Thursday, January 5, 2012

Our first Disaster

Go figure....

Things were going along well. Danny settled in nicely with the herd and was learning how to be a good baby horse. He learned how to have his feet picked out, to behave for the farrier, to tie, to lead, to be groomed, load and haul, and to wear a saddle pad and to be "sacked out" mostly. We were also learning to allow touching everywhere and the other typical baby stuff. Things were going well. He even had a playmate! A fellow appy lover was boarding her year and a half old colt with us and him and Dan were great friends. And him and Fleck were starting to become buddies.

Well, one day he came in with a small cut on the outside of his left hind. No big deal. I cleaned it out as best as a baby horse allows and kept an eye on it. It swelled up a little but I kept it clean and all seemed well. It was never hot or oozy and Dan stayed sound. Except that it continued to stay swollen. It was a firm cellulitisy type of swelling, so I didn't panic.
About four weeks later though, still sound and cool, it started to get fluidy and larger. Uh oh... And it didn't get better. So out came Dr. Christina. We sedated, clipped and cleaned, and stuck a needle in it. Bloody fluid. So... we x-rayed it and it appears that he managed to chip a teeny little fracture off the end of his lateral splint bone. A seriously small little piece. But I guess it was small enough that it had no blood supply and turned into a sequestrum, which meant he got a fluid pocket of irritation. Ugh.. that meant surgical removal. Poor little kid. Well, this is where it gets interesting.

Now.. it's funny. But only because I know it all went well. At the time... argh..

So... my dumb self schedules surgery for the morning after I worked 6 overnights in 7 days. So I get home from work and move the trailer to the driveway. Danny's self loaded and even sat in the trailer alone for 20 minutes so I figured it would be no big deal. Ha!! Apparently moving the trailer makes it scary. It also didn't help that the other horses left him and went up front. So... I spent 30 minutes trying to load the bugger and in this time, noticed I was starting to get a headache. Finally his buddy came galloping back up and I guess sorta scared him into the trailer. I managed to get the butt bar up and then Danny backs partly under it and gets stuck. He's freakin' out, I'm freaking out, and Fritz (his buddy) is freaking out. I finally manage to get him out from underneath and he tries to turn around. No baby horse, no! So somehow I manage to get him lined up properly, tie him (because I'm afraid he'll try to turn around again) and slam the doors shut and off we go. My head is now pounding but I don't have any headache meds and don't dare make him wait while I go back to the house to get some. Oh well...
So we get to the clinic and he is fine. He's settled down, hauled well, and only has a tiny scrape on his heel from his antics. Yay. We get him into the clinic and set up and he goes down well for surgery. So.. it's a cold cold day and we're doing surgery outside in a stall, but essentially outside. I'm freezing! While we're doing surgery (I got to help, cause I'm cool!) I leaned against the mat he was laying on. Suddenly it's nice and warm and I'm thinking... hey, do they have a heated mat?!? How cool is that?! Oh nope...wait... that's HORSE PEE!! Now my entire left butt cheek and thigh are soaked in pee. And now it's no longer warm. Ugh.. oh well. And now my head is really starting to pound. So... we finally get that tenacious tiny little piece of bone out and I scrub out. A tech brings me some ibuprofen and a coke and I let Dr. Christina wrap him up and start the process of waking him up while I go hunch over in the corner trying not to vomit. Well... that didn't last long. Next thing I know I'm puking in their trash can, dry heaving my guts out. Ugh... Sorry Doc!

Yeah... so I'm in a semi-conscious migraine state now, which is actually a really good thing! Because my baby horse, who I might add is half Irish, decides to come up fighting. Poor kiddo. He wakes up horrible and proceeds to thrash about his stall and smack his head, fall down, go up, fall down, etc. It's really quite terrifying and the things that could have happened are far too horrible to really even think about. Again, it's a good thing I'm so ill I'm half conscious too. So... Doc decides to sedate him again and rewake him up to see if he's a bit more smart about it. Nope.. he wakes up fighting again. Sigh.. Then we realize that he appears to have some nerve damage/paralysis to his front right leg and can't quite get it under him. Which is not helping his getting back on his feet while still drunk situation. So... all of the vet clinic comes out and hook his head and tail up to a rope pulley system and basically hold him upright. Yay!! Now he's not flopping like a fish out of water and not likely to hurt himself. Dr. Christina checks him out and he's just bruised and battered, but no major issues. At this point someone brings me some more potent pills and I excuse myself to my truck to pass out for real. Who knows how much later, Dr. Christina taps on my window and says he's up and ready to go home. I am not sure why I was so adament about not leaving him there. I think part of it was that I wanted to go home and pass out but still be able to check on him around 9 pm when I figured I'd get up. And I wanted to be able to dote on my poor little man. So we tried to load him. He's smart and figured out that if he flung his foot forward, he could place it and walk. However if he didn't, it knuckled and he started to go down. So it was slow going, but we got him to the ramp. And then he said NO! Honestly though... smart baby. So I give up and say he can stay and can stay overnight! I'm too ill to care at this point and just need to get home to bed. So we walk him over to their barn. Where he says NO again and almost takes out their electric cords. Doh.... So then we get him into a paddock and he seems happy. Thank goodness!! I went home and passed out and finally woke up feeling better. The next morning I went and got my little guy and he was already so much better. They had put him in a stall overnight. We started him on meds and he was walking almost normally at that point. He loaded right up and was happy to be home. He stayed in his stall for 10 days and was back to normal by the time he was off stall rest. He was great about his stall rest, great about his bandage changes, and his incision healed beautifully. His leg is still swollen, but that will go away with time.

I'm just glad it all worked out well and that I was semi-comatose during the ordeal. Super thanks to Dr. Dayton and her crew for working so hard on him and helping him out. Phew.... No more drama baby horse, no more!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment