Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nothing’s Ever Easy


"Can someone please rescue me, I'm tired of babysitting this big lug..."(sigh)


It’s been nothing short of hectic around here for the past week.  My daughter who is the main medical caretaker of our herd has been on vacation and will be back next week.  So, of course, the first day after she leaves, her horse Nate, comes in from turnout and can barely walk.  He wasn’t just lame he was crippled and could barely hobble to the barn. Great.  If anything happens to this horse I’m responsible. 

I did what I could for him but he wasn’t any better in the morning so a call to the vet was in order. The vet diagnosed an abscess in his left front.  She pulled his shoe and we set up a regimen of soaking his hoof in Betadine, Epsom Salt and some warm water, followed by Animalintex in a Davis boot. Nate is impossible to work with: each time I put his hoof in the bucket to soak he’d pull it out and stomp the bucket so it spilled all over the aisle. Okay, so being the genius I am I figured out quickly this wasn’t going to work.  For my next trick I made up the medicinal concoction plus cotton and put it in a heavy plastic bag and secured it to his leg with elastic tape. That worked well until I put him in his stall and he realized the herd had left for greener pastures. He started banging the walls and rearing and broke it open. Yes, he is quite the charmer.  I might add that getting that pie plate of a hoof in the bag was an intricate piece of work also. The same goes for getting him into his Davis boot. He has a tendency to keep stomping his foot down each time I tried to pick it up to put it in the boot.  Eventually, we both got with the routine or I got lucky and he started to cooperate a bit more.

In fairness to Nate, I’ve never really worked with this horse except to bring him in or out of turnout and feed him, he’s my daughter’s baby.  Nate is a 17-3 hand Dutch Warmblood who has been plagued with breathing issues and other medical mishaps his whole life. It’s fair to say he’s been somewhat spoiled.  Although I shouldn’t say this, I’ll say it anyway; Nate isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer so to speak.  To give you an idea of his mental awareness: everything we do regarding construction or improvements around the farm starts with the question “how could Nate hurt himself with this?”

I turned him out with Dusty the next day thinking all would be fine. It wasn’t. Nate is also a colossal weenie so when the rest of the herd left for the back pastures he had a major meltdown and thought that rearing, bucking and galloping around the small paddock was a brilliant idea.  Dusty followed along in his tirade up and down the hill at a full gallop. I wasn’t thrilled to see her racing around after her recent injury either.  Oh, and that was the end of the boot for that day.

We’ve been treating this abscess since last Friday and today is Thursday.  It’s been a fun week to say the least. The abscess finally drained or I thought it did and the farrier reattached his shoe yesterday.  He and Dusty got to join the herd much to their delight and the herd refused to come in last night.  Which I’m sure was Dusty’s idea. Today as I rode past I saw him pointing his toe and not putting weight on the hoof so when I got back from the store I hiked out to the pasture.  I checked him out and took him for a walk. He was absolutely fine and trotted off beautifully. I swear they are going to kill me with stress.

The only good thing that happened this week is that I managed to ride Blue and worked on some things with him.  I can’t wait until my daughter gets back next week. Hopefully, no one else will require a vet call.

Until next time
Quote for Today
If a horse stands on you it’s because you’re in the way.



38 comments:

  1. Hopefully no one will require a vet call but you deserve a glass (bottle) of wine all to yourself. Your daughter left the herd and Nate in good hands and you did it, of course, with the help of your sidekick, Dusty!

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  2. Hi D.J.,

    Of course, I couldn't do it without Dusty's help!

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, it seems the drama is over for now. Fingers crossed.

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    2. Hi Annette,

      Don't know if you'll check back and read this but I visited your blog and hope you are feeling better. I didn't want to leave a comment because there is no way to do it without leaving my full name and I prefer to remain anonymous on the internet.

      Delete
  4. Oh I feel your pain, we still have one horse limping around with an abscess. So glad Nate is feeling better.

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    Replies
    1. Hope your horse heals quickly too.

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  5. Wow - what a week. I think Oak in the Seed has the right idea!

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  6. Not fun to deal with. Do you ever soak and then make a boot out of duct tape over ichthamal, gauze, plastic bag covered with a sock then taped to form the boot? Speeds up the process for me.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lori,

      I've seen my daughter do that but there's no way he would have let me do it. The boot was just easier and it worked. I'm happy it's over with.

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  7. “how could Nate hurt himself with this?”

    That made me laugh out loud! There is one in every herd, isn't there?

    Oh, I HATE dealing with abscesses. At least its warm out now. I recall soaking one in the winter. Glad he is on the mend and bet you can't wait for your daughter to get home.

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  8. There is one in every herd and Nate is ours. This is one horse who could never survive in the wild.

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  9. New reader! I blog over at Sittinginthesaddle.blogspot.com and I must say, your ramblings on Nate cracked me up!! When the horses are lame, I would try getting diapers-yes, diapers-soaking them in cold water and freezing them, them wrap the diaper around the leg. Works so much better than a freeze wrap and it stays on. ;)
    Kalin

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kalin,

      Nice to see you here, I'll have to check out your blog. Never thought of diapers but will keep it in mind.

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  10. Abscesses are the worst and the best. The best because they go away and then your horse isn't crippled anymore, but the worst because they are so damn tricky to work with!

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    Replies
    1. I wouldn't mind so much but he's just impossible to work with. I'm happy he seems better.

