Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday the Thirteenth...........On My! Part two

Part 1

I want to mention here before I continue, the second picture down is a picture of this wound after it has been stitched. I'm way too tired to remember how I hide such a picture, so if you're squeamish, please don't scroll down.

While waiting for the vet, I talked with Dave and Lindsay about how this accident could have happened to this Arabian horse. I couldn't even imagine how the horse could had done this in his stall. I really had trouble getting their idea of the story to settle in my mind.

Dave said he put the Arabian horse into his stall. The horse immediately dropped down to roll in the fresh clean pile of shavings. (Something that all our Legs babies seem to enjoy. Shortly after Dave heard the horse's water tub tipping over. Knowing that he had just filled that tub to the brim, Dave opened to stall door up to see water everywhere, the tub up sideways and blood squirting from the horse's leg.

This picture above is one of our water tubs. I've used them for years for our horses who drink lots of water. I have always viewed this tubs as safe. Never in a million years would I have thought they could harm a horse in this kind of way but that's what happened.

I really had trouble getting my mind around this idea. I went into Andy's stall and surveyed the situation. I looked at the stall and that water tub in the corner. Then I ran my hands around underneath the rim looking for evidence.

Not only did I find an edge but I found blood. From what I can tell the horse must have gotten his leg between the tub and the wall. Then feeling trapped he had forced his way up flipping the tub over when he caught his leg on the underside of that rim. That edge is like all unfinished plastic or vinyl edges, or even the edge of paper. Hit it just right (and with the weight of a horse behind it) and it turned into a knife. Go figure!

By this time the vet had arrived. First thing she gave Andy a sedative. Then before she opened this up, she wanted to know what the wound looked like. I told her I hadn't looked closely at the damage I just went directly to applying the pressure bandage so Dave gave her an idea about the location and what he thought was the extent of the wound.
The point he indicated was indeed the location of a small artery. The vet got her supplies ready to open up my makeshift bandage and work on this leg while we waited for Andy's drugs to take effect. Once she was sure he was good and numb she started working on him.

As soon as she cut the bandage off, blood began to squirt. If the horse picked his leg up and flexed the joint, the blood shot out about a foot. Literally, I do mean a foot. The other front leg of this horse was already bright red from this so it was important to keep the foot flat because it bleed far less. Although let me tell you, the amount of blood at the lesser flow was still enough to make me nervous..........well, nervous and nauseous.

While Dave was right about the location of the artery, he grossly underestimated the extent of the damage. What he thought was one small cut at an opportune location (the artery) actually ran across the coronet band disconnecting the skin for about four inches, up the pastern, through the artery and back around the side.

There is no way to repair an artery like that. The vet said they are really lucky if they can even find them, let alone stitch them. Stitching up as much of the wound as possible should add enough pressure to eventually stop the bleeding.

Looking at the damage and the loss of blood to the cut areas, the odds are that the skin is all going to slough. However, stitching it closed is the only way to get the bleeding stopped. The problem with this wound is that four inch section where the skin was cut away from the coronet band cannot be stitched so will remain open. Hopefully, the horse will stay quiet enough, a clot will be able to form and plug the bleeding up.

Looking in on Andy tonight, he is bright so my guess is the bleeding has stopped. Hopefully, it will stay stopped. That is our number one issue. We will be checking him regularly over the next few hours for bleeding.

The other than infection, the next real hurdle will be that skin growing back to the coronet band. Due to the extent of the damage there is the possibility the horse will have a deformed hoof. However, we're going to hope for the best and worry about that road if we get to it.

I don't know if you noticed but there are a lot of hopes in there. The best thing this horse has going for him is his young age. An older horse, as in three or more, wouldn't have nearly the recovery rate possible in a foal or yearling. The fact this wound has involved the separation of the skin from the coronet band really throws a huge wrench into things. There are lots of possibilities here and we just have to hope (there's that word again) that things go the best that they can.

Of course, I must add, this is all happening when I am just leaving town. Dave and Colleen will be giving medications and changing dressings. Neither one has had to do this before. Colleen did put a temporary dressing on a leg wound one time, so she is miles ahead of Dave. But Dave vows he can handle this. I sure hope so.

