You know how we keep hearing about how some parts of North America have gotten so much rain that there's been a bunch of floods this spring?
Well, in my neck of the woods, we are the complete opposite.
We've barely had any precipitation this year. Everything is brown and tinder dry.
The perfect conditions for wildfires.
Things are getting kinda scary. Over the last two days, there have been a multitude of emergency warnings screaming from our phones with notices of mandatory evacuations for towns about an hour west/northwest of the big city. That's too close for comfort - I know people in those areas. In fact, the lady that I rode with yesterday got a call from a sibling that her brother's house had just burned down. Shortly after that was when the first mandatory evacuation notice came through, and I wonder if he was in that area.
There was a grass fire on my end of the city last week, that forced the evacuation of some newer houses on the edge of the subdivision. Thankfully, everything was contained and I don't think there was any property damage.
That same day, there was another grass fire along the highway that I take to the barn. I saw the scorched earth, and it looks like it must have been quickly controlled.
It's been windy, dry, and this week the temperatures are rising to high-20's (Celsius, that is). The situation is not going to get better.
At this point, the wind has been blowing to the west, so our air quality has not been affected. The prevailing wind in this area is from the northwest, so once that kicks in and brings in all that smoke it could cause some issues.
Because it's been so dry this year, some of the horses that are prone to some respiratory issues are already showing some problems.
I started Cisco and Phantom on an anti-histamine at the beginning of April to see if that made a difference. The vet recommended trying hydroxyzine over cetirizine - it's cheaper and can be given once a day versus twice a day.
Cisco has been good about gobbling it down in his regular food. Phantom has not. She's smart and has held out for the apple sauce application, which she still won't eat and I have to syringe it into her. She happily sucks on the syringe, but I think that because it smells different she won't touch it otherwise.
I think it's helping them? It's hard to say at this point. Phantom has had a couple of days when she sounded a bit snuffly so she's had some dex nebulized on those days. I need to track it and see if that is linked to the odd day that I don't make it out to give them the antihistamine.
The plan is to start regularly nebulizing them with saline to try to reduce any issues related to the dryness and likely upcoming poor air quality. I did it with both horses tonight, and it's gonna suck up a bunch of extra time at the barn, so yeah, that's going to be great.
|All the grass fires in the area and a change in wind are bringing in the smoke.|
Their workload will be affected by the air quality. When the air quality sucks, they don't get ridden (unlike some other horses at the barn).
It could be a really long summer. Fingers crossed that it's a wet one!