Of Tendons and Things.

Hey y’all!

How about a Willow update, since she’s determined to make me pull all the hair out of my head and all the money out of my wallet? Her cellulitis was nipped in the bud well enough that by Saturday, while she still has the scabs on her legs, the swelling and heat was gone out of the whole leg. Per the vet, I was allowed to put her out in the indoor, or a small paddock, for a little while. So I stuck her in the indoor, where I could keep a close eye on her for a few minutes while I cleaned her stall and did my usual morning business. She trotted around a little bit, and then hung out by the gate watching me while I watched her.

I finally decided, after we stared at each other for another 10 minutes or so, that she had had enough, and I’d take her out for a bit of a stroll and go in search of the good grass. I put her halter on before I did my usual check of all her limbs and picked her feet out (we just got new sand!) and noticed that her LEFT front leg was warm. What?!

Into the aisle we went, so I could see with better light. Sure enough…

whatthefruitbat

I said multiple bad words, cried a little, and I may or may not have thrown a fit in the wash rack. What is up with this horse? I was convinced that she’d totally blown the tendon… because really. Look at it! I put in a call to the vet, but it was after office hours, so I didn’t expect an immediate response. In the meantime, I cold hosed her, dried the leg off (it’s a bad idea to wrap a wet leg), rewrapped her, gave her a bute and put her back in her stall (which I also added another load of shavings too, as I’ve always been taught that you bed deeply for tendon injuries).

The rest of the weekend was pretty uneventful. We came home and I made a batch of cookies while Shannon was napping, mostly for the sole purpose of eating the dough. This is not a healthy living blog, just in case you all were mistaken. 😉

Shannon is working on the ‘b’ noise and her current favorite phrase is “oh boy oh boy oh boy”. It’s adorable, but the little bugger refuses to do it on camera. We’ll get there! She’s also been obsessed with her books. She was gifted some awesome cardboard books from her Great-Grandma (thanks!!) and she can’t get enough of reading. It’s the most adorable thing to watch her collect her little pile and then sit on the floor and read to herself.

bookworm

She will sit on my lap and we’ll ‘read’ (so she’ll turn the pages as fast as she can) all afternoon. It’s getting a little bit harder, since my belly is getting in the way and there is some serious wiggling, but the kid come from a long line of book worms so I guess I expected it sooner or later! I’m glad that we are in a books are better than TV stage, and I can now recite “Brown Bear, Brown Bear” from memory. If anybody needs a story before bed, let me know…. I got it down!

Saturday night, I went out to the barn with the expectation of a broken horse. I figured she’d have herself hanging from the rafter, or missing a limb, but all was well. I unwrapped her (standings wraps should only be on about 12 hours at a time before being taken off and re-set) and cleaned her stall while I let her legs breathe a little bit. The swelling had gone down significantly, but it was still really really hot. Back to the wash rack for us for a soak. Rewrapped, and let her have a few minutes of grass behind the barn before we got chased back inside by the horseflies. We had to wait for Rocket to finish lounging in front of her fan before I could put her back though. Silly cat.

rocket

I have an amazing husband, who let me sleep in a little bit Sunday morning, before I went back out to reset her wraps. Things were actually looking much better on the leg front (whoop!) and he even cleaned my stall for me. He’s a winner, that one. I hosed her again, chatted a bit with a few other boarders and then came home just as Mike and Shannon were devising their latest method of Dixie torture.

oy

Poor dog.

We hit up Once Upon a Child downtown and I was pretty disappointed by what a mess the store was. We got a few things for both girls, and then called it good. The furniture was… scary, and I was not up to wading through all that mess. *shudder*

Back to the barn, where Willow was looking good (although quite angry that she was out of hay). I hosed her leg again after chores, and then grazed her a bit while it dried and I killed multiple giant horseflies that attempted to carry both of us away. The bugs down here are really something else.

Are you totally bored yet?

Today the vet was able to get out to ultrasound the leg. She seemed really pleased that I had managed to get all the swelling down, and agreed after she saw the picture that she was glad that I called! So the prognosis?

