Not Complaining, well maybe…

Little Mickey flying fast and high!

Little Mickey flying fast and high!

One of my favorite all time pictures of Mickey and Lauren. She is giving him a little pep talk before a jumping class.

One of my favorite all time pictures of Mickey and Lauren. She is giving him a little pep talk before a jumping class.

Rain is always the enemy of Six Meadow Farm.  I know we need it to grow pastures, flowers and hay but a little goes a long way.  It has been a rainy fall.  Dev called to check if Lauren wanted to go to a lesson.  He asked if Feather and Bruno have been doing well in their workouts.  Well, Bruno has a chipped bone and stitches in his face so that is keeping him off the work rotation and it would be impossible to work anyone anyway, with the rain that has fallen and fallen some more.

There was a window on Sunday, where we could have probably taken Feather and Snow out on the fairly dry hay roads.  But Lauren was out hunting (I never thought I would utter those words) and with the time change the day ended before we got the ride in.

Mickey, as discussed over the last few weeks, came charging out to the pasture after rain on October 14th and twisted his horseshoe side-ways ripping nails through and into his foot.  Lauren made an attempt to pull the nails out.  By two days later, Mickey was seriously lame.  We did the prep for hoof abscesses (wrapping, soaking, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics).  He was x-rayed and found that one of the nails had broken off in the hoof.  Five days later he went to the vet and shoer.  They got the abscess open and draining.  They removed the nail.  Mickey was sent home with a hole in the bottom of his foot.  We were told by both the farrier and the vet, to keep him in a couple of days, the abscess would drain, he should get better and then could go out.  He did not come home with the hoof bandaged or with instructions to bandaged.

Hoof abscesses (think giant pus pocket in the foot) are common.  I can honestly say that I have never had a horse with an abscess in all my years of horse owning.  I know many people who have a whole abscess care path down to a science.  I am not one of them.  I took the vet and farrier at their word.

However, while Mick did improve, he never got where he could walk without pain on that foot.  I talked to Dr. Criner on Monday and she felt it was time for her to see him.

My life with vets is tricky.  I live in a rural area serviced by a hometown vet practice that does everything from cows to ferrets.  It is a nice facility.  I think all the vets are TAMU grads but it is not a horse (especially performance horse) specialty hospital.  I also use Dr. Lynn Criner, a hunter/jumper rider, who is a horse specialist,  who is not part of this group (who made the great catch on Bruno’s hoof) but she is 50 miles away with time commitments that do not allow her to run down to Wharton each time something happens to my horses.  Like when Bruno had blood streaming down his face, that was not a time to wait for Dr. Criner to make a trip to Wharton.  Even if Bruno would have been fine, Lauren needed immediate assistance and Wharton Vet provided that.

So it is hard!  Just like doctors don’t always treat the same thing the same way, neither do vets.  Probably if I had taken Mickey back to the Wharton vet, he might have done exactly what Dr. Criner did-at least I can tell myself that!

Lauren and I drove Mickey to Dr. Buff Hildreth’s vet practice on rainy Monday evening.  It was pouring as we loaded him, pouring as we walked him painfully to Buff’s barn.  He would stay over and Dr. Buff and Dr. Lynn would examine him on Tuesday.

Upon examination, poor Mick had at least three and perhaps four areas of infection in his single hoof.  I got some amazing pictures of pus running from his hoof (I am only sharing one-you are lucky!).  I got video too if anyone wants to see a simulation of a volcanic eruption of pus from a horse’s hoof-just send me a note and I will forward it to you.   After the fine ladies of vet medicine cleaned, poked and pushed infection out of the hoof, Mickey was much happier.  Yesterday he got to be just like Bruno with a fancy shoe with a surgical plate that we can unscrew and clean his sore ol’foot as directed.


Of course, this comes at a time when Mickey who has been enjoying a sort of semi-retirement was due to go to Dev’s to be leased by another rider.  Finally, he gets a job and then look what happens!  But he should be good to go in a month or so and Dev is being very gracious about waiting for him.

