Tomorrow will be the fourth week since I went out to feed in the morning and found that Lily had suffered a very nasty puncture / laceration on the front of her right leg. The sutures came out last Friday, but her vet wants her to be restricted while the last of the wound closes. The bottom of the sutured flap did not take hold, so I am still bandaging the area until it finishes healing. After I apply the relatively small pressure bandage, I put a large bulky wrap to protect the area from being knocked when she gets up and down.
The vet did give her okay Friday to extend her stall with corral panels, so she has about double the amount of space to move around now. Fortunately, Lily is a doll to handle while she is in her stall. When we tried to take her out of the stall Friday so the vet could remove the sutures, the silly fool was trying to do airs above the ground, so we moved her back into the stall before proceeding. It is going to be a challenge to reintroduce her to the great outdoors without her trying to kill herself all over again.
Thirty years old, and going strong.
Lily’s injury looked great when the vet was out Monday to check the wound and change the dressing. I think the yellow one looks better on her than the previous pink one. She is being held by another vet who is visiting my vet and going on calls. This vet seemed to be an expert in finding and scratching the itches that a horse just can’t get to herself. Lily started doing a little reciprocal grooming and we had to gently dissuade her.
The sutured wound looked great when unwrapped: no signs of swelling or infection. Lily received another shot of long-lasting antibiotic, and I took a couple of dozen shots of the unwrapping / re-wrapping process. (The long-lasting antibiotic is more expensive than other choices, but I’ve had enough trouble getting antibiotics down reluctant horses that I decided to go for it.) I will be making the next two dressing changes, and we hope the vet will not have to come out again until it is time to remove sutures. I took photos so I could review the process before I do it, though I think I have a fairly clear mental picture. I have a lot of experience wrapping injuries, but every vet seems to have their own idea of the best way to do it.
Thursday morning, I went out to feed and found Lily lame on her gory right front. I gave the horses their concentrate and went back in the house and called the vet, who was here forty minutes later. The vet was here three hours evaluating, cleaning, medicating and stitching the injury. I was astonished when I got the bill: it was less than I expected for that time. Lily helped by standing like a statue for most of the three hours, so she didn’t require sedation. (Lily did have a local block, of course.)
Lily still isn’t out of the woods. The injury was a deep v-shaped puncture – laceration in the front between the fetlock and pastern joints. It will still be several days before we can be certain those joints have escaped the risk of infection. (At that point she would require surgery, which we have already decided we would not do as she is a very poor candidate for surgery.) Every morning when I see her standing square, bearing equal weight on both front legs I sigh with relief. I actually enjoy seeing her stand on the injured leg pawing with the other foot, which normally annoys me.
So far, she seems to be almost enjoying the stall rest. I hope she continues to do so: the projected three weeks can seem like an eternity when a horse is on stall rest and doesn’t like it. She is getting a little belligerent about her daily dose of bute (a horse pain killer/anti-inflammatory), but I hope I only have to give it to her for two more days. The vet comes back tomorrow to check on her, give her more anti-biotic, and rewrap the leg.
Magic the mare is really starting to show her age (around 30) but is still fairly lively. She can’t eat much hay anymore so she takes it out of the tire feeder and dumps it on the ground. This is rather annoying given what we are paying for hay these days. Her other hobby is chasing my chestnut mare Lily. Lily is half Magic’s age, and probably weighs 400 pounds more than Magic, but that doesn’t seem to matter.
Ireland, County Limerick, Clonshire Equestrian Center, October 2006