Thursday, December 20, 2012

On the 4th Day of Abscess, My True Love...

This is what I saw when I looked out the window after the horses had eaten their breakfast and had their blankets removed.  Gabbrielle started laying down when she got her abscess, and I guess the other two horses decided that the warm sand was pretty comfortable too.

On the 4th day of abscess, my true love gave to me a horse that actually cantered.  Shhhhhh.  Don't tell the vet.  I'm supposed to keep her quiet while she's healing, but I let her out so she could lay in the sand, and then Bombay started teasing her and encouraging her to chase him.  She did.  She can trot and canter beautifully, but she still pulls her head up and limps at the walk.  The true test will be how she moves when she's off the Bute.

K.K. suggested that I soak her hoof in one of those round rubber trays with low walls instead of a bucket.  My son and I had to go out to buy some food for him now that he's at home for Christmas break, so I stopped at the feed store, my third trip there this week, and found that they did carry rubber feed pans of all sizes.  I picked up one that wouldn't require too much water for her Epsom salt soaks and introduced it to her.

She backed away.  I tossed it down by her foot.  She jumped in the air.  I tied her up and got all the poultice supplies out of the trailer along with some treats, put the treats in the pan and fed them to her.  Suddenly she had no qualms with that pan.  I wore it on my head and tried to get her to wear it on hers, but she kept raising her head to look inside it to see if there were anymore treats.

Then I picked up her foot and set it down inside the pan.  I quickly distracted her with treats in my hand and she stood in the pan a good long time.  When I got busy with other things, she backed up and the tray got stuck on her foot.  She startled a bit, but then relaxed quickly once she shook it off her hoof.  I tried to get her to step forward into the tray on her own.  I had to guide her leg, but she didn't fight it.  So, we are through the phase of having her stand in a dry pan.

Next time I'll work on getting her foot into a wet pan.  I think I'll start out with just water, so if she spills it I won't lose all that salt right away.  I think I might try clicker training to train all of the horses to step in a pan of water since I now know that most of them will have to do it anyway at some point in their lives.


Cindy D. said...

I'm sorry that is me laughing my butt off at you and her wearing the pan on your heads. Just the mental image, as far as the training technique...brilliant!
I have to laugh about her looking up inside for more treats! Silly girl.
I've only had to get one of my horses to stand in a bucket, and that is old Danny. But then there isn't much you can't do with him. After 25 or so years, there isn't much he hasn't seen. But if I ever do, I will sure follow what I learned here. Good stuff.
I'm headed down your way tomorrow, pretty excited to soak up some of your sunshine! So if you look up towards that Mountain and see someone just laying up there...that'll be me.
Merry Christmas!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Cindy D - Merry Christmas to you too and everyone who's still reading blogs during this busy time of year.

I wanted to give a quick update in a comment on Day 5 of the lameness instead of posting. I didn't give Gabbrielle her dosage of Bute to see if she was really healing, and this morning she was worse than ever. She could barely put any weight on the hoof. So, she's back on Bute. I'm starting to have my doubts that this is an abscess.

Both Bombay and Lostine have been hyper, galloping around, bucking and kicking out, so I suspect one of them may have kicked her. It's just odd that there's no swelling. Can a horse fracture a leg bone and not have it swell up? Perhaps she tore a muscle trying to evade a kick? Of course, I'm booked up today with equally important stuff, and can't get a vet out over the weekend or Christmas, so she'll have to live on Bute a while longer. My animals are incapable of needing veterinary care on a weekday between holidays. It's always got to be on a weekend or holiday.

fernvalley01 said...

Believe it or not She will likely enjoy the soak whether she has an abscess or not , if it is an injury the salts will still sooth her.Most of mine have taken no time at all to start enjoying the soak.
Merry Christmas

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Day 6 Update: I think I solved the problem. When I removed her poultice, I saw a crack forming on the bottom of her hoof wall and her heel was all wet, greasy and bruised from the poultice. Plus the poultice got some sand in it and that had been rubbing her each time she took a step.

I decided at this point the poultice was doing more harm than good, so I removed it for the night to let it air out. In the morning she was much better. The neighbors let their horses out, and Gabbrielle ran to the fence. She was so excited about the other horses that she forgot to limp while walking and started walking normal for the first time all week.

Rising Rainbow said...

The feed pan for a soak reminds me of Scandalous many years ago. Funny how a little thing like that can stick after all these years. Thanks for reminding me.

lauraatkins said...

MiKael!!! So glad to see you around. I've been thinking about you lately and hoping you were feeling better.

achieve1dream said...

Movement is actually good for abscesses because it encourages them to pop. My farrier had me wrap the vet wrap over the coronet (loosely so as not to cut off circulation) to keep stuff from getting into the poultice, but I can't even imagine trying to keep sand out!! That must be a nightmare! I'm glad she's feeling better. :D