My squishy little weenie man seems to be doing much better after all the ER vet drama. (I was pretty much the drama part.) Conrad has his sass and energy level back (still a very low-energy dog at home) and I am making a change to his diet.
And he seems to being doing well after this change! His previous food had a crude fat min. percentage that I think is just too high for his sensitive stomach to tolerate any more, considering his age. I found a few things that have less than half that and so far he is loving it. He had gotten very reluctant to eat his food, and now I understand why. It was probably making his tummy ache a little every time he ate. Poor little man.
So we are sticking with the newer diet, helping the transition with boiled white meat chicken and white rice, which Conrad wished he could eat all the time.
The chicken and rice gets warmed up and mixed in with the new food — I think Conrad prefers warm food to cold. He can’t eat a whole can of dog food in one go, obviously, so his dog food gets refrigerated. Putting the warm food in with the cold food makes it easier for him to eat for sure.
Omeprazole: I’ve taken it myself. Eli just finished up a course of it. And now Conrad gets some for a few days.
Yep, this little man, who was quite himself on Tuesday — had a good walk, ate his meals, snuggled in his blankets — was just not right on Wednesday. This not-rightness went on all day and I finally decided he need to go to the emergency vet as he was refusing any and all food and treats. He had some other symptoms, too, and generally looked like he had a bad tummy ache.
Fortunately, the ER vet called with his blood work around 9:30pm on Wednesday night and said everything looked good other than that he was very dehydrated. He got IV fluids and antibiotics (because he had signs of some GI inflammation) and small bites of food and drank well overnight. Conrad felt much better Thursday morning. I got to pick him up and he was sent home with the antibiotics and omeprazole. He was also vvveeerrrrrryyy tired. The ER vet experience was interesting but very organized and seemed to work well. While it was upsetting that I couldn’t go in with Conrad due to COVID-19 restrictions, the vet and office were very helpful and communicative and everything was done through phone calls and emails. I’d use this ER vet clinic again if I had to! For anyone in the Austin area, it’s the Central Texas Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Hospital in Round Rock. There is also a south location. There is a third location in northwest Austin, but that location is temporarily closed.
Conrad fussed a bit until he got comfortable on his sofa in my “home office” …
I’m going to split up his meals into three a day instead of two as the vet recommended this. And he can keep having his boiled white meat chicken toppings, so he’ll be happy about that! He has been eating and drinking well since he has been at home, too, so dear dachshund gods, please do not let my dog forget to drink water anymore!
In Eli news, in addition to the Incrediwear Circulation Wraps, Eli gets to wear wet Incrediwear Hoof Socks after a ride. His front feet need AAAALLLLLLLL of the help they can get. Don’t worry, his farrier is wonderful and I stand ready with Sole Pack paddies at all times, but I figure a little cooling down, especially in the coronet band region, can’t hurt, either!
The hoof socks are really interesting — they are super stretchy so not difficult to get on. You just gotta be careful about snagging them on nails but I have avoided that so far. They can be worn basically all the time when dry. I don’t think Eli needs that kind of use, but I do love using them after a ride.
I hose off Eli, put these on, and hose them off. He stands in front of fans to dry, so after all of that his fetlocks and hooves are nice and cool. The hoof socks seems almost foolproof to use, so if therapeutic polo wraps aren’t your thing, these would be a good alternative.
Eli is a very lucky pony because he’s got some Incrediwear standing wraps to try now, too. I see some goofy rooster walking in his future. I am even tempted to try the standing bandages on his front legs in hopes of a little extra padding to keep his right hoof/shoe from rubbing his right elbow when he lays down. I think it is just TOO HOT here for any kind of overnight wrap, but maybe in a few weeks the weather oven will no longer be on broil.
And one last thing — a few have commented on Conrad’s fuzzy blankets and I wanted you to know they are inexpensive and easy to get and come in a variety of colors. Strangely enough if you search “game of thrones blanket” they come up.
These blankets are fleecy on the inside and furry on the outside. They wash well, they don’t pill up, and they don’t shed in the wash or on furniture. Conrad might have three… the Rose Dust color is tempting me …
Conrad now understands what “we gotta go to work” means. It means we go upstairs to my corner office and he takes his spot on the couch. He hops right up the stairs when I say it. Of course, why have apprehension about work when your job is to sleep?
