Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Poor old Pepper

I visit Pepper, my old jumper, about once a week, and take him bananas and carrots and peppermints. I forgot the peppermints today, because I was going to see him straight from lunch with a friend. I felt so badly. He kept nosing my pockets.

I won't see Pepper for two months, while we're in Colorado. He's well fed, and has a great friend, Row, his roommate. But he's developed an old horse disease, Cushing's Disease. It's a tumor on the pituitary, which controls various important body functions. Pepper can't shed his long coat, as you can see in these pictures. I've hired someone to clip him, but she's waiting until the temperature gets more normal, as we're going through a nutty cold spell. Pepper likes to be warm.

Cushing's Disease is a bad thing. It usually comes on slowly, but unfortunately for Pepper it's come on quite fast. Well we'll see how it goes. Dinah will be living nearby as a vet tech at the horse hospital and can check on him. The fly mask looks unfriendly but keeps flies off his sticky eyes. He looked better today than when I saw him last week and gave me quite the friendly hello.

It's funny with horses, the way they age: you're a year older, they're a year older. That goes on for fifteen years or so, then it changes to: you're a year older, they're ten years older. The lifespans of domestic animals are one of life's heartbreaks.


Namowal said...

I (and any pet owner would) agree that it's a shame domestic animals don't live as long as we do. We get so attached to our pets and all to soon their health declines.
That being said, Pepper is lucky to be so well taken care of. I thought the part of him sniffing your pockets for mints was cute.

stray g said...

So sorry to hear about Pepper's illness. I know your visits are healing.

Linda said...

Dinah got the job at the horse hospital!
I hate to hear that Pepper has this disease.
I'm glad he has his good pal, Row.