Monday, June 21, 2010

Commander Updates

Update from June 16:

He's doing quite well. The wound is filling in nicely, and today we graduated from being wrapped to unwrapped, just spritzed with that silvery aluminum stuff. I'm to cold-hose it and re-spritz it every day, call the vet to update in a couple of days, and turn him out pretty much as usual starting tomorrow. He's still on Uniprim, will be for another few days.

Commander's had a lot of stall rest and limited turnout, which he has tolerated pretty well. He has had a couple of releases into his field, a liberation which was greeted with mighty bucks and gleeful galloping. Despite the hijinks, he managed to get the bandage displaced only once during the course of his treatment. But then, it was a very good job, done daily at first, then every other day:


Another view:


The one time he did dislodge it, the top half worked down below his hock but went no farther, and I was able to cut it off with him standing loose in the field, grazing busily while I carefully snipped it free.

Ben has been content with barn confinement to keep Commander company. As long as he has hay he's happy. He's equally happy to hang out with Commander when they're out, nudging him to go wherever Ben thinks they ought to be. In the field, the two are usually grazing within a few feet of each other.



Update from today, June 21:

Things are inching toward resolution. Over the weekend I became concerned since the wound site, while no longer open or weeping, became puffed out. The skin edges looked fine; the uncovered flesh was a healthy pink; but over the course of three or four days since the bandage's removal, the area slowly grew from slightly raised to undersized-walnut size. Okay, more like pecan-sized. Bigger, anyway.

No exudate appeared. The area was firm, and except for one day, Saturday, when he picked up that leg a few times, Commander didn't react when I palpated around and on the enlarged area. Even firm pushes were ignored. He was also unfazed by my hosing followed by towelling off the area before applying the wound spray.

Consulted the vet on Sunday. We decided it might well be excessive granulation rather than continued infection. Since Commander finished his last dose of Uniprim on Saturday, we've chosen to leave well enough alone for now. Continue cold hosing, continue applying the aluminum spray, and watch the area. If there's still an infection lurking within, it will announce itself shortly.

So far, so good. Today the area was no larger. Might even have been a wee bit smaller, or perhaps that's simply wishful thinking. Still firm, clean, and not the least bit tender to touch. The wound edge looks healthy and the open area might could be a smidgen nearer to closing. Commander throughout has been totally sound on that leg, so I think we can discard any lingering worries about the infection getting into the hock joint.

And now -- pony pix! From the 15th, when he still had his bandage on. It's amazing, how they can find anything to graze upon in their thoroughly eaten-down paddock, but when the field is closed off, they do.


Behold the noble Morgan, in all his graceful majesty!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Commander decides to meet the new vet


Well, I'm sure he didn't consciously set out to garner an introduction to Kelly Butterworth, the newest member of SRH Veterinary's practice, but meet her he did this evening.

A couple of days ago, I spotted a small wound on the inside of Commander's right thigh, about an inch long vertically and maybe a third of an inch at its widest, about four or five inches above the hock. It had bled but stopped by the time I found it. I cleaned it, Betadined it, and spritzed it with that silvery wound spray. The boy was completely sound and unfazed by having it touched, so I figured, all right, skin scraped by a hoof kicking at flies, no biggie. He continued perfectly sound and un-ouchy, nothing dramatic, wound looking like healing okay.

But today, when I groomed him to ride, the wound was open and outpouching at the top, and oozing a bit of watery pus. Oh-oh. He moved with no trace of a limp, so I went ahead with the ride -- a short one; he and I both decided the mosquitos were too annoying to stay out long. Being ridden didn't bother him, nor did being palpated around it, but the look of the wound bothered me, so I called the vet. That was midday, and the veterinary dance card was, as one might expect, quite full, so after finishing my chores I went home to await The Call.

Commander finally was seen around 7:30 this evening, and sure enough, he needed that medical attention; Kelly diagnosed a puncture wound. The darned things can look utterly innocent and superficial, they seal over and all looks well; then infection burrows in and blows out. And so it was with Commander. So the boy got a bit of chemical calmer; Kelly cleaned, debrided, and irrigated the wound; and we finished the evening's entertainment with a leg wrap, a jar of Uniprim antibiotic to start feeding him, a recommendation to keep him stalled at least overnight, and another visit by Kelly scheduled for tomorrow, to check his soundness, treat the wound again, and decide where we go from here. He'll probably need to have it irrigated for several days. Since I can't rely on anyone at the farm to help me every day, and there's no way I'm going to try to irrigate a hind-leg wound in an unsedated horse by myself, I'll probably have to have Kelly come back and do it for me till she pronounces it healed well enough not to need further irrigation. Sigh..........

