose. Not sure the feeling is mutual ...

Robbie's two TBx fillies also feature briefly and, when I pan across the paddocks at the beginning, you will see monster filly Aine in her paddock with Maude. At about 2:20 you will also see Nick taking Silas for a walk in the background. He's ok this morning. Temperature is down but he is not drinking as much as normal and still definitely needs help to get to his feet plus is fairly constipated, despite the increased laxatives. I'm thinking of diluting his milk even more in an attempt to try and sort this out - clydesdales are such good 'doers', perhaps he is just doing too well on the milk and needs it even trimmer? I really wish he would hurry up and turn the corner - I know he has a lot of aunties and uncles all over the country (and the world) jingling for him and I would hate to be responsible for letting all these lovely people down - he simply HAS to get through this!! We love him far too much now and I made that promise to his mum ...

Monday, 3 November 2008

All the pretty horses

What a heartbreaker this wee lass is going to grow up to be - not even 48 hours old but look at her! THIS is what every breeder dreams of, a perfect, healthy baby. THIS is why we do it. THIS is what I need to look at every day and remind myself why I do this ...

Silas day 15, Pt II

OK folks, your latest update ...

The vet has just been. We ringed his umbilical stump so no more pee is going to be coming out of there in a hurry! He had his hock and stifle drained of fluid and some fluid taken for examination and I have made a rather abortive attempt at bandaging the hock. He had a big intravenous shot of oxytetracyline for his contracted tendons and John will be back tomorrow and Wednesday to give him some more. Last up, I gave him his 'happy jab' (anti inflammatories). His temperature is sitting at 39.1 now. He drank 1 litre milk afterwards and ate some foal feed. Oh and he did a big semi-soft poo so the double dose of laxative we gave him for lunch must've actually had an effect. We'll up his laxatives from now on and see how we go. The milk concentration must be ok as he is still relatively hungry for each feed but not starving. We MAY weaken the mixture even more but need to wait until he is more active just in case the sedentary nature of his current existence is having the greatest influence on his bowel movements.

John looked at Minty but Minty did not want to be caught (BAD Minty) so he will examine him more closely tomorrow. He said it was probably a hernia and the bigger the tear often the better so we may well not have to have him put to sleep after all - finger's, toes, eyes, ears, hooves and paws crossed here!!

Silas day 15, Pt I

Temp 39.8, constipation evident, will not stand to feed, waiting for vet.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

A new baby and Silas Day 14

Good news - Rosie foaled this morning, at the most respectable hour of 8.15am! I stepped out of the house, picked up a gumboot, hurled it at the pesky chook trying to break into my horse feed and the foaling alarm went off. For a brief moment my brain tried to correlate the two incidents until sense kicked in and I realised that Rosie must be setting it off. I popped my head around the side of the house and, sure enough, there she was having her baby. Delivery was pretty quick and baby was up and feeding within about 15 minutes - astonishing! This evening she appears to be a little constipated (never had a constipated foal before and this season I get two!), so she has had about 60ml of soapy water and some moderate success but I am not as happy as I would like so will be keeping a very close eye on her. She's a dear little foal, lovely markings and colour. Very pleased to have her here, safe and sound.

Silas continues to worry us. The tendons on his forelegs have begun to contract and he is now starting to knuckle over. Ugh! But, his temperature has been good today - under 39 since last night. This is something of a breakthrough however, his hock is still the size of a football and his stifle swollen to about twice its size too. He had an 'old man' day today too. I just don't know. He is getting massive amounts of pharmaceutical and physical assistance yet he continues to develop more problems. It's doing my head in to be honest. I thought we may have had a breakthrough with the constipation yesterday after changing the milk but he seems to be bunged up again. I'm at a loss. We've tried to cut his feeds back to three hourly but he's just not drinking enough so, we're going back to two hourly feeds. We're all shattered.