Poop: the Gold Standard of Friendship

Walking up to Hudson’s paddock I see Bella.

“Did I go too far?”‘ she asks, “TMI?”.

“I don’t think so…?”, I reply, mentally scrolling through our recent interactions.
“Because I don’t have any idea what you’re talking about?” (The “huh?” reply: a good indicator that all is well in a friendship.)

“I sent you a picture of Hudson’s poop.”, she says.

I throw my arms around her, choking on sobs of relief and gratefulness.

She barely fends me off. “No Jane! I woke up with a cold.” Aw, sniffle sniffle, she doesn’t want me to catch it. She’s such a good friend. I pull myself together before I start sobbing about what a good friend I have. (Um. It was a rough week?)

Instead, I say, “I didn’t get the pic, but it means a lot that you sent it”.

We both turn and stare at Hudson, source of poop and human bonding.

His ears prick. The thought bubble over his head clearly calculates: mom plus former mom equals FOOD. He swivels an ear to alert Woodrow to pay attention. Woodrow lifts his head swiftly, and begins to amble carefully down the muddy hill, eyes on the ground, ears on us, nostrils testing the air quality for any hint of a treat.

It hits me, how refined the tools are that horses use to “see”. It’s…so cool.

Hudson’s had digestive issues. For the non-horsey, this isn’t like a human having digestive issues. It’s more like a human nicked an artery, and you’re doing everything you can to repair the problem and prevent the nick from widening, so the human doesn’t bleed out.

While he looks fantastic, his teeth weren’t doing the whole chewing hay properly thing, as his other end so aptly reported. Woodrow needed his teeth checked as well, so off to the dentist they went. (Hudson is missing a tooth, which can throw off his bite, floating wouldn’t be sufficient.)

Knowing they would both be slightly worse after the dentist (sore mouths aren’t going to chew better, even if the teeth are capable, and there’s the anesthesia, which slows gut motility) we were prepared to up their ration of easily digestible pellets.

It’s true: horse people are all veterinarians-in-training.

We hand walk them to get their guts active, and help move the anesthetic out of their systems.

They both needed Bute (Aspirin, for our non-horsey) to eat even the mushy pellets. Bute can upset the stomach. So can an empty stomach combined with pain. So can a stomach coming out of anesthetic. Tricky.

This is the start of the Jane Is Worried Sick week. I believe worrying before it’s necessary will prepare me for future events. I blame this on the Girl Scouts. (I took “Be Prepared” a bit too seriously.)

Every day brought about tweaks to the get-normal program. More pellets, less Bute, etc. Finally, I hit on Hudson’s magic balance: adding dry bran, upping pellets even more, and feeding insulting him with a slurry of aloe juice and powdered slippery elm bark.

(Probably time passing had a lot more to do with it, but I need to believe I helped.)

Bella and I took turns checking on, walking, and feeding the boys twice a day. Woodrow was digesting better, but had a much more difficult time with pain and the after effects of sedation and dental work. He took it very hard. It showed up in whole-body muscle spasms.

As he recovered, I’d send photos of him happily rolling, or bucking, and send them to Bella at work: look how much better he feels this morning!

And Bella took a picture of a decent poop, and sent it to me, knowing it was my relief-equivalent of seeing a good buck.

Does it get any better than a friend who sends you a photo of poop?

Nope. Golden.

How about you?

16 thoughts on “Poop: the Gold Standard of Friendship

  1. Jane: beet pulp is an excellent feed for horses with chewing/digestive disorders. Basically the same nutrients as hay, but easier to chew/digest AND (because you soak it 20 minutes to 12 hours before feeding) it helps tremendously with hydration *and poop*!

    Informative link from an equine nutritionist: http://shady-acres.com/susan/beetpulp.shtml

    Hilariously funny link about beet pulp from the same author (pee before reading): http://shady-acres.com/susan/squirrel.shtml

    message me privately if you want a beet pulp tutorial!

    1. Definetly looking into it, if he doesn’t adjust SOON. He’s stable at the moment. Occured to me he probably was low on electrolytes from before we staunched the, er, flow.
      Made a huge difference in reregulating his system.

  2. Oooo – the aloe juice and slippery elm powder is a favorite of mine when the ponies are stressed, competing, or have an upset tummy. Really does seem to help and guard against ulcers.

  3. I just sent this to my BFF, with whom I have exchanged many pictures of our horse’s respective poo.

    Thanks for letting me know that I’m not the only one. πŸ˜‰

  4. My friend’s guy got an intestinal nasty last year- probios , antibiotics, gatorade, the whole barn on alert…. and many poop pics sent to her at the office. Thank buddha for iphones. Gives NSFW a whole new meaning.

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