Sunday, October 10, 2010

Dawn Is Still Off - Whine Alert

We're having beautiful weather and I don't even have a horse to ride.  Dawn is still off, in a mysterious way.  Last night her feet were cool and she was walking fine, although I didn't trot her out to see if she would be sound at the trot.  This morning she had heat again in the outside rear quadrant of her right front foot - basically the outside heel area.  And when I took her out of the stall and put her on cross ties to look her over, she put the right front down for a moment on the toe and left it there - putting the heel down was clearly a bit uncomfortable.  But it's very hard to even see that she's off at the walk, and on a soft surface she looks sound at the walk.  I'm still thinking some sort of bruise - either to the heel or the sole - or perhaps  there's an abscess brewing, although she's not anywhere near lame enough for one about to pop.  The fact that the heat comes and goes is odd too.  Her feet are black, so it's hard to see bruising, if there is any.  It's also been very hot and dry and she's got some cracks - perhaps she's got a minor infection in there, although there's no clear sign of it.  Who knows?  I'm not giving her any meds - she's not that uncomfortable - so I can clearly see what's going on with how she's feeling.  But in any event I have no horse to ride and I'm feeling rather sorry for myself!

And I just got a phone call from my husband - he's on the road downstate and the F-350 has stranded him by the side of the road.  He was driving along and suddenly all the gauges went dark, but the truck continued to run so he kept driving.  A few miles down the road the engine quit and the power brakes died - everything died.  So he was sitting by the side of the road waiting for U.S. Rider to send his tow along.  It sounds like a major electrical problem - we've had minor electrical problems with this truck before - I sure hope it can be fixed easily and not at huge cost.  At least neither my daughter or I were hauling horses at the time, although I feel sorry for my husband having to cope with that.

I'll stop whining for now, and hope all of you with sound horses to ride are having a good day with horses!


  1. Can only echo your comment on my blog, mystery lameness really is the pits! Here's hoping it's something relatively simple and straightforward like an abscess, horrible as they are :(

    I do hope your husband was collected and towed safely, such a worry when cars break.

  2. Maybe an Epsom Salt soak would help- can't hurt- and if there is any infection it will draw it out.
    The truck might be having computer chip problems?

  3. Yuck about your husband being stuck. Sounds like perhaps an alternator problem, although since a diesel engine fires on compression alone, it's not necessary to have an ongoing spark (and the electricity to make it) like a gas engine. It may be necessary to have electricity for the fuel injection system, though.

  4. Whatever the cause is, the horse is the receiver of the pain, or discomfort. Some years ago, I had a WB x, she was a dream ride, never lame! Unfortunately, she was my dressage horse, and, she was good! I hadnt been able to ride her for several days due to a sprained ankle, and therefore had had to let her relax with other horses of mine in the same field.
    Its a long story but suffice to say, I got back to riding her. She was doing fine, then at an area event, while doing a simple track across the arena, she went lame. Next day fine, then a week later, lame again. This went on for months!!! It was so frustrating! Then I decided to take her to an expert horse vet, and I mean Expert! It wasnt cheap, but after a quick trot up he then told me she was lame on the front right, not as I thought the rear left!
    She had been compensating.
    However, after x-rays, we were able to distinguish a fracture of the bone, behind the Canon bone. I was non plussed!
    How? When? The vet suggested that it was old, maybe several years! But that a recent knock, had caused it to become unstable. It finally broke, and we had to have her PTS.
    My point is, lameness will have a cause, its a matter of iliminating the obvious, and whatever is left, no matter how impossible, is the answer.
    Good luck.

  5. Had the same thing happen to our diesel Excursion a few years back, although it was proceeded by the alternator light coming on. Because it has two large batteries, and doesn't required spark, it continued to run until there wasn't enough juice left in the batteries to keep the fuel solenoid valve open. Luckily, for me, it died in the driveway.

  6. I am thinking abscess, I agree with Shirley, and epsom salt soak sure wont hurt.If its a bruise it will help draw it out as well

  7. Ugh, I HATE when I'm super ready to ride on a beautiful day and silly things like "a sound horse" get in the way! LOL, good for you in recognizing she wasn't a hundred percent though-lots of people (like me, on my less observant days) might not. Hope she's better soon, and you're able to ride...and here's hoping we have some nice days left for you to do so:)

  8. Sorry about the hoof and truck problems - hope everything clears up soon.

    Sounds like you have some extra time for looking at "horse porn" though :)

  9. It is amazing how such big creatures can be so fragile. I hope you are just seeing the very beginnings of an abcess or something along those lines.

