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The Hannibal Lector mask

Posted in: Animals1 Comment

You have to be cruel to be kind. Easy words to say but very hard to put into practice when you love someone very much.

Today I bought a grazing muzzle for our gorgeous Kitty who is on the verge of foundering. She would, like most Shetland ponies, literally eat herself to death if given the chance. Founder or Equine laminitis is a vascular disease associated with the hoof’s laminae. The laminae secure the coffin bone to the hoof wall. Inflammation interferes with the wall/bone bond. In advanced laminitis, the coffin bone becomes detached from the horny wall and may rotate or sink. Laminitis is a very serious problem for horses and some breeds – like Kitty and probably Monty being a cross Clydesdale, are predisposed to it.

The past few days I have been racking my brain trying to think how I can cut her weight down but the problem is that if I lock her up, then Monty can’t get into the shed and of course it is raining at the moment. Then if the rain stops I will have the opposite problem – it will be stinking hot. If I put Monty in with Blaze and Summer, then one of them will not be able to get into the shed in that paddock as they are only made for 2 horses. Also I don’t think Blaze and Monty would really appreciate each other’s company.

Hence the Hannibal Lector facemask.

Kitty and her grazing muzzle

Kitty and her grazing muzzle

She can still walk around which is better for her than being penned up all day and can still drink but she can’t eat. I nearly cried when I put it on though and had to walk away and not look back. The poor baby would not understand why I have done such a terrible thing to her and is probably so very confused. For the moment she will need to wear it for about 20 hours a day until we get some drastic weight loss happening, then probably for 12 hours at night over spring and into summer – depending on the season.

Dieting animals is a horrible thing to have to do but in a case like this where their life depends on it, there just is no alternative.

Just to top off my night, as I was putting the mask on her, Marlee found a patch of fresh wallaby poo and decided to roll in it smearing it up either side of his neck. Maybe Kitty told him to do it as a form of payback for what I was doing to her. Anyway he smells totally disgusting and there is no way that he can sleep next to my bed tonight as he has done every night since he arrived. Kelsea was not very understanding and told me that I should sleep with a peg on my nose. Personally I think I would need a gas mask. But if Marlee is banished from the bedroom he will probably whine and cry all night, so I have to weight up the odds. Sleep with a peg on my nose or not sleep at all.

I hope you have a better night than me.

Marlee with eau-de-cologne

Marlee with eau-de-cologne

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  1. Margaret said on 05/12/2011 at 1:57 am

    “You have to be cruel to be kind” so true! Sometimes you have to be cruel to be safe too. I’ve been raising 2 wood ducks waiting till they were old enough to be released back into the wild, thinking how good it would be to release the 2 sisters together. however that will not happen now. The night before last something took one of the ducks. So last night we were forced to lock up the remaining duck in a small cage and make sure she is not taken, but the hardest thing was having to lock up our 2 pet chickens, who thrive on being allowed to wander the backyard as they please. They were not impressed at being locked in their coop, but I’m sure my daughter (and myself) would be devistated if they were to be taken by a fox or something. So we will continue to be ‘cruel’ and lock them up for a few more days and hope that whatever it was goes somewhere else for a feed, and leaves our beautiful girls alone. So you see, I understand totally why you must do this for Kitty and I’m sure if she knew why you were doing this, she would say thank you.
    love Margaret xx

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