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  1. I feel a little queasy now after seeing that photo... I am hoping for a fast recovery for your little guy.

    I would have never thought one of those tubs could cut a horse so bad! It just proves how fragile these big animals are!

    Good luck at your show this weekend.

  2. Woah, I never would've dreamt one of those tubs could've caused this amount of damage! But if there's a 1/10000th chance an animal will hurt itself on something, they'll most probably find it!!! I too, **hope** everything works out okay!!

  3. When I first saw the picture I thought not too bad, but bad bad spot. I had a mare do much the same thing this last fall, only she cut all the way across the back of her pastern to the bone. Everything was severed. She was euthanized.

    A few months later my boo-boo colt did much the same thing (right across the back of his pastern but not as deep), he was kicking up his heels in the stall and put his foot through the wall. He healed just fine but it took a couple of months.

    I'm hoping little Andy heals just fine as well. Try some manuka honey on the wound, it works wonders. My little colts wound would not heal. I finally ordered the honey and started putting in on at every bandage change. I noticed a difference within 2 days. Within two weeks of starting the honey the wound was healed and you can't even find it now. No scar at all. Might be worth a try. Email me and I'll send you a link for the honey.

    Good luck at the show!

  4. Holy moses. I hope the good lord takes a liking to this horse and heals him or her. The horse does need some helping hands.

  5. Wow. Thats bad. I hope he heals up just fine.

  6. I know how you feel, when taxes ripped his chest open recently it was the same yuk.

    I will be looking out for updates and will call from time to time to see how the show is going. Hope you arrived safely and got all settled in. If you dont have access to a computer anywhere there you are gonna have a LOT of reading to do when you get back LOL.

    Good luck.


  7. Oh my God, that's a lot of blood, I do hope Andy heals well. But like you said he has his age going for him. I'm sure Colleen and Dave can handle this and there is a vet they can always call. I'm sure you will be thinking about this the whole time you're at the show, but try not to worry too much.

  8. Goodness! Poor Andy, I hope he heals soon.

  9. What a tragic accident. Hope Andy heals up okay. Look forward to updates on how that goes.

  10. Poor little chap! Hope he makes a full recovery. Don't know whether it's available in the States but over here we have something called Bio Oil. It's for stretch marks but it's supposed to help with scarring.

    We use the same sort of water buckets. I never imagined they could do so much damage!

  11. OMG! How awful!! They can get hurt on the darndest things!
    Hope everything heals up well. I can say they do bleed alot. I guess it was year before last one of our geldings was eating and the neighbors kid spooked him and he jumped over the fence catching the T-post in the chest. I was in the barn, it sounded like hell was breaking loose and when I ran out he was squirting blood everywhere from his chest. I ran over and ripped off my shirt and plugged the whole and sent little cowgirl to the house to get towels and started calling hubby to see where he was and then the vet. The vet choose not to suture him up and it took awhile to heal but it did and you can barely feel the spot. I hydroed and used Iodine and Wonder Dust. And had great success with it. Hoping for a quick recovery!

  12. Wow. My sister is dealing with a cut on her horse in a similar spot. Her horse cut itself in a freak accident during a trail ride. Crossed a small creek and cut her foot on a stick.

    It is a devastating injury and the outcome is still to be determined too.

  13. Ewwww.. the injury doesn't even gross me, it's all the bright red blood! *tries to imagine it's not blood, and that it's red paint!*

    Anyways, that is awful that the cut is at the coronet band. That is the worst part. I hope it heals well.

    I'd give your horse comfrey. One of my goats popped out her front leg somehow, and it was like, out of it's socket, and she limped, and I gave her and let her eat SOOO much comfrey, and now her leg is completely back to normal, it's all fixed and back in it's socket, shes not limping anymore. And I didn't even have a vet out to do anything. Isn't that a miracle!? my horse Dandy likes comfrey. All my animals like comfrey. Even my chickens like it.

  14. I think I would have passed out seeing something like that in person! Poor little guy, I hope he's doing better now and heals quickly. You are right, he has the advantage of youth on his side.