Despite her long day, she arrived at our barn with all pistons firing and gave my horse her immediate attention. She must have been tired, but she didn't show it. Her and her assistant impress me with their professionalism and sheer endurance. And we were not her last appointment of the day, even though it was after 5:30 pm when she left the barn. How do they do it? Needless to say, I was very happy to see them and very appreciative of their time.
Every aspect of Harley's strange illness and his management were discussed. We covered a lot of ground and my vet analyzed every morsel of information, culminating in a few possible causes:
- Harley could have come in contact with a viral or bacterial infection (at the Turkey Trot or just from barn visitors, which are numerous). My vet was especially adamant that strep can be transmitted this way from horse to person to horse. She looked at my temperature records from this weekend and says that it looks like a low grade fever.
- Harley may be suffering from an allergic reaction. She listened to his breathing and said that there was some reason for concern. There could be something in the new shipment of hay (or something else) that is aggravating his airways. Remember the coughing, which I mentioned when he was stalled? The leg swelling could be caused by allergies, or we may be looking at two separate problems.
Merry Christmas, Boy!
My vet will send his blood out to test for infection and allergies. The allergy testing results will take some time, but we should know if he was exposed to strep or something else within a few days. In the meantime, he is comfortable, his legs are normal, and he does not have a fever. He is also much more alert than he was this weekend and seems back to his old self. I am thankful for this.
And I am so thankful that there are people who choose to dedicate their lives to helping sick and injured animals. The commitment is palpable. So is the love for the horse. I am truly in awe of my vet.