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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A Few Days of Hell

Well, I can very hesitantly and tentatively tell you that I think Gogo's vaccine reaction/colic/whatever is finally under control. I've had a very horrible past two days, and I am utterly mentally and physically spent. But she's okay, and that's all that matters.

Sunday afternoon, I stuck Gogo with her 5-in-1, a vaccine that I've given often Gogo with no additional NSAIDs needed. She's never had a problem before, never even gotten so much as a sore neck, so I gave it without thinking about it and went on my merry way. However, at night check, Shannon went out and came back in after a few minutes time, saying that Gogo was down and flat out on her side, and was very slow to get up. By the time I got out there to investigate, however, she was up, bright-eyed, and nickering for food, so I gave her a flake of hay and she set herself to munching. She seemed fine, so I figured she had been sleeping and was caught off-guard, which is why it took her a minute to get up. (Not exactly prey behavior, but it's Gogo, so there you are.) I checked on her several more times that night, the last time being at 11:30pm, and she was still placidly munching on her hay. Feeling satisfied, I went to bed.

However, that next morning, I went to check on her before I started feeding everyone (she is the last stall in the aisle), and she was down and flat out again, her stall a total mess. Hmmmm, I thought. That's not so good. I got her up, pulled her out of her stall, and took her TPR. Everything was totally normal: heart rate was 30bpm, respiratory rate 13bpm, temp 99.0F. I gave her 5cc banamine IV, walked her for a few minutes, cleaned her stall, and put her back. She seemed interested in food, so I offered her a handful of hay to see what she would do, and she gobbled it down. Within 15 minutes, however, she was back down, flat out, and she got up and laid back down on the other side flat out again within a few minutes. She wasn't rolling or thrashing or otherwise trying to damage herself, so I monitored her until she got up and started looking around for hay again. I let her have a few nibbles of hay here and there, and she went down again at around 11:30 or so, but was munching hay while she was down. She got up again, seemed bright-eyed and bushy tailed, and she stayed that way for the rest of the day. At 4:30pm, AKA dinnertime, I let her have a little bit of grain with everyone else, seeing as she seemed completely fine and her TPR was still normal. I thought maybe she was just worn out from the vaccine and just felt crappy. However, at around 5, she was down again, moaning and looking miserable. Fantastic. 5cc of banamine again, a walk, and a recheck of her TPR (noting that her HR was now 20.... which I thought was a fluke), and she went back into her stall acting totally fine. So I got a book, blankets, some food, and a lounger from the porch, and set up an all-night vigil outside her stall. I dozed a little, read a lot, and kept an eye on her all night long. She was great and munching some hay for awhile, her gut sounds gurgling happily away (I should also mention that she was pooping tons and drinking heartily as well the entire day), and at 1am I went back in the house to my bed to get 2 hours of sleep. At 3, of course, when I went to check on her again, she was down flat out and moaning. This time, I broke out the big guns and gave her 10cc banamine, and monitored her until 4:30am, then retired again until 6am when we started work. Of course, at 6am she was down again.

