Anyone who has ever had to give an animal medicine knows that it isn't always easy to get them to cooperate and do what's good for them. If we have to give the dogs a pill, it is usually disguised by wrapping it in a piece of cheese, which usually works, but doesn't always.
With the horses, you can cut out the center of a piece of carrot and stuff the pill in it and then cover it up with the piece you cut out. Easy task there, because they are so busy eating the carrot that they don't realize that there is something inside. Trainer mom came up with that idea and that's how she got Princeton to take his pills every day, which worked beautifully.
Sometimes, the treatment doesn't come in the form of a pill, but rather a shot and for the last week and a half, we have had to give Remington a shot of two different antibiotics to treat a small infection in one of his hind legs. It was pretty scary the first time, but my boy is so good that it was almost effortless.
The trick to get him to cooperate was indeed carrots. Yee haw, they are a wonderful distraction and such a tasty treat. Thank goodness Bunny isn't afraid to give the big boy the shot. If it were left up to me, I don't think I could have done it and would have run up a humongous vet bill getting him to come out and give them.
Because of Remington's size the syringe and needle were huge. I mean, I would have turned and run for the hills if I saw something like that coming at me. But it didn't seem to faze my boy one bit. As we started our trek to the barn on the day of the first shot, we were both a little nervous about it. I was armed and ready with a pocket full of carrots to help ease the situation in case a battle ensued.
My job was to hold his lead rope and distract him with the tasty delight while Bunny gave him the shot. So in the stall she went and with a big carrot chunk in hand the task began. Into his mouth went the first one, followed very quickly by the second chunk. It was done and he didn't even seem to know it happened. Whew, that was a big relief and I'm so glad his motto is "it's all about the food".
Of course, Remi knew good and well that there were more carrots in my pocket. I saved a couple for Bunny to give him since she was the one who did the deed. He started snaking his head out and popping his lips and was absolutely hysterical. Pop pop pop, c'mon gimme some more of that good stuff please. It was truly beggar pony in action.
The following day's of shots were a lot easier, but let me tell you, that boy had the routine down pat. The minute we got to the barn, his big nose came over the gate and his lips started popping like crazy. He was sticking his big head out so far that I started calling him snake face. As soon as I took the lead rope, he started lipping and slobering all over my hand. Yuk, a wet hand on a cold evening is not a fun thing. But, it's Remi slobber so I can deal with it.
Remi now thinks that every time he's in his stall and you come up to him, that there is a carrot somewhere close by and he's very busy trying to investigate my hands to see if I'm hiding one. I have to tell you, it really makes my day. It is so cute and entertaining when he does this sort of thing that it just makes a person smile.
The shots are all over now and we both hope they worked. Tonight when we put the horses up and give them their supper, there will be a carrot treat for Remi just because he's been such a good boy. None of the other horses like carrots and have spit them out on the ground, so Remi get's the treasure all by himself.
Bunny did buy some carrot flavored oaties which the other horses seem to enjoy, but not Remi. He thinks they are a sorry excuse for a carrot treat and immediately turns it into a projectile and shoots it across the gate to the ground below. He'd rather have the real thing and the real thing is what he get's.
Needless to say Remi is well loved and he gives the love right back. So, if carrots make him happy, then we are happy to give ole snake face the treat he enjoys.
Stay tuned, Stay Happy and Stay with us!