Monday, February 4, 2013

They really need to invent horse bubble wrap.

I was grooming Limerick for a ride on Saturday when I noticed that the lower, lateral part of her right hind cannon was puffy. I planned to take a better look at it when I brushed her legs, but I guessed the swelling was from mud. Sometimes her hind cannons get a little puffy in that area when she has muddy legs. But as soon as I crouched down by that leg to brush it, I realized what the problem was. There was dried blood caked on the longer hairs at the bottom of the cannon. Oh, brother.

I took a photo with the flash so I could get a better look at what was back there (hooray for smartphones).

Saturday afternoon, before cleaning

 Hmm. Not pretty, but could be worse. However, I wasn't liking that location. Lower leg and leg joint wounds make me paranoid. Also, the swelling was also pronounced from behind--rather than the subtle taper of a clean cannon bone, you have this straight-edged line on the outside of her cannon.

The next step was to walk her around to see if she was lame. My husband was working so I asked if he had a moment to walk Lim in the indoor arena while I watched. She was lame. Crud. Christine was at the barn teaching lessons. She was wrapping up her final lesson in the indoor arena at the time so I decided to show the wound to her. Being Limerick's "mom", I temporarily lost my brain and had a moment of "I have absolutely no idea how to tend to a horse wound" even though I've been tending to them for 20 years.

A gentle cleaning, some scarlet oil, peppermints and bute later, Lim was back in her stall for the evening. I think she will be okay--she seemed better last night--but I'll keep up with the scarlet oil and bute for a handful of days. Have I mentioned that leg wounds make me paranoid?!

The patient enjoying her hay
Sunday evening, medial view of the injured cannon. Doesn't look too bad from this side--just a small lump about 3" above the fetlock.

No, I have no idea how she did this--I guess she got it caught on something. I checked her stall walls for nails or other protrusions; I did find a couple that had worked themselves loose of the old wood, but none had hair or skin on them. Nonetheless, I pointed them out to my husband and asked him to flatten them with a hammer so they are no longer a danger.

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