(Cheyenne, you may find the following very interesting!)
We got up early yesterday morning, and loaded a hungry Zak into the lorry. We'd kept him in overnight so he could be nil by mouth from 4am (Mr O got up to take his haynet down). We kept Fudge in to keep him company, but all the horses had slept in the bottom field, to be as close as possible, wondering what was going on.
Of course, Zak wasn't allowed a haynet in the lorry either, which didn't impress him. We had a good journey though, and were actually early when we got there. We hung around for a while, waiting to be seen to, while Zak whinnied at a horse through the lorry window.
Eventually the vet came out, a young chap from New Zealand, and we unloaded Zak and took his boots off. We led him into what must have once been a stable, but now looked more like a kitchen. He was very good and just stood while the vet assessed him. The first thing was, that he said Zak isn't that underweight! We were very surprised. He said they see horses a lot worse than him. I asked if he would ride him, and he said yes. You could have knocked me down with a feather. He took blood and sedated him. At first there were just the three of us, but gradually the room filled with students. An assistant put the brace on his head, that held his mouth open (the same as dentists use, I can't think of the name of it right now) and gradually they inserted the gastroscope (up his nose). It obviously has a camera on the end, so you can see everything on the screen. It turns out the inside of a horse looks much like the outside of an octopus, and I wasn't sick once, even when Zak made retching noises.
It took a long time to look round the inside of his stomach, but I am thrilled and delighted to report that there were no ulcers whatsoever. Eventually the scope was removed and Zak gradually stopped sweating. Next, the vet decided to do an ultrasound scan to check there were no tumors or lumps and bumps in the wrong places. Everything was fine, except he couldn't find his liver, as too much intestine was in the way. That would have provided the answer to everything, though, wouldn't it, if he didn't have a liver? We assume it's in there somewhere, doing what livers do.
In fact, it must have been, as while we were waiting, the blood tests came back and they too showed nothing unusual. No anaemia, no ragwort poisoning, no salmonella, nothing. He gave Zak a vitamin boost and said we could look at anabolic steroids or ventapulmin, but we decided against it.
So there was nothing to be done except load him up and bring him home. He was very glad to see his haynet, and started tucking in. It didn't take long to get back, where we unloaded him and turned him out. He went belting up the field, whinnying to the others.
So like I have said before, he is one of life's whippets, and always will be. He just has a very fast metabolism. The vet recommended some feeds and said we should give him corn oil, so we will. I am very pleased really, as it means we can ride him, and he has good quality of life, I'd just got used to the idea of him having ulcers, and that we'd have a cure. But think of the money we've saved, as Gastrogard is two hundred pounds for a week's supply, and he'd have needed a month's worth. Allelujah, then.
I have had a couple of opportunities to scrapbook this week, and am utterly enjoying it. I am doing a page for each month of 2010, so I am doing January to June, to catch up, then I'll do a page a month after that. So here, without further ado, are February and March:
I was seeing spots before my eyes with this one, but I'm really pleased with it. The decoupage flower is very unusual. I've had a break from cardmaking this week, I think it's because I've been so busy in the run-up to the wedding, but I'm ready to do some more now (I'll tell you why tomorrow, plus there should be one or two other surprises).
Have a good weekend everyone.