Olivia   April 19, 2017   26 Comments on Boobwatch

Last week the horses all had their spring shots and dental. Nilla has previously had reactions to vaccines. My vet has been very good about swapping out the vaccines and trying different manufacturers. But we always have some sort of reaction. Of course, Nilla makes this worse by being a nightmare to stick with a needle.

She gets sedated for the dental and just getting that shot does is tough. You would think the vet would be able to do the rest of her shots while she’s sedated, but Nilla doesn’t actually sedate very well. She gets twice what any of the horses get and still spends her dental pretty much wide awake. She’s just well-behaved for the dentist. But she’s not okay with the shots. Because Nilla needed to get a few shots and she’s had so many reactions, the vet didn’t want to put them all in the neck (I have previously had to ice her neck due to swelling post shots). She tried to get one in the hip area, but Nilla was not okay with that and the vet resorted to two pectoral shtos. Which is unfortunate, because that area is really susceptible to swelling.

Because I know she’ll react she gets Bute and Benadryl following shots. However, this time she decided she did not actually want to eat her food and I don’t know how much of the meds she actually ingested the first day.

Nilla was fine on Wednesday, but by Thursday she’d grown a boob. She also had a much smaller swelling at one of the neck injections, but the one pec was huge.

Day 1

I cold-hosed the boob and hid some bute in treats. I also fed her Benadryl by just pouring it in my hand with a handful of grain and hand-feeding it. Benadryl is pretty bitter, so I was surprised she just ate it up, but it’s been working.

Day 2

The boob is slowly getting smaller, although some of the fluid has just shifted down into a new swelling between her legs.

Day 3

In addition to not sedating, Nilla doesn’t process Bute very well. It takes a lot to have any effect and it goes through her very quickly, but she is sadly still prone to ulcers so I can’t just increase the dosage. This sedation/bute issue is known in donkeys and some mules so my vet is aware and works with me to treat Nilla as best we can. The sensitivity to vaccines is just a Nilla thing, though; not a mule specific issue.

Day 4

By today the boob was mostly gone, but the swelling between the legs remains. I’ve been riding her anyway because I know the movement is good for swelling. She’s not lame or terribly bothered by it. She hasn’t seemed as lethargic and sore as she has with some of her vaccines so I guess that part is good. I think we’ll probably skip the pec shot next year, but she’s had swellings in every place she’s gotten shots (this one is just a more annoying place).

Day 5

I’ve been going out to the barn extra for the meds so I’m hoping she’ll heal up soon and I won’t have to spend so much time on boobwatch.

26 thoughts on “Boobwatch

  1. Liz

    The logo swap…cracking me up.

    Hopefully she’s on the up and up in short order. I’ve always heard vet’s horror stories about doing anything with mules and as cool as I think mules are, it’s pretty well scared me off of having one. Q is a big enough whore for the vet that I can’t even fathom having a smart, calculating mule!

    1. Olivia Post author

      Our vet admits that Nilla is good for a mule and she has had bad cases. I wouldn’t let it put you off owning a mule though. Many of them are just fine.

    1. Olivia Post author

      Me too. Mules and donkeys are interesting creatures. They have different ways of processing nutrients as well. And it seems like every mule is different. Some more donkeyish, some more horsey. You can never know.

  2. Teresa

    Poor Nilla. Some equines just react to vaccines. I’m fortunate that mine don’t but Carmen needs extra sedation for the dental work. For the needle I feed her carrots while the vet jabs her and she doesn’t notice. 🙂 Irish loves the vet and he can do anything with him

  3. Megan

    oooooh nilla. these picky ponies.

    runkle was absolutely terrified of needles when I got him (it took 3 of us including a 6ft vet tech to draw blood for his prepurchase). I spent ALL last summer training him to be better about needles and now i can give him a shot by myself without even putting a halter on him. lucky for me he’s food motivated….

    1. Olivia Post author

      It’s not so much that Nilla is scared of the needles, it’s that she doesn’t want it. Shasta was terrified. Nilla just doesn’t want anything to do with it . I probably should do some association training though.

  4. nightfell

    LOL the blog title. Poor Nilla, vaccine reactions are no fun ever. Looks like she’s recovering well though and will hopefully be back to 100% soon!

    1. Olivia Post author

      They are never fun. I don’t even think this has been her worst reaction, but the swelling is in the funniest place.

  5. irishhorse

    Poor Nilla. My horse sympathizes with her, he gets bad reactions too. We do IV Banamine plus a few more days of paste (plus Ulcergard). I hope Nilla’s boob continues to improve!

  6. Laura

    That logo is too funny! Poor Nilla – too bad she reacts so poorly to vaccines. And, if only we could tell them the needles aren’t that bad!

  7. jenj

    Best logo fix EVER! Poor Nilla, and poor you for having to deal with it. Glad she’s almost back to her normal self though!

  8. Stacie Seidman

    Jamp reacts too. Usually some swelling and it’s not rare for him to get a little fever too. The last two times we’ve given him banamine instead of bute and that seems to help as I didn’t notice any reaction this spring. Can mules do Banamine?

  9. KateRose

    You win the internet for that title! Can you do titres next year? Lots of horses/mules don’t need them every year after they’ve built up a certain amount. Depends on barn and show rules though sometimes! And I guess that’s still a needle too 🙁

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