Saturday, July 19, 2008


We're feeling a little down for some time about Blondie, the grand dame equine of our barn. Back in late June/early July, while bringing in the horses from the paddocks, we noticed that Blondie's "gimpy" leg, the left hind fetlock and pastern, had become more swollen and she was pretty lame. When I checked her in the morning, she was putting weight on it very gingerly, so I gave her two butazolidin tablets. Later in the day, I saw she was down and we couldn't get her up (outside of foaling, I've never seen her lying down). When the (replacement) vet arrived, he gave her banamine, dexamethazone, an antibiotic, and took two xrays of her pastern/fetlock. Temp was up a bit. But the hoof itself showed no tenderness, so probably not an abcess. Maybe a snake bite? He left me banamine and syringes/needles, and said to keep up the bute and give her two IV injections of the banamine a day. Her stall had just been cleaned (in fact, that is why she was out) but we raked the sawdust level and then bedded her down in hay. The next day the vet said the x-rays showed no ringbone, best of all no bone cancer, not even much in the way of arthritic changes (exceptional in a horse 27 years old). We kept on and also wrapped both hind legs with standing bandages. As soon as our regular vet got back from vacation, we called him. His thought is that Blondie had been dashing about and slipped, and did a partial split damaging her hip, and also twisted her foot, but rest is the only cure, and keeping her comfortable. It is, of course, brutally hot just now, the flies are thick, and I don't care what the ads say, there is no fly repellant worth a hill of beans. We put a stronger fan in her overhead fan support.

But today she seems much improved! She is up and standing on both hind legs (well, those and the front ones, too) the swelling is way down, she drank half of her water bucket, and nickered when I came in with fresh hay and grain. She got pretty tired, and laid down again, which for the legs/hip strain is the best, if we can avoid GI bleeds caused by the meds, and pressure sores from laying down, and colic because horses need to stand to help digestion and elimination. Keeping our fingers crossed.

Do you think a little cool weather would be too much to ask for? Well, maybe so...

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