The Golden Carrot Newsletter's Archive
As many of you know, July of 2007 has been a very tough month at the Golden Carrot. We said good bye to sweet Tango Prince, and I lost my precious dog Pinkie, both gone due to kidney failure, Tango giving up the struggle from chronic failure, and Pinkie succumbing to an acute failure probably caused by poison. In addition, I’ve been struggling with what appears to be a small (knock wood) outbreak of strangles. Read on!
Strangles is kind of like strep throat in people. It is Extremely Contagious! It can be vaccinated against, but even the vaccination is not a 100% protection. And most vets, including my last three vets, recommend against vaccinating older horses, as they have, over their years, been exposed and built immunity. The bacteria can live apparently forever in the dirt. When the ground is dry, and dust stirs up, it can carry the bacteria into the lung and mucous lining of the nose, and voila, strangles!
When Hava’s face swelled at first, the abscess was on the side of her face, right at the bars of the mouth, and I thought Ronan had inflicted a particularly severe morning bite. (It is Ronan’s habit once released from his stall to cross over and flirt outrageously with Hava in front of Buck and Falcon, and it often includes nips along with the squeals). After about a week, it opened, and I knew what I was dealing with. By that time, she had developed a second abscess under her jowl. Now, strangles responds to penicillin, but they recommend against penicillin in light cases, and when an abscess has formed, but not broken. So for a week, I was treating her open abscess topically, with extreme emphasis on cleanliness and disinfecting her, myself, all equipment etc. Despite this, one week later Falcon (Hava’s stallmate and constant companion) developed an abscess under his jowl, which opened immediately.
So I had to quarantine them, along with Ronan and Buck, the two horses who spend the most time in contact with them. With some effort, I closed off the back area (where some years ago Lucifer and Jack stayed until they gained some strength), and as though they knew it was for them, the fearsome four came back to supervise, and found themself trapped! They were pretty good about it - since I kept plenty of grass hay available. For one week, I kept them separate. Then, when no new cases had developed, and Falcon’s abscess had closed and was clearly well on the way to healing; and Hava’s first abscess stopped dripping pus and was healing, I put them back in their stalls. This was a huge relief not only to them, but to me, since hauling feed for four horses back to a completely different area; feeding in both areas; watering (which I had to do twice a day to keep enough clean fresh water available for these four); cleaning and medicating abscesses; and repairing different parts of the fenceline that they and the other horses kept damaging in an effort to thwart quarantine, on top of the usual work, was killing me!
A few days later Hava came out of her stall, headed for a flake of grass hay for her breakfast, coughing as she went. Now, Hava has always had a wheeze. And maybe that made her susceptible to this. But this little cough caught my attention, and as I watched, she dropped her head, and coughed up a big wad of pus! Echhhh! Well, right back to her stall, and Falcon was a good sport to go along. They stayed in for 3 days, and with my belief that this was the second abscess breaking to the inside, I was now able to give Hava penicillin to help jump start the healing process which was way too slow for my liking (especially compared to Falcon!). Today her face still looks bad, but is clearly better, and the swelling in her face is way way down. Every day, as I put fly masks on, and take them off, I check everyone for abscesses. Knock wood, so far, no new cases.
This is a weird thing. In younger animals, it can be very very bad. It can kill. Usually, it’s not a worry with older animals, but I do have some frail horses here (luckily, the three oldest/frailest were stalled far away from Hava and Falcon). The big deal is quarantine; and extreme cleanliness. Because they can drip pus anywhere they go, you keep them separated; but you have to clean your shoes and hands after every contact with them; you are wise to spray the fenceline with clorox where they might rub their sores as they heal; keep them from playing with non-infected horses over the fence. Etc. Well, frankly, all that was not possible, and so I can’t say for sure we’re out of the woods yet. But Falcon and Hava never lost their appetites; and while they were good in quarantine, they clearly wanted to join the rest of the herd, and showed no real signs of distress while I cleaned and medicated the abscesses. Turns out, Hava does NOT like injections. After the calm acceptance of Daphmar who had multiple injections morning and night, watching Hava spook dramatically was an unpleasant surprise (you always worry you’ll stick that spike in the wrong spot, and giving shots is a special horror for me). I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this outbreak is over.
Ben: I am happy to report that finally, after many weeks of organization and getting health certificate/Coggins test done, Ben is now in Arizona in his new home. Thanks to Leesa for getting the testing done and paying for Ben’s California transport; to Amy for providing a new home and paying for Ben’s Arizona transport; and to Nicole for traveling all over southern California and Arizona, and putting Ben up for two nights, to transport him to his new home. As a foundered horse, Ben was not a horse who could end up in just any home. We can all feel satisfaction in placing this fine horse in a knowledgeable and loving home.
