Friday, July 27, 2007

I should know better than to open my big mouth...

In my last post, my optimism got the better of me and I was anticipating getting to show my horse next summer. This, it seems, guaranteed that something bad would happen to Kaswyn.

I got a call this morning at work that said my horse had somehow punctured the inside of his left front leg while turned out with two other horses. Normally he would have been outside in a large pasture with these horses, but today there was thunder and lightning associated with the light rain which was falling, so the horses enjoyed a turnout in the indoor arena. A wound like this would not have been unheard of in the pasture, but there is really nothing in the indoor arena that he could have punctured himself on. The gals who were doing the turnout checked on the horses and saw that they had blood all over them. Concerned, they went to catch them. One of the other horses decided it would be fun to run some more instead of being caught, so they all began running. This activity caused the wound to start spurting blood all over the place. When they finally caught Kaswyn his leg was drenched in blood and his turnout boots were sticky with blood and dirt. They called me, and then called the vet.

I hurried out to the barn, concerned because there in a nice large vein that runs down the inside of the front leg, and if he had sliced it badly he could lose a lot of blood. The messages that I got from the barn owner sounded panicky, so I started to panic a bit too. It's really hard to gauge sometimes how bad something is without seeing it for yourself.

By the time I got to the barn, Kaswyn's leg had been hosed off with cold water and wrapped. As horse people know, the upper leg of a horse is very difficult to wrap because it's wider at the top then it is at the bottom, so the wrap slides down the leg and fails to cover the wound. I just happened to have my camera with me (in hopes of getting more videos), so I took some shots of the wound, which was uncovered because of the slipping bandage.

From this angle it doesn't really look that bad.

This is a shot from the front, showing how much swelling there was around the area. It could have been worse, and although the swelling indicates that it might have been a kick, it just doesn't look like a kick wound to me.

After I looked at it I thought that it didn't really look that bad. The barn gals told me that they had applied direct pressure to it to finally stop the bleeding, and they thought there was a large clot in the wound keeping it from bleeding. I decided not to poke around in there, but to just leave it alone until the vet arrived.

I called Dr. B. on my way to the barn, but he was tied up at the racetrack and couldn't make it to see my horse. The vet on call was Dr. K., who I have to say that, on the one occasion that he saw Kaswyn for something, I didn't really care for him. He seemed to have a very casual and flippant attitude towards whatever the problem was (I can't remember what at the time) and I just didn't appreciate feeling as if he was rolling his eyes and placating me.

Dr. K. arrived about two hours later. To my surprise, he was reserved but showed the appropriate amount of concern and attention to the wound. He gave my horse a sedative, a tetanus shot, clipped the area, scrubbed it up, and put in three stitches. As he stitched, he explained that he thought Kaswyn got kicked and was cut open by the nails on the shoe. He said the wound cut into the top of the vein, and that he might nick the vein again as he stitched because the vein is very close to the surface of the skin. Luckily, he didn't do that because that would have set off the bleeding again, possibly resulting in a hematoma. He finished off the job by spraying some Aluspray on the area. He then gave me some doxycycline to hopefully keep it from getting infected, told me to give Kaswyn 2 grams of bute a day for the next two days, and put him back to work on Sunday. He seemed to think it wasn't that big of a deal and that Kaswyn wouldn't be lame because of it.

Here is a shot of the wound after the stitching was done. The silver you see is the Aluspray, which is actually aluminum spray powder (really a pretty cool product!). All in all I think it looks really good and I think scarring should be minimal. I'm still not sure if it was a kick, but I don't have another plausible explanation.

Now we'll just have to see if he's sound on that leg. Of course it was his left front leg that was cut. Figures. In light of this, don't expect any more posts about potential shows. I'll post results when we're back from the show, safe and sound.

1 comment:

Rising Rainbow said...

Well, I read this one last, so it seems he must be sound even though he got a cut. That's a relief.

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr