Friday, July 22, 2016

Who Goes There?

While dumping the manure last night, my eye caught an anomaly in the landscape.  After a while, I almost tune out quail, bunnies, and coyote, because I see them constantly, but this was different.  I held still and watched the area where there was movement, and eventually two big orange eyes turned toward me.  Then I saw these huge talons take a one giant step toward a water puddle.  It was an owl walking along the ground to get a drink.  I've never seen an owl walk before.  It's rather fascinating.  They walk heel first and roll the whole foot up to their toes.

At dusk, just minutes before total darkness, I spotted the owl again perched on the round pen panels and tried to get pictures.  It is hard to get good shots of animals in the dark, and if I attempt to move in close enough for my flash to make a difference, I risk scaring off my subject.  Plus, if I don't scare it off on my approach, once the camera flashes, it will be gone, so I only get one shot with a flash.  I chose to zoom in and stabilize my camera against walls without the flash.  Most of the shots still turned out blurry and lacking in detail because of the lack of light.

The owl kept turning its head like the girl in the Exorcist, so most of the shots ended up either just being the back of its head or a blurry head.  These are the few with eyes on screen.  It was scanning the ground waiting for little animals to approach the water hole so it could swoop down on dinner, so I tried making different animal vocalizations to get the owl to look in my direction.  I'm sure my neighbor thought I was crazy lurking around in the bushes below his patio acting like an animal.

In other news, the farrier came by to do the horses' hoof trims, and I told him about Lostine's cracked hip or pelvis.  I suggested that he start with her hind end to see if she can stand on each hind leg before beginning the trim, and if it is a struggle, we'll just skip the trim for a few more weeks.  He could tell that she was in pain even with the Bute masking it, but she did stand on one hind leg for him.

It turned out that my farrier also has some schooling in equine chiro work, acupuncture and massage.  He told me he wanted to take a look at her and give me some exercises I can do to help stretch out her muscles.  From my description of her behavior, he thought she just locked up a stifle as opposed to fracturing a bone.  Since the vet didn't take x-rays, I don't really know the full extent of the injury, so he could very well have been right.  But once he started checking her reflexes, he said it was not the stifle.

He could visibly see a problem with her spine over her rump, that her right hip was one and a half inches further back than her left hip, and that even though it was the right hip that she hit, her left hip hurt her more.  He went ahead and made some adjustments that didn't straighten her out completely, but he was happy with the improvement.  Her reflexes and conformation were improved after the alignment.  He showed me the stretches he wanted me to do with her hind legs and tail, and I paid him a little extra for the help.  He told me to rub liniment on her rump and that would be more effective in keeping down the inflammation than just using Bute.

I was happy to get the added help, because I've been having a hard time believing that Bute and stall rest alone will solve her problem.  I talked to a friend who has used this vet, and she swaps vet stories with her other friends, and apparently this vet is known for making Bute and stall rest the cure for everything.

These early morning summer appointments are killing me.  I always have to sacrifice something to be at the barn on time.  Either the manure doesn't get cleaned up or I don't get my breakfast or something along those lines.  This morning it was that I didn't get a shower, so I was wearing clothes from the day before and dripping with sweat.

The Chiwees got into a nasty fight and I had to break it up.  Scrappy was biting Stewie over and over, and he's too deaf to hear me, so I had to grab him and pull him away, and he whipped around and bit me repeatedly.  I had to carry him to the time out kennel.  Then the farrier arrived, so I had to get Scrappy out of the tiny kennel so he could get water, but Stewie didn't get his breakfast.  Stewie was farting around avoiding his food, and I couldn't leave it on the floor for diabetic Midge to consume, so I had to put the food dish up high and leave the dogs to their own devices.

I also had to toss my own breakfast simultaneously to finish later, and take my pills that I'm supposed to take with breakfast and dinner.  Fortunately, the farrier got started without me.  His next appointment should be that last super early one, and after that, the heat should no longer be an issue.  When I returned to my breakfast, I found that it had been commandeered by a house fly, so I threw it away and started over.  Next time I'm going to remember to set my alarm before I fall asleep when I have a farrier appointment the following day.


Mrs Shoes said...

Your photos of the owl are marvelous - I love that his whole feet were showing so well just after you mentioned how he walks. One liniment I really like is blue lotion, which heats up sort of like A535 does (in this case I would recommend that you do not cover the area if you use blue lotion as it can cause scalding). After 15 minutes or so hold an ice pack on the area for 10 minutes - just as when we have inflammation & pain, alternating heat & cold is helpful - if it works for sore racehorses I would think it could ease Lostines discomfort. The best way to separate dogs who are fighting is to grab one dog high up on the rear legs close to the belly on both sides and pull the dog backwards moving him in a circle, this way he can't bite you while you try to help (as per Terrierman's advice, & it works!)

Cheryl Ann said...

You are so lucky to at least get some photos of your owl! That's on my bucket list! I did hear an owl one morning while taking the dog out to do her "business" up in Idyllwild. It wasn't a "whoo, whoo", but it was a little, softer call...I believe a saw-whet owl. Sound really travels in the canyons up in the mountains where we stayed in a cabin for 3 nights.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Mrs. Shoes - I'd clarify the dog advice by saying that is applicable to young dogs. If I did that to my 18 year old, I'd pull his hips out of their sockets. He has to be handled very gently because his bones are like dust, and he doesn't have many teeth left, so I don't care if he bites me. Also, standing outdoors in Arizona in the summer months for a long time alternating between hot and cold packs is not an option unless I want to die... even at night. We are having people dying left and right in the current heatwave. Fortunately, horses can survive it, but humans weren't made to tolerate this much heat without relief.

This next comment is not in response to your comment, but something I've been meaning to mention to readers in general. I've stopped taking advice from people who live in other climates, because every cent I have spent on cure alls recommended by people who do not live in this area has been a complete waste of money. It's better to give advice to people who are in your local area and who have identical factors to your situation, scientifically speaking. However, even some of the advice I have received from locals here has been bad. One lady swore by some product I recently spent a fortune on, and it does not work at all with my horses. Sometimes I think people fool themselves into believing that something works in order to justify what they spent on it. Either that or the problem went away on its own and they thought the product fixed it. I don't know. I'm just tired of people recommending products to me and not having them do anything but deplete my bank account. I wish more equine product manufacturers would provide samples so that I could test them out before breaking the bank. I'm not talking about liniment, but some other products I've purchased recently at the recommendation of blog readers.

Mrs Shoes said...

You know what Nuz?
You're right - on both counts.
I didn't think about how old he is when I repeated that advice about separating them. I completely agree that when it's our own dogs that are fighting instead of say, one of our dogs being attacked by a strange dog, that we have to use our own best judgement.
I also didn't think about how hot it would be for you to be outside long enough to do hot/cold treatments. I'm sorry; know it's a LOT hotter in AZ than it is here in the north. I thought I was about dying there last week with just a few days of 83 degrees + 86% humidity.
You're also right about the effectiveness of products in different climates... So I'll remember to keep my lip zipped in future.

Mrs Shoes said...

p.s. Oh Hell YES! to sample packages of equine products. That would be so awesome.