Monday, July 23, 2007

A bee in his bonnet

Last Wednesday I was working in the lab, as usual, and when I got to a place where I could stop and take a break, I checked my phone. I saw that I had received several calls from my trainer, plus a text message, all in the space of about 20 minutes. This is a bad sign, because most of the time anything she has to say to me can wait at least an hour or more.

The text said, simply

call me ASAP

The first voicemail went something like this -

Hey, I wanted to let you know that when they brought Kaswyn in the the pasture this morning it looked like he had gotten into a nest of bees or something, because he has hives all over his head. They're coming up on his body now too, so I'm going to call the vet and see what he wants us to do. It doesn't look as bad as last time, yet, but I think he needs drugs of some kind. Please call me as soon as you get this. Thanks.

About two years ago Kaswyn came in from the pasture (at a different barn) with his nose very swollen and with hives all over him. I wasn't able to leave work so they called the vet and my trainer said that she would wait there. His nose and muzzle continued to swell while she waited for the vet to arrive. She got a little concerned because his lips were large and very hard and his nostrils were starting to resemble little slits instead of nice open holes. Thankfully the vet got there in time to give him a steriod, a pain reliever, and an anti-inflammatory shot before his nose swelled completely shut. By the time I got there he was much better, but he still had hard, swollen lips and hives all over him. A few days later he was back to normal and none the worse for wear. My theory is that he either ate a bee while grazing, which stung him inside the mouth, or got stung on the muzzle.

The next voicemail -

Dr. B. had me give him a shot of Banamine (pain reliever and anti-inflammatory) and dexamethasone (steriod anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressant) and he's starting to look better. I'm supposed to call Dr. B. back in 20 minutes with a report. I'll let you know how he is.

And then -

Hey, Kaswyn is looking much better. He doesn't seem as itchy now and the hives are looking flatter instead of sticking up so much. I'm going out in the pasture to see if I can find a nest or something. Hopefully I'll see you soon.

I left work immediately and ran over there. Here is a picture of his side.

It's taken with my camera phone so it's not the greatest, but I'm hoping it shows how bumpy he looked. He also had hives like that on his head. He actually didn't look as bad this time as he did last time, so I wasn't really concerned. He had nice open nostrils and I think that if his airway had been in jeopardy it would have already happened, so I thought he was out of the woods.

And I was right. The next day he had about 5 hives on him, which I suspect were really sting marks from his bee encounter. He's perfectly fine now. Dr. B is giving my trainer a full bottle of dexamethasone to keep at the barn becasue Kaswyn in the second horse within two weeks to have a reaction like that to a sting. And when I left the barn yesterday I saw that the barn owner's horse was covered in hives too, so that makes three.

Lets hope we are all done with that for the summer.

1 comment:

Rising Rainbow said...

Bees and horses....just not a good thing. Hopefully he doesn't build up a reaction to them and become allergic, that could be a mess.

Glad he is ok.

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr