Thursday, July 7, 2011

If it isn't one thing, it's everything at once

Like I said, Blue had overreach scars when I met him. And after I had him home, I found that he would nick and cut and reopen those wounds almost daily. I decided to remedy that with a pair of bell boots. I figured I'd leave them on him 24/7 to give everything time to heal, then re-evaluate.

Aside from a little trial-and-error getting vetwrap under the boots to prevent them rubbing his pasterns, everything was working as-planned. The scars were looking better, he wasn't banging himself up during conditioning, and the boots only cost $8 a pair, so he could lose as many of them in the pasture as he wanted.

Then on Tuesday evening, when I went to catch him to go for a ride at the lake, I found this:

And then this:
There used to be a heel bulb here.

I am lucky to live in a community that has an emergency after-hours vet on-call. I paged him, and he called me back within minutes with the (not unexpected) advice to hose it, betadine it, wrap it, and get Blue in to see a vet ASAP tomorrow. He said there wasn't anything he could do that night that couldn't be done cheaper the next day. 

As often happens, the betadine actually made it look worse.

My usual vet is semi-retired and wasn't working on Wednesday. His backup was booked through the whole day. So I called the Other Local Clinic. The soonest anyone could see him was 3:40 in the afternoon. Beggars can't be choosers, I always say.

As it turned out, it was 98 degrees outside at 3:40 on Wednesday. But it's a nice dry heat, haha. A sedative and nerve block later, Mr. Blue resembled nothing so much as a freshman sorority girl at her first kegger. Weaving and drooling, he was utterly oblivious to the slicing and bandaging going on.

I'm told the prognosis for long-term soundness is good. He will have a nasty scar. We also have to go back to the vet on Tuesday to get a cast applied (they can't do it until the wound closes and stops bleeding). The cast is meant to immobilize the entire hoof capsule. It'll also save me from the endless wrapping and hosing that normally comes with leg injuries.

But it gets better. We already had big, expensive plans for this coming weekend—Blue and I are going all the way to Buckley to see Dr. Vetter for some equine oral surgery. Local vet says Blue is cleared for travel, as long as we keep the bad foot wrapped up and immobilized.

It is times like these that I am glad to live in a country where it is OK to be in debt… potentially forever. You've all heard the Joke. Want to make a small fortune with horses? Start with a large fortune.

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