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Wizard Session 328: Medicine

January 15, 2012

New halter and bath day = dapper Wizard

Saturday, 1/14/12

Wizard began his doxycycline treatment for Lyme Disease on Tuesday night. In acute cases, I’ve heard of horses showing signs of improvement in 3 days to a week. Since Wizard’s test readings showed chronic and acute levels, I’m guessing that it will take longer. He’s a little quieter than usual, but I don’t see much more than that.

He was just as sensitive about grooming and blanketing as he was before starting his meds, and he is trotting out the same as he did before treatment. He was FULL of energy, but that could be the lack of work and the cold air- we got a blast of below-freezing temps for the weekend.

Getting Wizard to eat the doxycycline is a challenge. My vet said that the simplest way to get him to eat the 45-pill dose (twice daily) is to see if he will eat the whole pills. Some horses do, apparently. Wizard does not. The first time he bit into one, he made a range of awful faces and sulked in a corner.

Things I tried:

What did not work
Cherry Kool-aid powder
Whole pills mixed with molasses
Peppermint oil
Powder mixed with feed

What worked (so far)
I fill a plastic container with 2-3 handfuls of grain. Then, I dribble a little oil to make it sticky. Then, I put the doxy powder on top. Then, I put a blob of molasses on top of that. Then, I add warm water. Put the lid on and shake the whole thing up. Once it soaks, it’s the consistency of runny oatmeal, and it gets poured on Wizard’s grain like salad dressing. He leaves a little grain behind, but eats almost all of it. Because it’s wet, there is very little leftover powder.

The other thing that helped me was to cover my face with a bandanna while grinding the pills. I get an awful taste in my mouth when I inhale the powder. Blech.

I know Wizard is getting the meds into his system because his manure is soft and has a very odd smell. At night, I’m feeding him a probiotic, since it is not supposed to be fed at the same time as the doxy.

On Saturday, I took Wizard outside for a little hand grazing. He was in fine fettle, and was leaping around, playfully arching his neck and misbehaving on the lead line. Once we had a leadline refresher course, I took him into the indoor arena for a longeing session. I longed him mostly for exercise, since I’m letting him rest while he’s on the Lyme medicine. He mostly longed without side reins, and I put them on for just a few minutes in each direction. As an experiment, I asked him to canter just 2-3 rotations in each direction. He picked up each lead perfectly, and his canter looked pretty nice. He did, however, stumble pretty badly going from the walk to a trot. He also acted up and spun from right to left twice. It could have been that he was distracted, though, since we could hear hunters in the woods and the horses were on high alert.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2012 11:35 pm

    Glad to hear Wizard is doing alright. Also nice to see the recipe, in case I ever need to do something similar for my guys. Man, that’s a lot of pills to grind!

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