This morning, he is weak in the back legs, is alternately hunched and swaybacked, is grinding his teeth, has full-body tremula, and there is scour on the ground. I emergency-paged the vet, and am waiting for a call back.
Suspicion #1 is urinary blockage. That is an ugly problem, my friends, and can be an ugly death if not resolved quickly.
Think good thoughts, please.
ETA1 (7:40 AM): The vet called. He said that the symptoms do not match blockage. Yay. Unfortunately, they don't match anything else specific, either, so there is no on-the-phone fix. He will call back in a few with an ETA for a vet arriving here for a visit.
ETA2 (8:40 AM): The vet should be here by 10:30. He thinks it's tummy flu or bacteria. After he called, I went out and took a hard look around. There's a clear history laid in the corner where Cookie was standing when I left the pasture last night. That corner is mostly dust from Hercules making it a rolling-area, so it's easy to find all of the pellet piles and piddle spots. There are urine stains that would have dried if they were older than yesterday, so Cookie isn't blocked as of last night. Judging by the piles of poop, Cookie's scours also started last night. The poop goes from pellets to plops to puddles - two of each - and I know there is a puddle up in the other corner where I found him this morning. His water bucket was pretty far down this morning, so he was drinking yesterday until he started feeling bad. So despite the scours, he shouldn't be dehydrated yet. This is a good thing. The bad thing is that he is evidencing so much pain. His tummy really hurts right now. Poor baby! I watched the other boys for a while to see if anyone else is sick. Gimble's poop is clumpy, but Astor's and Constantine's are not. Gimble isn't acting sick yet, but that only means he's a day behind Cookie, not that he's not sick. So it could be spreading. ::sigh::
ETA3 (11:40 AM): The vet came. The diagnosis is headsmackingly STUPID AS HELL. Cookie has an upset stomach and is now lame as well from... overeating. He is now in his own pasture and so doesn't have to fight for food. He also is getting more food now, since he is being fed first, and I habitually feed the boys more in the fall to give them fighting energy. ARGH AND DAMMIT. He's getting shots for pain, and activated charcoal for the scours, and I need to hunt down probiotics to reset his rumen. I also set out a dish of baking soda for him, one for Loki (who also got a charcoal dose), and one for Scout & Houston.
ETA4 (4:25 PM): The vet just called with the lab results. Cookie did not have any blood-based anemia. Total protein was 6.8. However, the fecal float for Cookie (strongylida) was 2,250 eggs per gram. That was a weird mix. For Gimble, his count was 550 strongylida eggs per gram and Coccidia* 750 eggs per gram. Note that I dewormed Gimble on Saturday and Cookie on Sunday, so while there are still eggs in these fecals, they should be flushing out of their system as the adults are killed. In order to make sure that the dewormer worked, I need to pull another sample the week of Sept. 12th. (*Corid can be put in llama water, no problem.)