Wednesday, June 7, 2017

How To: Medicate your cancerous, asshole horse

Since we first biopsied Fungus Leg, Bobby has been on a lot of pills. He started off on seventeen SMZs twice a day, and then once the results came back we immediately started him on an antibiotic which was an additional fourteen pills twice a day.

The SMZs dissolve easily in water so when he was only on those, it was easy enough to soak them quickly, dump them in his grain, and stir in some applesauce. He picked at it slowly, but he ate it all mostly without issue.

The antibiotics don't melt. In fact, if you leave them in water too long they literally turn to plastic. We tried to work around this the first day or two by mixing them with the SMZs and then immediately putting it in front of Bobby stirred in with two servings of applesauce. That didn't fly, and myself and the afternoon barn feeder had to forcibly shove the lumps of medication down his throat.

So instead of melting everything, I pounded (and then, duh, took Stacie's idea and used my coffee grinder) both medications into powder, mixed with applesauce, and tried again. Nope. Add some molasses as well? Crushed candy canes from a barn mate that works at Dunkin Donuts and brought a bag? He'd eat it, but it was taking him well over an hour to do it. The afternoon feeder was having to get there early just to make sure Bobby had enough time to slowly pick through it before he got turned out overnight (Usually he goes out during the day, but his pasture had just been mowed and sprayed so they were off it for a week.).

As a morning feeder, I know exactly how much of a pain in the ass a horse with tons of supplements and medications can be. I hated having to list out instructions and text back and forth while we all brain stormed what would make Bobby eat his meds in a timely fashion.

I finally found the right solution the other day.

First!

gather your drugs. this is $100 for two weeks. he will likely be on it till the end
of times unless we decide to switch to a steroid. or maybe just add a steroid as well?
who knows. drugs drugs drugs. 

Then!

count out dosage and add to coffee grinder. realize after you've taken the picture you
miscounted and add another pill.

Most importantly...

add proper dosage of peppermints

Least favorite step:

beat the shit out of your cheap ass grinder until it deigns
to turn on

Producing:

a fine pink powder that smells delicious.

Finally!

add to tri amino for the morning and its own baggie for the night.

Bobby happily inhales it. I still give him a single serving of applesauce with it because I have about forty of them at the barn and what the fuck else am I going to do with them. It also makes for quite a bit of powder so the applesauce helps dampen it down a bit.

What about you guys? Do you have a horse that's difficult to sneak meds to? Any tricks you want to share on the not-so-off chance Bobby decides he's being poisoned and won't eat this in a few days?

47 comments:

  1. That is brilliant. I'm keeping this post for future usage (hopefully I don't need it!).

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    1. Yes, definitely file it away as useless knowledge you'll never need.

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  2. That is a brilliant solution that I'm mentally cataloguing. I have no tips, my horses have all been pretty good about meds (I had a horse that would eat Bute tabs out of my hand like candy haha). But I'm glad you found something that works for Bobby!

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    1. Bobby fully approves of bute as candy. Anything else apparently not so much.

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  3. Well stampede literally won't touch his grain if you add anything suspicious. He just gets salt. Note he also does not approve of commingling of foods - don't you dare let those hay pellets touch his grain.
    He gets his daily previcox (which hopefully I will be taking him off of soon, I've been slowly reducing dosage) hidden in a nickerdoodle and won't except any other hiding treat for it. If he needs antibiotics or something they must be ground up, mixed with applesauce, and syringed in. Note he may also stop eating grain then because frankly he's just not happy about that. He keeps me busy?

    PS We (meaning my husband because my hand wanted to fall off) did pill grinding with a mortar and pestle for way too long before discovering the coffee grinder option!

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    1. None of that surprises me even a little bit about him lol

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  4. Oooooh the peppermint grinding is pure genius.

    Also props for a how to I also could do. You are in rarefied air, my friend.

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    1. Put in the thing. Turn on the thing. Turn off the thing. The end.

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  5. You're such a good horse mom. I'll be stashing this away as an excuse to buy a coffee grinder because I'm sure someone at my house will try to up the drama at some point...

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  6. The coffee grinder was a lifesaver for me last year when Mia was continually "sick" last year with misc we don't know what. If you have less than a dozen pills, I push them into a whole apple and let them chomp the apple. For the amount you have? Maybe add some sugar cubes? Sheesh Bobby, be more cooperative. Carly is TRYING to extend your actual life!

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    1. I tried the apple and carrot hidey snack when trying to get him to finish off the little chunks of melted shit. He spit everything out. These pills must really taste nasty because usually that works pretty well for him.

