Thursday, December 02, 2010

Not good. Not good at all. Part 4.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Kaswyn came home last night. Luckily my friend the barn manager was able to go pick him up with her truck and trailer. Doc was there when we arrived and he said my horse was doing great. Here's three great things that I found out from Doc -

1) He said Kaswyn was sound. He jogged him to check soundness and there was no lameness. Wowza. I didn't expect that.

2) He spoke with the OSU surgeon and both docs are sure that this inflammatory episode won't effect the success of the surgery. This is a huge relief, because I was fretting that this episode would really screw up all he had just gone through.

3) The computer system was down, so I got to pick up my horse and NOT pay the bill! Woohoo! Okay, okay, I know they'll just bill me so I'll pay it later, but it was kind of nice not to have to pay it right then.

Kaswyn isn't on any oral antibiotics because he got injectable antibiotics while he was at Doc's. He's to get some bute, but Doc was kind of vague about how much and when so I'm thinking it's not super critical. Even so, I'm going to give him 1 gram twice a day for two days, Then once a day for two days, then as needed I guess.

So what actually happened to Kaswyn? Nobody is coming right out and saying it, so I'm going to. I caused this. Here is what I think happened.

He had surgery on Wednesday, and OSU said don't change the bandage for a few days. So I changed it on Saturday. The incisions looked a little weepy to me, so I washed them gently with Nolvasan surgical scrub and sterile water.

This was error #1. I found out later that getting the incisions wet is a bad idea, because bacteria and get wicked up into the wound and cause infection.

I dried the area with sterile gauze squares, and applied some Dermagel. I love this stuff for regular wounds, so I thought it would be fine for the incisions. It's supposed to help with inflammation and infection. I don't know if this had any effect one way or the other.

Then I re-wrapped the leg, but instead of wrapping it like they had wrapped it at OSU, I just wrapped the fetlock and pastern with a thick cotton strip and secured it with vetwrap.

This was error #2. I should have wrapped the leg exactly as they had done it, using a thick cotton strip around the pastern, then some gauze to hold it in place, then wrapped the whole leg with a large cotton, and then wrapped the whole thing in a standing bandage. Because I only wrapped from the fetlock down, the wrap shifted up from the hoof and down from the fetlock, creating a band of vetwrap right around the pastern. And rubbing right on top of the incisions. Also, since the bandage slipped up, dirty bedding got under the wrap and up around the incisions.

Error #3? I decided not to go to the barn on Monday. If I had gone and looked closely at the bandage, or even decided to change it, I might have seen that the wrap had slipped or that it was getting swollen. But I might have also tried to clean it again, and that would have been bad.

Doc didn't say exactly what he thought happened. I personally think the incisions got infected (because I washed the incisions) and then the whole area got swollen, then further irritated by the wrap slipping (because I incorrectly wrapped the leg) and his pain was caused by the inflammation from the infection and the irritating wrap. Tuesday night when I called her the doc at OSU told me that I might not even be able to touch the leg without sedating Kaswyn because after having surgery on the nerve, severe inflammation in that area would be extremely painful.

So this was my fault.

But I'm going to forgive myself, say that I learned a LOT, and move on. Neither doc thinks this is going to mean anything in the long run, so I'm going to attempt to get over it. However it's very hard to know you caused pain to your horse by doing a dumb things.

So for now Kaswyn still has another week of stall rest, then two weeks of hand walking before he can go outside. I feel sorry for the boy. But at least he's sound, which means he's not hurting right now. And that's GOOD.


Ms Martyr said...

We've all done stupid things with the best of intentions. You are brave to admit it and smart to put it behind you. Here's hoping the rest of his recovery is uneventful.
I can relate totally to the cost of horses versus mental well being. I am happily sacrificing a lot of other things in my life to afford my addiction.

Anonymous said...

Don't beat yourself up too much! You may not have done the best thing, but you didn't do a bad thing. You were doing something to help, which is a good thing. And, now you know should this ever happen to someone else, and you can help them from your own experience.

So glad to hear he's sound and feeling better! I completely feel for you and your trials. My second biggest worry in life is for my horse's well-being. The first is my children.

Val said...

What a relief. This was a stressful story to follow. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for you to live it!

I do not think that it was your fault for certain. Maybe the post-surgery inflammation and pain was so intense that he started shaking and reacted as you described. You did wait several days before changing the bandage. My point is, i think that it is good that you are letting it go. There is no way to really know what happened, and at least he is pain-free now.

Rebecca said...

So glad he is home safe. And sound, that is awesome. :) Don't blame yourself, you had the best of intentions and I am sure the rest of us who aren't trained veterinary professionals would have done the same thing! :)

achieve1dream said...

I'm glad Kaswyn is okay and this won't affect the success of the surgery. Please don't beat yourself up for it. You did what you thought was best. Everyone makes mistakes. That's how we learn. Just be thankful no permanent damage was done and now you know lots more than you did before. :)

Rising Rainbow said...

How is Kaswyn doing now? It's been a while since you posted this so thought I might ask.

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