Friday, April 25, 2014

One Day at a Time . . .

The surgeon came to visit Red this morning (several hours late due to emergencies he had to deal with).  He said the incision looked very good.  Then he and his assistant ultrasounded the swelling on Red's leg to see if it was just fluid or inflammation of the structures (the concern was the suspensory ligament).  It seemed to be just fluid, which was good news.  Since it was fluid, he drained it - undoing the bottom suture and inserting a cannula to drain the fluid - there was a lot of it, serum and uncoagulated blood - basically a hematoma.  Then he rewrapped the leg, gave Red another dose of Reserpine, loaded me a syringe for another Reserpine dose on Sunday, and left.

Immediately after Red came out of short-term sedation, he was irritated with the bandage, and started a big of stomping.  When I came back in the afternoon, he was stomping more.  I called the vet, and they had me give him a cc of ace by mouth - it seemed to help - he was still doing a bit of moving the leg, but there was a lot less stomping and kicking.  They very much want the bandage to stay on for several days, both to reduce swelling and to avoid contaminating the open wound from the fluid drainage.

Assuming all goes well, we will have a vet visit on Monday to redo the bandage, and another visit on Wednesday to evaluate if he's ready for a step-down to a standing wrap and starting turnout in a small pen.  I was able to persuade the surgeon that just doing more stall rest plus hand walking was less desirable in Red's case than starting pen turnout earlier - so if all goes well, by the end of next week, Red should be going out in a pen (with poor long suffering Pie in the next pen for company).  He'll be getting 2 ccs of ace by mouth before his first pen turnout, and then we'll step down to less ace depending how he does.  And then there's the challenge of keeping his wrap dry in the event of rain . . . any suggestions are welcome.

While we were waiting for the vet, Dawn and I managed a nice ride.  Her EPM symptoms are mostly gone, although one front leg is still a bit wonky - I gave her another 500-kb dose of Banamine.  And Pie did not get ridden today - I wanted to keep Red as quiet as possible so left Pie in his stall.

One more day . . .


  1. Poor Red. This is not easy for hiim at all. I can picture him so easily -- Winston would react the same way.

  2. Each day moves toward the end of this situation and a healthy fully healed horse. I feel sorry for Red he really isn't taking this confinement well at all. It's so hard when they don't understand this is only in their best interests.

  3. The only thing I can think of to keep the bandage dry is to Saran Wrap it; roll it like you would a standing wrap and tape the end in place. Go a little above and below the bandage too.

  4. It's good that you have Pie right now. What a good guy.

  5. Progress, even if it is frustrating for both you and Red. Hopefully getting out in a small pen with Pie next door will make him happier.

    Sending good vibes your way.

  6. I suspect as he heals and gets used to it he'll calm down about the bandage. Also a bit of moving is good to the fluid moving. I agree with turn out in a small pen. It keeps them happier and much less likely to injure themselves.

  7. Oh Kate, I haven't been reading any of my favorite blogs recently and i'm so sorry to learn about Red and all his troubles. I hope that he is calming down and healing and that soon he will be out grazing again. What an ordeal you have been through this Spring! I also really enjoyed reading your Mark Rashid clinic posts -- So thoughtful and I learn from both Mark and you each time I read about your work with him. I send you good wishes for a smooth and enjoyable road ahead as we move into warm weather.


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