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  1. #1
    Faux Guest

    Unhappy Feed break-in - did I do the right thing?

    Hi all! Please excuse me if this is in the wrong spot - I almost never post.

    I board at a two horse barn and am horse/house-sitting for the owner while she is away. Last night, I came home to find the lock broken off the feed room and both feed bins missing their lids. Here's the catch: it didn't look like the feed had been eaten. Other than "eyeballing it", however, I couldn't tell how much if any had been eaten before the horses returned to their paddock, where I found them.

    I called around for advice and everyone advised me to wait and see, but I am terrified of the risk of Founder and called the vet out for an emergency visit. She did exams on both horses and determined that my horse's gut sounds were overactive and that he had likely eaten some of the grain. We tubed him and got some oil in his stomach to slick everything up. The other horse's vitals/sounds were all perfect, but he got a dose of Banamine JIC.

    This morning they both seem fine, and everyone I've spoken to has given me flack for being an alarmist. I can pay for the other horse's exam - I feel terrible handing his owner a bill when he didn't need it - but it all seems backwards to me. Isn't it safer to call? Did I do the right thing or am I making things worse?

    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2000
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    Where am I and what am I doing in this handbasket?
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    If it had happened to my horses while I was home, I would have watched a bit. That said, I would NEVER begrudge a horse sitter calling the vet in the same circumstances and probably would have appreciated it for the peace of mind. I don't just pay a horse sitter to feed/water/turnout/clean stalls. I pay them to make sure I can rest easy knowing my horses are in good hands. To me that's worth a vet bill I might have been able to avoid.
    Definition of "Horse": a 4 legged mammal looking for an inconvenient place and expensive way to die. Any day they choose not to execute the Master Plan is just more time to perfect it. Be Very Afraid.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    Better safe than sorry. I'd much rather pay for an emergency vet visit than pay for founder.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 13, 2008
    Location
    Western MA
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    608

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    I'd much rather pay for a simple vet exam than the vet bills that could come if a horse sitter had "waited it out" and the condition worsened. I would always prefer that a horse sitter call the vet if there is question - I think you absolutely did the right thing, considering one of the horses wasn't yours.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 7, 2006
    Location
    Spruce Grove AB
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    Since you were the sitter and I am sure that the owner instructed you to call the vet if anything went wrong.....I would assume myself that this would fall into the "call" category. He is lucky that he had someone knowledgeable(sp) with this sort of thing. I would have called myself. So I wouldn't be too upset about it, because, really if you think about it, it could have gone terribly wrong. And I like to play safe rather than sorry

    How on earth did the lock get broken off the feed room door?

    I know there was a thread on here exactly like this, the girl did not own the pony, but asked on coth what she should do, and she was strung up because she wasn't taking a stronger stance.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2008
    Location
    VA
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    I think you did the right thing. I would MUCH rather pay for a vet call/exam than deal with the repercussions of a feed raid. If I were the owner, I would be very happy with your overabundance of caution.
    In memory of Rebuff (1974-2009)

    Rest in peace, my sweet man



  7. #7
    Faux Guest

    Default

    Thank you all for the fast replies! I'm feeling much better about this now. My guy is still on founder-watch, but the other horse should be fine.

    As to how they broke the lock, I have no idea. It's a bicycle lock attached to a metal hook-eye, and the hook-eye had been pulled clean out of the wood. My only guess is that my guy (who is very mouthy!) pulled the lock until it came out. The vet was baffled too.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 11, 2009
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    Dairyville USA
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    you did the right thing, especially since one of the horses wasn't yours. It's one thing to take a wait and see approach with one's own horse but with someone else's one should do the industry standard of care-which is call the DVM.
    Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
    Sam: A job? Does it pay?
    Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
    Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2010
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    I also think you did the right thing. If it was me and my own horses, I might be more likely to wait and see or just give the vet a "heads up" call, but if it was someone else taking care of them I would much rather have an emergency bill than a true emergency, and a potentially much bigger bill.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 14, 2008
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    New Hampshire
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    I commend you for doing what you did.