Star and Anna at the Norco Animal Shelter are still looking for homes - both approximately 9 years old. Star has been ridden, but is out of training; neither horse is probably a candidate for a beginner’s home, but healthy and sound, with a lot to offer.
In addition, ET (18) and Queimada (28), two purebred Arabian mares, are looking for a forever home, hopefully together. Queimada might not last a lot of years - at 28 she is very elderly, but like ET is in good health, up to date in all vaccinations and worming and farrier work. ET has been ridden in the past, but for some years has been just a pasture pet.
Finally, Jeepers. I would like to take this 16 year old pinto pony with ringbone, partly because he’s a likely candidate, and partly because I romantically dream of him pairing with Anna since Tango’s death, providing her with someone to protect, and to protect her. In the past, I’ve had silly ideas like this. The thing is, no matter how perfect the match looks to us, there is no guarantee at all the horses will agree! However, if someone would step up with $50 a month to sponsor him, I’ll take Jeepers, and hope that maybe he and Anna will pair up. He’s deserving in his own right .....
Hey, I won’t name names here, because sometimes that’s not desired, but I would like to take a moment to WELCOME some new patrons! You know who you are! These new patrons come from all over, Lodi, Frazier Park, Palm Desert, Fountain Valley, Hermosa Beach to name a few locations. We’ve had 24 new patrons join this year, bringing the total of formal patrons (those who have signed up) to 61. Remember, last October we started with about 30 after I stopped spamming those no longer interested! And I am so pleased to report that many of these new patrons are also regular donors. It’s not a lot of money from each person, but so many sending $10, $20 or $25 EACH MONTH, it really begins to add up. Thank each and every one of you for your efforts - it REALLY DOES make a difference to these horses.
And maybe an explanation for some of these new people is that I am the happy recipient of a GoogleGrant Ad! What this consists of is one of the two line ads you see in little boxes to the side when you do a search using Google, which, when clicked on, takes you to The Golden Carrot website. Now, I am ashamed to admit that I forget which one of my wonderful patrons suggested I apply for this. It was many months ago, and I am definitely an ‘old-timers’ sufferer! But this is the fact: some one of you out there told me about this. And it worked! So anytime any of you have ideas for ways to publicize the Golden Carrot, or get funding, or in any way help, please tell me. I try to follow up on all ideas, sometimes even when I’d tried it previously without success. Of course, maybe this ad is why I’m getting calls almost every other day from people wanting to dump their horses. But ..... the adage is, no publicity is bad publicity, and I’m trying to work with that.
With publicity in my mind, I want to again ask all of you to get the word out about The Golden Carrot, and in particular, the things we need.
First of all - money. This need never ends! Because I need to buy feed for all 27 horses, every day; and I need to keep their feet trimmed/shod every 6-8 weeks; because I need to replace lumber; fly masks (thank you sponsors of Shine and Lucifer for 9 new flymasks bought this year); wound ointments; wormers etc etc etc, every day, every week, every month. Many patrons donating smaller amounts works; and bigger donations are always a huge relief to me (a natural worry wart). I even hope someday to have a corporate sponsor!
Second: Because TGC is a ‘tenant’ on 30 acres in Anza, we are at risk in the event the landlord should die, decide to sell, or simply want us to leave. I am hoping against all reason that somewhere out there is 20-40 (or more) acres that someone wants to donate to a good cause. All I need is the acreage, and electricity and water within reach, and I can do the rest. My hope is that someone will need a tax deduction and not need the land - and donate it to The Golden Carrot, Inc., so that in the event I die, it will belong to a trust in the name of TGC, thus ensuring the safety of the horses. And in case you wonder why I would like so much land, it is my hope to build a facility for TGC horses; and also a small lay up or boarding stable the profits of which might help to support TGC, and pay for a full-time employee who can do all these chores that are starting to take their toll on this 52 year old body!
Third: I could really use a small tractor or little utility vehicle (with a little bed for hauling a bale of hay, or dirt, shavings or feed etc. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but since I’m very mechanically challenged, it needs to be in decent working order, and fairly simple to operate. 4WD would be great, since when we do have rain, it’s pretty hard to get around in the mud.
Fourth: Lumber. 4x8 panels of any thickness; 2x4s, 2x6s and 4x4 posts all 8 feet long or better.
Fifth: Pipe corral panels of any size are always useful.
I feel the more people who know what we need, the more likely they will run into that person somewhere, in a bar, at a party, at work, who will have that one thing we need. Don’t feel bad asking for help - don’t make me be the only person who will speak up for these horses. They’d handle the problem themselves if they could; they’d be speaking up for themselves if they could. But as it is, they depend on you and I to help get them what they need. Be my eyes and ears out there please - I believe with your help and awareness, the future of TGC will become more assured.
Thanks always for thinking of the horses of The Golden Carrot, and all the other golden souls out there waiting for help -