Monday, October 10, 2016

Relief at Last

Relief at Last

It was a terrible weekend for Ranger.  The vet came out to try to drain his abscess on Thursday, and she wasn’t successful.  She poulticed it and wrapped it up and told us to see if that would help.  There is no soaking Ranger’s foot.  He doesn’t allow such things, so we avoid them.  The big problem, these days, is his breathing.  He has COPD, and anytime he gets really stressed, his head goes up and he has difficulty catching his breath--then he really panics.  We just do our best to keep him from becoming stressed.

We were able to bring him out to graze on Friday, but he was very, very lame.  Saturday, he was even worse.  He couldn’t put any weight on his foot, and he became reluctant to eat. When he tried to move in his stall, he had to shift his weight way back off both of his front feet and sort of hop.  It was horrible to watch, to say the least.  He was in so much pain that his body looked contorted.

Sunday morning, we found him with his good front foot underneath his floor mat.  He tried to move, and his feet got tangled in the mat and he nearly fell down.  We pulled that mat out.  It had a corner that didn’t lay flat on the ground.  After that, he was still standing with his bad front foot way in front of him so he wouldn't have to put any weight on it.  He hadn’t eaten his grain, but he was still nibbling on his hay from hours before.

We went out on our ride, and when we came back, it seemed like he didn’t have his bad foot so far forward, anymore.  As we did our chores, we noticed he was moving around a little more than the day before.  Could there be an improvement?  I suggested to Ellen that we go on a little walk and then come back and check on him.  Twenty minutes later, he definitely was putting more weight on it.  I reached down to feel how hot his foot was under the bandage, and started to push in the heel area where we suspected the abscess would burst out.  It seemed soft under the vet wrap.  I then sniffed my hand, and it smelled like hoof drainage.  I told Ellen to try, and she felt the same.  Could it be that he finally busted the abscess?  

He stopped nibbling his hay and just stood there.  We watched him for a few minutes and then realized that he was starting to fall asleep.  Poor guy was completely exhausted.  We left cautiously optimistic, but not positive.

Monday morning, Ellen went to the barn by herself to check on him.  She took the bandage off, pressed his heel and a whole bunch of puss came out!  He was standing much better and seemed more relaxed.  The worst is over.  Ranger has relief.

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