Friday, May 24, 2013

Gus the Guinea Pig

I finally managed to get myself to the barn for enough time to apply Gus' first IontoPatch.  I suppose really it was more like "I finally had enough time to get all my shit together" instead of sprinting into the barn, sprinting into the saddle and then sprinting away again.

I actually picked up some rice bran.... made some baggies.... groomed the pig monsters... looked decent for a lesson on Prairie...  (four jumps on a circle... not so bad!)... cleaned Gus up... etc.

Aside from the last 10 minutes of our lesson taking place in some sort of apocalyptic downpour the ride was good.  Nothing massively of note to report.

Next up was Gus.  He managed to get (soaking) wet during said downpour and instructions for the patch had "dry application site thoroughly" italicized, bolded and practically puffy-painted on the instructions.


It also said "clip but don't shave the application site"

The only thing Gus doesn't do with a smile on his Gus face is get clipped.  In fact, the only caveat we received when we took on Gus was a proclamation to never, ever, under any circumstances try to clip a Gus, lest a plague of a thousand somethings be unleashed. 

But of course S and I took one peek at his furry fetlocks and thought, "baaahhhhh, how bad can he be."

So S got out her clippers and at the first sign of the power cord Gus dragon snorted, shifted backwards and prepared to escape. 

S lifted the (still off) clippers to his beak and he literally jumped straight up, snorted and politely asked if he could be dismissed.

I said no, and we started tempting him with carrots. 

Gus is highly motivated by carrots and was willing to take two steps forward and bite a carrot before retreating back again (and hiding behind me). 

Realizing that we probably weren't going to solve this issue in a day, we worked Gus up to accepting a carrot that was touching the clippers before deciding that we wouldn't be following "step one" of the IontoPatch instructions.

Step two was to add the drugs to the absorbent pads of the patch.  My vet left me with two hypodermic syringes loaded with 3cc's of each drug.  After double checking which drug was which charge about a million times I attempted to apply the Dex.  What really happened was I squirted dex everywhere but the pad and cursed loudly. 

"Step 2: while filling the pad with medicine, avoid saturating the outer 3mm of the pad in order to maintain adhesive properties"

I tried to carefully fill the pad staying within the 3mm boundary but that all went to shit too and the dex was pretty much everywhere. 

Meanwhile, S was taking some scissors to Gus' fetlock in an attempt to remove some of the yak hair in an attempt to "prep" the site.  Pretty sure the folks at Matrix Therapy products won't be asking us to film a "how to" video anytime soon...

Finally we both figured things were as good as they were gonna get so we threw the patch on, put some vetwrap over it and started the clock.

Gus really wasn't too sure what was going on. but he was absolutely sure he was still supposed to be getting carrots. 
Grumpy Gus-Face
Not satisfied with only one experiment for the day I busted out the Equi-Flex Sleeve that was a total impulse buy from Schneider's when I was ordering Prair an new fly sheet for the season....  I liked the idea of  the sleeve being breathable and cooler than a full standing wrap while still providing some compression.

It seemed like a worthwhile endeavor and since Gus' hind legs are consistently windpuffy, I thought he'd enjoy testing them out.  Obviously I ordered them in the most obnoxious color possible so it looked like Gus was rocking some seriously amazing leg warmers. 
Pop that hip.
 I'm not gonna lie, they were a pain in the ass to get on.  The packaging suggests putting the hoof in a plastic bag so the sleeve doesn't snag on the hoof/shoe/whatever which is a balancing act in itself.  It was a similar tug-o-war as yanking on those stretchy bell boots which I've always loathed dealing with. 

Once over the hoof though, the sleeves were super easy to adjust and they stayed up really nicely.  I checked on Gus every half hour or so and there was no shifting/slouching/twisting on the sleeves. 

I think I'll try to rip them on and off a few more times before I decide how much I really like them.  It is definitely faster/easier for me to just throw on a standing wrap, but I'd be less nervous about these guys staying on unsupervised, or in a small turnout situation.  In theory you can leave them on for up to 3 days.

That concluded all of the torture for Gus yesterday.  He got lots of extra pats and kisses and we'll see if we see any difference from the first patch application. 

As for Prair - the shoes went back on.  She jogged sound when we pulled them, which had me tempted to leave them off, but her hoof wall looked healthy, and when we trimmed back the insane amount of hoof she spat out in four and a half weeks, her heels were right where I wanted, and I was happy with the overall condition of her feet.

I do think I'll consider pulling shoes again in July after a couple of the shows are done and our only big event that's left is on grass... Otherwise, in September they are gone-zo.


  1. Awwww Gus! You poor thing being tortured like that lol. I hope the patch works! And the sleeves too. :)

  2. Gus is cute as always!

    Love his 80s wear!!

  3. Aww. Grumpy Gus sounds like Grumpy Cuna. Gotta love those old men.

  4. So cute. Hope the various treatments help.

  5. Omg. Gus looks like Flashdance! I love it!


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