Friday, April 30, 2010

Trail Training #112 - Cruiser Crisis

Cruiser Crisis
The day after the vet came for that awful, awful visit, Cruiser had a scrape on his head. I washed it and medicated it. In a couple days, it had grown, and I started to worry. I realized when I scrubbed it, that it wasn’t a simple abrasion. Cruiser said it was itchy. He does get seasonal hives that break open and drain. I just scrub them with Betadine, and in a few days they start to improve. I tried it, and his face got worse.

In a few more days, he was getting hives all over one side of his head, a little on the other side and some on his forehead. By now, it was itching him horribly and spreading down his neck. He would put his head up against the bars of his stall and Starry would lick it.

First thing Monday morning—just over a week since I had last seen the vet, she was back. The night before, Ellen had a revelation. She noticed when I replaced his heated winter water bucket that I used the one that belonged to the horse next to him. I didn’t realize it, since they were the same color. The owner of Cruiser’s neighbor had coated the edges and probably the handle with No Chew. His horse is a cribber, and he wanted to discourage him from cribbing on the bucket.

Cruiser, with his very sensitive skin, must have had an allergic reaction to the No Chew. Once his head started to itch, he probably rubbed it on the bucket and spread it all over his head. He was rubbing it on every other surface he could find, so why not the bucket?

The vet felt it was likely. She said his head looked like a chemical burn. She suggested washing his halter and bridle in case anything got on them, too. She gave him a steroid shot and some steroid pills for the next few days. The following day, his head was no longer draining and it only itched a little bit. He recovered beautifully albeit partially bald.

Finally, after all these months, a vet visit that actually helped my horse! Hopefully, I will be done with vets for a while.

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