Thursday, September 20, 2012


There are all these firsts when you buy a new horse: first jump, first lesson, first bath, first show ... first after hours emergency vet call ...

When I went out to catch Apollo today, I discovered that he had a very nasty cut on his right hind leg, about 5-6" above his hock.  It was oozing, swollen, and hot, and he was three-legged lame on it.  Thank goodness MR and Mary were hanging out, getting ready to watch the BSU game -- somebody had to be calm and collected, because I wasn't doing a very good job of it.  I wasn't out and out panicked (that would have required no one to be at the barn at all), but I wasn't exactly Madam Cool either.

He wasn't really interested in moving much at all, so we got a hose out to where he was in the pasture (thank God for small miracles -- he was right near the gate) and cold hosed him for a while.   He was funny: as I got the hose on, he wiggled his nose and generally said "OMG thank you! That is SO itchy!!"   It was really, really oozy.  Enough that the vet suspected at first that it was a tiny puncture wound that'd abscessed and blown out.  Which wasn't the case, but you can imagine the ooze.

Eventually he figured out how to move a little better, and of course the more normally he moved the better it felt.  Stiffness is bad, mmkay?  So we got him in, and MR got in touch with TW while I flailed around at calling the vet.

Argh.  Just ... argh.  Our regular vet just wasn't picking up the phone.  At all.  I called him seven or eight (jillion) times, then gave up and called Idaho Equine's after hours number.  It took them a while to get back to me, too, but they eventually did.  While we were waiting for the vet to call back, TW had recommended getting some SMZs and some bute going.  We -- and by "we" I mean MR and Mary, while I hovered and mentally freaked out, then made myself stand back, out of the way -- mixed up a syringe and managed to get most of it into Apollo's mouth.

Since the vet was a ways away,  I went to grab some food -- I was starving, and I needed something to do other than fret.  Got good noms from Matteeo's and brought it back to eat while sitting outside Apollo's stall. However, I don't think I chewed the food much, judging from the stomachache I currently have.

Vet arrived and proceeded to sedate the poor pony so he and his tech could get the wound really cleaned out and clipped.  It was wild -- the bute had done quite a bit to reduce the swelling, but wow was it oozing.  It oozed when the vet squeezed near it, not even right next to it.  Surprising.  After poking around way farther than I would have thought possible -- deep cut -- the vet said that the cut didn't seem to have impacted the tendon much at all, only a nick on top, and that it won't affect his performance when it's healed.  Whew.  He said he didn't feel anything gritty or whatever left in the wound after they cleaned it, either.

The area is pretty swollen and tight, but the vet thought suturing was a pretty good bet, and a better idea than leaving it as an open wound.  Apollo might pop the stitches, but we hope not.  The vet used a particular type of suture for this kind of thing, to allow for tension, so should be good.

One tetanus shot and a lot of cotton gauze later, 'Pollo pony is settled into a stall for the night.  Going forward, I'll need to give him SMZs twice a day, banamine for three days, change the wrap and re-apply the sweat tomorrow evening, then just wrap it for a while, hand-walk him as tolerated for a while, then every day, and in two weeks the sutures come out.   With any luck we should be back to work without a hitch after that.

Anyway, I'm really over this vet emergency thing.  Bleah.  I may yet throw up, not because of grossness but because of stress (and perhaps bolted dinner).  (Not to say it wasn't gross, because it was, but ... you know how it is.  You watch because you have to, because it's your horse, and you have to know what's going on and what to do.)

A friend said that it's like horses do this kind of thing right after we pay lots of money for them, like they're testing our commitment or something.  Sounds about right!!  "Do you love me, hoomin?  I mean, REALLY love me?  Like, call the vet out after hours kind of love?"

Sigh.  Poor 'pollo pony.


  1. Testing our commitment huh.... yes they are very testing at times!
    I hope he gets better soon.

  2. friend said that it's like horses do this kind of thing right after we pay lots of money for them, like they're testing our commitment or something. Sounds about right!!

    SO, SO TRUE!

  3. Aye!!! Hope your boy is doing better!