Dr. Buff started in on precise, detailed instructions on how to use the surgical plate.  Little did she know, we had totally perfected that with five months of Bruno hoof care.  I understand that she might be a little hesitant given my care of this hoof abscess but when we move on to stall rest, surgical plates and hoof wraps, we have certainly been there done that!

Blue skies are once again lighting up my windows and the rain  hopefully will not descend again for at least several days. I hope Mickey and Bruno continue with their recoveries.  Thanks for riding along!

Vet/Farrier/Doctor Updates

Sneaky is 100% well, has nothing to do with tonight's story but is very cute!

Sneaky is 100% well, has nothing to do with tonight’s story but is very cute!

Sometimes, it is frustrating as I have been around the human medical profession and the animal medical world enough to know what things are but not always how to fix them.

A week ago, I was leading Snow and Pixie to the back pasture with the incentive of fresh alfalfa hay so that we could let Bruno out in the front pasture.  Snow and Pixie are vying for their pecking order in the herd behind Mickey and Feather.  I really think Pixie is winning-which is weird that Snow is being submissive to the younger pony but then she is a girl and you know how boys can be led astray by cute girls.

ANYWAY, I am holding the hay and trying to watch both sides of me (Snow on one, Pix on the other) when Snow swoops in for a big bite of alfalfa.  Well, he got my arm instead.  Horses have large, strong jaws and Snow clamped down on my arm.  He bit me deeply, breaking the skin and causing a lot of bleeding and pain.

I knew a visit to the doctor was a good idea. I did not think the bone was broken. But emotionally, physically and intellectually I could not face an emergency room visit.  I have tried to keep it clean, soak it, use antibiotic cream but it has continued to be red, bruised and hurt.    Today I saw the doctor.  I should have had a couple of stitches.  Nothing is broken but it is infected.  There is a lot deep tissue bruising and it will hurt awhile.  Money well spent to confirm what I knew.  Huh!

The slow parade of Mickey, Pixie and tiny kitten Levi went off to the farrier and vet this morning.  Mickey has an abscess (which is what I have been saying for ten days) But now it is confirmed by the vet.  Jason, the farrier, was able to open it  and the abscess started draining immediately.  Fortunately, it is on the bottom of his hoof so it should heal well.  More antibiotics and some hoof soaks for Mick and he should be good as new in a couple of weeks.

Pixie had her feet trimmed and was just happy to get home.  Lauren did comment that it was great to have horses like Pix and Mick who loaded easily (no angst) and stood quietly in the trailer while waiting for the vet to open.  Who would have guessed we would ever be complimenting Mickey’s manners!!  Especially about loading into the trailer.  Things change, for sure.

The kitten does not have any more worms, does not have feline leukemia or AIDs (thank God!).  However, we do not know what is causing the constant, debilitating diarreha.   We are trying some meds for giardia (a stomach parasite-I have had it before and it is no fun) but if he does not get better in a few days there is little left to try for the darling kitten I rescued off the street three weeks ago.  I cannot responsibly spend any more money on this cat, nor continue to subject a kitten to being so sick all time.  I pray this medication does the trick and his little life is turned around.

Lauren headed up to Houston after school (and horse/cat pick up) to a foot specialist.  She has been having miserable heel pain.  I diagnosed plantar fasciitis.  And the high paid foot specialist said, wait for it, plantar fasciitis!  It is an inflammation of the thick tissue that connects the heel to the toes.  It is very painful.  Lauren hates needles.  The doctor told her she needed her foot injected.  She threatened to vomit on the doctor.  He told her to look at the ceiling.  Then the “giant” (Lauren’s word) needle went in her foot by her ankle.  The doctor told her not to kick him in the face.    Then he told her she had evidence of early on-set osteoporosis.  More good news.

I am not at all gratified about being right with all my diagnoses.

Here’s a prayer to all getting well and healing quickly!  Thanks for riding along.