I just got a voicemail from my trainer telling me that Kaswyn's old vet has passed away. They found him in his vet truck on a side road. I'm assuming he was out on a call, but I don't know for sure. They're thinking it was an aneurysm or heart attack, or something sudden like that. He wasn't very old - he graduated from Ohio State Vet School in 1971, so that would put him in his late 50's, early 60's.
I'm sad about this. Dr. Novak was always very nice to me, and even went out of his way to care for Kaswyn. At the beginning of Kaswyn's hive problems, we talked almost daily about what the hives looked like, if they had changed, what Kaswyn's demeanor was, etc. A few times he was in the area and just stopped by the barn, no charge, to check up on Kaswyn. He said he wanted to keep a close eye on him.
Then that Thanksgiving we had a crisis. The dimwitted barn manager of the barn where Kaswyn was had pestered me to get a second opinion on Kaswyn's hives. He said the barn's vet would be out the day before Thanksgiving and I should really have him look at Kaswyn. I finally agreed to have the vet see Kaswyn, but I told the dimwit "Look, I will be out of town that day, so you have to be here with the vet. Kaswyn has already had many doses of steroids and Dr. Novak said he cannot have any more without risk of founder. So this vet may examine Kaswyn, but should not treat him in any way." Dimwit assured me that he would be there, and I could go out of town in peace.
Craig and I arrived at my parent's house (8 hours away) at around 9 pm the day before Thanksgiving, and I called my trainer to find out what the vet had said. She told me that he examined Kaswyn and gave him antihistamines and a steroid injection.
"What??!! Where was Dimwit?"
"He went to the bank. He wasn't here."
I freaked out.
First thing I did was call Dr. Novak. I left a message with his answering service to please call me immediately. I got a call within 20 minutes. I explained the situation, and boy, was Dr. Novak pissed. Not at me, or at the other vet, but at Dimwit, for not being there and putting Kaswyn in danger. He said he would call my trainer and tell her how to treat him that evening, and that he'd be out first thing in the morning to check on him. He was really great during that whole thing, and fortunately Kaswyn was fine.
Years later when Kaswyn began having his lameness problems I called Dr. Novak. He examined him and then told me I should take him to see Dr. G. You see, Dr. G is a very well known, highly respected lameness doc in our area. Probably the whole state. For Dr. Novak to swallow his pride and tell me to take my horse to a vet that could probably be of more help, well that's just cool.
Even though Dr. Novak was a little more flirty with the barn ladies than he should have been, I always liked him. I'm glad I knew him. And sad that he's gone.
The Harmany Muzzle
3 days ago