Red's bandage looked pretty good this morning. I swapped Pie for Dawn in Pie's stall and left the barn for a while. When I got back at around 1 p.m. to reverse the Pie/Dawn swap, Red had clearly been churning in his stall, had not eaten his hay and was kicking with his bandaged hind leg continuously - every couple of seconds - he had completely cleared the shavings from the middle of his stall. The bandage had slid down several inches and had come loose at the top, and the more it slid, the more he kicked.
His long-term sedation hadn't really done much good - he was extremely alert and worried. (He gets another dose tomorrow, and may need a couple more doses before things really kick in.) The only thing the sedation seems to have accomplished is that he screams (slightly) less, and when he kicks, he tends to kick the (padded) floor of the stall rather than the concrete wall or wooden partitions - small but important blessings. He's uncomfortable and aggravated.
But his bandage was a mess, and at some point he'd managed to get it wet, probably by running into his water bucket. So another emergency vet call - I got the same vet as yesterday. Red did stand like a statue without more sedation for her to cut the old bandage off and put a new one on. The incision looked clean but there was a bit more swelling than yesterday - no wonder considering the amount of kicking he's been doing.
Another thing his visit at the vet hospital accomplished was to make him head shy for medicines by mouth - he'd been perfect for that before. Either too many meds or being manhandled had made him resistant. Tonight was his last dose of bute, so we worked on that with approach/release, and he quickly got better again - another small mercy. He's eating his dissolved SMZs with grain as well as his Previcox well, but he still seems pretty uncomfortable. And after the vet left, he was still doing some kicking and I actually caught him lifting his hind leg forward and bending his head and neck around and trying his teeth on the bandage - bad boy. Bitter Apple may be in our future as well . . .
We have another vet visit already scheduled for tomorrow, and it seems likely that we'll need it to redo his bandage again. At least the vet will be able to give him another long-term sedation dose, which may calm him down a bit (here's hoping).
And finally, at the end of a beautiful spring Easter day, I had a very nice outdoor ride on the wonderful Pie - a bit of a relief and a few moments of relaxation.
One more day towards Red's recovery . . . I don't know if I'll be as glad as he will when he's back to normal but I know I'll be mighty glad . . .