No tear, however there is a spot that she was a bit concerned about, towards the very top of her superficial tendon. She wasn’t sure if it was a new injury, or something old that she tweaked out in the arena. Interesting.  We are going to keep it wrapped up tight for a bit, and she’s going to spend more time inside. From there we are going to slowly work her back up to outside time. She said the most important thing right now, to make sure that we don’t blow it wide open, is to keep the tendon supported as best that I can while she’s out and while she’s working. Luckily I’m not riding her right now so we’ll give the spot lots of time to patch itself up. I’m on the hunt for a solid pair of turn out boots for her now. Polo’s are my best option for work, per the vet. Finger’s crossed that it doesn’t become a problem that we will be continuously dealing with, and that because I’m so anal in my leg checks, I caught the issue in time, before it turned into the tragedy that I was pretty well convinced it would be. The vet agreed, after seeing the picture, it looked like a classic bowed tendon to her and she was shocked that the damage wasn’t more. If she was being truthful, or just realized that I’d just funded a new truck for her and was being nice, we’ll never know. All I know is that I’m so thankful to have had teachers and mentors throughout the years who have taught me to really LEARN every inch of my horse, so I can catch things like this before they get worse. It’ll save lots of time, money, and heartache.

Willow was the perfect lady during the entire visit, happily snuggling with me while they clipped and ultrasounded the leg. They had nothing but wonderful things to say about her and how well behaved she was, which is always nice for me to hear, since we had a bit of a bumpy start. 🙂

Anyways, I’m sure that y’all are screaming for this to just be done by now, so I’m off to use the rest of nap time to research boots that will be easy for Mike to put on properly and stand up to being worn a lot, as well as buy some new standing wrap quilts… mine are looking a bit deflated! 😉

Any boot suggestions from my readers?

my favorite helper

The best little helper ever!

The Boo-Boo Bucket.

Hey y’all! I hope that everybody is doing well!

We are doing pretty well here, except for the re-emergence of the Boo-Boo Bucket. My first aid kit for Willow is actually one of those white 5 gallon pails that will hold all my various and sundry medications, standing wraps, thermometer, sponges, etc. I bleach it out religiously. It’s not the best for storage, but I don’t even care because it holds EVERYTHING that I need. Anyways… when the BBB comes out, you know that something’s up.

Now, because Willow lives a life with a Mommy who is a bit OCD about her health and safety, she’s going to come up with more and more creative ways to try to kill herself. It’s basic horsey law. The poor palomino gelding who lives down the road in the run down barn packed with rusty old equipment, contained by a fence held together by barbed wire, broken dreams, and spit will inevitably live until 48 without so much as a scratch.  Willow, who has a lovely, deeply bedded stall with a fan and pristine water buckets and safely fenced debris free pasture, will not. We proved this theory last week! (And all last summer, with the Lyme, scarcoid and resulting surgery, and then the abcess from hell… and then again this summer… with the chronic hives…)

Thursday night she came in, and I noticed that she had a small-ish nick on her right hind hock. It wasn’t swollen or hot, so I cleaned it out, slapped some bag balm on it and called it good. Friday, it didn’t look too bad, perhaps a little bit swollen, but it was a scratch and I expected it. I cleaned it out with some Betadine scrub, and put some SWAT on it before she went out with her new BFF. Friday night it looked about the same, so I cleaned it out again and put some Ichthammol on it for the night in the hopes that since Ichthammol is a drawing salve, it would pull the little bit of heat out.

Saturday morning that proved to be a huge fail. Cue a blown up, hot hock, with swelling going halfway down her cannon bone. **Just as an aside, I know that some non-horsey people read this mess….so there may be pictures from here on out that y’all might qualify as “yucky”.**

fatleg

stupidthing

All because of this tiny little thing!

Cue frantic text message to my BFF Ashley, queen of calming my nerves and all things horsey common sense. She runs Violet Hill Farm in PA and I thank my lucky stars that she is in my life. Seriously. She assured me that yes, some swelling was normal, but also agreed that because she had most likely done it outside (and we have no clue how), and it was right on the joint, a vet visit might be a good idea. I called 4 (!) different vets. Got two answering services who said that they would be in touch shortly to make the appointment. Nobody called me back all day… Umm… what?

In the meantime I cold hosed the leg, and kept her in. The swelling continued to move down the outside of her cannon bone, and was warm to the touch. I begged some Bute off of another boarder (I threw my paste away after it got shipped her, because it was open and I didn’t want to poison her to death or something) and prayed to everybody that I could think of. Luckily she didn’t have a temp (the look that she gave me when the thermometer beeped at 99.1 and I did a happy jig with my hand still up her butt was priceless… the joys of horse ownership).

By Saturday night, things looked a little bit like this…

Satnight

You can see (well maybe you can’t, it’s a horrible picture… but I can see) the swelling moving down the outside of her cannon bone and settling over her pastern, which was also hot. Wtf, chuck?! I gave her another bute, wandered around the farm looking for some good grass to get her out and moving a little bit (she was never lame) and did some more praying.

grazing1

Those ears… ❤

 

Apparently I prayed to the wrong people, because Sunday morning, I was greeted with…

wtf

wtf2

And she was MISERABLE on it. She didn’t want to walk, didn’t want me to touch it, and was just feeling sorry for herself. It was warm to the touch… and still, no vets had called me back. What is with this ‘horse capital of the world’ bologna? Really? No vets work on the weekend?

