Friday, May 29, 2009

Round in Circles

My poor Missy's left hind leg is not a pretty sight. Still. On April 11th I posted that she came up lame while I was longeing her and she hasn't been right since. She did have an abcess that broke through, and she was lame from that for a while, then her heel became inflamed, possibly from being wrapped. It's hard to see in the second picture but finally most of the scabs have come off but the skin is still pink and raw. She isn't lame any more but is obviously suffering from whatever infection moved up into her leg. Last week the awful monstrosity you see here showed up on the back of her leg. At some point the flap of skin covering most of this sore will come off and it will be raw and open. It does dry up and she can work a little bit, but then as soon as you clean it and it gets wet it looks like this. The swelling goes down when she works but then it looks the same the next day, and the next. The vet put together a poultice containing steroids, penicillin and something else but it doesn't seem to be doing anything.

My trainer Willow was going to try to get in touch with the vet today to ask him if there is something we should or shouldn't be doing. We've left it unwrapped because that just seemed to bother her even more.

I am calling on the horse experts out there for some advice. I know nothing about horse ailments and I am at the mercy of my trainer, the property owner and the vet due to my own ignorance. Should I be working her or not? Should her leg be wrapped or not? Should we continue to put on the poultice or let it work its way out on its own? Is it normal for an abcess to turn into two other problems?

I feel like I am failing her. She seems to be losing weight even though she is getting extra feed. I wanted to put some tack on her this weekend and just have her walk around with it on but I don't want to aggravate her body or her mind. I've been spending a lot of time with her this week and I feel better about myself and our relationship. Just putting on my wonderfully worn-in paddock boots, grooming her, putting on her halter and boots and longeing her for a few minutes has meant a lot to me. I don't know when I will put on the helmet and the half-chaps and actually get in the might be this weekend but it won't be on Missy. And that breaks my heart more than a little.


  1. Boy, I don't have a clue on this one. It wouldn't surprise me that she's losing weight if she's depressed about feeling so poorly, though.

    Poor baby. Poor you!

  2. The vet must have the best solution with his poultice. To wrap or not to wrap? Again his answer would be the right one.
    You might give MiKael a nudge and see what she has to say.

    Nursing on your pretty mare this week might have been just what you needed to get focused with all the changes coming your way.
    Thinking of you.

  3. That big flap of skin did come off yesterday and it was really disgusting. Today it still looks like a hole in her leg but is perhaps a tiny bit smaller. She still has a lot of scabs on the inside of her heel. Despite this, she is sound and seems to want to work, so I longed her with her saddle on today. I didn't end up getting on one of the lesson horses this weekend after all but my focus was on Miss and that's a good thing.

  4. I am so sorry to hear about Missy's condition and that she is suffering. It is twice as hard with animals because they can't tell you what they are going through or what would make them feel better.

    I am glad to hear that she seems to be doing better. Sorry I have no ideas or experience to share on this but hopefully, your vet comes through quickly. Missy seems tough though. To have a hole in your leg and want to work. She will be okay I am sure!

    Still, all the best wishes. My thoughts are with both of you!

  5. About her weight loss, if you have a vet come out, maybe ask if you can have a fecal test done. My vet charges $18...found out my mare has a bad case of strongids...I had been using wormers that were missing those. Not sure about the leg....good luck. Hope you are riding again soon.

  6. For the residual swelling, I would wrap the leg with DMSO.

  7. That looks very moist - I would leave unwrapped. I have had great success w/a herbal/emu oil wound salve (I'm no computer guru but hopefully link will work!)
    & yes, I concur for the weight loss you need to rule out parasites first...Does she have normal manure?
    If she's not lame, she needs to work!

  8. I'm sorry, Donna, I didn't even know that abcesses could travel up a leg like that. But I did send the pictures to my friend, Richard, who has probably another twenty years on me for experience. He's going to look them over and tell me what he thinks. I already know from him that abcesses can travel anywhere in the body and he will know from the looks of the pics what he would be doing as a form of treatment. From our brief conversation I think he wonders about treating with an internal antibiotic as well as a topical one. I'll get back to you with more specifics when I know them.

    In the meantime I think you need to trust your gut on what's best to do. If Missy seems to appreciate the opportunity to work and it doesn't make her worse, I'd probably go with that for now.

    When you get farther into the healing process if work is complicating issues with proud flesh then I might rethink that....but for now, I'd be going by what the horse tells me.

    Also, I'm glad to hear that time with your horse is helping you. I hope you can keep finding the time you need to be with her.

  9. Oh man, I hate it when my animals get sick. I don't have any advice to offer, I'm afraid, just some support & good wishes.