Zoom was gelded on Thursday.
Because my vets always ligate (tie off the vessels with suture) when castrating Miniature Horses, to reduce the risk of bleeding as their vessels are so tiny to rely on the crushing action of the emasculators, they are also always put on antibiotics.
That means that my yearling needs to have twice daily meds for 5 days.
The antibiotics he’s been prescribed are in a pill form, and they can either be crushed and mixed in feed, or dissolved in water and squirted directly into their mouth in a syringe.
I was pretty sure that squirting nasty tasting meds into his mouth twice a day wasn’t going to help my relationship with a baby who is still forming his opinion of human interaction, even though it would be a lot more efficient, and cause me less worry about being sure he’s actually getting the meds.
The first couple doses were easy – he was in a stall, next to his best buddy, and I just mixed him up a mash of soaked cubes and senior feed and he ate it up with only a few funny faces.
But after 24 hours, the prescription for a recent castration is exercise, which means the best place for him was out in the field with his friends to play with and plenty of room to move. And that makes it a challenge to give him his own food with his antibiotics.
First I just popped him through a gate to the next pen, but Zoom freaked out, so concerned about being separated even by a fence from his companions that he was just racing around and ignoring his food.
So Plan B was to lead him just outside his usual pen and sit with him while he eats.
It took an extra 10 or 15 minutes while I waited for him to eat, time that I definitely could’ve used for approximately a zillion other chores, but he was calm and happy, and so was I knowing that the important antibiotics were now safely in his belly where they can do him some good!
It’s not efficient at all compared to syringing it into his mouth, but I’ll continue to have a yearling that meets me at the gate eager to put his halter on, instead of one who associates me with something unpleasant to be avoided.
The time I’ll spend waiting for him to eat his grain the next few days won’t be wasted. It’ll be an investment in our relationship for many years to come.