Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Itchy spots, tiny snakes, and winter returns

The horses are shedding, and three of them are doing it normally.  Rufus, however, has several spots where he's losing his winter coat but doesn't have new coat underneath???  The spots don't seem to be particularly itchy or swollen.  Aren't cracked, scaly, red, bumpy, weepy or otherwise irritated.  He's just sort of... bald here and there.  A couple hand-sized patches on his chest, smaller spots on his back legs, around his sheath, and over his cheek bones.  I don't remember him shedding out like this previously, so something's definitely weird.  

Checked the vet books with thoughts of mange, worms, allergies, etc., thinking he might have picked something up from the cows or eaten something, but it doesn't really look like anything in there.  The closest possibility is ringworm, but he doesn't have the red circle or the itchies.  So.... I wormed them yesterday on schedule which should take care of it if it's worms.  Smeared the patches with povidine ointment, which can't hurt, and once it warms up I'm thinking a bath with tea tree shampoo and some betadine solution on those spots...

Didn't think to take pictures until I'd already smeared him with goop, unfortunately.

Yesterday was also baby snake day.  This little guy was parked right in front of the front door.  I almost stepped on him, and might have had it not been for the bright orange ring catching my eye.

As you can see, not very big.  And he wasn't very healthy, either.  I'm pretty sure after looking him up that he's a baby ringneck snake of the southern variety.

Orange spotted belly, so go with his ring neck band....  I scooped him up carefully on a stick since I wasn't sure at that point if he was the venomous type or not, and deposited him off in the grass.  But given how lethargic and unresponsive he was, I'm guessing he didn't make it.

The second baby snake was way down at the end of the driveway when I walked out to get the mail. 

The same size as snake no. 1, only 5-6" long, but no ring neck on this one and not round like a garter snake, either.  I couldn't see a rattle button, the eyes were roundish, but the head was sort of shovel-shaped... Unlike the poor little guy by the front door, this one was very lively, and I wasn't getting my hands anywhere near him just in case he was actually a rattlesnake.  Since I'd already brought the horses home, wasn't going to be driving anywhere, and he wasn't close to the house I gave him the benefit of the the doubt and left him alone, and by the time I got back with the mail he was gone. 

So the spring babies have started arriving, but they could have picked a better time for it.  It's 41' and dropping fast.  We have grey heavy clouds and a stiff north wind, and it's damp.  The ponies are staying at home today, much to their chagrin.  But it's supposed to get colder and stormier the later the day gets, so... they'll have to make do with the creekbed pasture and hay until spring comes back, or at least until the wind stops trying to take the tops out of the trees.  Weather guy says tonight it snows.

In other news from yesterday, my interview went okay.  I'm pretty sure I can handle the duties as described and the learning curve, and the atmosphere was positive and friendly.  The position has some growing room and seems like it would be interesting and challenging.  I think I have a decent shot, but you never know.  I should find out one way or the other by the end of the week.


Cindy D. said...

New to your blog, but having a great time going through and reading some of your archives.

Your ponies are gorgeous.

SunnySD said...

Thanks, Cindy - I think they're pretty special, but I might be a tab biased ;)

Kellie said...

SNAKES!!!! YIKES! they give me the creepy crawlies!

Hauled some hay out to the cows yesterday am. When caden was helping feed them last night he saw a dead snake in the cow feeder! The hubby thinks it must have been bailed up with the hay that i hauled out that am = AND TO THINK I CARRIED IT OUT - even remember putting my face in/on it when i heaved it over - creepy crawly.......

falconfeathers said...

ewe SNAKES! ugh! the Rattlesnakes are coming out here in Northern Ca...so I need to be on the look out too for the beasts!

SunnySD said...

Yeah..., not that impressed with the snakes. I don't mind them if they're not poisonous, but down here I don't know enough about what's what to know for sure that they're okay to trip over.

Haven't found a dead (or live) snake in the hay yet, but I found a deer fore-leg once. That was kind of creepy.... But better than a snake - lol!