After Wex got home and was gelded against his wishes (sorry buddy!) he paid me back with a series of afflictions that were frustrating, to say the least.
- It turns out someone is sensitive. He broke out in hives, presumably from the bugs. Summer was holding on, and with the creek that runs through the farm, the bugs hang out longer than you’d think they should. So Mr. Wex earned himself a fly suit. He did not love it.
2. Remember how I said he was sensitive? Despite mostly dry pastures, and my thorough daily towel drying of Mr. Sensitive’s legs, he developed scratches. (For those unfamiliar, that’s pastern dermatitis, or icky, scabby-ness just above the hoof.) The picture below is actually of BooBoo a year ago. Scratches are nasty. Poor BooBoo. Fortunately, I got Wex’s under control with Equiderma Skin Lotion before it got out of control. There are still a few spots popping up here and there, but it’s mostly gone now.
3. Before I picked him up, Wex’s trainer at the track removed his hind shoes for me. I prefer front shoes only, so this was my preference. Unfortunately, I think one of those old nail holes resulted in an abscess in the hind left. Also unfortunate is that he didn’t show any of the typical symptoms of an abscess (as in, he was not lame at all, let alone 3-legged lame). Because of this, I didn’t know it was there until it popped out the coronet band, and even then, I just thought it was a scrape. The farrier is the one who found it. So, I soaked and wrapped and soaked and wrapped and soaked and wrapped.
This is not Wex’s favorite thing. He removed my Davis Soaking boot easily, so I had to buy the Hoof Wraps soaking sock. I have wrapped my share of abscesses. I don’t do the diaper method. For one, I don’t like disposable diapers. I didn’t like them for my kids, and I don’t like them for my horse. They take forever to biodegrade, and there are way better alternatives. Here’s my method. Soak in warm water with epsom salt and iodine. Dry thoroughly. Apply poultice pad (in this case, I cut from a sheet, since it was at the coronet band, but they also make a super convenient hoof shaped pad). Wrap poultice pad with a layer of rolled cotton. Wrap the rolled cotton with a couple of layers of vetwrap. The cotton layer helps to keep the vetwrap from getting too tight. Then cover with hoof tape. What is hoof tape, you ask? Only the best thing to happen to an abscess since the soaking boot! The picture below shows the hoof tape without all my additional layers because I never took a picture of the whole thing. Then I covered with my favorite hoof boot, EasyBoot Trail.
Good news on this front too- the abscess resolved, but not before it led to another affliction.
4. Do you know what happens when an abscess goes untreated because your horse doesn’t show any symptoms? It turns into cellulitis. Cellulitis is a skin infection. By comparison, an abscess is no big deal. Cellulitis can be a very big deal. If treated aggressively, it will go away. If not, it can turn into lymphangitis, which can be permanent swelling in the horse’s leg. Treatment for cellulitis includes antibiotics and cold hosing. Lots and lots of cold hosing. Just when you think you’re done, more cold hosing. This is mostly resolved now, though I’m still watching for swelling daily.
5. Lastly, he came in lame on the right front. This is not entirely unexpected, but it’s likely because he was compensating for the left hind. This also happened on the only day that his hoof boot came off, so I’m chalking it up to that. This went away when I got the hoof boot to stay on.
So there you have it. All of these afflictions happened in a matter of 5 days. They’re nearly all resolved now, save for my paranoia about some lingering cellulitis.
Does your horse keep you on your toes?