Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Comforted By Friends

Interesting things are happening with Argus; I'm constantly on the edge of my seat. Yesterday, the right side of his chest swelled up, looking much like a pigeon fever abscess. At noon, his pectoral muscle was swollen; by 5pm, it was bigger. This morning, edema had settled below it, and the swelling was more firm. By 4pm today, the swelling was nearly gone. When I groomed him today, I noticed that the left side of his neck is now swollen. Keep in mind that an area behind his left scapula swelled, shrank, and swelled again 10 days ago. This bacteria seems to surf its way through the body with a vengeance.

Argus was lethargic today and not that excited about eating. He ate methodically. He enjoyed a small bucket of alfalfa meal laced with herbs. I reported our progress to the vet, who was hopeful that perhaps Argus' body is attempting to push the bacteria to the outside, where an abscess can rupture safely. These outward signs could be related to abscesses inside the body, too. No one really understands this "mutated" form of Pigeon Fever. I remain hopeful, but fearful, too.

For now, Argus is on stall/paddock rest. He is not allowed turnout of any kind because an internal abscess could rupture, which would be fatal. I'm handwalking Argus several times each day. He wishes he could go out, and stands forlornly at his closed gate at times. I tell him this will not be for long. He seems to understand.

Here are some photos taken today:

Wishing he could go out...

Odie The Mule paws the gate in frustration. He'd like to let Argus out so that he can go in and finish all of Argus' various yummy foods.

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The swollen left side of Argus' neck:

Argus and Ridge, my two "horsepital" patients, are very happy to be side-by-side. Ridge thinks it's very convenient that he can reach over the fence and eat out of Argus' feeder. Argus is eating from a raised feeder because it's painful for him to stretch down to the ground.

**Please light a candle for Argus**


SOSHorses said...

Whew, keep the updates coming. I find myself checking everyday sometimes (well, ok most times)several times a day.

I can't go with the no news is good news theory here because no news might mean your to upset to write.

Sending you my prayers, best wishes and scritches for Argus.

Original L said...

He does look under the weather, but mostly he looks like he wants to go play with his friends. I think it's so cute how he and Ridge are such twins! I am glad he is at least eating; keep it up Argus!

Holly said...

I have put you on "blogs that I follow" so that I know when there is a new post.

This is so hard for me, I cannot imagine what it is like for you let alone Argus.

Hugs to you and gentle scritches to Argus.

Anonymous said...

I have dealt with some awful pidgeon fever cases..I know your time must be a problem ..but when an abccess started to organize as I think his was from you description my vet wanted to try hot moist compresses to encourage it to form at an exterior location . Pectoral would be great area as gravity would help it drain...realizing he could still have internal ones too....but has your vet discussed the moist heat idea? so sorry do not want to second guess you in any way but do want to help. Mine was a quiet guy so I would use moist towel and heating pad . ..horse seemed to think it felt comfortable.. Would you like a blanket for him to help conserve body heat? I am in sacramento . I do rescues on my own too but I could help with a blanket if you could use one? have 8 horses right now!! BIG hug to Argus!!

excaliber813 said...

I second exactly what SOSHorses stated........ I keep checking several times a day, I think many are, judging by the hit counter! Candles for Argus are almost up to 300! Keeping healing thoughts and prayer for you and Argus.


Anonymous said...

Great post buddy ....Really the school days are the best days of life...The content of the post was really nice...we are trying to reunite school friends through our website to share their fond memo

Reuniting friends

Sydney said...

Something you might try. A friends horse had cancer. Luckily they operated and it was removed but anyway she went through a stage where she wouldn't eat anything.
My friend to add a handful of brown sugar to any hot/warm mash (She was using beet pulp and her pelleted feed as a mash)and a tiny bit of cinnamon. She wouldn't touch it until that brown sugar was in it. Dunno what it was, taste, texture but it worked and she would faithfully gobble it up every meal time.

Argus' Mom said...

Anonymous, thank you very much for the offer of a blanket! I have one that was donated for Argus by a local tack shop, so he's in good shape. Thank you, though! Argus wears his blanket at night and on cold days.

I've used a "moist heat" heating pad, held in place by a slinky. That works really well to bring the abscess to a head. I will definitely be using moist heat to draw out anything that appears to be organizing itself into an actual abscess.

I've dealt with pigeon fever now for three months, with three different horses, but nothing about this recent period with Argus compares. It appears that something is deep inside and trying to work its way out. As the vet said, the tract the bacteria has traveled might extend a great distance. UC Davis has been called in on this case, so we are getting good help. I'm also using supportive measures like herbs and homeopathy.

