Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Monday's Vet Appointment

Monday morning the vet came out to adjust Penn... and we tacked on the lameness exam too.

She asked me about Penn's medical history, and that's when I realized I really don't know much about him medically. He had a good pre-purchase, has had a few bumps (aka his face) and that's about it. He's never been lame, just funny behind in the last few months. The same vet office did his teeth at the start of this year.

She decided to check out the hoof first, and so she had me lunge him... where he proceeded to be extremely lame on the soft indoor footing. Much, much worse than the day before.

She pulled out the hoof testers and checked him all over and said agreed it was an abscess, but thought it was under the shoe. She asked when the farrier would be back out to reset him, I said next Monday. She gave me two options- pull the shoe and try to find it, or leave the shoe and soak and poultice it for a few days, then pull the shoe if it doesn't pop out. I told her to do whichever she thought would clear it up fastest- he needs to be sound for us to go in a week and a half to a recognized show. We can keep him comfortable without a shoe for a week if we have to.

She opted to pull the shoe. She did a little more testing and a small amount of digging, but wasn't able to narrow it down to a specific spot to drain- she was afraid to dig into his white line to find it, which is totally fine by me! Hooves take a while to grow back and I feel like they're not something you want to go dig in unless you really have to.

It's somewhere near the red line.

A farrier might have a better shot at pinpointing it, and if it hasn't blown by Wednesday I might bribe one of the farriers at the barn to check. I don't think it will take until Wednesday, just because of how fast Penn is going lame. It seems to be the way these things pan out- the horse goes from sound to three legged crippled in a very short time, abscess blows, then they're healing and sound again.

The vet moved on to his chiropractic adjustment. She asked what made me think he needed it (sewing machine legs behind at the last show prompted the call, the massage therapist was concerned about the SI area, a general lack of swing in his back that he used to have). She tested him, and he reacted to her over his lower back, croup, neck, and tried to collapse his right hindquarter to get away from her testing pokey thing. She worked on him then gave me a review. I tried to remember properly- unless it's written down for me, I'm really just terrible at remembering the medical terminology:

  • Crooked hips- the right is lower than the left.
  • Lower lumbar was out.
  • Neck C4/C5 was out.
  • Whither area, poll, and legs were good.
She wants to see him again in 6 weeks, so we made the appointment today. I don't have any media from her adjusting him, it was just neat to watch her flex him and use his own responses to make the adjustments.

We had a dilemma about what to do with him after his treatments- he needs to stay in because he's missing a shoe and is lame, but he needs to move around to help with the adjustment. We came to the agreement that he'd go out after breakfast while stalls were cleaned, then he'd come in when the barn work was done.

I got one of these boots for him from Tractor Supply, only because he's terrified of vet wrap and I hate being mean to him to make him deal with it, and this is probably easier to put on over the diaper and poultice. I have serious doubts about its durability, but I just need the protection for a week until this abscess blows and he can have his shoe back on.

A dubious product.

Hopefully all this clears up in the next week! I'll be soaking his hoof and wrapping for the foreseeable future.


  1. Replies
    1. I hope. It still hasn't blown. I hope it does soon so we can get his shoe back on... He's become a bit of a nightmare about letting us wrap his hoof.

  2. I've never heard of a horse being afraid of vet wrap. I would definitely try to start desensitizing him to that.

    My mare twisted a shoe last week and destroyed a boot that was way more durable than that one in a night. I would be in trouble if she wouldn't let me wrap it.

    Hope everything clears up quickly.

    1. I've never heard of them being afraid of it either. My BO was like, no way, so she pulled out a vet wrap and we started desensitizing him... She was floored that he was legit afraid of it. The sound of it unrolling, then he doesn't like when it gets too long. I'll have to get a video of it so people can see. Since he's terrified of it, and I managed to use it to wrap his foot twice, he's become nervous about us lifting the foot up to treat it. It's a nightmare. I'll be spending a week when we're done with this just teaching him to lift his feet again. We're definitely going to be attacking this fear- vet wrap is too common in medical treatment and he has to get over it asap, just for his own health!

      I don't have much hope for the boot, especially after attempting to put it on... Three guesses how well he cooperated for that. I think I'm going to get him an ezboot or something.

  3. Vetwrap? REALLY? Weirdo. ;)

    Hopefully that abscess blows out soon. Easyboots are really great to have on hand, hopefully TSC has them in his size!

    1. We're chalking it up to those quirks that come with good horses. The barn is trying to get a bombproofing clinic set up... Guess who's already signed up? Haha!

      I don't even know what size he'd be in easy boots. I could always buy a couple and return them. I'm hoping this abscess blows soon, I'm getting paranoid about it!

  4. oy, they always have such a keen sense of timing, eh? hopefully he's back to normal ASAP. also fwiw - the last two times my mare went three legged lame from an "abscess" it turned out to be just a stone bruise (and she is apparently mighty dramatic about those fancy tootsies of hers) so maybe he'll recover completely without any additional digging around?

    1. The way he went lame makes us point to abscess- it's a progressively worse lameness, not a sudden 3 legged. Hopefully it blows itself out today, I don't really want any digging into the hoof.

  5. Hope that abscess blows out right quick so he can be on the road to healing :)