A little change up for the month of September, change is in the air you know. (and the regular computer is in intensive care, so this is the best can be)
So, September it is! It's been a summer for the record books for sure. We hope you've had lots of great adventures with your animals. Who would think we'd be anxiously rain dancing to break the remarkable drought and help our neighbors who are burning up on the east side? Guess we danced up a little too much of a storm, but a necessary compromise. Our focus this month is on Change and Preparedness.
In regard to change, we mean atmospheric changes that typically set us up for the dreaded "fall colic season". We are focusing on horses (those creatures of delicate GI countenance) but the basics apply to all creatures great & small ruminants too. What we know from experience is that there tends to be a lot of "belly aching" going on in the fall and it's not just the kids going back to school. While there's never been a single, direct cause & effect to explain the uptick in colicky animals, there is a concert of change starting now that may contribute to the problem. First and foremost is water consumption. Ambient temps are decreasing and the days are shortening, your animals may not be getting as much exercise, so they don't feel thirsty but they still need 10 to 12 gallons of water a day. Food & feeding routines may also be changing (do it slowly!) which sets that delicate GI tract up for uncomfortable rumblings.
What we advocate for this season is attention... pay attention to your animals water & feed intake. Notice whether or not you are shoveling the usual quantity & consistency of manure. Be particularly attentive to changes in habits & circumstance. If your horse is ADR (ain't doin' right) don't think you can wishful think it away, pay attention! Attending to GI discomfort be it gas or constipation is so much better sooner than later.
Moving on to Preparedness. With deep sympathy and sadness for our east side neighbors whose homes, property and livestock have been destroyed by fire, we are reminded that disaster happens and having emergency plans can help mitigate the impacts. There are many types of emergencies. Obvious disasters include; fire, flood, wind, earthquake and also fencing failure (loose animals), disease or physical trauma. Do you have a fire extinguisher? What if you need to evacuate, do you have the means? Will you be able to load your animals into a trailer? Who can you call for help? Where will you go, what are the options? There are many resources to help with disaster & emergency planning, here are a few links;
One thing you might consider is creating an emergency gear stash in a trunk or box with extra halter, lead, snaps, buckets, duct tape, shovel, flashlight, fire extinguisher etc. An emergency medical kit is also a worthwhile investment, for the every day "disasters" that accompany animal care taking. We'd like to help you with that one. RBE has put together a MedKit that will get you started with the basics. The kit contains a stethoscope, digital thermometer, irrigation syringe, gloves, scrub brush, bandage material, scissors, flashlight, antibiotic ointment, Banamine paste etc. and a poster of equine normal vital signs all in a plastic box that will easily pack into your trailer for that next trail ride, show or event. The retail value of these items is over $100, you can get it from Rocky Bay Equine for $89.00 plus tax. We have about 10 kits available so give us a call if you'd like to reserve one. (253) 858-4529