Day 15 – Phil’s Courage’s Journal

Morning feeding: no problems.
I vaccinated Phil today. When I vaccinate a horse for the first time I am always prepared to do some ground work, or desensitize the horse to the needle. I haltered Phil and he dropped his head right into the halter and I asked him for head down. I pinched his skin on his neck and shook the skin while I injected the vaccine. No problem. I didn’t even hold onto the lead; Phil was ground tied. I administered 3 injections without any questions from Phil. I had epi with me just in case he had a reaction. I groomed him while I watched for a reaction. If your horse is going to have a reaction to the injection it will show up within 20 minutes or sooner! Always have epi drawn up in a syringe with you just in case. You may not have time to run to the barn and draw up a syringe. You should also be comfortable injecting via IV in case of an emergency. Your vet will be more than happy to show you how to do the injection. Phil did not have a reaction.

As I was grooming Phil I checked his sheath. This is an area that you do need to desensitize. Phil is due for a cleaning. A gelding’s sheath needs to be cleaned often. If your vet does this service for you, then you need to desensitize your horse before your vet comes out. I just wanted to remind everyone that it is OUR responsibility to train our horses to accept veterinary care not our vet’s responsibility. I love my vet and I want her to be available to come out to my farm when I have an emergency. It is not necessary to sedate your horse for routine care if you take the time to train him.