Thursday, April 8, 2010

Old Wives' Tales,Grannys' Remedies, and plain scary misinformation

Requests for advice for treatment of animal ailments and injuries always make for interesting reading. The obligatory, (and probably sensible), cries of "Call your vet", the helpful old faithful treatments, and often a rather amusing and alarming array of bizarre suggestions always ensue.

What often concerns me is that often when advice is offered it is incomplete, or fails to warn of possible side effects, either from standard use, or over-use when no quantities or regularity of treatment are included in the instructions. At least with a product you purchase through your vet you get clear instructions for use, and a run down of posibble side effects to look out for.

Things like udder cream are unlikely to do any harm, and certainly may do some good, but other commonly used and recomended products and substances can be quite harmful.

Copper sulphate, and zinc sulphate, while both effective in the treatment of things like dermatophilus congolensis infection, being mudfever/greasy heel/rain scald, (same organism, different locations), are also corrosive skin and eye irritants, so suggesting someone "mix a bit of copper sulphate" in with their filtabac or whatever, may result in a cure, but also may result in serious skin durns and damage.

Nappisan also gets a fair bit of support for the same skin problems, but again, this is a product that states clearly to flush skin exposed to it, and while the active ingredient sodium percarbonate is actually quite useful, in my opinion it's medicinal value in the Nappisan product is very limited, if not non-existent, because of the scent and detergent ingredients the product also contains.

Problems also occur as a result of lack of information from those asking for advice. If your horses leg is swollen, then the advice given for swelling coupled with cut, puncture, or broken skin will differ greatly from that where skin is intact.
Some products while great for strain injuries, are extremely painful if used over wounds, and/or broken skin, and gross swelling with broken skin is likely to indicate infection, which most home remedies will not be able to deal with.

Realistically there IS NO real susbtitute for consulting a vet, or at least someone experienced with the animal in question IN PERSON, and when requesting advice from laypeople online you need to know enough to sort the wheat from the chaff when reading through the suggestions given, otherwise you may very find yourself with a vet bill larger than the one you were originally trying to avoid!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Those are NOT Firth pavers!

I would guesstimate that less than 1% of the animal suffering that goes on in this country is as a result of genuine cruelty. Most people, with the notable exception of myself, if certain folk are to be believed, do not set about to be deliberately nasty.

Things go horribly wrong for many animals however, when indifferent, or alarmingly often, "nice" people fail to either, inform themselves, take action, or take realistic stock of the situation they find themselves and their animals in.

Proverbially ignorance may be bliss, but that is generally extended only as far as the person involved, and the animal/s existence is usually FAR from blissful. NOT KNOWING the minimum care requirements, nutritional needs, or basic signs of illness in your pet/s or livestock is all too common, but NOT acceptable. If you don't know these things it is a bloody good idea to inform yourself BEFORE you acquire the animal/s, but failing that, as shortly after acquiring them as possible. The correct time and place to be asking for nutritional advice for your pony is NOT 3 weeks after it's condition score has dropped to 1, on a message board!

There are some great resources out there online, which can tell you exactly what your horse, (or other animal), needs every day, and Google will find an awful lot of them. It amazes me too, how many competent, knowledgable horse owners know plenty about how to feed, but have never stopped to think about the actual numbers and energy quantities involved, and therefore find explaining how to feed to someone less experienced quite difficult. I personally find it very helpful to have concrete numbers.

As certain major historic events tell us fairly pointedly, major atrocities can happen when people turn a blind eye, or fail to take action, and animal atrocities, (and more minor suffering), occur all too often as a result of these. Sometimes, like in the case of intensively farmed poultry, or pigs, society, almost as a whole, turns a blind eye, in the interests of economic gain, which I guess may make it harder for individuals to stand up and be counted, or take action when they see smaller more personal suffering occurring in their own, or neighbours' backyards. Those who are prepared to take action are often all too few, but deserve our thanks, provided the action taken is reasonable and responsible.

By far and away the hardest people to deal with are those who cannot grasp the REALITY of the situation with their animals. If you cannot convince someone there is even a problem, then there is no way in hell you can hope that they'll endeavour to fix it, and for some reason an awful lot of "animal" people seem to have anything ranging from smallish blind spots, to elaborate fantasies and delusions regarding the animals they take on, or own.

It might be anything from refusing to see that Fido, is no longer the gleaming, flowing, golden coated, retrieving wonder he was in his youth, and is now dragging his arse end around leaving a trail of urine, to thinking it is a good idea to "rescue" an animal whose prognosis is so poor that it dies somewhat horrifically on you, to sincerely thinking the 3 year old that has been severely malnourished since it was in utero, is actually going to make a decent racehorse.

