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”.**
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…
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.
Apparently I prayed to the wrong people, because Sunday morning, I was greeted with…
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.
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…
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.
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. 🙂