Guess What We Did Today



Just Kidding! While we did begin a weekend Dentathon today, there is much more to equine dental care than brushing.First, a thorough exam, checking for sharp points, hooks, ramps, loose or decayed teeth, gum disease and watching for any pain reaction from the horse. (Brushing helps remove grass or feed between the incisors so all surfaces of the teeth are visible for evaluation.)Our first patient, Jubal, had two very loose teeth and areas of tartar build up (indicated by black arrow below.)Below,
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New Zazzle Items!



Low Carb! t-shirt by equineeldersDesign a personalized t-shirt on zazzle.com TRAVELLER'S REST EQUINE ELDERS SANCTUARY by equineeldersBrowse more Horses Embroidered Hats Love Is mousepad by equineeldersView more Horse MousepadsFor more on Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary, please visit http://www.equineelders.org
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Mona and Nate updates



Nate, Nate, Nate. The big man just doesn't believe we have any valid reason to limit his exercise. Or for us to keep fussing at his feet. During today's farrier visit, Nate stood quietly enough, but kept, very gently, nudging me with his nose as if to point out this is all unnecessary. Unfortunately, Nathan, yes it is necessary. However....after a quick exam of the right front foot -- the foot fighting advanced thrush -- the farrier decided he'd like to have a veterinary consult before moving further.
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Visit TREES at Tractor Supply Aug 29!



Ahhhh....A nice cool, indoor event! On Saturday, August 29, the Tractor Supply Company on Plank Road (Rt 3) in Fredericksburg, VA, is hosting an animal welfare/rescue/adoption event.Groups representing dogs, cats and horses will be included. The good news is that TREES' booth will be inside the air conditioned store! Golden Geezers will not accompany us to the event due to potential heat and lack of shelter outdoors. How could we ask them to give up their shed fans just to let folks gawk at their
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The Fun of Naming Horses



During today's morning mucking, I found myself singing:"It's just a little bitty pissant country place,nothing much to seeNo drinking allowed,we get a nice quiet crowd,plain as it can be......It's just a piddly squattin' ol' time country place,Ain't nothing to hide at all Just lots of good will,and maybe one small thrill,but there's nothing dirty going on!"Dolly Parton fans will recognize the lyrics.And so, of course, our new mare's name is "Mona." Our goal is to have our "Mona" showing some of
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When will it stop?



One more new resident. While we always look forward to getting to know a new arrival, just welcoming a new arrival means that someone somewhere met with trouble. In this case, quite a few horses met with trouble.Yesterday morning, TREES received a call from the Orange County Sheriff's Department, asking if we could house a senior mare who, along with several herdmates (being boarded elsewhere,) needed some TLC pending legal action.This afternoon, the mare arrived. We don't know a lot of details
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Nathan - The Saga Continues



As we continue to evaluate Nate's wide range of problems, we're beginning to narrow down some causes. In addition to Cushings, badly neglected feet and malnourishment, it seems that our stalwart gray gelding most likely also has Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (more commonly called "EPM.")A diagnosis of EPM is often difficult to confirm. It can be ruled out when a test of either blood serum or cerebrospinal fluid shows a negative result. A positive result using CSF is "highly suggestive" of the
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Ferrell Hollow Farm Fly Spray



Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary recently received two bottles of Ferrell Hollow Farm Natural Fly Spray. Now I will admit, I was more than a little skeptical about this product since it smells more like salad dressing than like fly repellent. I beleived that something that smelled so yummy to me would smell yummy to flies as well. However......as of this morning, I highly recommend this spray to anyone seeking alternatives to chemical repellents. We tried the spray during hoof trims, and
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TREES Opening Zazzle Store!



In addition to regular horse care expenses, TREES now has seven - 7 - "lucky number" - horses in our "Cushings Herd." That means seven horses on pergolide. (If it doesn't hurt too much, we may figure out the cost per day of that alone and post it later.) We're not complaining, mind you. Ten or fifteen years ago, there were no truly effective treatments for Cushings, and a diagnosis of Cushings was viewed by many horse owners as a death sentence. Not so these days, but there is that pesky bill to
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One Step Forward, One Step Back



Nate had his first real pedicure last week, but not without some setbacks at the same time. Progress came to a halt when real summer temperatures arrived. As anyone who has cared for a Cushings patient knows, heat is the enemy. One of Cushings' common symptoms is impaired ability to maintain a normal body temperature in either extreme cold or heat, though in our experience, Cushings horses have more trouble dealing with heat than with cold.To try and combat this new complication, Nate was started
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We're still here! (Nate too!)



