Tuesday, September 2, 2014


I haven't felt like writing much at all lately.

I had several GREAT rides on Q, then went and visited Saiph, and then came home to find Q with a wretched case of scratches AGAIN.

She's so incredibly susceptible to it. Three days of missed preventative washings/topicals led to the current demise.

And to add to matters, my finances these past few weeks have been in the most dire of straights. Like, I haven't even been grocery shopping dire straights. So just "calling the vet" to come out and sedate my small elephant (because that's the kind of sedation it takes to get Q drunk enough to deal with it) hasn't been an immediate option. However, today is payday...

I've read up oodles on scratches vs. Pastern Leukocytoclastic Vasculitis and other dermatological issues. This case of scratches, even more than the original one, presented very "textbook" though. Complete with that oh-so-NOT-lovely smell customary to fungal/bacterial infections.

Photos of horses with PLV do not match the appearance of Q's legs this case or the other case. Additionally, PLV won't improve with topical treatment from what information I can gather. Q improves RAPIDLY with topical treatments - especially if the scabs are softened and removed. 

The trouble is treating my highly-pain-sensitive mare who doesn't love human touch. She's very hands off and doesn't love grooming or scritches from humans. She's a do her job kind of horse. She appreciates me for the food I provide her, and she will be my friend when she's away from her "herd", but beyond those things? She'd rather be left alone.

She is a total and complete Drama Llama about pain. And I don't blame her - to a point. 

Q is the Queen of Anticipation when it comes to pain. Her very first vet visit when I got her 2 years ago demonstrates it perfectly: I'd asked my vet to show me how the vets at the endurance ride would be palpating to test for back soreness. She stroked her hand along Q's back lightly, narrating things to me, then she prodded one time just to show how it wouldn't be done and why - because any and all horses would react to it. Well, Q danced off Highly Offended about being touched in a painful way. And, being the Queen of Anticipation that she is, she proceeded to dance away from my vet's approach to touch her for the next solid minute because she thought it would happen again! My vet laughed, and remarked how similar Q is to one of her geldings - a comparison that has been made countless times since. (Ultimately, Q got over it and let my vet complete the exam with no more issue. Additionally, Q harbors no lasting resentment to my vet and has never been fearful around her.)

So, as you can imagine, treating a Drama Llama Queen of Anticipation for something as painful as scratches is incredibly frustrating. She takes her evasion games that she's always played to a minor extent to the Extreme. She dances about and waggles her legs and jerks them away in various attempts to avoid touch - these are both evasion tactics and games to her. To an extent it is expected and understood for painful areas, certainly, but it becomes infuriating to deal with when you go to touch, oh say her ELBOW, an uninfected area, and she nearly leaps out of her skin. -_- 

I refer to these tactics as games also because she often will waggle a leg about or dance/walk away when you're not doing a single thing to cause pain (including times when she doesn't have scratches). Brush her - she walks away (as far as the lead allows). Pick the hoof out on an uninfected, non-painful leg - she waggles it about. Kneel down to take a photo of the affected areas (you know, not even touching the horse) - she walks off/waggles the leg. 

And when you look at her body language while she's doing these things? Completely and totally relaxed. Soft eye, relaxed ears, nostrils un-pinched, body relaxed throughout.

So understandably, the increased degree of these evasion techniques and games and dealing with them intimately each day has been quite infuriating. I have sobbed uncontrollably, talked calmly, and yelled and screamed my frustrations to the sky. In fact, I've had to apologize to the neighbors within the ¼-mile vicinity for screaming my frustrations, "Sorry if you heard strangled screaming last night. I'm okay and I swear I wasn't dying or killing anything."

This bout of scratches is on both hind pasterns and on one front leg. Despite frustrations with the mare, within three days of treating it, I was able to have all of the scabs removed from the front leg and the skin was healing - today it is clean, pink, and healthy new skin. Her hinds are more difficult to treat; she's always been weird about her hinds being handled. The areas have improved greatly (like seriously, they're 75% better than they were), but without being able to completely remove the scabs due to her refusal to have the legs handled at all, they're not completely better and won't get there.

So, to keep both myself and the mare sane, the vet will be coming out ASAP this week to sedate the hell out of her and shave the two areas the size of a silver dollar each that I have not been able to shave to treat. And I will stock up on all the medicines and washes and skin biopsy for good measure. So you're welcome, Q.

Grocery store, I'll see you in another few weeks when I can afford you again. Until then, if anyone has recipes that are healthy and SUPER DUPER CHEAP, please share them in the comments. I don't like peppers.

No comments:

Post a Comment