Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More Life Lessons - an Arabian Filly Injured Part 3

Part one

After Jack finished putting the dressing on the filly's wound, he came over to me laying in the shavings bin and examined my thumb, as well. He cleaned it up and bandaged it while I tried to get my bearings.

Once he was gone, I headed into the house to get something for the pain and ice to put on my thumb. It was weird to be putting ice on it while my teeth were chattering. I covered myself up with an assortment of throws and quilts with an icepack on my hand and tried to rest.

By then all of my fingertips on that hand had the nerves screaming like each of them had somehow been wounded as well. The pain shot down my hand and past my wrist travelling up my arm. I couldn't believe how much one thumb could hurt. It was several hours before the throbbing lessened all and days before it would be gone.

In the meantime that day, Lindsay was keeping an eye on the filly for me. Jack has sprayed AluSpray over the top of the dressing leaving a silver covering. We were to watch for signs the young horse was picking at her dressing by looking for signs of the tell tale silver on her nose.

Between the sedative and the trauma of the wound, Echo wasn't feeling any better than I. The first couple of days she was pretty quiet and we didn't even find any evidence of the silver on her nose. The dressing was, however, beginning to droop some exposing the wound at the top.

Jack had suggested putting an old pair of jeans on the Arabian horse to distract her from picking at her wound. I was a little concerned about how she would respond to me trying to put jeans over her front legs. I work a lot with my young horses but dressing them in people clothes is not one of the things I practice.

Echo was a champ. She did snort at the jeans when I brought them into her stall. The young horse snorted a little more when I picked up her foot and slid it into the leg of the pants but she stood there and let me pull them up her legs and tie them on her.

The legs of the jeans were too long for the filly. I rolled them up a number of times so she wouldn't trip on them. I debated about tacking the resulting cuffs in place but opted to watch her for a while instead. The cuffs seemed to stay in ok and I left it at that.

I was grateful for her co-operation because my thumb was still throbbing. It didn't take but a little bump to cause my head to spin and my stomach to flip again. Over the next several days I would spend a lot of time laying down somewhere in the barn because I had banged my thumb again. Getting anything done was a challenge.

Flushing the wound was not as easy as putting on the jeans. Lindsay isn't big enough or fast enough to help with something a horse doesn't really want to do. So I enlisted Dave to help when he got home from work. Even Dave couldn't get the young horse to stand still, so we ended up with me doing the holding while he did the flushing. He prefers not to be involved in this kind of stuff with the horses so he has no experience but he did a pretty good job even with the filly fighting every step of the way.

Lindsay and I continued to monitor Echo. Checking in on her several times an hour watching for any signs she was messing with her wound. I had to redo the way the jeans were tied on a few different times, trying to find a way to keep them up. After a while of dropping her head down to eat, the ties always managed to slide up her neck and sometimes over her head.

I was really glad I had worked with her when she was little teaching her how to be trapped. These incidents could have been bad wrecks instead of just frustrating.

By that evening I thought I had it figured out. The jeans had stayed in place for a couple of hours without any more adjustments. When I checked her at midnight they still seemed to be fine.

By morning Echo had the jeans completely off. Not only that but the dressing was around her fetlock and her wound was totally ripped open. Many of her stitches were out and the underlying tissues were red and angry. The young filly had totally trashed her leg and my heart sank deep into the pit of my stomach.

To be continued.........

Part 4


  1. Oh, no. I'm sorry. I hope there is good news soon.

  2. Oh MiKael I still feel your pain. Have you considered putting a muzzle on her, one of the kind that you use to stop them from grazing if they are foundered. My colt managed to destroy one of those too but it kept him from the dressing for a while, fortunately he was good with the dressing until about the last two weeks out of four months. The other thing is that rib like thingy that goes round their neck which prevents them from bending their neck down, can't remember what it is called. I know they hate them but it is worth it for even a few days of relief from the bandage destruction.

    Moving onto the next post


  3. arthist99, I hope there is good news soon too. As you'll see in later posts this is going to be a long hard road.

    Lori, I don't know if they make neck cradles small enough for this yearling but since she's rubbing the wound on the walls etc, that wouldn't work in this situation. Also I had a very dangerous experience with a neck cradle. Maybe sometime life will slow down a little and I'll get to post some of the "old" stories. lol