It’s been a while since I last posted. The summer season was a funny one this year – slow to start and then so hot and dry – hard on the pastures. But the flies weren’t bad at all.
Fall is shaping up to be the most comfortable season yet. The colours are gorgeous too. I wanted to share what’s been happening with Barney the last six months, as many of you know and love him. Suddenly in May, he became incontinent. Out of the blue, one day I noticed he was constantly dribbling urine.
The vet examined him and the good news was there are no blockages, bladder stones or infection. His bladder is quite enlarged, and in a constantly overfull state. He’s not able to empty it, other than the overflow. She felt he was not in any pain, and he acts as if he has no care about it at all.
The bad news is that the urine splashes onto his back legs and is so acidic that it needs to be kept clean daily or it can ‘scald’ easily. More bad news – Barney does not like his legs touched and is quick to stomp and strike out. Yikes. It’s been a learning curve getting used to nimbly washing him off, applying diaper cream with the most potent amount of zinc, followed a thick layer of Vaseline on top to create a moisture barrier. All of this in between stomps, kicks and splashes!
We called in a chiropractor who was confident he could help Barney, but after a couple adjustments, there was no improvement and he said he couldn’t help. The nerves in his back end are not working properly, and he couldn’t get his hips to level out.
We have noticed the last year that the muscles in his back legs are deteriorating. He’s fallen and gotten stuck, or ‘caste’ twice now. Thankfully, after our faithful neighbours help pull him with their tractor to a position where he can get up, he has enough strength to do so. We have him on a 24-hour painkiller just in case it can give him a little more stability.
As the winter draws closer, and the temperatures drop, I’m concerned about keeping his legs dry. A few horse friends helped me come up with a unique solution: we are having custom leggings made for him! Using a rain sheet, cut to size, and Velcro wraps, I’m hopeful they will connect to his winter blanket and stay up. This will keep the urine off his legs in the winter, as I won’t be able to bathe him for too much longer.
In the meantime, Barney is super content with the apples ripe from our tree, extra hay cubes to supplement the last of the pasture. He canters in almost every night with his buddies for dinner. He seems very happy and I don’t sense he is bothered by his condition, as we might be. We'll continue to enjoy each day with him. Horses are the best at living in the present moment.
The rest of the horses are all doing well, and we’ve been enjoying FEEL sessions in the warm fall sun. Come and visit again soon!
Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.
With thanks, Cheri