Anyways. So to the wash rack she went for some cold hosing, more Betadine, and some snuggling (because we all know that snuggling is what REALLY makes boo-boos better). She was not pleased, but you could tell that she was happy to have the cool water flow over it. Another Bute went down her throat (she’ll eat the pills straight out of your hand, like candy! Best. Horse. EVER), more Ichthammol on the wounds, and she got to hang in her stall for the day.

"Moooommmmyyyy... my leeegggg huuurrrtttssss!"

“Moooommmmyyyy… my leeegggg huuurrrtttssss!”

On the plus side, her hock and leg was cool and tight. All the swelling had diminished, and the cut had scabbed over. We traded one for another, I suppose. I hate you Murphy.

Still no call from a vet all day on Sunday. By Sunday night, Homeslice was doing a macarana to keep me from doing anything with the leg, but I cold-hosed it and did more praying. She was feeling rather sorry for herself, and even let me hug her face. That doesn’t ever happen with her trying to bite me, so I knew she wasn’t feeling the greatest. Luckily she still wasn’t running a fever and was eating/drinking well (with the help of the wonder product that is Equine Aid).

At home in the meantime, Mike was on baby duty…

Right before a fun trip to Wal*Mart!

Right before a fun trip to Wal*Mart!

He has a great sense of humor, no? He dressed her specifically for the trip. 

Monday morning came around with not a huge amount of change to the leg, reported from Mike in the morning, except more swelling. I FINALLY got a call back from the first vet that I had called and luckily she was able to come out at around noon that same day. Phew. Thank the goodness. Shannon even took her nap in the car with the AC going during the entire visit. Yes. I was concerned about juggling both.

As soon as I pulled Wil out of her stall, she said “Yup. Cellulitis.” Wheeee! (NOT). So she got shot up with a super mix of antibiotics to get her started, a loading dose of Uniprim, and a tetnus booster too, just for funsies. Homeslice was the perfect patient though… seriously. It helped that the vet did the appropriate amount of fawning over her, and Mom supplied cookies like a Pez dispenser.

I was left with instructions to cold hose, poultice, bute 2x’s a day, Uniprim once a day (that’s really fun, since I get to shoot it right down her throat), hand walk, snuggle, and no turn out. Because, you know… I really need more to do during the day. 😉 Shannon and I set out to gather various supplies, throw all my standing wrap supplies in the wash, and then back to the barn to wrap her with clean wraps. Monday was a rather long day.

prettyinpurple

I have also determined that I’ve forgotten just how messy poulticing is, and that when you can’t find brown paper bags, regular paper towels actually work pretty well! I also just want to take a moment to appreciate myself, because trying to crouch down to standing wrap a horse that REALLY doesn’t want you to have anything to do with her ouchie leg, while you are 34 weeks pregnant is not an easy feat, thank you very much! I’m getting better at it though, since I really have anal wrapping syndrome (it’s a legit syndrome… ask Mike) and won’t let anybody else do it.

Now that it’s Wednesday, she’s doing much better and the majority of the swelling has gone out of her leg, she’s back her to usual Willow self, and she could care less when I poke around at the leg. Her knee is still a bit large, but the vet said that that was to be expected, as apparently knee’s take the longest to de-balloon.  Luckily the cut missed the joint. I still have no clue how she did it (since she was in her deeply bedded, clean, and gone over with a fine toothed comb stall…). Hopefully after her 10 days, I can put the Boo-Boo Bucket away for a while! It’s always depressing to see it sitting out and full of stuff… I may have to get a Boo-Boo Bucket 2 after this round.

Horses, I’ll tell you! Never a dull moment. Ever!

Luckily she’s SO worth it. 🙂

willowsnuggles

Whats Up?

I know that I said that I would update “soon”… but my parents were here for the week and family totally trumps blog. 🙂

shannongrampy

 

Since they live almost 1,000 miles away we haven’t got a lot of family time since we’ve moved, and it was great to soak up every moment with them! It’s always so hard when they have to leave, and it usually has me cursing the Army for a few days. It’s been a harder adjustment for me down here, and while I’ve been a lot happier since we bought the house, I’m still incredibly home sick. It comes with the territory though, I suppose, and I’m so lucky that I have somebody as supportive as Mike to listen to me whine for days. 🙂

Speaking of Mike, we celebrated our wedding anniversary yesterday and I’m pretty sure I love him even more than the day that I married him. Is that possible? Probably! He’s my best friend, and I can’t imagine building this life with ANYBODY else in the whole world. I love you, babe!

weddingday

And…umm… sexy much?

