Saturday, June 9, 2012

Baby's First Abscess

So...I haven't yet managed the rest of the Hitching Post writeup. Life intervened. This week, life intervened in the form of Tristan coming out of the stall for his Tuesday night lesson and, within a few seconds of walk work, getting very, very lame. I have never ridden a horse that head-bobbingly lame. So cue panic attack on my part.

I was pretty sure I'd felt a bit of heat and swelling in his right hind, and T. said he thought RH or LF, so we started cold hosing the RH. Then we added soaking. Then I hit my wall and called the vet out for Thursday afternoon - I was flying to California for a wedding on Friday morning and needed more certainty before I left.

The vet flexed him all four around, and saw him lame on his right front. Then she determined that he was very very sore to hoof testers, and he was very noticeably off on the longe line, and suggested radiographs of both fronts just to make sure, and to check his sole thickness on the RF.

Both front feet looked ok on the screens, and she palpated his RF fetlock to kingdom come. Everything combined pointed to an abscess in the RF, so his protocol was soaking, poulticing, bute, and stall rest.

I've never soaked or poulticed a horse before, so that was new. He'd stood ok for his soaking of the RH, but was a holy terror for the first soak of his RF - soaked me, the barn aisle, and basically everything but his foot for the first 10 minutes. He was much better for his second soaking, and was fine for the poultice.

Then I flew to California, and had a series of small breakdowns, one of which ended in messy tears, about abandoning him, especially after I ran into some obstacles nailing down a Friday night helper. Luckily, we have a lot of very, very good people at the barn who are helping take care of him. I'm still out in California today, but flying back Monday night and get to finally help take care of him myself.

I'm helping a friend with her toddler on this trip, and exhausted, and my coping skills are not good after the roller coaster week, so of course I'm having huge anxiety problems about my responsibility or lack thereof as a horse owner, about how he's in pain and I'm not there to help him, and until he actually starts draining I'll be nervous that it isn't really an abscess. I'm also worried about our scheduled XC school coming up next Saturday - that was supposed to be our prep run to go BN at Groton House. Next Tuesday is my withdraw-without-penalty date for Groton House, so I have to decide whether to chance it.

Oh, and the vet bill? Let's not speak of that. There goes the beginnings of my savings for a new car.

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