Friday, September 2, 2022

Keeping The Vets Busy


Holy crap. This has been a very shitty week. And an expensive one. I admit to having been extremely lucky the last 12 years of horse ownership having had two barefoot horses with only a single emergency vet appointment in all that time. I guess I was long overdue but maybe not all in one week, huh?

We will begin with Leonard because you all already know his story. Though to be honest my confidence level in this vet is low and I'm not really sold on the initial diagnosis. Doesn't actually matter at the moment though because the fetlock wound trumps the mystery lameness as far as recovery goes. He had his one month recheck for the suspensory strain and two week recheck for the fetlock wound this morning. It didn't begin especially well as the vet looked at me and asked why I was even there. Umm...because you told me to make this appointment a month ago?? 

I don't have a recent Lenny picture so you get handsome Hamilton instead

Then he trotted him out and he was lame to the leg which wasn't what I had hoped to see. Again, I'm not convinced we are rehabbing the right thing but right now we need to give the wound its time to heal anyway. The good news was the US showed the suspensory looked nearly normal (so why is he still so incredibly lame in the exact same manner he was a month prior? Well...uh...suspensory tears can take 8 months. But he didn't have a tear...the suspensory had barely any damage at all and was mostly just a little thickened and inflamed which is gone now. Oh..well...lets see again once the wound is healed.) with maybe just a small area of disorganization. I didn't expect much else to be seen but was at least happy he didn't injure it when he fell two weeks ago. 

He also went ahead and used the US on the wound area as I was worried about a fluid collection just inferior to it. Thankfully it was serous fluid and not an abscess. Apparently he "did the absolute worst tissue damage in the worst way possible" (thanks vet for that) and basically cheese grated through the skin and subQ tissues. It is healing but has a pocket of fluid to this region. This can go one of two ways 1) the fluid turns to a cosmetically unappealing but otherwise harmless ball of scar tissue or 2) the body creates a false joint which can get infected and pose issue and may need surgically resected. Oh please Universe, I have had enough, make it be #1. I asked if there was anything I could due to tip the scales in my favor and was told no. So time will tell. 

Hard to see in this pic, but Queen Bee has her fall coat coming in with more dapples than ever. It is a super glossy dark red bay. She at least is looking and feeling super healthy. 

Lenny's plan is to continue stall rest and dressings until the wound heals and then call to have the leg rechecked. My plan is to get that recheck with the fabulous Dr. Hay instead of this guy who I believe had suspensory on the brain and refuses to look past that to anything else even when the horse did not block sound to any blocks of the leg (oh well..the goal of blocks isn't to get them 100% sound, right? It is just a guide). I think it is higher up in the hip or SI personally, but we will see. 

Next up is Pete - my 34 year old Old Man Winter. We have been rotating Pete, Gem and Hammy on 12 hour babysitting shifts to keep Lenny happy inside. About a week ago Pete came in gimpy on the front left. We kept him in that night and he came out of the stall even worse. It sorta came and went, worse when he was left outside, a little better after being in. Then two days ago he couldn't walk on either front foot and we felt heat. Cue absolute panic. We called the vet and they came this afternoon. 

Standing on his blocks for xrays like a good boy

She didn't find an abscess and radiographs were negative for any coffin rotation or major arthritis. He does have some in his pastern and coffin joint, worse to the left, but nothing all that bad given his age. The xrays did show that his has paper thin soles and she found them to be "squishy" on her exam as well as tender. Our ground is rock freaking hard right now. The clay around here is great for absorbing rain. The problem is that we didn't get any rain the entire month of August which makes the clay cement like. The super hard ground coupled with his thin soles is making my poor Old Man sore. 

Pete's plan is either boots or shoes with pads plus keratex to harden the soles until he either grows a thicker sole or the ground softens. 

The worst pic the Hubby could possibly snag one night, but it is the best I have. I am pretty sure I managed to eek out like 4 canter strides in a row here.  

Last there is Fluffzilla who came up mysteriously significantly lame on his front right leg yesterday morning. He had gone outside happy for morning chores, gave a loud yelp and went lame. Theory is he got bit by a snake. The Hubby shaved the leg at work and it smelled like death. Likely a Copperhead then. Steroids and antibiotics helped and today he is much improved in comfort. The leg looks angry but it no longer is oozing or smelling like death. 

I now need a break. No more vet bills. Leonard alone has cost me nearly $3,000 in the last month in vet bills and an additional $175 for his new egg bar hind shoes. Pete was $400 this afternoon and lord help my bank account if he doesn't like boots and needs shoes with pour in pads like Hammy is in because those things are $$$$. He will get them if he needs them, but I really hope he doesn't. I will be trying Eeyore's boots on him tonight to see if they fit and if he keeps them on without issue. 

Fluff's shaved, angry leg looks like a raw chicken drumstick. 

Knock on all the wooden things that the rest of our motley crew is doing fairly well. I've been riding Hammy three times a week for the last several weeks and things are....interesting...on that front. I even had a mini lesson on leg yields on him to help install those and get him more laterally responsive. If I find the energy I'll write about him because he really reminds me of Gem when I first got her only now I am a much better rider with more tools in my box. 

Anyway...that is it for now. I hope everyone else is having a better go around than I am.