Thursday, November 8, 2012

That Time of the Year

My least favorite time of the year has officially arrived.  We actually put sheets on a few horses a couple of evenings ago.  They only had them on for 24 hours but still - sigh - we've officially pulled out the horse clothing.  As always I was not quite ready for this to happen.  I was not ready in the figurative sense simply because, as everyone knows, I don't relish dragging around dirty horse blankets and I REALLY don't like cold weather. 

I also was literally not ready.  We had done the first step of blanket season preparation.  We had all the blankets piled in the appropriate locations, ready to be sorted and made somewhat easy to find.  However I had not yet gotten to the actual sorting part so we had to resort to sifting through the piles to find the sheets we needed. 

Sadly I'm still not 100% organized with the blankets yet and still have some piles to sort and more labeling to do.  Every year I go through and relabel the blankets with a sharpie as the names fade from being exposed to the rain and the dirt, and then fade more after the blanket is washed.  As I worked my way through some piles today sorting, labeling and trying to find a good way to organize them all, I wondered how many hours of my life I have spent marking names on horse blankets.  Then I wondered how many hours I've spent dragging piles of blankets to and from the pastures.  Then I decided I didn't really want to know the answer to these questions!

Merlin and O'Reilly

Johnny and Lighty

Trigger and Leo

Alex and Africa

Johnny, Rampal and Oskar



Renny (and Johnny)

Romeo, Titan and Lotus

George, Winston, Silver and Zeus


lytha said...

Melissa, I know you also hate those butt straps on some blankets that collect poop. I wanted to tell you I tried leaving that strap off to see what would happen. I felt pretty good when nothing changed for a few weeks, until someone came to my door and rang to tell me the blanket was around my horse's neck. Oops. Poop strap is back.

I wanted to ask if you guys ever use Moxidectin and what your experience is with it. The vet wants me to do this and I never have but I don't know how reasonable my worry is. You hear so many people talking about their horrible experiences, I'm wondering if it's true that they just misused the drug. Since you have such a great sample size, it would help me if you can report on it.

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

I cleaned sorted, cleaned and repaired (sent out to be) blankets last month. Only for one horse, so not too much of a chore ;D

(also re-waterproofed Val's rain sheet - thanks for the product recommendation and especially for your kind comment on the blog)

Bif said...

For goodness' sakes, don't ever sit down and try to figure out how much you make an hour, either! The horses and owners appreciate it all, though.


To Lytha,

All of this is "in my experience"... I am not a vet! ;-)

I've never had any problems with moxidectin. It DOES require precise dosing, and shouldn't be used as the initial dewormer for a horse whose parasite load is unknown.

A good weight tape is sufficient if the horse is 13 or more hands to determine the weight for dosing. Shorter than that, it would be good idea to use one of the length X heart girth X blahblahblah, etc methods to calculate. I also have miniature donkeys, and obviously have to use a different method than just the weight tape :)

The concern is usually with horses that were not properly dewormed when younger, as they can have long term encysted parasites that moxidectin can kill and casue a mass dieoff. This could then leave the horse with a lot of junk in the bloodstream and/or intestines as the die-off occurred.

I think this was a larger problem with moxidectin when it first came out when used on older horses (whose youths might have still been before every 2 month paste deworming came into popular use), and people not measuring accurately but "judging by eye" to calculate weight.

If the horse in question is in good condition, been dewormed within the last 2-3 months with ivermectin, and treated with Equimax or double dosed pyrantel pamoate within the last 6 months, the likelihood of him releasing a lot of encysted worms to the point of problems is very very low.

If you are really worried, you could do a powerpak (double dose febendozol x 5 days) and do moxidectin the following time. If the horse is in good condition, been on a good program, and you have his weight measured reasonably accurately, you should have no issues. If you have a horse who regularly gets colicky after worming, I would probably hold off on moxidectin.