Mon pauvre bébé! Poor Tag! Saturday, we arrived at the stable to find the big hoofy one like this:
Now, this might not seem terrible… a nice relaxing doze… But you have to know Tag to see the red flags in this picture.
He is lying next to a perfectly fluffy, succulent little pile of hay. It’s one in the afternoon. It’s at least a few hours past breakfast time. It’s one in the afternoon and he is lying down, next to a perfectly fluffy, succulent little pile of hay and it isn’t eaten!!!! There shouldn’t be a molecule of hay left anywhere in that stall!
Now I must remind you; my horse is really just a larger, longer-legged, hairier, carrot-whorier version of a pig. Yep, he’s a swine. The horse would run over his own mother for a few bites of hay. He will yank my husband’s arm out of his socket just to nibble up a few bits of hay that had fluttered down from the loft. So to see that picture… you can know right away… Tag is not feeling well AT ALL.
And worse… he didn’t attack anyone for carrots (doom and gloom music). You must understand… he is always harassing people for carrots. He was lethargic and quiet. He did *eat* some carrots, and ate them with some enthusiasm, but his constant pestering was not there. His lippy, mouthy, poky and proddiness just wasn’t present. Poor baby!
I was pretty upset. I know, I get super-fussy about these things. Horses are large and stompy but they are really extremely delicate creatures. Their fragile legs aside, a horse’s digestion can be thrown off just a little and they could easily die. Colic can be fatal. Horses cannot vomit. If they eat something bad, it has to go through their entire system and out the other side. And if a horse’s diet changes radically… they can get very sick. Horses get blockages, twisted intestines and all manner of terrible afflictions that sometimes are fatal. So yeah, I got upset. I worried about changed food, about this, about that. I worried.
Tag was also VERY STINKY. I discovered he’d had a bit of an accident on his legs and tail and he had to get a bath. Now he smells like baby shampoo. It turns out Taggie had a fever… so it wasn’t mild colic (and he had other signs of it not being colic…)… this morning, according to the owner of the barn, his temp was back down and he was eating. He hadn’t been drinking at all. I will check on him this afternoon. ::sigh:: It seems this is right on par with my karma these days. Good things going bad. Bad bad bad. Will this year of gloom never end? Will the clouds part and shed me a little bit of sun? :::WHINE!!::: Daddy’s 80th birthday is fast approaching. Next Monday. He is incoherent and lost. Flower is still ill… still coughing… still vomiting. The specialist wants $1,700 we don’t have, to scope her throat, and now Taggie is sick. I hope this is a bug. I can’t bear the idea of losing him. He’s my ray of sunshine. Cinnamon sunshine. :::ugh:::