    I feel for your husband being stranded in the truck. I don't think even lame horses are worse than being stranded with a dead vehicle.

  10. This is a familiar experience. It's at times like this that O wish Lilly could just tell me what her foot feels like. Hooves can be so mysterious. How many times have I read books and looked at full on anatomical graphics over and over for any kind of clue about what could be wrong?! So frustrating!

  11. Sounds like a bad alternator to me too. Depending on how hard it is for the mechanics to get to, it shouldn't be too expensive.

  12. Ugh! It never rains, it pours, right? So sorry to hear about all this trouble. Hopefully neither the truck nor Dawn will be complicated problems and can easily be solved. Is Dawn running a temp at all? I've had good luck drawing out an abscess by packing the foot with betadine soaked sugar. Just add sugar to the betadine until it forms a paste, pack the foot and wrap it. If you decide to treat it like an abscess, it might help. Fingers crossed on all fronts for you!

  13. Not sounding like a fun time by you. Hope it all works itself out soon and you get to ride.

  14. I'd be whining if I were you, too. I really hope it's not a big cost to you and you get the truck going again relately easy.

    I had a year without my horse once--when Cowboy had the P3 fracture. I rode my husband's horse while he recuperated, but it wasn't the same. That's why I have a couple young ones now--I thought I'd need a replacement horse. However, Cowboy had different plans and survived the fracture. Now I have a bunch of horses who need a job. Want to come out and ride one of them for me?!?

  15. Kate you could pack that heel and sole with ichthamol salve too. Epsom salt soak might dry things out even more than they already are, making her more uncomfortable. Packing her with ichthamol, or even good clay hoof packing might do wonders and ease things up in there for the poor beautiful girl. I just spotted two types of hoof pads in the new Valley Vet - never used either one, but they might be worth investigating too. (I'll look at the catalog and email you info on them if you'd like.)

    Meantime, please give Dawn a big rub from me.

  16. Wow, you had a terrible day! Here's hoping today is better and both Dawn and the truck are sound again!

  17. Linda - I sure wish I could - that sounds like fun!

    Mrs. Mom - thanks for the good ideas, as usual.

  18. Darn! It's too beautiful not to ride - but this does give you a ton of time to go horse shopping! :)

    Sending healing thought to Dawn.

  19. After reading Mrs. Mom's comment I had to google itchthammol- I'd never heard of it.
    Looks like I should have some in my first aid kit!

  20. Kate, I hope Dawn feels better soon, and the truck isn't a huge expense!

  21. Yay Shirley!! Thanks for checking that out and providing the link. (I always knew I was butchering the spelling on that stuff Duly noted and on a sticky on the puter monitor ;) )

    Kate- sure hope Dawn is gaining for you! Good luck horse shopping. You've got some nice ones to look at.

  22. Oh Kate,
    sure hope by the time this reaches you(days after) that she is showing signs of improovment. So sorry!
    And glad too that no horse trailer was involved with the truck~

  23. Bummer on both accounts. I'll join you in whining, too. Hubby's not been able to get more than part-time hours since moving back to New Mexico, we we're trying to figure out what to do and if he should head back out o state again. wah!
    And Apache's still lame, too. The adjustment seemed to only make a difference in her back and hips. Her front left shoulder is still lame! wah!

    It's only noticeable when she walks uphill. She trots, canters and runs around like nothing is bothering her. But at a walk, uphill only, she is very gimpy.

    The farrier is coming today to give her a trim that is supposed to help treat her specific problems....most likely a mustang roll and major balancing of the entire hooves.

    Crossing my fingers and saying a prayer that it works. Like you said, the weather is gorgeous right now, perfect for riding....and we're grounded instead. :(


  24. Kate - I'll second the Icthammol that Mrs. Mom recommended. And there's also my favorite, Animalintex by 3M - it's magical for sore feet - comes in a long strip, just cut the pieces to fit the hoof and use a hoof boot or duct tape. You can order it from Smart Pak. Intermittent lameness is so frustrating - but we've had the same dry conditions and then a lot of rain and that's when Siete gets abscesses.
    Hope your husband got home safe and sound!


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