It is often helpful, if you have people around you whose opinion you value, and judgement you trust, to ask for their advice or input regarding whether it's time to have Fido put down, whether the half dead newborn kitten/s you've just brought home should have a one-way, or bi-directional trip to your local vet, or whether you should sell, or give away 90-99% of the horses you own and concentrate on feeding those left, and paying your bills. And if perchance you've managed to drive anyone remotely helpful like this away, then forking out some money and paying a professional, like a vet for example, for their advice is a fucking good idea, and more or less the only responsible option left open to you.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I have my first threat of legal action! Not bad for the first day on

Some people are very good at passive-aggressive bullshit, thinly veiled animosity, and outright stalking, but don't do overt confrontation very well.

Where is the blogger now? The MB desperately needs "Decoding"

Someone much wiser than me said that mimicry is the sincerest form of flattery, it's been said many times since, and in this context I figure it bears repeating.

I have the occasional original idea on my own, but "tweaking", and IMO improving upon other peoples' ideas is more my forte, and given the prolonged absence of the infamous blogger, coupled with my recent Trademe demise, now seems as good a time as any to get plagiarising ;)

The Message Board has been plagued with random variants on text-speak, poor grammar, dodgy spelling, and hard to understand postings over it's lifetime, but just recently the indecipherable nature of the posts of one particular user has made the need for "decoding" far beyond any who have gone before her.
Unfortunately for those of us who prefer Sudoku, or logic puzzles for our daily challenge, her posting enthusiasm seems to be inversely proportional to her literacy, and anyone commenting on their lack of understanding of an incomprehensible post is likely to bring cries of "faowol" from either her, or her rabid team of cheerleaders, who seem to have decided that attack is the best form of defense.

This young woman obviously has a little more, (or was that less?), going on than just an inability to get letters in anything remotely resembling the order the rest of us are used to, as one possibly insightful member noted in the disastrous dyslexia thread, only to be jumped on by the pack. IMNSHO anyone without the cognitive function, and social awareness to work out that posting multiple photos of themselves on a newly backed horse, with their STOMACH overhanging the pommel, and sitting on the horse's wither, while their arse overhangs the cantle, and the back of the panels are obviously embedding themselves in the horse's back, is a BAD idea, needs better supervision by those that purport to love her!
But it's OK apparently, because the horse LOVES her.

Now I am the first to admit that I myself am a big fat bitch. I however, would not have hopped on that horse pictured, (or even pretty much any horse right now), and am even less likely to allow photos of my fat arse to hit the open internet.
I also trust certain people around me, should I ever have a critical lapse in cognitive function, inhibition, or sanity, to tell me straight, that I should get my fat arse off that poor horse right now, or delete that photo, BEFORE I broadcast such things to the general public. I know there are at least 3-4 people who would do so bluntly, and with love, or at least genuine like.
I also suffer no delusions regarding the horses I love VERY much. They accept me as a ranking member of their group, but I am pretty damn sure they do not "love" me the way my husband and kids do. They nicker and whinney to me, but that is because they know there's a good chance I'll bring a feedtub!

And so as not to single out ONE person, my participation in the dyslexia thread, and the few others I got to post in in my meagre week back on the boards, made me realise that I am not the only person to hold a grudge, and that some will resort to message board stalking to express their antipathy, but are too gutless to address an issue directly.
Toiletloo, from altogether too close to me unfortunately, does have a "valid" reason for her dislike of me. I chose another home for a pony of mine she was interested in, when I had informed her I had 3 homes to choose from, which supposedly messed her around hugely, despite me letting her know he was unavailable before she'd even viewed him. Apparently she has also heard all sorts of shit about me, from very "reliable" sources, like truckdrivers, who should be more professional in their conduct, and who knows who else. Funnily enough the "grapevine" reveals MANY unsavoury titbits about her, but I for the most part know gossip is usually only about 10% based in fact, and tend to ignore it.
My other MB "stalker" is a little harder to work out. Although she is not far from my original home stomping ground, I cannot pick that she has ever met me, but despite this she has suggested 1080 for me on several occasions, and obviously has quite a bee in her bonnet, as she not only "follows" me, but also posts shit about me in completely unrelated threads, that I never even participated in. Nilloh/ Pam Hollins, I would suggest at your age you might think a little more about Karma, or meeting your maker with a clear conscience, and if that doesn't bother you, just looking a little less like a bitter old lady to your peers might be a bonus ;)

And finally, just because I can here, and couldn't at the MB ...