Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mingo Revisited

Mingo Revisited

Mingo seemed to be feeling much better. I soaked his hoof for 8 days—so long that he contracted a fine case of mud fever. I weaned him off the banding, but there was still some swelling all the way up his leg. He was once again playful and interactive. He still wasn’t eating his hay with vigor, though, and he walked stiffly on that leg. These two things were really troubling me. He didn’t want to trot. Finally, I forced the issue and made him trot—serious lameness. Could it be the abscess? Could he have hurt himself while we struggled with the soaking boot? What about those nasty moments during loading? And what about that gash in his hip that he got after he came home. Did he get cast and hurt himself? I couldn’t tell. It was time to call the vet about the leg. I wanted her to check Mingo’s teeth, too.

I called on Tuesday, but she couldn’t get out until Friday, which was the day after Thanksgiving. I was off that day, so it worked out well. On Thanksgiving, Ellen and I went out for a ride on Cruiser and Ranger. It was a beautiful day, which was really a treat, for often the weather is miserable by now. Our happiness was cut short when Ranger came up lame. Now, it didn’t matter what the weather was like, we both felt terrible. She led him home. By now, his limp was very prominent.

The good news? The vet was coming to see Mingo the next day, anyway.

We got to the barn mid morning. While we were waiting for the phone call from the vet’s office, we cleaned stalls and I rode Cruiser on the hill. We got back to the barn and found out the vet would be there in 45 minutes. Good—time for lunch. We dashed out to a nearby fast food place. The conversation was pretty depressing.

By now, we could tell that Ranger may have an abscess, too. He didn’t want to put any weight on his sore foot. We had the vet look at him, first. She agreed, and started testing his foot and digging. It took her a bit to find the abscess. Oddly, he was most sensitive on him toe, but the actual abscess was on the bar of his hoof. She kept digging and digging. Finally, I saw a bit a gray seep though. We hit the jackpot. Soon, it was dripping down his hoof. She poulticed his foot, and we were smiling. It was just an ordinary abscess.

There is nothing ever ordinary with Mingo. He walked stiffly and could put full weight on his foot comfortably. When she saw him trot, she said it looked like an abscess to her.

She dug and dug and dug—nothing. As I suspected, this was a very deep abscess that she couldn’t get to. She finally quit. I could tell she was discouraged, too. I was so hoping we could get this draining out the bottom. Since I had gotten it to drain from his heel with soaking, we hoped to get it to drain there, again. We went with the poultice for him, too. Not only does my vet feel it works better, but it wouldn’t contribute to his mud fever like soaking would.

She floated his teeth. They weren’t terribly bad—not bad enough to cause his weight loss. He did have some sores on the inside of his mouth from his teeth, though, and that might be why he wasn’t as enthusiastic about his hay. Time will tell. He needs a few days for his mouth to heal.

Our biggest worry was that his leg would swell like a balloon, again and develop cellulitis. She gave me a bottle of antibiotics to only use if it came back. It is now Monday, and his leg is no worse than before. He will voluntarily walk fast and sound, but I haven’t checked him at the trot, yet. On Wednesday, I will take the poultice off and see how he is. Ranger is doing great. You would never know he even had a problem except for the vetwrap on his hoof.

I’m hoping to have good news for you next month.

All I want for Christmas is my horse back.

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