Thursday, January 06, 2011


Warning: this post contains blood.

Phoenix, my Appaloosa gelding, got hurt just before Christmas.  I hate when one of my critters gets hurt, but this was even worse because I was sick and had to go out there and clean him up and wait for the vet to come out and stitch him up.  I think I might have figured out what cut him.  A piece of eavestrough fell off the north side of the barn, and I didn't notice.  We pulled it out yesterday but I don't know if it's got a sharp enough edge that could have done the damage.  My daughter looked around for blood on the snow, the scene of the accident, but there wasn't anything in that spot.  Well, let's face it, a horse can run pretty damn fast...

There's good news though.  The wound is deep but it didn't harm any tendons!  By next week Rob the Vet will have to scalpel off some granulation (proud flesh) but the edges have healed together, and the swelling has gone down.

For the first two weeks we were wrapping both his hind legs.  You know how when you sprain your left ankle, your right knee takes the abuse?  That.  Jethro and I took the kids outta-town for a few days, and Rob the Vet came out to change the bandage and wrap Phoenix's legs again.  I love my vets.  And I was so thankful for that horse's good natured attitude.  Most horses would see the Vet coming and think, "Uh oh.  It's Medicine Smell Guy" and decide to be totally uncatchable.

Oh my gosh he's been so cool about it.  I had to twitch his lip two days ago when Dr Rob took the stitches out, but otherwise, he just stands there with his hoof lifted.  Tolerating.  Last week Annyong stood beside his shoulder and petted him while I wrapped up his leg... and we hadn't put a halter on him. He just stood there for us in the stall.

I love this horse.

This is going to cost me an arm and a leg and an ear.  I've got at least one more vet visit.  I'll have to buy more gauze rolls and padding.  (Good thing I got Vetrap for my birthday eh?)  It might take a few months to pay off that vet bill... but I'll do it for Phoenix.  I want this wound to heal correctly, to keep him sound and moving freely, and not look like he's damaged.  He's the horse I put beginners and little kids on, because he just plods along and never scares anybody.  He's so chill and friendly, and darn it, he's the cuddliest horse I've had since my second pony - I put my arms around his neck and he leans his jaw on my back!  He hugs back!

He deserves the best care I can give him!

Now just to give you an idea of what I'm up against: in this photo you can see the blood running down the inside of his hoof.  The cut is right above that (fetlock area) and it's not really easily accessible.  Notice his other leg and his tail.  In order to get a close look at the wound, I'm basically putting my face right where he could knock me out if he lifted his leg suddenly.

Yikes.  I know I shouldn't trust him so much (I truly don't trust any of them 100%).  He just makes it so easy.  Well, you'll also notice the gauze squares in the shavings... truth is, he jiggled around some.  Can't blame him.

So that's what I've been up to so far this year.  I still intend to blog about Last Year In Entertainment, even though we're almost a week into the new year.  Hey man, I lost a whole week there, what with the skin-crawly-sick-ache flu, plus the amateur horse doctor thing. Keeps me busy and keeps me out of trouble, I guess.


Paul Tee said...

I know. I know. I bragged on my blogsite how I wasn't going to make any resolutions this year. In retrospect, taking inventory of my poor time management, I just had to institute stricter limits on myself. Hence a plethora of new resolutions.

I'm shamefaced to admit that number 27 on my list was "only looks at Heidi's blog once a week."

Well so much for that resolution, but I now find that I had ample cause. Not only were you sick but beset with veterinarian troubles. Obvious time of crisis that on the very least required one message of support from me. I'm glad you have micro-managed your way through the crises and prevailed. Kudos!

It is a humongous lead picture, but still, my favourite is lower in the sidebar, of you and Phoenix in profile. It's a perfect composition with the fields and woods making a great backdrop to frame your picture.

Wish you & your family a happier new year.

Sydney_bitless said...

In my experience with horses hurting themselves and proud flesh, especially on legs nothing is better than the medicine vulcitan. Ask your vet about it. It's about 40$ a tube but totally worth it I don't know what I would have done without it.

pseudosu said...

You = very good horsemom. :)

Heidi the Hick said...

Paul, I should resolved to look at your blog more! I hardly read anybody's anymore. Sometimes not even mine!

I love that picture of Phoenix and I too. That was his big photo shoot day... he got a bath and I banded his mane and everything. Then the family photographer did her magic.

And thank you for your new year wishes!

Sydney, thank you - I will mention that to Dr Rob!

Sue, thank you... I try, I really do.

annyong said...

Don't forget how when she poured peroxide on it he stood perfectly still, only lifted his foot a little and you could feel his teeth grinding. But he BEARS IT.

Heidi Willis said...

I totally agree with Sue. You are an outstanding horsemom!!

Here's to you, for sacrificing for the well-being of those you love. You are amazing!

Biddie said...

Poor Pheonix. He has been through a lot the past couple of weeks.
I really like the new photo. Remember when you first started your blog and you were NOT going to show your face?? Lol. I like this better.

Anonymous said...

I've been noticing the long stretches between your blogs and now I know why. Let's hope that things are looking up with all people and creatures and that better days are coming. I'm definitely looking forward to your entertainment wrap-up for 2010!


Auntie said...

Oops ... must have done something wrong to come up with Anonymous! Let's see if I can do it twice in a row or if it will come out right!!