Friday, September 18, 2009

Another Attack of the Great White Cotton Sheet

The vet called this morning to check up on Gabbrielle.  I told him about the incident of her ripping the tie bracket off the side of the trailer while trying to get away from the white cotton sheet still wrapped around her leg.  He said, "Ah, she thought a snake had got her."

He told me to go ahead and start exercising her at a walk more, so I went outside and did so.  Then I put her in the round pen with some hay while I cleaned her stall and the water troughs.  Of course, both of my nosy neighbors had to come out right then and work on that truck they have parked next to my round pen.  I thought it was odd that they could have dealt with that anytime during the cooler morning hours and didn't.  But as soon as I came outside to work with my horses in the heat of the midday sun, they thought it would be a good time to start banging around under that truck.  Fortunately, Gabbrielle was more interested in her hay than in what they were doing this time.  As soon as I went into my house, they wen't into theirs.  I guess they didn't have to work on the truck after all.

I went outside later to put Gabbrielle back into her stall after she was done eating, and discovered that my bandage had slipped all the way down under her knee.  Her wound was exposed with flies on it.  Fortunately, my son was home from school, so I showed him my diagram of all the different layers and laid them out for him to hand to me in the order that they needed to be applied.

As soon as I started cutting the old bandage off with my sharpest quilting scissors, I knew I was in trouble.  The many layers of gauze and cotton had bunched up too thick for me to cut through quickly.  Sure enough, before I could cut the entire bandage off, Gabbrielle looked down, saw the cotton padding spread out around her ankle, and she took off.  I don't remember if I pulled the cord or my son did, but this time we released the lead rope from the trailer bracket.  I did have my son standing at her head holding the rope, but it was also loosely tied to the bracket.  I tried grabbing the lead rope and hanging on while she pulled, but the rope instantly started popping blisters on my hand that I got from my rope burn the day before.

I let go, and Gabbrielle went flying down the RV lane into the back pen.  I shut her in there while she did her acrobatics that eventually ripped all the bandaging off her leg.  Once the last bit was off, I opened the gate and signaled for her to come to me.  She sheepishly walked up to me and let me lead her back to the trailer.

I got out a fresh sheet of cotton and started waving it in the air at her.  She was much more relaxed than when I did this before.  I then slapped it against different parts of her body, wrapped and unwrapped it from around her leg.  She didn't seem too concerned despite her freak out over the old cotton being on her leg.  It's almost as if she has decided that the cotton is okay as long as I am holding it.  The problem is if I step back away from her leg while some cotton is wrapped around it.  Then it suddenly assumes a life of its own and is no longer a part of her mom.

The skin has healed quite a bit since Wednesday.  On Wednesday it was still bleeding.  I hosed off her leg, because I wanted to clean it well and thought it might feel good after having all that itchy wrap on it.  While I was waiting for it to dry, my nosy neighbor came out again and started slamming doors on his truck.  I had checked on Gabbrielle through my window every few minutes throughout the day, and never saw my neighbors outside.  They only come out when I come out.  I said to my son, "I wish that man would go away.  He always has to come out and start making a racket every time I try to do something sensitive with the horses.  Now he's carrying something heavy across his yard, and you know he's going to drop it.  I might send you over there to tell him to be quiet for ten minutes so I can get this done."

Almost as if the man heard me, he went back into his house.  I doubt he heard me, because he's half-deaf, but I suppose he could have bought himself one of those hearing aids that can pick up conversations from across the street.  Have you seen that commercial in which they show this nosy woman wearing some hearing device listening in on a conversation between two of her neighbors from across the street?  I can't believe someone would buy something like that just so that they can eavesdrop.  

Anyway, while I was applying the fresh wrap, my pinky fingernail bent all the way backwards.  It kept bending back every time that I wrapped another rotation.  It was quite painful, but I didn't dare let go of the bandages for even a second.  I tried wrapping in the figure 8 formation like fernvalley01 suggested, so hopefully this bandage will last longer.  I also wrapped it higher above her knee so that it would take longer to slip past it.  And, BONUS!  We remembered the Vetwrap layer.  It looks like both Gabbrielle and me are learning from our mistakes, and soon we will be pros at handling leg and knee injuries.


Vaquerogirl said...

Poor Gabby!. I have a few suggestions for you though- take them or leave them but they may help.

If you have to tie her up get one of those tie rings and a 14 foot rope. Most horses only pull back if they feel trapped and stop after a foot or two, she will still be tied, but not hard and fast.
Have a helper lift and hold the same side foot on her back leg. She won't be able to go far with both legs in the air. A side hobble also would work for this, but you should take a little time to train the horse to this first.
Or a combo of both to maximize your safety. Hope your poor hands heal fast and Gabby too!

Sydney said...

Sounds like you have the same trouble with Gab that I had with my pony, Keebler. Once he found he could break off the ties on the trailer the darn bugger would do it more and more and more and for stupid excuses just to become untied. I realized when things like trailer ties can go flying theres chances someones gonna get conked by a piece of metal.
The reason he pulls back and none of my other horses is by the time I got him he already had broken loose from a bunch of things and it became an ingrained habit. When he got scared he pulled back and learned things would break and he could run away and boy did he. A very bad habit (trust me I've dealt with more than my share of broken halters, leads and four trailer brackets at 30$ replacement each just from him a 500 pound pony) but he does much, much better at the hitching post. My horse hitching post is too tall for him and he can almost slip under it so I made one specifically for him and he hasn't pulled back once. Whole thing didn't cost me more than an hour and a half labor and 50$, if that. Very easy to make and less stuff to break.

fernvalley01 said...

Hope it works for you. Dang I would be ready to strangle your nieghbors!

Paint Girl said...

Oh no! The scary bandages again!
Your new wrap job looks great! Hopefully this one won't slip down.
I wish your annoying neighbors would just go away so you could have some peace around there!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I think you did a wonderful job wrapping her leg!
Hope she heals quickly!!

Leah Fry said...

Nice wrap job! Looks like a pro did it.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

And I hope it's sooner than later so your poor hand can heal from those painful blisters.
Your wrappings looks great, by the way.

As for the nutty neighbors, I keep picturing you playing an amusing game, where you come outside...and they do, too. The you go back in....and they do, too. And you do this over and over, until they finally get either too tired, annoyed or bored. And you can have the last laugh! :)


Jan's Place USA and Mt Forest Pictures said...

yeah.. I agree with Paint girl..I think you will be ready to work for your vet when this is over!

Poor you, bad enough to have hurt horse issues, but crappy neighbors as well, that stinks!