Yesterday, while the farrier was here, I noticed that Tim had some sort of something, coming out of his ear. At first I thought that he had laid down in the dirt and got, stuff in his ear, but this was different. I asked Carl, the farrier what he thought and he said, maybe ticks. We don't have much of a problem with ticks, mostly because of the dry weather we have. I have seen calf's with ticks that surround their eyes that we have to take off when we brand but nothing on horses, so I thought it must be something else. It was not there the day before, the discharge that is, cause I did not see it when we rode the day before. He did not seem to mind when I looked in his ear or handled his ear so I thought it must be something else. So when we were finished I loaded him up and took him to town to my vet. That is an hour drive. When we got there the doc put him in the stanchion and tried to put his finger in Tim's ear. Tim would have nothing to do with that. But after a little time and effort the doc was able to and sure enough Tim's ear had at least on tick. The doc left for a bit and when he came back he had a bottle of mineral oil and some other magic ingredient that he said would kill any ticks that might be in there. Tim took it like a champ and in minutes we were back on the road for the trip home.
I will give Tim a few days off to get this ear issue sorted out. I bet it is pretty hard to concentrate when you have a tick in your ear. What's amazing to me is that Tim never gave me any indication that he was having a problem. And I would have never known anything was wrong with him had stuff not start to run out of his ear. He is an amazing horse, kind, patient and forgiving. I'm lucky to have him.
A little about vets. I have been blessed to have had really good vets in my career. We had one of the best when we lived in Kansas and we have a pretty darn good one here. Folks will often ask me what I think is wrong with their horse, things like if they are limping, or coughing, or their eyes don't look clear. With a horse the list can go on and on. What I tell them is, if you think there is a problem and you don't have the know how or skill to handle the problem, or your just not sure, take your horse to your vet. I don't have years of training in vet medicine so at best, I would be guessing, so why take the chance. Sure there are things that you just know. You know your horse and, you know when they are not feeling good. Just like us, somedays they are just not themselves. We take that into account and if we can we give them the day off, or however long it takes till they are feeling better. I also think that folks take their horses and other critters, to the vet without real need, but that is a personal issue. If you are not sure, take them to the vet. It don't cost that much and you will sleep better. You will probably find that most of the time it's no big deal, but there will come a time when you will be able to prevent real harm to your horse if you respond by taking them to the vet.
If you have a really good vet, he or she, is going to help you understand what's going on and what you can do in the future to take care of the problem yourself, or help you know when it is serious enough that you need to bring your horse to town. I know that they are trying to make a living, but they are not like people doctors, who are so worried about being sued, that they have us jump though a bunch of hoops so they are protected. I understand why they do it, I just don't like it. I have often called my vet with symptoms and, over the phone the doc has helped me figure out whats wrong and how to fix it, without having to take the horse to town.
So if you don't have a good vet, find one. Asks friends. If you have a good vet. hug em.
Will try and keep you updated with info on what the heck I'm doing with horses and music.