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  7. Beer! We just toss everything into beer to dissolve and Archie will eat it, no problem. ..That said, though, all of my pills have dissolved. So I like your method, except Grandpa doesn't like peppermints. I wonder if carrots would just ruin everything.

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    1. Bobby takes after his mother and does not appreciate the taste of booze. I do wonder if you could chunk pills and carrots together though. Hmmmm....

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  8. That peppermint grinding is beyond genius. While P doesn't take cancer meds, I was trying him on a gut supplement that he refuses to eat. I'm definitely trying this.

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    1. Peppermints are the cure for all evil.

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  9. I use soaked beet pulp as a sticky substance to get any meds to adhere to, because my horses eat anything. However the coffee grinder peppermint trick is sheer genius!

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    1. I think my fellow barn workers would kill me if I brought soaked beet pulp into the picture.

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  10. Replies
    1. Would have been smarter if I'd thought of it three weeks ago!

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  11. At the equine clinic I worked at we used extremely hot (near boiling) water to dissolve things that did not want to dissolve. And added pancake syrup to things that tasted really nasty.

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    1. I like the idea of syrup way better than the messy molasses some of the other horses in the barn get!

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  12. but have you just tried pure uncut cocaine? it's probably cheaper and might have the added side effect of making bobby feel EVEN MORE like a goddamn champion.

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    1. This is the best damn idea I have every heard!

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    2. I like where your head is at.

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    3. Now this is a great idea. Plus, cocaine might be cheaper than the proscribed pills

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  13. I used to do this with bute for my princess pony who wouldn't eat it lol. Bella is on anti-histamines and eats 10 of them a day without them being crushed or dissolved. I am guessing they have no flavor, but I can't complain!

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    1. Bella and I have sort of a similar fat kid figure. ;)

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  14. So the med pictured is not an antibiotic. Used for laminitis to improve circulation in the extremities. Would not dissolve for you because it is an extended release formula designed to dissolve very slowly in the gut. Crushing it removes that property. But if that's the only way he will eat it, it's better than nothing but your vet should be told you are crushing it. I am Tracy's mom, pharmacist.

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    1. It was prescribed for the vasculitis in his leg. The vet was actually the one who told me to crush it because of how poorly it dissolves, but I think we've all seen how great the vet care is in my area. I'll bring it up again when she's out next week. Thanks for the input!

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  15. That is a very creative solution!

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    1. Let's hope he doesn't make me come up with something else.

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  16. Oooooh, this is an amazing situation! I'm going to keep this in mind for any pony medication needs in the future :)

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  17. Niiiiice! Totally filing that solution away for the next (inevitable) time we need to play hide the meds.

    Something that worked for us was to front-load the dose syringe with straight applesauce + molasses - handle the pill pulverizing with gloves on (I kid you not) - and then add the pill / applesauce mash last...

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    1. That sounds like the amount of work my fellow barn workers would kill me over! ๐Ÿ˜‚

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  18. I make treats and hide the pills/powder in them. But I couldn't do that for 17 pills a day without giving my horse laminitis, so I'd probably be doing like you do and grinding them up.

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    1. I do love handing out treats, but yeah, that'd probably get a touch excessive!

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  19. My barn owner regularly gives her aging horse some cocktail of meds and she crushes it up, adds applesauce and I think also syrup, puts it into about a 2" wide fat syringe tube and gives it to her horse like a wormer.

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    1. That's what we're doing to medicate my BM's horse with Lyme twice a day and we all hate doing it. PS banana flavored tetracycline stains. :P

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  20. I've tossed that Cocosoya oil on top of strong meds that applesauce wasn't covering and the horses took that well. Might help out if he decides he's bored with peppermint and definitely helps with the powdered meds turning into a cloud.

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    1. He gets cocosoya in his smartpak already. The applesauce has definitely turned into a necessity for cloud dispersal though lol

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  21. I think you can get pentoxy compounded as a powder, if that makes it any easier. The princess will eat basically anything mixed into soaked alfalfa mush (thank goodness because obviously she's a wench to paste), so no great tricks here. For whatever reason if you try to syringe stuff into her by putting your hand on the bridge of her nose like a normal horse she flies backwards, but if you put on her halter and grab the chin of it she's more or less fine. Don't question it.

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    1. Ooh, I'll look into that! I really fucking hate my coffee grinder so any excuse not to have to use it is okay by me.

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  22. Ohh! I've never crushed WITH peppermints. That's genius! Mine are pretty easy to trick with applesauce. In the past, I've ground meds, mixed with applesauce or water, and then used a giant syringe to give like you would dewormer. But that's a huge pain in the ass and not always successful.

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