Monday, September 14, 2009

I Guess I'll Be Training a Five-Year-Old Mare After All

With all the chores at home I didn't have time to do the marketing this weekend. I had planned to go to the market first thing in the morning before work today, but when I let the horses out of their stalls I spotted blood running down Gabbrielle's front left leg. I hosed it down and scrubbed it with soap and water. It looked like just a knee abrasion with some swelling, but since the injury was to her knee, I didn't want to take any chances.

I loaded her up and drove her to the vet hospital. With the exception of refusing the back out of the trailer, she did really well. She let me clean and bandage her wound at home, let me get her into the trailer, walked into the vet's building after a little worry and hesitation, let the vet stick all kinds of needles into her, take x-rays, clean and wrap her up. The pink bandage with duct tape was my dressing job at home. The green bandage is the vet's handy work...

 
It's surprising that he wrapped so much of her leg for just a knee wound, but he didn't want to take any chances to allow infection. The wrap also offers support to the leg and prevents edema, in which the fluids gravitate down to her pastern.

It was a good thing I took her in for an exam, because hidden in that abrasion was a puncture wound that created a pocket between muscle layers. The vet had to take x-rays from several angles with a needle inserted into the puncture to determine if it extended into a joint. Fortunately for us, her wound just missed the joint.

There were several doctors and assistants working on her, because my vet had injured his hand last night and had to get stitches. He wasn't wild about having to put latex gloves over his injury. There was also a doctor in training helping out. They scrubbed my horse's knee so clean that the scrubbing went on for a good ten minutes. They also stuck a needle attached to an IV into the puncture wound and flushed it out. They gave her a shot of antibiotics in addition to all the sedatives it took to relax her. If you own an Arab, you'll find yourself paying for extra sedatives when you visit the vet.

I was amazed by the number of layers of bandaging that the vet applied. I warned him that my horses will tear off their bandages with their teeth. He told me to get a jar of Vaseline, put some cayenne pepper in it, and smear it on the bandage. At that point I was glad I hadn't gone to the market yet, because I don't have any cayenne pepper laying around my house.

Gabbrielle needs to be on stall rest with some hand walking for the next week. I'll have to redress her wound every few days, give her antibiotics, and Bute. I looked around her stall to see what she could have injured herself on, and saw nothing. The water trough is the only thing in her stall, and it is pushed up against the wall. I'm thinking something must have happened last night, before I put her into her stall, but I didn't see her injury because it was dark. I don't have any sticks or nails laying around that the horses can puncture themselves on, so this is a bit baffling. The vet said sometimes if a horse just hits it hard enough on something, the skin and muscle layers separate causing a pocket that bacteria can get into. It looks like a puncture wound, even though nothing really got stuck up inside there.

Bombay seemed really worried about Gabbrielle when I brought her home with that huge wrap on her leg. He sniffed it and hung his head in shame, almost as if he were guilty of something. Here he is keeping her company by her stall.


Despite being locked up in quarantine, Gabbrielle seems to be in good spirits.


Since this is the third major injury she's had this year, I doubt I'll get her trained under saddle as a four-year-old. First she cut off the tip of her ear. Then she cut her coronet band. Now this on the same leg as her coronet band injury. Oh well. Maybe she'll have matured more by next year and we can make more progress.

21 comments:

Breathe said...

oh no! Poor Gabrielle. It's amazing how they get themselves into these situations.

I'm sure Gabrielle will completely blossom as a 5 year old! :)

fernvalley01 said...

If it is any consolation to you , my horse Juhnnie was not started till he was 5 , at four he pulled back ,threw a huge tantrum and went down 3 times before he stopped . In the proccess he injured a spot allong his ribbs ,right where the girth goes . As a result He waited till the next spring. What an amazing difference ! its like he was born broke . Calm, settled and one of the bravest horses I have ever known . Nothing flaps him and he is as honest as the day is long so...That year made an enormous difference

JeniQ said...

Oh No poor Gabrielle! I know it's frustrating but sometimes taking it slow and easy with training is best. Remember God has a purpose and a reason to everything so maybe all these postponements are his way of saying "not yet she's not ready".

Just think of all the important ground work you can reinforce between now and next spring though.

Anyway I hope she recovers quickly and can get out of that stall!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

That's too bad, but as Fern Valley says, maybe it'll be all for the better. Here's hoping Gabbrielle gets well quick!

Paint Girl said...

