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.


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