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.