    I occassionally have to leave my horses in the hands of others for short periods of time. I would have thank you up and down for calling. I tend to be a little OCD when it comes to horses, so your response sounds perfect to me.

    Maybe you already mentioned it and I missed it, but how did the horse/home owner take it?
    Gone gaited....



  11. #11
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    Jan. 17, 2008
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    Dutchess County, New York
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    To continue the 100% support --

    If you are going to make a mistake -- which this was not!! -- better to err on the side of caution. What's the downside? A vet bill. If you err in the other direction, what's the downside? A crippled/dead horse AND a vet bill.

    You absolutely did the right thing.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Northeast
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    Thumbs up Calling vet, a good idea!!!

    When you are dealing with the possibility of a grain overload, " waiting to see" can prove disastrous. By the time 12 hours have passed the grain has moved to the gut where its excess volume produces an over load of digestive bacteria.
    when those bacteria die off you are left with an endotoxemia.

    You then have a very sick horse, with founder a strong possibility, or worse yet for a large amount of grain, intestinal rupture. Having seen one, when an owner was advised "to wait and see" by a trainer, I would never want to see one again.
    Awful doesn't even begin to describe it.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2007
    Location
    Seabeck, WA
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    322

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    I would have called too, and if you were watching my horse, I would be glad you called. An unnecessary vet bill is much better than a dead horse.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 22, 2003
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    9,652

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    You absolutely, without a doubt, did the right thing. A possible grain binge is never a wait-and-see situation.

    My horse broke into the feed room while I was overseas on business a few years ago. My best friend was farm-sitting and found that he had broken out in the morning. He had spilled some feed from some bags, but it wasn't clear if he had eaten any of the feed. (He's not a chow-hound type.) Still, she called the vet immediately and immediately put his front feet in buckets of ice water. I'm SO, SO, SO glad she did. I would have been livid if the vet hadn't been called.



  15. #15
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    Apr. 20, 2010
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    Harpers Ferry, WV
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    You did the right thing, no question. Grain overload founder, colic, etc is nothing the wait around for. Better safe than sorry.



  16. #16
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    Mar. 5, 2009
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    Adding my 'you did the absolutely right thing' to this thread too. And would really like to hear how the horse owner reacted - only because the 'other horse' wasn't as bad as yours, right? I know from experience that sometimes the owner goes a little nuts when getting a vet bill 'for nothing.'

    I would've been kissing your sweet little cheeks for being on top of what could've been a horrible disaster



  17. #17
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    Jun. 23, 2010
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    south
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    You are a fine and responsible person, and I would have wanted a horse sitter to call in that situation. I don't call it panic. I call it intelligence.



  18. #18
    Faux Guest

    Default

    Thank you all so, so much. I'm feeling much better about this decision now! The owner was great about it and didn't mind at all about the exam bill, which is a huge relief! After reading all of your posts I will never think twice about calling again! Fortunately, we seem to have gotten very lucky this time, although Charm (my guy) is still being monitored. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and thank you all again!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2005
    Location
    Pensacola, Florida
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    367

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    When you are dealing with the possibility of a grain overload, " waiting to see" can prove disastrous. By the time 12 hours have passed the grain has moved to the gut where its excess volume produces an over load of digestive bacteria.
    when those bacteria die off you are left with an endotoxemia.

    You then have a very sick horse, with founder a strong possibility, or worse yet for a large amount of grain, intestinal rupture. Having seen one, when an owner was advised "to wait and see" by a trainer, I would never want to see one again.
    Awful doesn't even begin to describe it.
    My vet has his clients put thier horses on a round of antibiotics because of this.^^

    I have had 2 minis break into a new 50# sack of grain.... ate about 2/3 of it. No founder, no colic.... vet had me do 5 days of antibiotics.

    I never see anyone else mention putting them on antibiotics and wonder if my vet is a genious or a quack for it.... but... no founder for feed breakins since he told me about it so I will continue the precautionary drugs!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2006
    Posts
    128

    Thumbs up Awesome Barn Sitter!!!!!!!

    If you were my farm sitter I would hug you!! Ounce of prevention and all that.....



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