Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dawn's Mouth is Bleeding, or Why I Love our PM Barn Lady

Dawn is a tough, strong, fierce mare, but she always seems to find a way to have odd injuries or illnesses.  She got in terrible kicking fights with Lily until she accepted that Lily was dominant.  When Sugar arrived, they got in fights until Dawn's dominance was established, but just before that happened, Dawn was seriously kicked by Sugar (I was there and the sound was just like a cleaver going into a piece of meat - an awful "chunk") on the outside of her lower hind leg, with profuse bleeding (Lily lapped up the blood!) and many stitches required.  She's had an odd neurological illness - probably a rhino virus - involving a very stiff neck and a fever.  There was the time recently that she ran full-tilt into the fence while chasing another horse.  And she's broken teeth before - she often bites the fence or metal gate when she's aggravated, and will run her teeth up and down the stall wall to indicate impatience or irritation.

I got a call (of course, just as I was heading out to an appointment, since cancelled) from our p.m. barn lady this evening that there was some blood on the snow by the gate in the mare's pasture and that, when she checked the mares over, Dawn's mouth was full of blood.  This is one of the things I love about our regular p.m. barn lady - she notices things like this and takes action as appropriate.  Many people wouldn't have noticed that anything was wrong.

So I cancelled my appointment and headed over to the barn.  Indeed, her mouth was full of blood - when I opened her lips to look it started dripping out and when she tossed her head it was flung around.  Dawn's usually fussy about her mouth, but one good thing about her is that if she needs help, she'll be cooperative in ways she usually isn't - she's smart about that, so she let me look at her mouth.  The blood seemed to be coming from farther back in her mouth - not her front teeth.  She had no external signs of injury on her face or head - no sign that she'd been kicked or hit her face on something.  Her incisors looked OK.  When she was chewing bits of hay, her mouth made an odd grinding sound - I'm suspecting an injury to a premolar or a molar.  It could be her tongue got stuck to the very cold metal gate, but I suspect she broke a tooth biting the gate or the fence, which she's prone to do - she's broken teeth in the past but without this amount of blood - she may have split one or knocked it out.  I doubt it's an injury to the palate, as she would be more uncomfortable - she's pretty demonstrative, running her mouth and front teeth up and down the stall wall (a sign of discomfort) but not head shaking or pawing.  The vet suggested Banamine, but I elected not to do that yet since she's still bleeding and I also don't want to affect sedation, if that is needed, or her digestive system.

I called the vet's emergency line and got a call back pretty quickly - my vet practice is good about that. The recommended that we not feed her her dinner and that we take her hay away, which we did, to allow the bleeding to stop and the injury to clot over.  I'll go back in about 2 hours to check on her to see if the bleeding has slowed.  If it hasn't, I'll have the vet right out.  If the bleeding has stopped or slowed, I'll wait another two hours and then offer her some hay - she was happy to eat but chewing carefully before we took her hay away.  Then we'll see what we've got.  I've got a call in to Mike Fragale to see if he's still in our area and came come and look at her, if not I'll have our regular vet look at her and then perhaps take her to U. Wisconsin at Madison if dental work is required - I like our regular vets but don't trust them much for dental work.

Horses can get up to the most amazing things, can't they?  I think she's going to be fine, but I'll be updating through the evening as I know more - stay tuned.

17 comments:

  1. Maybe she did break a tooth...look forward to finding out. I certainly have an appreciation for the woman who helps me with the horses...if anything she would be overly concerned and always lets me know if something is not right. And you would do the same if you were on duty.
    I hope everything goes well for that sweet girl.

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  2. That is so scary! *cringe* Keep us posted.

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  3. Oh, my! I hope it's nothing serious! I am really lucky with Gilly and Pokey, they never seem to get hurt. My neighbors horse is always getting herself into something and hurt.
    I hope Dawn is OK, will be waiting for your next post.

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  4. I too will be waiting to hear. Lots of blood coming from ANYWHERE is not a good sign, though bleeding will cleanse the wound. And there are no flies now, another good thing. Good thing Dawn has a sensible head (after she's "lost her head" and done something silly). Honestly, these horses!

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  5. I'm sorry Dawn is hurt! I hope you can get to the bottom of it easily and that it turns out to be no big deal. I'm glad she's not in terrible pain.

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  6. Geez Louise, what did you do to yourself, Dawn?

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  7. They do have a penchant for getting hurt. Hope it turns out to be a relatively minor injury.

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  8. Well, that's scary! I hope it's nothing too serious.

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  9. Scary. I wonder if it will affect her ability to have a bit in her mouth for awhile? I guess I'm jumping the gun to think that far ahead.
    Good luck with it. I'll be watching for updates.

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  10. Very worrisome. I hope it's nothing too serious and she heals quickly.

    ~Lisa

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  11. Does sound like it could be a broken tooth. Regardless, I hope it's nothing too serious.

    Why, just when everything seems to be going well, does something like that have to happen? Murphy seems to be dropping by a bit too often lately. *sigh*

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  12. I'm going to take a wild guess here, but I know that Comcast went "4 paws in the air" as Kate's husband would say, around 7:30 this evening for the entire Chicago area, which might be why Kate has not been able to update. When last heard from, at 8pm the bleeding had stopped, and Kate was going back at 10 to try her with some food.

    I always think no news is bad news and assume the worst, so I wanted to let you know that I don't think that's the case.

    - PM feeding lady

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  13. Hope all is okay with Dawn .....my word she does like to get in trouble doesn't she!

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  14. Thanks PM Feeding Lady! Hope she's doing well this morning Kate. What an odd sort of injury though.

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  15. I had a similar situation with Boo a few months ago sans all the blood. He couldn't chew properly and had to be on soaked grain for awhile. Couldn't chew hay at all. Good news is he's fine now. We never did figure out what happened. The vet called it a deep tissue injury.

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  16. Egads! (I've always wanted to use that word)

    You get the award for most dramatic development while I was out of pocket.

    Yesh!

    Glad she's on the mend.

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