We also bit the bullet and upgraded our Jeep. With Charley’s impending arrival, we just won’t be able to fit everybody into the smaller style SUV. For around town, sure, but for long trips home it was just going to be too crowded. The other issue was that with a car seat behind the driver’s side, Mike couldn’t put his seat back comfortably, but also keep the seat installed safely…soooo Momma got new wheels. 🙂 We opted for a Dodge Durango and I can honestly say that it’s the most favorite car that I’ve driven. Ever. It has every convenience that I think I’ll ever need (umm, keyless entry much?!) and it’s easier to pilot around town than the truck was (we traded that for Mike’s current car). I think that I would live in it if I could. There is probably more than enough room! Plus I still have enough power to haul Willow around. 😉 We ALMOST ended up with a mini-van, but I just can’t go there. 

newwheels

It also rides quietly enough that Shannon will FINALLY fall asleep in the car again. I was missing that… a lot. We turned her forward facing, because she was getting really, REALLY hot in both cars since they didn’t have AC in the rear. We talked at length with her pediatrician about it, and she was beginning to show signs of heat stroke when it got really hot, even if I let the car cool down first. Since her car seat is so padded, it wasn’t allowing for air flow. They recommended that we turn her around so that she can get some air from the front seat. She is safely past the height and weight minimums (although I desperately wanted to keep her turned backwards, as it’s safer, heat stroke is not something I’m going to mess with either) It made a pretty big difference, but she stopped falling asleep. Whomp whomp. Not anymore… Ivan (the Durango) rocks her right to sleep almost every time we go for a ride. AND it has air vents in the ceiling in the rear seats, so we might try adjusting them and flipping her back around.  I’m pretty thrilled. 😉

sleepyshannon

 

Willow has also, finally, made a friend that she can go out with at the new barn. His name is Warren and she is smitten! She’s doing really well, and I’m still loving having total control over every aspect of her care. My work with her on the lunge and long lines is progressing as well as I can hope since I can’t seem to get out of my own way, and she’s really starting to understand how to use her body properly. We’ve been going for walkabouts of the property as well, to give her exposure to everything and anything that I can think of, and she handles everything like a pro. She’ll get snorty, but that’s about it. It’s getting harder for me to keep up with her on the long lines, so I’m feeling she’s going to go on a bit of break for the next month or so. 😉 I don’t think that she’s going to mind too much. The only thing that we keep failing horribly at is standing in the wash rack. She. Just. Can’t. Help. But. WIGGLE! We’ve been spending quite a bit of time in the wash rack as a result. She IS getting better about having her face washed, and we’ve come to a good compromise once I got my act together and bought a sponge. She loves when I scrub her teeth. Weirdo.

bffs

 

I can’t believe that baby C is going to be here in just 8 short weeks and all we have is a car seat and two outfits for her. We’re kind of behind the 8 ball on that front, but I’m not stressing about it. We bought WAY more than we needed with Shannon, and ended up not using a lot of it. Total first time Mom syndrome. Now that it’s my second time around, we’re taking a much more relaxed view. Live and learn! I am bummed to remember that I gave away all of Shannon’s newborn clothes to a friend, so we’re probably going to have to restock on everything from newborn through 6 months or so. Oh darn… clothes shopping for little girls is a huge drag. 😉 I know that I’m beyond ready to be done being pregnant though. Or really, just fall asleep without tossing and turning for 4 hours first. Either or.

Finally, the other thing that’s rocked my totally dweebish world? Glade came out with their fall scents! Whoop!! I spent an obscure amount of money at Wal Mart the other day when I saw them. I love anything and everything fall related, like really, REALLY love it. The Fall Hayride scent was my favorite this year, with the Pumpkin coming in a close second. I’m a big Glade fan. It’s the only product that I’ve found that really makes my house smell yummy, without being overpowering. And trust me, with two dirty dogs, a toddler, a horse, and two cats (one of which refuses to cover his poop… YUCK) it’s a good product if it can make my house smell good. The fact that it doesn’t give me a headache is a total plus.

glade

And really, that’s about it. I mean, if I’ve gotten to posting about Glade smells, you know that I’m reaching for content here… ;). I hope that y’all are doing well… I’m off to go play with my littlest peanut and order some Willow goodies from SmartPak!