Sunday, July 31, 2016

Tuck and his Hock, Part 4


Here are some pictures of Tucker's swollen hock. Dr. Klayman shaved it down to the skin to see if he could find a cut or puncture wound, so that's why it's so light colored compared to his other leg.

So far, aside from an X-Ray showing an inflamed bone, there is nothing else to find.

Hope we get some news this week.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Tuck and his Hock Part 3

Still Swollen

Tucker's hock is still swollen after a week of poultices.

My vet was out again yesterday. He is very puzzled. He did an ultrasound and did not find any damage to ligaments or tendons. There was a lot of fluid in the joint capsule area.

He drew some of the fluid out and took some to culture for an infection.

However, he just called to tell me there was no sign of infection in the blood or serum.

So, we are still sort of at square one.

Tuck is on one gram of bute a day and a Volteran rub on the hock for now. He is confined to the stall and a very small run-in shed area...about 10' X 24' to keep him from running around. It's better than just stall confinement and it's on the shady side of the barn.

My vet has sent the X-rays to a surgeon he knows to see if there are any other suggestions for treatment.

The hock is not quite as swollen as it was, but it is certainly not normal.

The adventure continues. (I might see if I can get some pictures to post.)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tucker Update

Not Cellulitis After All

After a full week plus of treating Tucker for cellulits in his left hind/hock and getting really nowhere. I call the vet out again.

This time, after a thorough hands-on evaluation, the vet decided to take some x-rays.

Aha! One of the hock bones, on the inside of the joint was inflamed. Apparently, somehow, Tuck had either kicked or hit or somehow traumatized the inside of his joint.

So, protocol changed completely, from sweats to icing and poulticing.

Talk about messy. And, the hock is not an easy joint to work with as far as traditional bandaging it concerned. I have the Back on Track hock boot, which I used, but that helps generate heat.

Worse, using soaked brown paper on top of the poultice, is another mess.

Getting the old poultice off before treating with the anti-inflammatory ointment is another mess.

Icing the hock with ice packs is another bit of a mess.

Well, it's all a mess, but a manageable one. I did find a really good deal on an icing hock boot on eBay and I'm waiting for it to come. In the meantime, I've rigged up methods to keep the ice packs in place while I putter about cleaning stalls and filling water buckets.

I also discovered that those reusable paper towels work better than soaked brown paper and that the super long standing bandages I bought work really well to figure eight wrap the hock joint.  (Learned proper hock wrapping technique years ago but it used to need two bandages. Now it's just one super long one---and of course, one on the lower part of the leg for support.)

Then there is the bute, applesauce, syringe, and not too happy Tucker mouth I have to put it in. A seventeen hand horse can be really tall when he puts his head way up trying to avoid the medication.

Anyhow, as we all know, dealing with these challenges of horse care is just a part of owning a horse.

Just think of what the rest of the world is missing.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Adventures In Follywoods

All Was Not Quiet

Trouble for me started when Tucker came in lame on a hind leg. When the leg filled up, hock to pastern, I decided I needed to call the vet for at least a consult. I've dealt with swollen legs before, but something was bothering me about this one. Tucker had pulled his front shoe, with rather dramatic damage to his hoof, so I thought maybe he'd injured his hind leg in the process.

My vet was suspicious enough to decide a visit was worth his time.

Sure enough, after a flexing and feeling exam, he decided Tucker had developed cellulitis, probably from some small scratches in the pastern area.

Antibiotics, bute, anti-inflammatories, and a nasty leg sweat became the remedies along with leg wraps. I soon ordered a Back on Track hock wrap with one day delivery from Amazon--a remarkable shipping guarantee.  In the meantime, I bandaged up the boy with the sweat and hoped for the best.

Bute and other meds end up in a syringe with applesauce while the antibiotic is in its own syringe.

Fortunately, aside from being too tall when I approach him with the syringe--head goes up, and he's 17 h.--Tucker is an unhappy but well-behaved patient.

Scott came to shoe on Saturday, the day after the cellulitis discovery, and did manage to get two front shoes on Tucker, but he left his hind feet alone. Once again, Tuck was a really good boy for the shoeing. So sad.

Meanwhile, not to be ignored, Chance and Toby had their own attention-getting action. When I went out to feed late night snack at midnight on Friday, one, then two horses streaked by me on the back lawn. Toby was actually trying to get into the paddock through the locked gate. Chance was not far away.

I got Toby in, and Chance a bit later after I'd at least checked the front paddock area fence line by flashlight. All the fence was intact so I locked the stray Boys in their stalls and headed out to the pasture.

Soon I found two sections of slipboard fencing rails totally demolished. The rails were not knocked down, they were shattered. From the looks of it, once horse may have tried to jump, cleared the middle rail and smashed the top rail while the other horse had just crashed through all three rails.

What the heck? Smashing through the fence is not normal behavior.

The Boys had gone through the fence, then through my neighbor's yard and run back home.

Their frantic behavior back in my yard suggested something had panicked them really badly.

But what?

Investigation the following morning in the light of day offered no real clues. Coyote? There were no tracks I could find. Bear? Rumor of one in town, but on the other side of town over 10 miles away--a possibility still. Something else?

My friend jokingly suggested the Jersey Devil.

I walked the pumpkin field adjacent to the pasture today, and all I found were deer prints. Cloven hoofs, nothing more.

One must wonder.