I am so sorry to hear about Gabbrielle's injury! That poor girl has been hurting herself quite a bit this year! Hope she heals up quickly, and no more injuries Gabbrielle!
Brandy scraped her back up last week, not sure if she rolled on something or Fritzy bit her, so I have been treating that. And now with a baby coming home soon, I can only imagine what kind of trouble she will get herself into! My sister's boy also kicked the fence and scraped up his leg the other day.

Alex said...

oh poor sweet girl. i hope she recovers well- im glad you decided to err on the side of caution... i always do, and "better safe than sorry" has served me well! Extra hugs and carrots, and more time to work on in-hand work!

Katharine Swan said...

Poor Gabbrielle! I'm glad you trusted your instincts and took her straight to the vet. I'm sure he put that huge wrap on it to be sure it didn't come off -- I've heard knee injuries are notoriously difficult to wrap. I hope she heals quickly!

And I agree with the others who have said starting her a bit later may be better anyway, because she'll be more mature. Not ideal, but not the end of the world, either!

Sydney said...

Poor Gabbrielle. I am in the same boat as you with injured horses. Indigo lacerated her shoulder last week. It's healing very well though. I did hope to take her to the high points award show this weekend but I guess I'll take the four year old instead. Oh well.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Geeze-o-wiz, NM! Do you ever get a break? I'm sure you're feeling frustrated, annoyed, worried, and overwhelmed. Hang in there, my friend. Let's hope Gabbrielle stays out of trouble for the rest of the year so your hair won't turn grey and your bank account doesn't empty out, too. Too bad we can't just wrap her up in bubble wrap, eh?

(((HUGS)))
~Lisa

photogchic said...

Bummer...poor girl. Good not to take any chances with a puncture that close to the joint. Keep us posted on how she progresses.

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

you know, they are as bad as toddlers. If they can get hurt, they will find a way!!! Sorry, that must not be a fun vet bill either :(

lytha said...

hey now, that was a breedist comment against arabs, that they need more sedation! i think maybe when baasha was younger, he may have required more, but now that he has seen so much in his life, he needs less tranq than other horses. so says my old vet in seattle. and the new vet, well, when he found my horse trapped under a bridge, and took his vital signs, he said "no sedation necessary" cuz baasha just lay there.

i think it is an individual thing, but also how many scrapes the horse has made it through.

poor accident-prone gabrielle, i hope she doesn't ruin her bandages. and that she heals soon!

handwalking will give you oportunities to enforce good manners when she doesn't want to be good!

°lytha

lytha said...

wait, you don't have any cayenne pepper? but you live in the SW! how do you make chili without it? (grin)
°lytha

allhorsestuff said...

Whoa Gabbrielle! That mare finds trouble! Despite all...she looked very calm. She has the sweetest face of all! So glad that you caught it and there was nothing going too far bad. Scarey.
"Schriners natural spray"( I know I spelled it incorrectly) works well for keeping animals off things and a great healer too. Has the Cayenne.
KK

Leah Fry said...

Good grief, she sounds as accident prone as Jaz, who can't be ridden half the time because of his injuries. Hmm, maybe he does that on purpose, lazy pony! Ya just gotta laugh. Glad she is okay.

sue said...

What a wise decision you made in that vet run!!! I am always amazed that for such large animals, they really can be quite fragile... best wishes to you and Gabbrielle.... I am sure she will be on the mend very soon.....

manker said...

better safe and healthy than sorry

can t put a price tag on the health and well being of our equine friends i say

gp

Lulu said...

There must be something in the air, as I am nursing a fresh horse injury too. The weanling filly at my place decided that fences are no match for her....and then she lost. Gar!

Callie said...

Glad you brought her in. Hope she heals well without any issues. Did you figure out how she did it? It's always a mystery to me, No matter how horse injury proof you make a place, they always manage somehow, don't they, goofballs. Anyway, hopes she's better soon!

Andrea said...

Oh my goodness!! She is like my little filly, if there is something to get hurt on they will find it. I am glad she will be okay though. She is too cute in her stall. And Bombay, my favorite, is so sweet to go and visit with her.

And it's alright to be training a five year old. My four year old just doesn't seem to be getting broke sitting in the pasture either!! LOL! We'll be in the same boat!

Once Upon an Equine said...

Oh dear. Horses are such big, but fragile creaturs. I hope Gabrielle heals quickly. That's quite the bandage job done at the vet office. Looks very good. Good idea about the cayenne pepper and Vaseline.