He is really into fuzzy blankets.
He is also getting more short walks during the week.
Many times the walking involves a lot of sitting … but then he gets to rest and watch a little tv with me when I get home from the barn. He likes pretty much anything thing that involves doing not much of anything.
He also likes hanging out in the kitchen, hoping for scraps of turkey or another one of his own dog cookies.
He almost blends in with the flooring and cabinets.
Conrad has taken to understanding the me saying, “okay, I gotta go to work” usually means he gets to come with me to work upstairs in the loft and he stations himself on the couch. Maybe he is actually my security guard? But anyway, he is getting extra attention.
He gets many extra walkies. He also had a grooming appointment. The nice thing about his grooming appointment is that it’s with a mobile groomer and I am working from home — I don’t have to take any time off, because I can keep working. If we ever go back to full time on site office life, that will be very difficult for both me and Conrad.
You know that song “Somewhere” from West Side Story? It’s been in my head for a few weeks now. I keep hearing it if I think about everything going on in America right now. So I thought I’d say, I’m listening and I am trying to learn as much as I can, and that this blog (sporadically active as it is right now) is a place for Black Lives Matter. I’m not here to write about it; I am here to say I am learning about it, and I want to help. Honestly, this post isn’t even about that, it’s just a quick Eli & Conrad update, as mundane as any other Eli & Conrad update. But I just wanted to say at the outset here that I am taking a side, and that side is Black Lives Matter, mainly because I had not yet said that here before. I want to keep listening & learning.
Now to the more personal “Somewhere” episode of what my dog and my horse have been up to lately …
Conrad has definitely learned the WFH routine. I have breakfast, sit with Conrad for a few minutes downstairs while I go through personal emails, and then I ask him if he wants to come with me to work, and he runs upstairs and takes his station on the couch by my desk. IT IS SO CUTE.
Conrad does not let work get in the way of his daily routine of napping, and then napping again. But he is a quiet coworker, so he can keep his job.
Eli has proven his worth as a hot weather horse. Y’all. He is so much more comfortable and happy in warm weather. He has been a joy to ride this last week or so.
While I am still thinking I need to keep his work load light, maybe we can bump up to a little more work now, and see how it goes? We’ll never be in a regimented conditioning program, of course, and I am not sure horse showing is in Eli’s future any more (totally okay with me!), but lately he feels like he could be happy cruising around 2’6″ at home for fun. The navicular journey is most definitely not a straight path so all of this is subject to change should Eli show signs of discomfort or lameness in front. There’s a possibility that the issue could have just been that Eli’s soles were too thin. However. I see no reason to push the soundness boundaries of a 17-year-old ex-racehorse. But, maybe we are on the other side of both the suspensory injury and the hoof issues? Maybe? Knock on wood? Throw salt over my shoulder? Feed Eli four-leaf clovers?
What I cannot believe, is how long I let Eli’s mane get. COVID-19 fatigue is real. I got kind of lackluster there for a while about staying on top of routine things. Because who hasn’t right now? Still, that’s not fair to my horse, so luckily I snapped out of it and/or the expired stay-at-home orders energized me bit. Not that I am willing to eat dine-in in a restaurant yet and I will take this light traffic all day every day, but I think getting to visit some friends around Memorial Day weekend and not feeling guilty about it restored some sense of regular old unextraordinary life. Eli even got a bath. With shampoo.
Eli’s reminding me how quirky he is, too. Fly spray = acid. Sleeping dog curled up in the grass outside of the arena = EXERCISE EXTREME CAUTION AND SNORTING. Compact front-end loader moving paving gravel around on the driveway and loudly scraping it and dumping it on the driveway at the top of the arena = zero issue/yawn/big whoop. Human exits aforementioned compact front-end loader = WHAT DIS NOW IT MOOV.
Last little bit of catch-up (maybe one day I will blog more frequently again) … I have tried a few new things lately, and I might have to review them here. The newer style (i.e., higher waist) Ghodho Elara breeches, an Anique sunshirt, and Incrediwear circulation exercise bandages. Anyone curious about this stuff, and I can get some reviews up?