Slight pause! Has it been two weeks since the last post? Time really got away from us this time.Nate is still with us and still improving, although we had a week or so of "two steps forward, one step back." The first step back was two weekends ago. Friday night (July 11,) Nate decided he felt well enough to lay down and rest. The trouble was, he chose his nap location very poorly. When we looked out the window first thing Saturday morning, there was Nate, laying frighteningly still, next to the
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Nate News (+ Hi, Mom!)



More exciting news today, slightly bigger than a baby step this time. As we exited the convalescent paddock to go on our little walk this morning, Nate cleaning lifted all four feet over the bottom of the gate frame. All four. Cleanly. No bumping, tripping or stumbling. This points to two exciting conclusions: first, that all of Nate's feet and legs are getting the message from his brain saying "There is an obstacle on the ground here. Lift your feet higher than usual and step over it;" and second,
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More Thanks, More Nate!



Christmas in July! Today a surprise package arrived from Valley Vet Supply, containing a new manure fork, grooming tools, gauze sponges, a cotton lead and a much welcome gift certificate! Thank you Secret Santa!Nate update: I am in awe of this horse. Or whatever greater power(s?) watches over him. Or both. Or all of them! It seems as though he looks forward to whatever new things come along with each new day. Of course, today we tried something fun.We went for a very very short walk! Now that Nate
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Nate with Attitude!



I promise we'll get better photos (without the huge pipe panels in the way) but when the opportunity presents itself, you snap the shutter!In less than 2 weeks, Nate's gone from this:June 28, 2009To this! July 8, 2009 Miles to go, but what's the saying...........a journey of 1000 miles begins with but a single step........that may not be the exact wording, but you get the idea.For more on Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary, please visit http://www.equineelders.org
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Nathan Update June 6



Nathan is making tiny improvements on several fronts. He is, by no means, out of the woods yet, but at the same time is giving us a tiny bit of hope for the future.As we posted Sunday, we started first with Nathan’s maggot-infested foot. It appears all the nasty little critters have moved on to greener pastures.(Sidenote……before anyone tells us we should leave the maggots to clean out the diseased tissue………it’s true that veterinarians sometimes use maggots for that very purpose. However.
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Welcome, Heather!



Its official! Our favorite vet clinic recently welcomed a new associate, Dr Heather Trout. Dr. Trout has been to Traveller's Rest several times since joining Rappahannock Equine Veterinary Clinic. The Geezers love 'er and I'm sure plan to teach her a few new things about "old" horses.All we can say is "Watch out, Dr. Heather. They may be old, but they have wicked wicked senses of humor!"Read more about Dr Trout in the Culpeper Star-Exponent.For more on Traveller's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary, please
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How's Nathan?



We apologize for the delay in “Nathan Updates.” Nathan has only been here one week, but it seems like we have volumes to write about him already. We’ll have to post about him over several days.We’ll start with a few details about Nathan’s condition on arrival. A one-word description of the overall picture might be “overwhelming.”As the trailer door swung open, the most obvious problem was his weight. Even with an abnormally thick summer coat, hip bones, ribs, shoulder blades and vertebrae
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Job Title



Often, when we fill out applications, forms, reports, or other “outside” paperwork, we are asked for the name of a contact person and that person’s job title. That got us thinking. Unless a sanctuary is huge and actually has one person on staff to fill each separate position, most rescue-type people have a long list of job titles. On any given day in rescue, one worker may be:Triage nurseICU or on-call nurseDieticianChefWaiterHousekeeperWaste disposal engineerMaintenance and RepairGroundskeeper
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Today I am Angry.



Having spent 15 years in the horse rescue field, I long ago learned to not get angry about the condition of new arrivals. Getting angry does not change the past and it certainly does not help a horse heal.Today, however, I am angry. Maybe that is because Forrest's case is still so raw. Maybe because Nathan, the new gelding, has more serious problems than one horse should have to deal with. Perhaps its because an owner once again waited until it was likely too late to help before asking. Probably
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The Soul of a Horse



We don't usually use our blog for things like recommending books, but several weeks ago one of TREES' volunteers (Thank You, Tanya) began talking about a book she was reading. She related some of the author's thoughts and said it really helped her better understand horses, from behavior to health and everything in between. After reading only 1/4 of the book, I have to recommend it to our visitors. The Soul of a Horse: Life Lessons from the Herd alternates chapters about "modern" horse management
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