Monday, November 17, 2014

Teeth and lumps.

"We found a lump. Do you want to come look at it?" To which I replied, "I bet it's a melanoma". But I'll get back to this in a little bit.

I scheduled an appointment last week for the horses to get their teeth done. Cash had his done earlier this year when we bought him, but the others were due. George had his done last spring, Duke was done 2 years ago, and I'm not sure Princess Rainbow Sparkles has ever had her teeth done. But when I scheduled the appointment, I figured to make it for 9:00am because that way it would be light out, and it would give us enough time to get the horses loaded and get to the clinic before out appointment. Well leave it to horses to decide that no, they will not go to the clinic. All summer long, I could lead them out of the pasture, with no problems. None. All fall i could lead them out, no problems. But today George decided that he wasn't leaving the pasture. He sees that trailer hooked up and he becomes a bigger ass than normal. So he put up a good fight, and I think my husband threatened to sell him enough times, that George finally decided to go through the gate. With only minimal fighting he hopped right on to the trailer, and then the other two loaded just fine, of course this was after I chased them all over North Dakota trying to get them caught. 
Once we got to the clinic, one of my friends who is a vet tech was there waiting for us. She wasn't going to be the vet tech that worked with our horses, but she wanted to make sure that she got to say hello to her little friend Princess Rainbow Sparkles. When I led PRS into the clinic she was met with a bunch of squeals from everyone that was waiting patiently to meet her. She is pretty darn cute, even if she is a witch of a little pony.

We put all the horses in the round pen as we were waiting for the doctor. All three monsters promptly rolled and rolled and rolled. I think they were happy to be inside for a change. Duke did great in side the clinic seeing as how it was the first time he's ever been inside before. He was first up to get his teeth done, but once I led him up to the stocks, he started getting a bit nervous. He was still a good boy, but his heart was racing and was a bit fidgety once she got the needle in him to give him some sleepy drugs. But the drugs kicked in and we pushed him into the stocks. 
handsome boy.
 His teeth had a few sharp points, and he was definitely due to have his teeth done. But he didn't have ulcers or cuts on the side of his mouth or tongue. While he was drugged up, we had them clean his man parts. Because I just can't bring myself to do it. Everything looked good up there, he had a few beans, but nothing to major or dramatic. He stumbled back to the round pen, and up next was PRS.

Drugs. Not even once.

Look at those chompers!

Their stocks were too big for her, so they had to hold her up and hold her mouth open.
She had been calling out for her boyfriend Duke almost the entire time she was away from him. Each time she let out that high pitched whinny, everyone giggled. And I'll admit, it is pretty cute. She was an old pro at being in the clinic and walked through the place like she owned it. She got the sleepy drugs and she may have gotten a bit more than she needed. She was ready to just lay down and snuggle up with me. Her teeth looked as though they hadn't ever been done before, if they had, it had been a long time since they were done. Her middle teeth were a bit uneven, and she did have some points but the good news was that she still had all of her teeth. We asked about how old they thought she was, the Vet pinned her in her 20's. Which is kind of what we'd been thinking. I mean clearly it doesn't really matter how old she is, because her work load is pretty lax. They didn't have equipment small enough for her, so instead of putting the mouth gear on her to keep her mouth open, they had to have two vet techs hold her. Not gonna lie, it was pretty cute. But then again, everything about that little monster is cute. She finished up her appt, like a champ, and then slowly walked back to the round pen to wait it out.
King George. Happily resting.
George was up next. He was happily curled up in a little ball when I went back to the round pen. He was happy to be resting in the soft rubber tire arena footings they had in the round pen. I got him up and he followed me along willingly to the exam room. She gave him his first round of tranq. He laughed at her. So she gave him some more and it was like he was saying "really? That's it?" So then finally she gave him a bit more, and he started to show signs that she'd found the right amount, and he stumbled into the stocks. She put on his headgear, and started to take a look around. His teeth weren't horrible, but they did need to be trimmed, as he was starting to get a few points. 

We also had his man bits cleaned while he was sedated. Once the vet tech was done, she was talking to the vet who then said to me "We found a lump. Do you want to come look at it?" and then I said "I bet it's a melanoma". Sure enough, up in his man bits, there was a black lump. Clearly before we found out what it really was, we all joked about maybe in his younger years he wasn't so careful, and a little filly gave him something. But our vet said that it probably was a Melanoma, and that 80% of gray horses over a certain age have them. We discussed it a little bit, she didn't think it was cancerous, but we will certainly all keep an eye on it. After we discussed it I remembered that he also had a lump high up on his neck, and she thought that it was probably also Melanoma. Again we are going to keep an eye on it, if they do start growing, and changing shape we will have them removed. She said it's a pretty straight forward procedure, but she will have to lie him down on the table to get up in there to remove it. The one on his neck is a bit trickier because they have no idea of knowing how deep it its, until you get in there. I had a hunch that he was going to have it.  His sire, Cozzene was euthanized at 28 years old due to health complications related to Melanoma. But clearly we will keep an eye on him, and deal with whatever happens.
So that is that. The joys of a gray horse.