Now, I was getting really concerned. This had been going on for long enough to warrant real worry, and the fact that 10cc of banamine should be making her feel pretty awesome if this was in fact a mild colic. I took her out of her stall, and her TPR was again totally normal (HR was now up to 33.... which is totally normal, but apparently elevated for Freak Heart here). When I went to walk her in the indoor, the first thing she did was pitch herself on the ground and start rolling. With some goading, I got her up and we kept walking, after which she perked up and started asking for food. Shortly thereafter, I called Salmon Brook to have them send someone out, but of course it was someone I was unfamiliar with and hadn't heard that many great things about. When he showed up at 9, right off the bat I just didn't like him. He was plenty nice, to be sure, but he wasn't thorough and he gave me zero answers. He did a rectal and found nothing, and tubed her and also found nothing except for totally normal amounts of gas, but he did nothing else except take her TPR (HR back down to 20... ridiculous!!). As she was still bright eyed and acting totally fine at that point, all he could tell me is that she was fine and there was nothing wrong with her. Thanks vet, that's a bunch of emergency call money I really needed for other things! And of course, at 11:30 again, guess what happened? Yep, down and flat out again, moaning and groaning like the world was ending. I took her outside to wander for a few, and she went down again, half on the grass and half on the pavement. WEIRD. She was trying to roll a bit at this point, but I kept her still and she laid there pathetically, looking up at me like, "yeah I really just don't feel so good right now." But her TPR was still NORMAL! You'd think if she was hurting at least her HR would go up... nope. Still normal, still pooping/eating/drinking, still had her guts gurgling away normally. WTF? Back in her stall and she was just fine again for the next several hours. Shannon and I decided at dinner that we were going to mash up some plain ol' timothey/alfalfa haycubes for her, thinking maybe some alfalfa would help that belly (but I dunno, does calcium get destroyed in the, uh, cubing process?), and that it would be a nice mild way to get more water into her. Nope, 5pm rolled around again and bam, back on the ground and rolling, groaning again like she was dying. Mostly, she laid flat out and still, but was down for about a half-hour total (got up once and laid back down again). I had already called Dr. W again to tell him, but he had no answers, so I called Dr. C and bugged her for awhile about it. We racked out brains for awhile while she laid there quietly, and could come up with no real answers. She even went so far as to have me thoroughly check and see if she was foundering from the vaccine, but we abandoned that idea after doing some testing to see if she was footsore (nope, per usual she still has the iron feet). I went out and bought bags of ice just in case, but thankfully didn't need them. She thought maybe she was ulcery, but it corresponded too oddly to the vaccine, and was too violent of a reaction to me to seem like sudden ulcers that came out of nowhere. At this point, I was considering taking her in to Tufts for the night, but Dr. C and I decided upon 10cc of banamine and 3cc of Ace to keep her quiet, and to continue to monitor her while her vitals were still all normal. If one thing changed, she was going in to the hospital.

But nothing changed. She went back in her stall after we walked her out on pavement to see how comfortable her feet were (they were fine), and I loaded her up with said drugs and put her back. She was lurpy but still comfortable and able to nibble hay, so I set up shop again outside her stall, this time staying the entire night instead of making a sad attempt at sleep. After that incident at 5, she was fine. She napped lightly at 1:30, and then again at 3, but it was a normal, sternal sort of nap with no distress about it. She pooped ever half hour on the half hour (how's that for timing), drank plenty, peed, played with her Pony Pop, ate more hay, and hung out comfortably. She was still up and hungry at 6am, the first time in two days that she's been up and comfortable at that time.

And she's been great ever since. She looked plenty tired to me - and I was too, so I can't blame her - but she's been fine. No food other than hay for the moment, and for the next couple of days I expect, but when I checked her at 9 she was up and dozing lightly. Shannon is gonna check her at midnight, and I will look again at 3am, but I think she may be out of the woods for the time being. You never know, but she's been comfortable now for 30 hours, so hopefully her night checks tonight will be routine and fine.

Phew. Keep your fingers crossed though. Since we had no idea what it was exactly and there were no changes in ANYTHING except her behavior, it could pop up again at any time. I can only conclude she just felt like crap from her vaccine on Sunday. I'll tell you what, that's the last time I give a combo vaccine like that.

Boy we just can't catch a break can we?


Helen said...

I think that mare is having a blast playing mind games with you ;P

Kristina said...

Would you believe that my old mare actually sleeps like that? Regularly?

She only does it at nighttime and never for more than an hour or so at a time, but if she ever lies down to sleep, it's flat out accompanied by groaning.

Had the vet out, everything is fine, she just likes to stretch out while she's asleep, I guess.

I've had some really worried calls from security at night at horse shows telling me they thought something was really wrong and I'd better get out there right away. Sure enough, she was always just sleeping.

Ambivalent Academic said...

Gah. I'm sorry she's been feeling poorly, but glad to hear that things have improved. My money's on the vax reaction too. I for one, get totally achy all over from a flu shot (which I have to get since I work in a hospital). Sometimes with a fever, sometimes not. But generally feeling crappy whether or not that's accompanied by a change in vitals. It's not inconceivable that the same happened to Gogo.

If you don't give a 5-way again, will you still vaccinate against all 5 individually? Will that cost significantly more? Will that extend the amount of time that she's feeling just mildly under the weather? I'm not saying that any of that should change your decision, I'm just curious.

Jennifer said...

Hey Andrea - A little humor, and a lotta support.

Jenn and the boys

Funder said...

I am so glad to hear she's feeling better!