I had a couple posts about how amazing Licorice was, how I did my first body clip on Licorice, how much I looooove my pony and all that good stuff, but they all seem trivial now.
Licorice is sick. Monday night during my lesson he pooped a lot and by the end of the lesson it was flat out diarrhea. Tuesday he was in good spirits, but still had runny poop. Wednesday he had a small temperature and runny poop and it was decided that we would check in the morning and call the vet if necessary.
Though he's not completely off his feed, he was not eating voraciously at lunchtime today and his poop was runny. His temp came in a bit high for a morning temperature so the vet was called.
A little back story that I can't remember if I've covered. When I bought Licorice, they told me he had gotten very ill about six months ago. He had a temperature and went off his feed and ended up in the hospital for two weeks. They pumped him full of fluids and kept him there and he got better. They never did figure out what was wrong with him and just wrote it off as 'mystery illness'. I think the vet called it a kind of founder if I recall correctly.
When I had my pre-purchase we talked about this with Licorice's former owners and my vet. My vet showed me where you could see that he was sick by looking at his hooves. But he pointed out that the new hoof was growing straight and strong and that since Licorice had never been sick any other time in his life, that it probably wasn't an issue.
Fast forward to today and we were a bit concerned that he was having similar symptoms. So the vet came out, took some blood and pronounced my pony a bio hazard. He will get his stall done by someone who will change clothes after doing it. He will likely be kept inside or turned out into one of the small, individual turnouts. He is getting Bio Sponge today and they gave him a dose of Banamine. Tomorrow he will get re-checked and we will get blood results back. From there, we will know what to treat.
It's scary on two levels. The first and by far the most challenging, is the emotional level. I know it's only been a month but dammit I adore this horse. I connect with him in an entirely different way than I did Tessa. I don't want him to be sick. I don't want him to feel bad. I went out and just hung out with him for a few minutes today. Sadly, I'm going out of town this weekend and won't be able to just go sit in his stall with him this weekend. The second scary thing is just the financial level. Tessa didn't sell (though she is on a lease) so we still haven't fully recovered from purchasing Licorice and all the costs associated with a new horse. If Licorice is really ill, it could be incredibly costly. It's too late to get insurance at this point (note to self: look into insurance!!! if they'll even cover us after this....) so everything has to come out of pocket. It's not that we can't afford it, but horse stuff so quickly goes into the thousands when they're ill.
So, please send Licorice healing vibes and let's keep our collective fingers crossed that the vet comes back with something straightforward and easy to handle. Maybe I'll get back from the weekend to a recovered, happy pony.