Forgive my absence, it’s been busy. Hubby is back from his sabbatical, so hopefully I’ll be blogging a bit more often. I’ve some new designs lined up in the coming months and there will be a giveaway or two, so do stay tuned – it’ll hopefully get better!

Last Saturday was my long awaited day off. I knew by the Thursday, that if I got my backside in gear, I could get enough work finished by Friday afternoon to enable me to take Saturday off. Amazingly I did manage to achieve what I set out to accomplish – there’s a first for everything! So far, so good.

I planned to catch up on some housework and to sort out some clothes that I no longer wear. Depending on the weather, I might also have a few minutes tidying the weeds garden. Nothing too onerous, just a bit of this and a bit of that.

Jasper had been a bit off colour during the week and had been prescribed antibiotics and painkillers for the problems with his neurological condition. He wasn’t looking too good on Thursday and by Friday, he was looking miserable and spent most of the day in the field shelter. I brought him home early from the paddock, concerned about his discomfort. He stood in the stable, flicking his head towards his flanks, looking like something was causing him constant irritation, rather than utter agony. I assumed it was a mild but persistent episode of the sciatica that he gets every few months.

By Friday evening he was no better and the constant flicking of his head towards his rear end had brought him out in a sweat. I let him out into the garden to have a potter around, hoping it might help his muscles to ease a little. I grabbed a brush, to give him a gentle groom, whilst he wandered around. Very gently I brushed around his hips, hoping that I wasn’t causing further discomfort. I then moved onto his tail, gently parting the wavy tendrils to brush them out, as I do daily. He wasn’t happy but I persisted. Something wasn’t right somehow and I wanted to get a closer look.

Then I made a very, very gruesome discovery. His thick, wavy tail had been struck by flies and he had maggots crawling around the top of his tail. Lots of maggots, deeply hidden in my boy’s thick, wavy tail. No wonder the poor lad was irritated. I’m terrified of maggots, but overcame my fear somewhat! I rinsed his tail through, then shampooed it, hoping that it wouldn’t sting too much. I then cut away as much hair as I could from the maggoty patch and brushed away the disgusting creatures that had infested by boy’s beautiful tail.

There then followed a sleepless night, whilst I convinced myself that Jasper had gangrene and the vet would need to amputate. The vet duly arrived on Saturday, by which time Jasper was cheesed off with all the attention his bum was receiving, so he had to be sedated to allow the vet to treat him. Whilst sedated, Jasper decided to lean on me whilst snoozing… all 800kg of him. So, I propped up the front end of Jasper, whilst wondering what on earth the vet would find beneath all the tail hair. All the vet did find was a minor abrasion and some squished up maggots, which had been shampooed to death the previous evening.

Jasper was the third patient to be treated by the vet for fly strike that day. He now looks very peculiar. The top of his tail has been shaved back and his tail looks like a toilet brush, what with the fluffy, tufty bit at the end.

Even if I do say so myself, I keep my boy very clean and he’s groomed daily, but the vet told me that in optimum conditions, maggots can hatch in just a few hours. I’ve just about stopped itching, but hold my breath each time I brush Jasper’s tail.

And just for Theresa, here’s a pic of His Lordship:

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