Monday, March 1, 2010

Trail Training Newsletter - #110 - part 3 - Mingo Revisited

Mingo Revisited

I wrote the first article on Mingo on Friday. Saturday was a different story. He could barely walk. He was only able to put a little bit of weight on that leg. He wasn’t eating much, and he was standing like his hip was really, really bothering him.

This was the worst he has been since the whole ordeal started. Even without painkillers, he only walked with a slight limp. I felt sick. The only thing we could think of is that he did something to aggravate the original problem. Maybe he tried to lay down? If that is the case, will he recover from this problem and just keep reinjuring himself? I figured I would call the vet on Monday and ask if we could increase his painkiller.

I began to fear that this was the end. How could I let him go on like this for any length of time? Ellen and I were both totally miserable for the rest of the day.

The next morning, I didn’t even want to go to the barn. Ellen had to work, so I didn’t have her for support. I did go, of course.

He didn’t look much better, and he hadn’t eaten much hay. I rode Cruiser before anything else since the arena was empty. I didn’t concentrate well, but at least Cruiser got exercise. Jim, the man who fed that morning, came in to talk to me. He said that when he tossed Mingo’s hay in his stall, he didn’t even walk to it. He dumped his grain, beet pulp and hay cubes into his feed dish. Mingo was close to that, so he did eat all of it, so that was good. (He didn’t the previous morning.)

Jim just shook his head and said, “I haven’t seen a horse this lame since Maverick had his hoof abscess.” At that point, I knew it was even worse than the day before. I finished my ride on Cruiser and went back to see Mingo.

He still looked miserable. I was near tears. I stooped down to look at his leg to see if there was any clues. He wasn’t putting any weight on it, at all. Then, I remembered what Jim said. I reached to his hoof. It was warm. I brought my hand to his heel. I couldn’t believe what I felt. Something was oozing out his heel. I smelled my hand. I started to smile. I tried it again. Mingo told me to quit touching his heel because it hurt. Yep, it smelled like a hoof abscess that just broke open. I started to laugh. I then went to Jim and told him I loved him. He was grinning when I told him the story.

I heated up some water and got out my handy soaking boot. Good thing I had that big bag of Epsom Salt. After about 10 minutes of soaking, Mingo was actually taking all the weight from his good foot and putting it on the soar foot. For the first time in months, I finally felt I was able to help give him some real relief.

Of all people, Ellen and I should have recognized that Mingo was suffering from a hoof abscess—he has had so many of them. Our brains were just cluttered with his other problem. I am certain it wasn’t a festering hoof abscess from the beginning, because an abscess doesn’t keep a horse from laying down or make him lose balance and shake if you lift his foot. There is still the enlarged sacroiliac, too.

I couldn’t say for sure, but this may have been the abscess that he had back in the beginning of the saga. I always felt is was never fully resolved. All the anti-inflammatory drugs and the antibiotics might have prevented it from fully draining out—keeping it for another day. Getting his hoof trimmed might have reactivated it.

What a relief. I went from hopeless to having a glimmer of hope, again. We still have the original problem, though, and he isn’t eating quite as good as I would like. Time will give us an answer. I just need to be patient…


achieve1dream said...

Wow I'm glad Jim said what he did. There was a lesson horse at the barn where I used to work that had abscesses all the time. Poor thing. I hope that at least relieves some of his discomfort. Don't give up on him yet.

achieve1dream said...

Wow I never thought of green beans!! Good idea. I'll add them into my garden plans.