As it happens, I'd already intended to bring Ben and Commander in overnight and keep them in next morning, since it's forecast to rain, be chilly, and continue so through much of tomorrow. Commander would have been fine staying out were it not for his injury, since he has sense enough to come in out of the rain and lurk in the run-in; but Ben, dear sweet not-so-bright Ben will stand out in the pouring rain and cold till he's soaked to the skin and shivering miserably. And if Ben goes in, Commander has to go with him, or great lamentation and brouhaha will ensue.

Commander gobbled the mini-mash I made for his first dose of Uniprim; I should have no trouble getting it all into him. If he has to be stalled for a few days, Ben will probably have to stay in also, since they are so bonded -- okay, co-dependent -- and if I put Ben out Commander will likely pitch a fit at being left behind. Given how merciless the mosquitos have become lately, and how much Ben likes being inside, a few days' restriction to his capacious stall won't unduly oppress him. Commander will be less content with confinement, but as long as he has his buddy Ben across the aisle from him, he'll be okay. They have, and will have, plenty of hay to keep them occupied.

Oh, one other note: Kelly Butterworth has just recently joined the SRH Vet practice. She's a native of the area, and in her teenage years was a barn rat at Seven Acres when I first boarded my late, great QH Nick there. Nicky the Pickle -- she remembered him! With great fondness. She sort of remembered me too -- as the owner of Nick; that was my claim to fame. Yes, indeed, the Magnificent Pickle made a lasting impression on all who knew him. Especially the barn rats.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Have Drapes!

When I moved into my condo, must be over a dozen years ago, the previous owners left behind at my request the drapes for the slider to the little deck off the master bedroom. They were a heavy plain off-white material, hauled open and shut with a pull cord at one side. They didn't thrill me, but neither did they bother me enough to replace. They built up cat hair over time, and took on a somewhat dingy aura, but year after year, they served their purpose: Open. Close. Open. Close.

Until one day, a couple of months ago, when I tugged on the pull cord and that end of the rod pulled right out of the wall. Unrepairably so; I had to take the entire thing down. Can't say I was sorry to bundle the whole tired mess into the trash; but now what? Can't have that expanse of glass uncurtained, not when it faces east, into the rising sun (oh, the horror for a night-owl late riser!), and with a clear view-shot from Linebrook Road into my bedroom.

So I researched drapery online -- fabrics, styles, and local purveyors of such; and found a fabric that I liked very much on the website of Calico Corners, which has a local outpost in North Beverly. There followed in rapid succession a visit to the shop for an in-hand view of the fabric, a retreat home with a swatch to plunk down here and there about my bedroom, a return to pick out backing cloth and hardware and place a provisional order, a home visit by the installer to measure, and a finalizing of the order.

And then: the wait for the drapes to be made. Six to eight weeks, I was told; and it turned out to be about seven. But at last they came in; at last the installer came out to hang them yesterday; and I HAVE DRAPES! And I love them.

In fact, they are even more gorgeous, even more JUST RIGHT for my bedroom than I had hoped. Here, take a look and see what I mean:


The walls are a pale peachy-gold sponged onto a developer-vanilla base. I wanted the Southwestern color palette to go with the decor, but not a pattern per se, just the suggestion. Here, take a closer look:


Such a variety of ways there are to make drapes! I wound up going for the simple pinch pleat, which I think works well with the subtle design of the fabric:


Picking the hardware was another excursion into a multitude of choices, but when I saw the finial for what became my choice, I knew I had a winner:


The installer did a meticulous job, in the process hiding the broken wallboard where the old rod had pulled loose. The drapes are lighter-weight than what they replace and slide easily. Open or closed, they just look so fine!

Over time they will, of course, acquire cat hair and dust and the familiarity that breeds, not contempt, but unmindful taking for granted. But for now, for the moment, I HAVE DRAPES and they delight me.