Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Red Update at 6 Weeks after Surgery

It's been 6 weeks since Red had surgery to remove the lower half of his outer splint bone (displaced and fractured) on his left hind leg.  The first two weeks - bandaging and stall rest, neither of which he tolerated very well - were very difficult, but once he started hand walking and then got some pen turnout, his attitude improved greatly.  He'll still be in the pen for at least several more weeks, and is wistful for the pasture and his herd, but Pie is next to him and he seems fairly content with the current routine.

I get to the barn before 6:30 a.m. and turn Red and Pie out into their pens.  The other horses are already out.  I do the turnout myself, rather than having the barn guys do it, because Red is fairly up and requires careful handling - if there's a problem or accident I want it to be my problem or accident rather than one of the guys.  I also understand Red and can handle him quietly even if he's excited.  I also only live about 5 minutes away, so it's easy for me to get there.  Once Red is back to regular work and getting some herd turnout, the guys should be able to handle him without a problem.

In the afternoon, we ride.  I've ridden Red 19 times, starting when the vet cleared us to walk ride.   We've creeped our way up to 5 minutes of trotting, and we're now riding without sedation - he sometimes fusses a bit when we start trotting but settles well.  He sometimes starts out a bit stiff - the leg continues to stock up a bit - probably poor circulation after the surgery, as there's no heat or tenderness.  He also will likely have a permanent "bump" below the end of the reduced splint bone, and the incision is healing with a white hair line.  By the end of our 5 minutes of trotting, his trot is even, engaged and fluid - just wonderful.  I continue to ice for 20 minutes after riding (he now tolerates the ice boot - I guess it feels good), and to put on arnica gel.

I'm planning to give him a walk ride "day off" tomorrow, and then resume trot work on Friday.  If he's moving well, I'll increase the trot time by a minute or two for another week.  Slow and steady wins the race . . .

2 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear he's healing and sound. That's the main thing. You ought to see the scars on my horse. He's till beautiful.

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