|Have you seen this photo advert for a pool cover?|
|Or perhaps this one?|
Setting the Scene
Elephants and Cars
|This is the photo of the hole I posted on Facebook the next morning!!|
To Exit Or Not to Exit?
A Blasé Fellow
|The left knee had a much deeper gash than the left one|
|There was some concern about serious stifle injury|
His front knees were pretty scuffed up, and he had a small gash on his left stifle, as well as a long cannon bone graze on the left hind and a few fetlock grazes.
I cleaned the wounds with iodine in warm water and spread triple ant-biotic ointment on them. I also gave him 15 SMZs and prayed he’d be sound in the morning.
On Wednesday I gave him 15 more SMZs. I washed the wounds again and reapplied the triple antibiotic cream. Nothing had swollen overnight, which was a good sign.
The question then became: should I, or should I not, call the vet?
The injuries seemed superficial, with the possible exception of the one on his left knee. Better to be safe than sorry, I thought, and rang for a veterinarian’s opinion.
The main vet was busy, so a new lady came who was possibly not long out of vet school. She was very nice, but unfortunately began with the worst case scenario.
Being: broken left stifle bone and knees that would remain swollen and become arthritic.
On top of that, Cruz was to go on stable rest.
I explained that Cruz – in the immortal words of this vet's boss – ‘is not a candidate for stable rest.’
He appeared a little stiff in trot, unwilling to completely bend that left stifle joint. But that was to be expected, since it had taken a bit of a bruising.
I then asked for the best possible scenario?
This was: a bit of bruising round the stifle joint and no riding to let the wounds heal. I assured her that I had no intention of riding him until he was fully recovered!
So she shaved around the wounds and cleaned them off, before applying generous dollops of antiseptic cream.
I was to do this every day for five days, and give him 13 SMZs twice a day, as well as 2 bute for five days, and one daily for the next five days. She would check him in a week.
What I Actually Did
I explained that I would hope for the best and not change his daily routine. He would continue to wander in and out of his stall at will with the others.
The vet was fine with this when I explained that Cruz would go ballistic inside his stall and do more damage to himself than good. I am a great believer in allowing a horse to maintain his habits, if at all possible, to prevent inhibiting his recovery through becoming stressed.
If in seven days he appeared lame, I would reconsider his treatment.
The thought of his being on bute for 10 days bothered me a lot, so I consulted another vet. He said that I should give my horse UlcerGuard or the equivalent if I really wanted him on bute for that length of time. But 5 days would be better.
So I gave him 2 bute for two days, and 1 a day for the next three days.
I cleaned is wounds daily and plastered on the goop until Saturday, when I had to drive down to Florida. Gabe’s owner, Christina, then had to take over.
She did a wonderful job, and switched to Equaide a fantastic cream that prevents proud flesh (another concern I had) and brought down the swelling around the wounds – a big worry especially for that left knee.
She sent me photo updates to reassure me that he was healing well.
A week later two other friends, Kelli and Joan, were kind enough to be there for the vet when she finally arrived at 6:30 p.m. in the pouring rain. Joan had to trot Cruz up and down my barn aisle with most of the lights not working!
Cruz was pronounced sound.
The winter weather is hampering my efforts, but I am now working him again in walk. He is trotting and cantering just fine in his field.
When something like this happens to your horse, you think: This will make a good story if, and only if, it has a happy ending.
Thankfully, it has.
And now I’ve tied rope around the gates which lead into the pool area for added security. Not that I expect Cruz to wander over the pool cover again. Actually, it’s currently being repaired and the pool has turned into one huge ice block.
But I don’t want him walking on that, either!