Saturday, February 19, 2011
February 19, 2011
Early last week Dr. Beth (Hirsch) came out and took a look at Patrick. She gave him a shot of sleepy juice and ratcheted open his great maw with a speculum, grabbed his tongue with her left hand and pulled it to the side, and then with her head lamp on, she followed its shaft of light with her other hand to the empty slots where his teeth had been. She worked loose the plaster and gauze packing that had served to protect the sockets, and pulled them out. She felt these areas to gauge the healing and searched for signs of infection…
Dr. Beth found everything to be normal – healed! Patrick is ready to go again, and according to all four vets who have worked with him, without the pain of these shifting teeth and the chronic low grade gum infection, he has to be feeling a lot better. We think he is – his eyes are brighter and he holds his head higher now.
One of the more interesting things that I learned about horse behavior from all this is a horses ability to hide pain. Dr. Orsini told us that if a horse, or any other animal for that matter, shows pain or injury, it advertises itself as an easy prey. So an animal will instinctively hide its injuries as a survival tactic…makes sense, as even we as humans do the same in our social situations….
It’s been a long year with horses – starting off with Louie’s cornea scrape last spring, then Zipp’s founder late last summer, and finally Patrick’s teeth. They say bad things come in threes…I am looking forward to it all being over!