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  11. *sigh* Life does have a way of getting messy sometimes, doesn't it? Is this another of those lessons where we learn to better appreciate the people in our lives? :) Sounds like you've been handling everything despite having little cooperation from anyone else involved. Abscesses are a royal pain. Our horses always tip the buckets over too, so we've opted for those larger diameter, soft and black rubber tubs that aren't so tall-sided. The horses seem to tolerate those much better. Hope the remaining week is downright boring for you!

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    Replies
    1. Everything seems to be going well now so that's a plus. I did use the soft black
      rubber tub you mentioned but he dumped it on me anyway. Very determined not to keep his foot in it I guess.

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  12. You're the best mom ever to take care of j's horse while she's gone! We almost never wrap anymore b/c I haven't found it to make things progress much faster than not wrapping... Salina will tolerate it but it's not her favorite thing.

    I'm in the opposite situation right now - I'm away and daughter is holding down the horse care fort at home. She said Keil Bay is absolutely refusing to let her do tick checks in his groin area. Let's hope he doesn't have any!

    I say go buy a pint of your favorite ice cream for every day until j gets back, and wine too. The prima donnas can wear us out. :)

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    Replies
    1. If I bought a pint of ice cream for everyday she's been gone they'd have to use a crane to get me in the saddle! I like the way you think though, always knew you were a kindred spirit.

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  13. Oh Man! While You Certainly Write A Hilarious Aftermath...You Surely Cursed It In Real Time.
    I Kinda Think That Way With WA Too.....Though She's A Pretty Sharp Knife In The Drawer, She's Sharp And Running Usually.

    You Did Great. Nate, Well Despite Himself And Dusty's Efforts, He Shall Survive.

    Daughter,Come Home Soon!!!

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    Replies
    1. It's true I did have a few choice words for Mr. Obnoxious a few time during treatments. Thankfully, he seems back to his od self for now.

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  14. Abscesses sound very worrisome. I'm so glad that I've yet to have had that experience with any of my horses. Poor Nate! I'm glad he's on the mend now, and I hope all the other horses in your care stay healthy! :)

    ~Lisa

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa,
      You're lucky to have never dealt with one. He's doing very well now so we should be fine.

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  15. Ugh don't get me started on abscesses. I hope it drained fully and that Nate doesn't self-harm again before your daughter comes home.

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    Replies
    1. He seems fine now but it was a fun week. And with Nate anything is possible so I'm eagerly awaiting her return.

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  16. Your life sounds like mine. Shadow got a kick to his face that fractured his nose and tore his face open, so he's been on antibiotics for a month as well as tending the wound. We've also had mild lameness in another horse. Don't you love spring? I can't wait for it to get here, but there are always things that go wrong with their friskiness.

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    1. Hi Linda,
      Poor Shadow that sounds awful. Hope he's healing we'll. and your lameness issue heals too. It does seem they hurt themselves more in Spring doesn't it? Always an adventure I say.

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  17. I gave up trying to soak feed in a bucket. I have a larger size Davis boot. I stick it on the foot and then put the warm water and soaking stuff in it. Still slops up the aisle when they move, but the boot makes the soaking process easier.

    Hope the rest of your caretaking time goes more easily for you.

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  18. I didn't think of doing that. If there is a next time ill keep it in mind. Thankfully the soaking is done, that was the worst part. If it was any other horse I wouldn't have had a problem but Nate is a special case.

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  19. Oh, what a circus! This sounds like my mom wrote this post! We have a Nate here too in our Pie. Good for you and your patience and perseverance.
    After many abscess wrestling matches over the years with soaking and booting and diapering and all the other fussing about, I've started letting them go. It is tough to watch and do nothing, but Pie's last two have erupted on their own, quickly and easily. But, you can't do that when it is someone else's horse! I bet your daughter is so appreciative of your constant help and nursing! I know I am of my mom when I go away.
    Totally love your line about "how could Nate hurt himself with this?" Laughed out loud on that one - that's our Pie!

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  20. It makes me feel better knowing that Nate isn't the only horse who's sort of accident prone and silly at times.

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  21. It makes me feel better knowing that Nate isn't the only horse who's sort of accident prone and silly at times.

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  22. Isn't it always the way? The moment the 'go-to' person is away, something is bound to go wrong!! Poor Nate, hope he's better now. Had to giggle at your description of him not being the sharpest knife in the drawer; gets by on his looks does he? *lol* Hope you're not too stressed looking after the boys and Madam Diva!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Joy,

      We're back to normal now. It all turned out okay thank goodness.

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  23. For future reference, I gave up trying to soak my horses' feet in buckets. I just put a Davis boot on and pour the warm water in it. This way I can even let them go out with the herd and it works great. There is often still some water in it when I check it that night. Also, put a little corn oil on your finger and rub it around the neck of the Davis boot and it'll slip right on. I learned this because when we lived on that property in Ferrum, VA, our horses continuously abscessed. The entire two years we lived there, there was not one time where at least one horse didn't have at least one foot in a boot or bandaged. I don't know what it was about that property, but it hasn't happened since and it's been almost 7 years and two other properties. Knock wood.

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  24. I did give up the soaking after two days of trying and just put some Animalintex in a Davis boot and turned him out. The boot stayed on for most of the day which was a plus. Thanks for the oil tip!

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