Monday, April 21, 2014

More Drugs Needed . . .

Poor Red is really struggling with his confinement and how his leg feels.  Early this morning I arrived at the barn to find him very agitated - despite Pie next door quietly munching hay.  Red was churning around in his stall, was wide eyed and high headed, screaming and was kicking the floor constantly with his bandaged leg.  And then he started lifting his hind leg and tearing at the bandage with his teeth and quickly succeeded in starting to tear it off.

Another call to the vet.  I went in his stall, haltered him and tried to distract him so he'd stop tearing at his bandage and would kick less until the vet could get there.  The only things that seemed to help were rubbing his hindquarters and tail - both done carefully to avoid getting kicked.  He finally settled a bit with his butt to the stall door where I could stand outside and massage his tail through the bars.

When the vet got there, she gave him 1 cc of Ace IV and another IM, for a longer lasting effect, and gave him another 0.5 cc shot of Reserpine - that is the long-term sedative where we're trying to reach a loading dose.  Since morning when the horses are turned out and I do the Pie/Dawn switch seems to give him the most trouble - and when he's worried he started kicking and trying to get his bandage off - the vet will come each morning to repeat the Ace and Reserpine.  We'll stop adding Reserpine once he's calm on it without the Ace, or if he gets diarrhea from it we may have to continue the Ace.  He also got another gram of bute to help with the swelling and soreness from all his moving around and kicking - the incision looks very good but there's a fair amount of swelling, which isn't helped by all the bandage changes we're doing - the bandages are supposed to stay on for two to three days.  Poor fellow, he'd also developed rubs on the back of his pastern from the bandage which were also contributing to his irritation - he got some medicine on those.

Red noticed when I did the Pie/Dawn switch, and was still kicking a little but not as much, and as I left he gave a couple of whinnies that were subdued versions of his usual scream.

Now, if the vet had just had some medicine to give me . . .

16 comments:

  1. Had to keep my PJ on tranquilizer when he had to stay in after tooth surgery. Some horses just can't stand being confined while the others are out. Poor Red. Hope he settles down so he can heal.

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  2. Oh Kate, that must be awful for him!! Have you discussed the possibility of something painful, or could there be intense itching associated with the surgery site? Just seems like a lot of agitation for such a short time being confined...poor, sweet Red. There must be a reason he's wanting that bandage off so badly. :(

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    1. There is some pain - there is swelling and it's a compression bandage. He's on Previcox, but apparently it takes 72 hours to take effect. Also the irritation at the bottom where it had rubbed his pastern must have been aggravating.

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  3. I prescribe a little Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey and water over ice for you. Dan

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  4. Red doesn't seem to be taking his confinement well at all. Hope the meds calm him down some and he stops kicking and tearing at the bandage with his teeth. I wonder if they ever use the neck cone on horses or if the even make one big enough. I've never seen one or used one but maybe there is something like that to keep him from biting his bandages. My dog had a soft one after a surgery so it was easy to sleep with it.

    Good luck. Don't you wish you could just tell him to cut it out for his own good and he could understand that.

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    1. There are wooden neck cradles, but they can only be used in situations where the horse is monitored 24/7 - not the case at my barn.

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  5. Sorry you are having such a rough time. Bach Rescue Remedy might help a little (for both of you).

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  6. I second the Bach Rescue remedy suggestion. It really works! (Dan and Betty's remedy is good too. ;D)

    Hoping you and the vets get things dialed in for poor Red asap... you must be as nerve wracked as he is.

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  7. Almost seems to me that he would do better with some turnout in a small pen with his buddy because that kicking is probably doing way more damage than walking. Just a thought.

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    1. None of our small pens is small enough, and his bandage can't get dirty or wet . . .

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  8. Oh, man, Kate. This is quite the ordeal. Hang in there (you too, Red).

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  9. Wow. Sending good thoughts to poor Red. Definitely try the RR and I might also try some homeopathic remedies specific to bone healing and Arnica for the swelling.

    Is there any way to make one of the pens smaller so he can be outside some? The kicking has to be worse than what he could do in a small pen. :/ When Rafer's leg was broken and he was prescribed stall rest for 3 months, I adapted that within a week or so to him having time in the barnyard with Salina 3-4x/day - not only did he heal perfectly, he healed in half the time they expected. If you can find a way for him to be safe but also be calm/happy I think the healing will go more quickly. I know this has to be incredibly stressful for you too - take good care!

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  10. Hi Kate, this is Vickey with the dark bay Arab mare at the clinic last weekend :) It was so great to meet you!! I found your blog by searching for Mark Rashid's website. I briefly told you about my Arabian filly that suffered multiple leg fractures (spiral and avulsion) when she was a yearling. She was on strict stall confinement for 6 months. She actually handled it extremely well, but I ended up getting a Mini mare who served as babysitter. Keeping things as quiet as possible in the barn was the biggest key. I couldn't have this mass exodus of 6 horses leaving stalls and going outside because it got her extremely stressed. You may need to move Red to a quiet private farm with just one other horse so he can heal? The hardest time for my filly was horses coming and going. So I had to put a lockdown on that activity in the barn, which was possible because it was my own barn. I put blankets on horses and left them outside with only the injured horse and the Mini companion left inside the barn. After about 4 months, I built her a tiny paddock outside the barn (10x10) so she was still "stall confined" but could get fresh air and sunshine and see the other horses. That helped her significantly. Three vets told me we'd never make it....you can't confine a yearling Arabian for 6 months and have anything good come of it. Well, she did not develop any bad habits, the leg healed perfectly, and today (5 yrs later), she is for all intents and purposes, sound! It was a very long, hard road but we made it. You and Red can make it too, Kate!! Hang in there, and don't be afraid to make changes if something isn't working. Soon this whole nightmare will be a distant memory :)

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    1. Vickey - it was great to meet you and your horse too!

      The good news is that if we can get him calmed down, the recovery period for this surgery is only 30 days, and I'm supposed to be able to hand walk him after 10 days and he can go in a pen after 20 days - but we need to keep him calm enough to heal for that schedule to work.

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  11. Poor Red. :( This post actually makes me think I need to teach my horses to be quiet in a stall. He's never been in one so he'd probably be stressed about it. I never thought about if he was ever on stall rest. I'm going to keep reading backward to find out what surgery Red had. He will be in my thoughts. I hope he heals up quickly.

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