Thursday, January 17, 2013

Frozen frost free hydrants and equine recurrent uveitis

I love my husband. Our "Frost Free" hydrant froze the other day. This is the spigot you see sticking up out of the ground on with the handle that looks like an old water pump handle. As long as you disconnect the hose and drain it well, it's supposed to keep from freezing up even when the faucets off the house won't work. Supposed to being the key word here.

The way the are designed to work is there is a little tube coming off the pipe towards the bottom, and this drains into a little gravel pit. The water in the pipe drains out, and there is nothing to freeze inside the pipe. Somehow it seems that ours got plugged. The ground is frozen solid right now, with no hopes of digging four feet down to clear it out. We got some heat tape for it and that was working great, no issues. Well until Tuesday that is.

Scott got home Tuesday morning after I had watered Mon night, and it was froze up. The heat tape plug had come undone from the extension cord. He plugged it back in and we hoped for the best. Tues evening when I got home, it had come unplugged again. Still frozen.

I unplugged the tank heater, I knew they were going to drink it down far enough over night, that I didn't want the tank heater to burn up. Scott, bless him, got up at 7 in the morning to go work on it. He was out there with the propane weed burner trying to unfreeze everything. He dug out the soggy ground around the pipe and was able to get down far enough to get it all flowing again. Took him four hours. I had to run into town and get him more propane before I left for work. He put more heat tape on it, fixed the plug so it would stop falling out, and so far, everything has been fine. It'll be a major project come spring to make it all work again the way it's supposed to.

Equine recurrent uveitis

This is the way a hosre's eye should look. Even for an old man, the eye is clear, the pupil is black.

Apache's eye is not looking like that. The eye itself has a haze over it. The inside of the pupil looks like there is silver shining out from the back. There is non of the crispness in the colors of the iris like Ben's eye.

Even the right eye has a haze over it. I talked to my sister and it doesn't look good. As quoted from, "Equine recurrent uveitis, sometimes known as moon blindness, is a disease of the horse's eye that can be caused by many different things -- bacteria, virus, parasites, or trauma.
    Signs that an eye is in distress include redness, swelling, pus, pupil constriction in the dark, cloudiness, squinting, and photophobia. Uveitis is often diagnosed as something far less serious and valuable treatment time is lost. If not treated aggressively from the onset, there is less chance of saving sight in one or both eyes. Unfortunately, even with very aggressive treatment, some eyes cannot be saved, but in other cases the disease can be halted or at least slowed down." There is more literature on their page.  

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