Thursday, January 06, 2011

Calling the doctors

I haven't updated about Kaswyns' leg lately because there is not much to tell. It is slowly getting better but still has inflammation, even with bute (one gram twice a day) and icing. I'm not working him at all, but he is getting turned out. They put round bales of hay in the pastures and he doesn't run at all, just walks around the round bale with his face stuck in it!

The wound is slowly healing from the bottom up and from the inside out, and every day I see slight changes in the positive direction. It's slow and the wound is looking better, but the inflammation was bothering me. I've been afraid that I might be missing something important. It has been six weeks since the surgery, so I called Doc G to find out what he thought.

Doc thought that I was doing everything right, but that I should touch base with the OSU surgeon. I called her to give her an update and we had a very interesting conversation.

First, she said she doesn't know why the wound busted open like it did, and didn't heal like the other side did. She said it could have been caused by an infection, but she can't really say for sure. She said she was sorry it happened, but couldn't explain it.

Next, after discussing the pictures I sent her (the same ones I posted here), we talked about the dark strip of necrotic tissue that the wound had (it's since fallen off or been healed over - hard to say really since it happened when I was out of town). She had a similar experience with one of the other horses she operated on. Basically she is wondering if the necrotic tissue wasn't the nerve itself, since it was rubbery. Alcohol is a fixative, and it makes tissues kind of rubbery. So she is wondering if the nerve didn't get fixed in that position when she injected it and was then exposed when the wound popped open. She can't say for sure though, and with it no longer visible or gone completely we'll never really know.

Lastly, overall she thinks that it is completely normal to have swelling if the wound is still open, which it is. It's good that bute and ice bring it down, and it's good that he can still feel the back of the pastern, which gets very sensitive and painful when it's inflamed.

So I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing, with one addition - I'm going to add some U-Guard to his diet so I can try and counteract the affects that bute might have on his tummy. I don't like keeping him on bute but I've got to keep the inflammation at bay. Once the wound closes I might have to keep him on the bute for a bit while the area sorts itself out under there, but my hope is to wean him off of the bute eventually.

I'm going to take another picture of the wound this weekend and send it to the surgeon, which means you'll all get to see it here too! Believe me it looks a lot better than it did. It looks less "meaty" and more pink, and less angry looking.

At least I'm still able to ride. There are three horses that I'm riding or working with, but I don't ride them all every day. I've got Lee (the buckskin - I still have to get those videos from the show posted!) Brandee (a neat paint half-arab mare who knows some first level stuff) and Ivy (purebred arab mare who is out of commission until the end of January for riding - she slipped on the ice outside and pulled her stifle!) so I'm busy at the barn. What I've been doing is putting ice on Kaswyn's leg while I ride the others, and then when I'm done I tend to his wound so the ice gets to stay on a good long time. He can see me riding and grooming the other horses and today he kept calling out to me. I feel really bad about it, but I just should not be riding him right now so he needs to be patient too.

Soon buddy, soon. You heal up and we'll be good to go.


Carol said...

So glad to hear things are going better. Sounds like you're having fun at the barn. Very sweet of Kaswyn to call out to you while you're working with the other horses :) Poor baby.

Jackie said...

Hey there Sheri! I'm glad to hear the OSU doc isn't too worried about the swelling in Kaswyn's leg. I hope what's true in most cases is true for him - time is often the best medicine.

I think you know I've been working with Succeed on their website for the last year, and in doing so have learned a ton about the equine digestive tract. I just wanted to point out that Ulcergard/Gastrogard shut off the acid pumps in the stomach, and are therefore only helpful with issues in the stomach itself. Prolonged use of Bute causes problems in the hindgut, the colon specifically. That means that ulcergard is likely not going to help, and it's darn expensive. Just wanted to share what I've learned. You know where to find me if you want to talk more, or I can put you in touch with the awesome folks at Succeed. They're as good with equine digestive tracts as they are with saddles. :)

Rebecca said...

I don't know if they are using it where you live, but I have stopped using bute and switched instead to Previcox for inflammation. The vet says it is better for their stomachs. Just an idea :) Wishing the best for you and Kaswyn!

Rising Rainbow said...

The thought that could have been the nerve makes a lot of sense, I think. That kind of involvement would certainly explain the hyper sensitivity as the nerve heals. Very interesting.

Kaswyn doesn't understand his "mom" spending all that time with other horses. Dandy does the same thing to me here and it always breaks my heart.

Arethusa said...

That really is quite unfortunate. The name of your blog is Dressage Mom... Do your kids ride? You can find out what it is like to be a young equestrian in our sport on my (new) blog,

Ms Martyr said...

Here's hoping Kaswyn's leg will heal completely and that you and he can start working together again. It's nice that you are able to at least ride other horses to stay in condition.

Achieve1dream said...

Poor Kaswyn. I'm glad he's such a good sport. At least the surgeon didn't sound overly concerned or gloomy about it. That's a good sign! It will probably go ahead and heal up and be like it never happened. :) I sure hope so!

Arethusa said...

Oh that injury does not look fun.. Poor guy! Let's just hope that you can get him back up and in work before show season starts! Feel free to check out my blog, iRide!

Jen said...

Have you thought about teaching him some light tricks? The Girls love just playing around; Bella's favorite game is "stack the feed buckets". I'll set them out on the ground, and she picks them up and hands them to me one at a time. Sometimes I'll take a surcingle or the Cashel saddle out to the pasture and we'll "play" with it, by putting it on and taking it off. Rina, Bella, and Taya have not been ridden yet, but they will happily come up [at liberty] to be voluntarily "tacked up". It gives us some quality time together, makes everyone happy and doesn't really take up that much time. Just a thought.

Gabriella Elise said...

I have left you an award on my blog!

Erickson said...

love the topic, I had fun reading it coz I'm a horse lover too but just a beginner one so right now I just keep on collection information that would be helpful for me in my new love.

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