Friday, May 3, 2013


**Fair warning, there are photos of her healing wound at the end of this post. Dom made a great point to me the other day that I should post them so others can learn from them. I will insert a line of asterisks prior to posting the photos for those who can't handle that type of thing. (-: **

Q's first night of stall rest was rough. The morning I came to check on her she was a live wire. Upon Griffin joining her in her confinement she became a completely different patient. By day 3 of confinement I joked with her as I arrived, "Q is your spirit broken?" But then I took her outside to graze and she's on super-high-Q-alert mode. Nope. No broken spirit. I think she's merely conceded to her circumstances.

Evening of day three I took the below video. Somehow I always manage to be a bumbling fool in front of a camera - this is why my brother is in theatre and I am not! It does show how she's moving well despite the injury though. (If you look close you can see the drain in her left hind near the stifle still.)

The vet came 4 days post-hospital visit to remove the drain and give Q a second dosing of Excede (an intramuscualar antibiotic). My vet's first words when she got out of her truck were how awesome Q's wound looks, how awesome she looks moving, and that I would be back to riding her in no time at all. She thought I could probably do our race (Ride Between the Rivers) in early August if I did the 30 miles. While this is great news, I still dunno that I'll move that fast. I don't know a ton about ligament healing, but I don't want to move too fast and not ever have a sound horse again. Ultimately I'll listen to my horse and move forward as she feels better. My vet said 1 more week on stall rest and the would will be nearly closed, then she can go out (she's not a horse to run around the field much at all per my BO and her observations from her house that overlooks the farm). My vet also suggested that the next step of moving forward in the healing process will be to get her moving the joint with lunging exercises at the walk and trot over trot poles and cavalettis. Nothing crazy, but enough to make her really use her range of motion in that leg.

Another huge point worth stating - Q is being such a phenomenal patient - Not what I expected from my typically high-strung little mare who hates to be inside! The needle administering the Excede was massive, the antibiotic looked to have the viscosity of glue, and she just stood there like a champ! She wiggled a bit for the second injection, but overall was SUCH a good girl.

My vet noted that she had scratches on her left hind leg so we shaved it in prep for me to treat it with a few things that apparently do a kickass job of ridding scratches. She was a little antsy for this which led to the vet just laughing at her. In past experiences with Q my vet knows that the little mare will come to anticipate things. Q will anticipate and fret about stuff and then dance a little for no reason. Its really silly. We all just tend to step back and let her do her thing for a few seconds. Once she realizes we're not out to get her she chills out and lets us proceed.

I got instructions for treating the scratches and instruction for cleaning her wound in coming days. If I can keep the part where the drain went out clean and open, things will heal up even better. I followed both sets of instructions the evening after the vet visit. Q did her silly anxiety dance for a bit, and then settled in, letting me clean, massage, and treat both her wound and the scratches. By the end of it she was even standing with all her weight on that left (injured) leg and cocking her right hoof. I'd say she feels pretty good!

Wednesday and Thursday evenings I even trusted her enough to just turn her out with halter and catch-rope (read: lead rope dragging) to graze while I cleaned the barn. She and Griffin, despite being turned in all day were so mellow the past several times out together that I was confident she'd do nothing. And she didn't....Wednesday night. Thursday night however her turnout buddy was Oliver and I got to see the crazy-horse he is deep deep down inside (seriously, this horse has always been super mellow) as he careened and cavorted like a complete and total madhorse around the barnyard. She ignored his antics almost the whole time. She's walk fast after him, but was mostly unconcerned. But then, yes THEN, he herded her out of the barnyard, into the front yard, and chaos ensued. She trotted and cantered like a little madhorse with him, and then cantered and galloped from the yard all the way to the opposite end of the barnyard again. -_- Oliver lost all of his volunteer stallrest duties and Griffin was re-appointed. She was sound on the leg after all of this nonsense, but it was enough to give me a mild heart attack.

Overall, I'm so happy (and relieved) that she's healing so well. She is young. She is fit. And because of those two things she'll move forward from this injury faster than another horse may. This experience has been stressful (and expensive), but I'm taking away a lot of learning from it.

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Day of injury; note the dark red dot along the bottom of the left corner; that is what
remains of the vein that was severed during the injury. So thankful it wasn't one of the
more obvious larger veins or arteries in that leg!!
Day of injury
Day of drain removal - pre-removal
Day of drain removal - pre-removal
Immediately post-removal of drain
Immediately post-removal of drain
1 day post-removal of drain
1 day after drain removal (everything always looks bad with a flash!) wet because I'd just cleaned it
The "drain" one day post-removal of the drain.

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