Simon came in from turnout Sunday morning with a surprise for me…….
This is the full scrape wound, fresh from being cleaned.
It is pretty easy to tell from looking at the injury that it was as wire scrape. The side of the heel has the worst damage.
The coronet band (where the hoof meets the hair) bore the brunt of the scrape. It was pretty crusty with blood and gunk before I cleaned it off.
I got it cleaned up, texted pics to my vet to get some guidance on how to treat it, and waited for direction. We opted to just get it really clean and spray it with an aluminum spray as opposed to wrapping. I’m a believer in wounds getting air to breath being better than wrapping them up and trying to keep everything out. He wasn’t sore on the foot that I could tell and there wasn’t any heat in his hoof or leg, all good signs. So I put him back in his stall and hoped for the best.
Before I rode Coco I walked the fence-line between our property and our neighbor and found where Simon got hurt pretty easily. I don’t have photos, but the fence dividing the properties is a woven wire fence with a smooth strand on top and set with t-posts. Well, Simon got his foot wrapped in the TOP wire and pulled the fence down so the t-posts were at about a 110 degree angle! The wire was pretty stretched, too. Simon likes to play over the fence with the neighbor’s geriatric QH gelding so I guess things got a bit out of hand on Saturday night. I never saw the neighbor’s horse yesterday so I don’t know if he got hurt, too. Boot City did a minor repair to the fence, but we know that a full fence replacement is in the imminent future. Oh the glamour of owning property! Never is there a fence that doesn’t need to be repaired or built!
Fast forward to this morning and Simon’s leg is swollen and his leg/foot clearly is sore. I cold hosed the leg, cleaned the wound again, gave him some bute (like ibuprofen for horses, it treats inflammation and pain), and poulticed the canon bone of his leg (poultice is a clay based mud that helps bring out heat and swelling, really more people should poultice themselves when they get hurt, it is awesome stuff). He’s definitely not getting ridden for a week or two, poor guy. Hopefully this gets on the mend sooner than later and he’s back to normal for some more summer trail rides!
Sterling’s legs have gotten a LOT of attention over the past week! As I posted previously he was crazy lame last Tuesday evening with what we suspected to be cellulitis. The vet came to see him on Wednesday afternoon and confirmed the cellulitis AND that it was caused by a 3″ deep puncture wound. So that “scrape” was actually 3″ deep and had hit the bone. The vet was concerned that there was damage to the bone, but wanted to wait a few days to see if there were symptoms to indicate bone damage. Sterling got put on a regimen of antibiotics twice a day, steroids with a pain killer for four days, then every other day for eight days, cold hosing twice daily, a furazone/DMSO sweat application and leg wrapping if/when the swelling moved from his forearm down to the cannon bone and finally medication IN the puncture wound.
Sterling’s much improved leg.
His lameness improved within 24 hours of treatment and by Sunday evening the swelling was nearly entirely gone. Hallelujah! He HATES the oral antibiotic, but isn’t a complete jerk about letting me give it to him. He also really hates the powder medication on his feed, but after pawing at it, flipping his feed pan over and pouting in the corner for about an hour, he usually finishes it, too. I combine applesauce with his feed when he gets to powder and, in my head, it helps the meds taste better. By Day 4 he wasn’t going to let me stick anything else in the puncture wound, which was fine because the wound scabbed over entirely by Day 5.
My regular vet had been out of town for the cellulitis/puncture fiasco, but had been scheduled to come over this week to look at some soreness Sterling had in his back at the last horse show. After a full lameness evaluation my vet concluded that Sterling has soreness in his hocks that he is compensating for and is causing the back pain. This isn’t terribly uncommon for a horse of Sterling’s age (11) so I wasn’t surprised that we will now be doing hock injections a couple times a year.
Hock injection number 1.
For these injections the horse is sedated to prevent any unnecessary wiggling while being stabbed in the hock. Each hock gets two injections, one on the inside and one on the outside. It is an intra-articular injection which means it goes directly into the joint to reduce inflammation and pain. Most likely the injections will need to continue for the rest of his life at an interval of about every 6 months, but that may depend on his work load. Most people in the sport horse world will tell you that joint injections are a matter of “when” not “if” they need to happen.
You can see here where the injection was done. The hair is wet and there is some blood.
After the injections my vet recommended that Sterling stay in his stall for the day and he can resume work again after about three days. Considering the puncture wound/cellulitis issue combined with the hock injections I’m probably going to wait to ride him until next week.
The aftermath of injections.
Another one of the joys of having a grey/white horse is that after something like injections you can see the blood, even though there was hardly any. His poor hind legs look like he participated in some weird ritual leaving him with four small blood spots on the same part of each hind leg. He’s so done with me fussing with his legs that I didn’t want to fight with him to wash them off.
Now that his cellulitis swelling is completely gone and he’s one dose away from finishing his oral antibiotics I’ll get him cleaned up soon. He’s not the best horse patient (that would be Coco), but he isn’t horrible (Jaguar is HORRIBLE to do his teeth. HORRIBLE). I’m looking forward to riding him next week. Daylight Savings PLUS a sound horse make me happy. 🙂
I’ll have an update on Coco’s vet visit later, too. She didn’t want to be left out of all the fun.
This poor horse! I feel SO bad for him! Thankfully he hasn’t seemed to be in much or really any pain, but my gosh this thing is taking FOREVER to heal! This is what his stifle looked like a little over a week ago. Much worse than before we drained it the first time.
The fluid started accumulating inside of the top of his hind leg AND around his stifle. I don’t know that this photo does it justice. It was SO fat!
Last Monday the vet came over again to drain it, again.
If you zoom in on this photo you can see the fluid flying through the air as it drains out. So. Gross.
As it was the first time, the fluid was an amber color mixed with some blood. The vet cut two large holes and really got into the fluid buildup to break the capsule where it was accumulating. This time some chunks came out in addition to the fluid, which the vet said were the walls of the capsule where the fluid was collecting. Part of the reason for cutting two holes was to tie a piece of rubber tube through the holes so they won’t close up so quickly and allow the accumulating fluid to build up, yet again.
After the second draining with the rubber tube in place.
It has been a week since the second draining and yesterday Sterling was lame on that leg again. I felt like the holes were sore and ready to have the tube removed, so that is just what I did. Took out the rubber tube, cold hosed it for 20 minutes, gave him some banamine and put some DMSO on the swelling. Within a few hours of doing that he was running around in his paddock so I presume the banamine helped! The fluid coming out now is much more opaque and seems like pus, but it isn’t stinky and worrisome.
For now we will cold hose twice a day, DMSO on the swelling and he’s getting an antibiotic just in case there is some infection. This poor horse! Add him to your prayer list that this heals up and he can get back to his normally scheduled life. He is SO sick of being kept up while his buddies go out to graze at night.
At least he has this guy to keep him company. I’ve been making Simon stay in with him because he doesn’t seem to care if he doesn’t get turnout. You know, like most 3yo thoroughbreds who are off the track, he just wants to laze around in his sandy stall run.
They really do like each other, I promise, they were just cranky yesterday. I presume Sterling was grumpy because his leg hurts and he is SO sick of being hurt!