This has been a week of ups and downs. Cowgirl's hives went away, so I can only assume that it was a reaction to the SMZ's. Epona gets a little bit better at nursing every day, but today, for some reason, she has had issues.
We think part of the problem is udder soreness for Cowgirl, and the vet said to put her on Bute for a while. At times, she doesn't want Epona to nurse, and then when Epona finally gets to, the milk comes pouring down. So, we'll try the Bute, and we'll probably start holding her still in the early mornings, when she has the most amount of milk. It doesn't help that Epona got so many teeth so early. Oh, I also decided to confine them to their stall most of the day and night. Epona was flourishing yesterday, so I opened up their attached turnout for them, and then this morning, she seemed worn out. I think Cowgirl just kept her running and didn't allow her the rest she needs. The tight confinement also gives Epona more opportunity to nurse.
If none of this works, and Epona can't keep up with the production, we might have to take her off of mama and go to feeding her ourselves. That is a last ditch effort, and the vet wants to avoid going there. It would be stressful for both, and there's so much a foal learns from their mamas that would be difficult to replicate. So far, we haven't been able to get Epona to take a supplement either.
We have the truck and trailer hooked up and ready to go, should any of her vitals take a downward turn. So far, that hasn't happened.
Due to the all the sleepless nights, and constant worry, I came down with a hideous virus of my own. The first few days of it, I was able to keep up the pace, but on the fourth day, it zapped all my strength. Today is the 6th day of it, and I'm starting to feel my energy return. It was good to have Shiloh take up the slack, and my husband. It was also nice to have the barn camera. Here's the view right now, as I type. (The loop is for fly strips.)
I don't mind taking on the work and worry, because Shiloh is pregnant, too. When I think of the toll it's taking on me, I shudder to think that Shiloh carries a similar burden. I try not to bother her too much with the ups and downs, but I they are her horses, soooo....I can't completely avoid it either.
My sweet daughter in law painted Epona and Cowgirl for us, to bring us some comfort. I love it.
Tonight, I'm going to try and get her to suck a pacifier, in hopes it will strengthen her sucking / swallowing reflex. I'm going to use a lamb-size nipple. I'll put my finger into it, if she doesn't bite too hard.
Despite all the ups and downs, we are progressing with halter training, and I hope she is fully trained by our next trip to the vet. It would cut down on a lot of chaos. Today was the first day she didn't pull back, or freeze, when she felt pressure. (Below is from yesterday, when she did pull back.)
In the two weeks she's been here, we have grown so attached and already love her so much. We really try to enjoy every moment we have. In the end, time is somewhat irrelevant, but love is never irrelevant.