All Things Horse

Forty-seven Years Of Horse Experience – At Your Service!

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful…-

Necessity is the Mother of Invention – Plato.

Hot Water Bottles – Tip #2

Not so awful anymore since the really cold snap broke this morning. It was a sunny day and I removed all the blankets from the beasties. I think they appreciated it. A little vitamin D from the sun won’t hurt this time of the year. The record lows have taken me back almost a year, to that sad time my dear young Sammy died. I wrote about it in the first post, here on this weblog.

I guess it would be inevitable that I would think about that tragic time since Sammy died on the coldest day of 2008. It was on a cold morning, the last Friday in February, at 5am that she went down. She and the other horses were in the greenhouse and it wasn’t a bad day weather-wise. The other horses never liked Sammy and wouldn’t allow her to be a part of the herd. They accepted that the greenhouse was her area and they were visitors there but they didn’t much like her being around them. (More on this in another post later)

At 5 am, there was a holy ruckus in the greenhouse. I jumped out of bed and Cleigh jumped away from his computer and we both ran for the doors, me for the porch door and Cleigh for the living-room door. When I tried to open the door, the horses were scrambling, stampeding,  all three of them to get out of the greenhouse all at the same time through a 40 inch wide door opening. I couldn’t get out for them. In the meantime, Cleigh was having the time of his life getting the living room door open. The door was at the other end of the greenhouse and Sammy was laying down but squished up against the door that opened outwards.

The only thing possible was that she fell against the wall and door.  The other horses finally got out without tearing the wall off the greenhouse somehow and Cleigh and I were finally able to get out and inspect what had happened. Sammy was quiet but she was laying too close to the foundation and her head was turn up and in toward her body in an uncomfortable looking position, so Cleigh and I grabbed her by the halter and moved her around. Not an easy feat, I can tell you.

Sometime later in the day she went into a grand mal seizure.  I can’t say the exact time because I was upset.  After the seizure, I took her vitals and all was normal except her temperature was about two degrees too low.  I called the veterinarian and she told me I had to get the body temperature up.  She suggested I allow the horses in to help warm the air but they didn’t like Sammy and I couldn’t let them near her.  Their dislike was bad enough that I feared they would purposely trample her.

The temperature outside Sam's Pridewas dropping off fast and with it my filly’s temperature was going too. I had two small heating pads, one used microwave and the other hot water, but they just weren’t enough. We rigged two high powered workshop lamps close to Sammy that gave off a lot of heat and the greenhouse warmed up, but her temperature was still down in spite of two heavy winter horse blankets and lots of hay around her and the ground was warm.

I was at my wits end when it came to me.   Cleigh like his bottles of Coke Cola and I had about a dozen two-liter empty bottles.  I wasn’t long filling them with hot water from the tap.  I literally wrapped Sammy in hot water.  I wrapped each individual bottle with a towel and placed them around her body, under the winter blankets.

The reason why I’m writing this is that the hot water bottles worked and brought her temperature back to normal.  I guess it doesn’t matter that she died less then twenty-four hours later. The fact remains that the bottles did what I wanted them to do, and if anyone reading this finds that their horse or any living creature is cold, put a plastic bottle of hot water near them, making certain not to scald the skin.


January 18, 2009 - Posted by | health | , , , , , , , ,

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