It was sunny and breezy, a cool, beautiful Sunday I walked out to see Honey Bandit and he was drenched in sweat. His little body was burning up and he was on fire. I immediately took his temperature and it was 103.7.
It is pneumonia weather for orphan foals. It just seems to be the time of year and the type of weather when they are very susceptible to catching it. When you take a temperature like that and put it with even a tiny little cough, well it can be very dangerous. I talked to Shirley (horse angel of Nevada) and we agreed that we should sponge him off as opposed to shocking him with hosing him down.
We started antibiotics and monitored him to make sure his temperature didn't go any higher. (it came down when we sponged him and gave him some banamine per the vet. (I never knew you could use banamine for that, but it works very well).
Once his temperature was under control, Dr. Rodger said to continue monitoring him and bring him in on Monday. I stayed awake, and like a first time mom, kept running over and checking his temperature and his breathing. He probably thought I lost my mind, but didn't seem to mind the fact that he got so much love all night. His breathing is also faster than it should be. So today we went to the vet. He had blood tests and x rays. There is some cloudiness in his lungs, suggesting that he was on his way to getting pneumonia. Luckily I am over protective, and some might say "neurotic" about every little thing that happens when a foal is in this condition and has been so very compromised. I had already let her know that he had coughed a couple times the day before so we were already watching him for any signs leading to pneumonia. His breath sounds were not horrible, but we felt that the x ray was necessary and it is a good thing that we took it.
Hopefully the fact that we started treating him right away will nip this in the bud immediately. He has certainly been through enough and doesn't deserve to get sick on top of it. That is one of the reasons we are rushing to get the nursery, (or temporary nursery) ready before the weather gets any worse. His immune system is pretty much non existent right now. He is also anemic, and we are starting the necessary supplements to help him get better, as that will also cause him to be more susceptible to any illness.
We do have GOOD NEWS though. Our little man weights 190 POUNDS!! He went from around 120 pounds to 190 pounds in a little over five weeks. So all those donations you have sent have certainly been put to good use, and are so appreciated.
Unfortunately, Honey Bandit had to cancel his visit to Manzanita school in Redding, CA. He was scheduled to appear (via the safety and comfort of his beloved trailer) tomorrow with one of his favorite aunties, Terri Farley. The 4th grade class of Dave Gilstrap raised money to help save Honey Bandit. So tomorrow we are going to visit them and I believe they are throwing out their "challenge" to other classes and schools to a "change drive" benefiting Honey Bandit. But he will be there in spirit while he gets better at home.
Until next time, I leave you with another fabulous Honey Bandit happening. "Mr. Big shot" jumps in and out of the trailer all by himself. It is probably a little bit higher than a foot off the ground, (I can barely step up with my bad knee), and he just jumps in and out like he is a big horse and has been doing it for years.
Matt noticed something today. He told me that when Honey Bandit moves, walks or whatever, he seems to feel very proud of himself. It is almost as if he knows that he survived against all odds and not only did he survive, but he will thrive.