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Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The Whole Crop Story

One of my girls showed signs of an impacted crop about a week ago. I thought for a day or so that she had just been eating extra - but I noticed that it did not go down and seemed to be getting bigger.

I tried a number of solutions over the past few days. Molasses and water --no change. Epsom Salts and water -- no change. Oil Oil and massaging and Epsom flush - nothing. I could not even get the liquids to come back up her throat. At first the lump seems almost solid but with the oil and massaging it got more squishy.

Finally yesterday morning I decided to open the crop up and as I was a little worried about doing it myself I got a vet appointment. Got her down there and my vet wasn't real happy about doing it - He was afraid he was going to kill her! I talked him into it - as I said she was going to die if he didn't help me and if he didn't do it and I had to it was going to be much messier than it needed to be.

So we opened her up and she was filled up with hair! Looks to me like horse hair -not from a mane or tail but probably a winter coat coming off? The neighbors have horses and my guess is that they had a pile of hair from brushing the horses and threw it out and maybe some grain or feed was mixed in and that's why she ate it. It's the only thing I can think of. But the vet and his tech and I were totally amazed at the amount - I would say that with the liquid squished out it was probably larger than a tennis ball - and with the liquid and food and all that was mixed in it was even larger. Since it was so matted and hard to pull out in little bits I was certainly glad I took her to the vet rather than trying to do it myself. He ended up putting 5 stitches in her crop and another 4 to close up her skin. I am going to keep an eye on the stitches and I think she can go back out with the others when those stitches drop off - otherwise they will be too much of a picking temptation.

She is on antibiotics in her water and soft foods and really does not seem any worse for wear and it seemed like the only thing that really bothered her about the entire process was the stitches. She is already jumping around her little hospital pen and trying to get out.

Needless to say nobody is going to be roaming freely any more - it is a shame and they are all going to be yelling at me - but better safe than sorry - and of course the whole incident has cost me close to $60. So I am going to see about making them some moveable pens for the summer so they can get to fresh grass and they will have to be happy with that. On the upside this means that I can have a vegetable garden this summer without having to build a high fence around it - and our flower beds are going to look a lot better.

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