Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rabies shots & de-botting

This weekend's excitement did not, needless to say, end up including riding. Sunday T and J sighted in their rifles for the upcoming hunting-trip-with-horses west river (that's South Dakota west of the Missouri, for you non-South Dakotans.)

And may I take this opportunity to say... Run, Bambi, Run!!
(Just not very loudly around the hunters - LOL)
Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not against hunting, and I love venison. But if the two of them get all of the deer they have tags for, I'm seriously going to have to track down a new-to-me freezer, because the one above the fridge and the one in the garage just aren't gonna do it.
So in preparation for the trip and because of a few recent skunk-spottings at the vet's, Rufus got a rabies shot. He was very good about it, as usual. And we stuck around afterwards to help them worm and de-bot fly egg the horses and get bridlepaths clipped in. Rufus doesn't mind clippers, either - also good to know.

After a couple of hours with a very dull bot knife, I have to ask - what's your preferred method for getting the little yellow suckers detached?

Here are a few that work, but there are drawbacks....
  • Bot knives - clog with dirt () and if they're dull, removing anything is really tedious
  • I've seen people use clippers - which works as long as you don't mind rough-looking patches on your horse's winter coats, but it's easy to take a bit too much off and end up with bald patches. I know, I know - but I don't clip enough to get good at it!
  • I've used a pumice stone-like block thing with works okay, but it's also fairly crumbly and not really leg-friendly
  • My best luck has been with a serrated butter or steak knife. If you can find one with a dull/round end, so you aren't in danger of stabbing your horse or yourself.
  • I think I heard somewhere that you can soak them off with warm water - but since it's a bit chilly here for bathing by the time I usually get around to bot egg removal, I haven't tried it. Anyone tried that?
And can I just say, as the owner of three sorrel (yeah, yeah, I know, they're Arabs, so they're chestnut - Sheesh!) horses, you buckskin and palomino horse owners? You sure must have a lot of patience, because those bot eggs are camoflaged waaaay too well for my taste.


Anonymous said...

We don't have much trouble with bots around here - thankfully! We do require rabies at our barn - our horses are in all day turnout and there are lots of wild critters around - it's a small precaution to prevent a devastating disease.

buckpony said...

Hello Sunny-D!
You just remined me that my guys are due for fall shots. West Nile is a must here, as is rabies. I leave it up to our wonderful vet to tell me what they need. I should do it myself, but I always feel better when my vet takes care of them.
As for bot eggs, I use one of those stinky pumice blocks. I scrape it on the concrete to clean it and open the holes. Makes for easier shaving. I've even used a women's razor before with good results. I have heard of using the warm water - I think the intention is to get the bot eggs to hatch on the cloth soaked in warm water, if I remember correctly. Then you can kill them by disposing of the rag. I've never tried that method. My old pumice block works well when I scrape it on rough concrete.

Glad to see you guys are doing well! Love all those chestnuts! :)

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I've had the best luck with an opened pair of scissors. Blunt or rounded tips are the safest.

The warm water method kinda works. The eggs scrape off easier but they never just really wipe off.

SunnySD said...

Hmmm - hadn't thought of using a disposable razor. And I even have a couple new ones still sitting in the tack stuff from our last show outing (whisker touch-ups!). I'll have to give that a try.

PRG - we only do West Nile in the spring here. Do you give it then, as well, or just once? Just curious; I know different parts of the country are on different rotations.