I thought surely I have done my duty by now... Life had to let up and let me relax soon! WRONG! I had been hoping to go to a Competitive Trail Ride this weekend. It seemed a perfect intro to endurance for Boomer. It is 30 minutes from home, we could choose 15 or 25 miles, it is held on a Sunday so John wouldn't have to miss work. It just seemed right. So, I headed out to the barn planning to do a nice long, hard ride in the arena. I wanted to work on getting his trot strong and make sure he was bending and responding as he should. I thought that a nice strong workout would be a good preparation for a slow 25 mile ride this weekend. Here is where things got funny.
I went into Boomer's paddock to get him and he seemed fine. I was holding a few flakes of hay to put into his shed in case it rains tonight. He didn't follow me with the hay, which was weird. Then when I haltered him and started walking him he seemed normal but was breathing hard. I figured he was just excited, however his breathing was still shallow and rapid after being in the cross ties for a while. He was almost panting, his sides were heaving and his nostrils were flared. I called a few people over to see what they thought and everyone thought he just didn't seem right. His gums were pale and didn't get any paler when I pressed on them. His chest felt a little warm to the touch, but it was 84 degrees today. I wasn't sure what to do. I thought about lunging him to see how quickly his breathing recovered after working, but was afraid of making it harder for him to breathe. I put him in a stall with the fan on and got my thermometer to take his temp. He did NOT like that at all. His temp read 105.6. Normal is 100-101. Not good. I called the vet and the earliest he could come out was at 5, 1.5 hours away. So I hosed him and put him back in front of the fan. That seemed to cool him down and he stopped breathing as hard. He was very lethargic. We temped him again and it was down to 104.2 which is still too high. The vet came out and took his temp and got 104. He said that his breathing was still labored (it was much better than at first). He said it is probably a virus, which isn't that big of a deal. He did say that if a horse stands around breathing like that it could damage their lungs. He gave him banamine for the fever and an antibiotic. I am supposed to check on him in the morning and report back his temp and how he is breathing. If it is the same or worse, he will get a week of antibiotics injected. If he is better he will get oral powder antibiotics. He said that he may develop a cough as well. I plan on leaving him inside with the fan on during the hot part of the day while I am in class.
I feel really bad for him. He was alert, but just not himself. Watching him breathe like that was scary. he was panting and his nostrils were flared and shiny. He was hot like we had been working, but no sweat. I can't believe his temp was almost 106. Scary.
So, no ride this weekend. Probably no ride next weekend either. Now I am hoping for October 3rd. That is a 25/50 Endurance ride in Oologah, OK. It is an 'elevator' ride which means that I can sign up for the 25 miler and if he feels great at 25 miles, we can 'elevate' to the 50 miles and try to complete the full distance. There is another 15/25 CTR on 10/18 in Nebraska (3 hours away), a 25/50 endurance on 10/31, and a two day 25/50 endurance 0n 11/27-11/28. Maybe we can make one or more of those! Of course, I can never count on anything! So, wish us luck and be thinking of Boomer!