I never thought I'd say this, but I miss those "normal" abscesses that take weeks to mature. It's torture knowing this huge pussy mass is sitting inside your horse, possible snuggled alongside an internal organ...

Anonymous said...

I read today where Pure Thoughts Rescue in Florida used something called Cocosoya Oil and it got a horse to eating. It is under Horses In Training ... Blahnik.

Here is part of the text:
Then I put some [cocosoya] oil in a cup and started giving it to him in a syringe I thought it can't hurt at this point. Well, he swallowed it, so I gave him about 6 syringe fulls. Then he laid back down and took a nap again.. I stayed there with him. Honestly I thought we were nearing the end so I wanted to make sure I was with him when he passed.. Pur dog Pudie who is truly amazing never left his side all day. Well, he rested for about 10 minutes and this point I was crying I was so frustrated and sad I just did not know what else to do and our vet did not either... So when he put his head up I automatically, like every time before, put the bucket of feed under his nose and he sniffed it ... then he started REALLY sniffing it (remember it has the cocosoy oil loaded on it). Then he started pushing his nose around in it ... and his eyes were open I could see he wanted it but it was like he could not figure out how to get it... so I put my hand in the side of his mouth and put some of the grain in his mouth. he started to chew .. then he had his nose back in the bucket so this time I put my hand in the side of his mouth so it opened his mouth and I scooped the food in his mouth with my other hand... Well, he must have thought he did it because the next time he came at the bucket and opened his mouth and like scooped it up with his lower jaw... He didn't have a good angle so he started getting up.... this boy wanted at his feed... I got up with him and away he went.. It took him like an hour and a half but he ate it...then he took some bites of hay ..just a few then he took a long drink of water.. I WAS SO HAPPY...I was jumping up and down all over the place.. Brad was training some horses and yelled over asking what I was doing.. actually he said what are you doing you whack job and I said HES EATING HES EATING!! He jumped off the horse and we both stood there and watched him eat like we have never seen a horse eat before.
Carol called me to see if I got the oil and I had the best news to give her... HE WAS EATING... Cheryl who had been getting hourly updates and not good ones finally afraid to answer her phone I think got some good news... HE WAS EATING!! AND when he was done eating and drinking he GRAZED ON GRASS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, this might be helpful too. Pure thoughts mixed peppermint with Blahniks SMZs. You may want to check with Jen at Pure Thoughts to see exactly how they mixed it. Jen's email address is JSwan0415@aol.com

Kim said...

Thank you, Katie, for updating us frequently (and with so many pictures today!!) on our beloved Argus. In the midst of your own worry and fear, know there are sooooo many of us on this vigil with you. You are in my prayers again tonight. The ripple widens further.

Mel Baker said...

He just looks so content though - so happy with life & almost seems like he knows you are helping him the best you can.

I have now become addicted to checking the website all day as well...

Fingers crossed he makes a full recovery.

Thinking of you & Argus & family from New Zealand :)

Tracey said...

How on earth have I missed your blog this past year?

Prayer said for Argus and you. Many blessings for helping this old gentleman out.

Anonymous said...

Keep on eating and taking your medicine Argus. Your life is good and you have many happy years ahead of you. You have many friends praying for you every day.

Anonymous said...

Oh Katie ((HUGS)) to both you and Argus. My thoughts and prayers are with you

excaliber813 said...

Checking on Argus today, sending more loving thoughts & prayers.

A quote I found that speaks volumes about you and Argus!

“Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.”
Mary Anne Radmacher


Sport's Mom said...

Poor baby! He looks so sad. Give him a kiss on the nose for me and a scratch in his favorite spot.

Caryn said...

Thank you for the update. Argus does look quite resolute in his pictures, but not really "forlon" to me. Your stories make me think that he is a wise, old soul. I can imagine him understanding that he is being kept in for his health. I don't know how horses feel or "know" things, but I can say with absolute certainty that thanks to you, Argus KNOWS love. Hugs to you both.

Black Money said...

Glad to hear he is still being a fighter. My thoughts are with you Katie and Argus. He is a fighter and has support for all over the World!


Kim, Annabelle and Zuzu said...

Kaite: I just wanted to say though I don't comment much, I read this blog regularly and have been moved to tears here many times.

Thank you for sharing Argus' progress with us and bless you for having such a kind heart.

Is it possible to love a horse you've never met? I just LOVE Argus ...

Sport's Mom said...

How's our Baby Boy doing?