Monday, July 14, 2008

Anyone for a café au lait?

When the girls come back from the barn, I always ask, "Is anyone dead?" Before you think I'm a bit pessimistic or morbid, with animals you never know what surprise lies in store for you each morning. A perfectly good morning can turn sour in an instant with, "Mom, (name of animal) has a huge cut on his leg" or "I need you to come look at (name of animal) because she's not feeling well". Or, as in the case of this week's challenge (are you up to it?), Ginny - a quarter horse cross - is lactating. That is, producing milk.

I don't mean she's dripping a bit. I mean you can hit someone across aisle in the barn with a stream. To our knowledge, she isn't pregnant. Well, there was that incident last March when the stud jumped the fence and had his way with her, but she'd have foaled by now if the shot we gave her hadn't worked. And he did jump the fence one other time (uh oh) before I threatened to sue the neighbor if he didn't cut off the horse's geld the horse immediately. Could he have made a midnight visit? Nah, she was locked up at night. And she doesn't seem otherwise pregnant.

We've scanned the Internet, because of course all the information a vet might have is on there anyway. Right? Well, it could be mastitis, a tumor on her ovary, a hormonal imbalance, a spider bite, too much clover, a phantom pregnancy, maybe no reason. Glad we have it narrowed down.

But it is milk. One website said that the taste of the milk (is it salty or sweet?) could help diagnose the problem. I told Lauren to let me know. Ewwwww! both girls replied. Yet, when they went to the barn, Lauren held some of the fluid in her hand and with Anna looking on, wondered if she could, maybe she would.... Anna cheered her on. "Do it Lauren, just do it."
In the end, she couldn't do it. Later, I told her perhaps it was a good thing. After all, it could be an infection, and the liquid could be pus. Everyone busted out with grotesque gagging noises and laughter. Who knows? I may have mare's milk for free. Anyone have a recipe for kumis?

Update: The vet says it is unlikely, given the date he gelded the neighbor's horse, that she is pregnant. It is more likely a pituitary problem, and will resolve itself. This might explain why she's had something behaviorally strange going on these last few months.


pita-woman said...

Eeew, I don't think I could've done it either, even if I'd definitely known it was milk. Blech!

The Seasons of Life said...

I have to admit I did not know what kumis was, and now that I do, I don't think I would have tried it! You have one fascinating life!
Love, Robin


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