Monday, April 7, 2014

With Horses, If It's Not One Thing, It's Another . . .

Our vet - from a very good nearby equine hospital - Merritt and Associates - was out today to do our final round of vaccinations.  Dawn and Red got rabies shots and Pie got his West Nile - he already has a lump at the injection site which I've used a hot compress on.

I also had the vet evaluate Red's persistent (now hard) swelling behind and below his wound site from his kick (about 18 days ago).  On the lunge, he was much better than he'd been even last week - about 90% sound and very willing to move. The wound is healing well, although not fully scabbed, and I'm to continue to hose it and put topical antibiotic on.  There is still some swelling, but there's little heat and the entire area isn't sensitive to palpation.  Just to be sure, the vet took a couple of x-rays to be sure that we didn't have a splint bone fracture.

The vet just called - Red does have a splint bone fracture, but it's nowhere near the wound site - it's well below that at the distal (bottom) end of the splint bone.  When he had the injury, the worst swelling was below the wound site - splint bone fractures can occur from direct trauma or from forces put on the horse's leg. Here's an article about splints and splint bones - Pie has several "splints" - bony lumps due to irritation of the attachment of the splint bone to the cannon bone in young horses - not a problem or issue.  Red's fracture is more of a question and is not the same sort of thing that happens in young horses - the the vet will be consulting with her surgeon tomorrow regarding what the best options are.  It may be that the fragment is an old/cold injury unrelated to the current injury, and requires no treatment, or it may be that it needs to be removed or injury to the related suspensory ligament could occur - the fragment is separated from the rest of the bone and is also rotated at an angle.  We'll see what they say.

The good news is that it's not an upper splint bone fracture, which is harder to treat and requires much more rest for the horse.  It may be that the small bone fragment can be easily removed or can stay in place.  My vet agrees that Red is not a good candidate for stall rest or even pen confinement, and she said to keep riding him at the walk and leaving him in turnout for now - he did a big gallop away from the gate this morning with no apparent difficulty or pain.

Hoping we can still go to the clinic to work at the walk and do our trailer loading . . . we'll have to see - if not, perhaps there's a mystery horse in my future . . . who knows? And tomorrow Dawn has her consultation for her likely dental surgery - the people we're using are the specialists my vet uses regularly for dental surgery.

With horses, if it's not one thing, it's another . . . I guess my education on equine maladies isn't over yet . . .


  1. It is always something, that's for sure. I'm hoping the injury is an old/cold one and doesn't require surgery. Fingers crossed for you and Red.

  2. Yes, I am well schooled in that particular aspect of owning horses.....
    Hope it is not going to require treatment.


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