I feel like every few months Bella decides she wants a vacation and pulls some stupid stunt, gets herself hurt, and then I’m stuck playing nurse. Honestly this wasn’t an issue until last year, but now it really is every couple of months.
Above, a kick wound. Below, a puncture wound in her stifle area.
This time we actually have the full story on how she got hurt, which is nice, but it was probably the worst injury she’s gotten to date. So bad actually that I ended up having the vet check her out (literally a first). The kick, top set of pictures, I called the vet on but ended up not doing anything extra for. Let me start this tale with a bit of a disclaimer.
When you bring Bella inside, even for breakfast, she’s usually pretty easy going. In fact, I usually have to drag her in a little bit. She just has this super slow easy going walk and she likes to poke along like she’s not a little hot blooded hurricane of a horse. The person doing bring in put her into her stall, stepped away for a moment, and the next thing anyone knew, Bella was hightailing out of the barn. The door simply didn’t latch and the person had stepped away for a moment to get another horse settled. Because of Bella’s calm demeanor on the way in, it’s easy to see where someone who doesn’t know her personality inside and out would think that she would simply be content to eat her breakfast. Unfortunately Bella likes to grab a bite of food, and then go back to eat while hanging her head out over the door. My assumption is that when she did that she bumped into the door and realized that she wasn’t locked in.
With her new found freedom Bella went back out toward her pasture, down the side of the driveway. She got about halfway down and then turned around and came back up to circle around to the other side. Meanwhile the poor barn manager is trying to catch her with a grain bucket, the girl who Bella got loose on was freaking out, and Bella’s paying no one any mind. Typical mare. She ended up slipping where the gravel starts on the driveway and went down in the back end.
Most horses when they fall, seem to get a little stunned and pause for a half-second or so. Bella didn’t even blink. Popped right back up and kept on running. When they finally caught her (some quick thinking and popping open the pasture gate when she circled back around again) she’d managed to scrape up her pastern and puntured her fetlock.
Luckily I had to pick up The Salty Boyfriend for a doctors appointment that morning so I was already going to be out by the farm. I swung by, determined she wasn’t lame, and left. Coming back that afternoon the wound had already closed up some and since it had been flushed out earlier I decided to wait and see how things played out. Obviously I’m not the type of person to jump to calling the vet or doctor at the first sign of trouble. I’ve lived through enough “oh shit” moments as a barn manager and owner that I tend to be pretty level headed about these things.
I lunged her that day, she was sound, I scrubed her leg twice, and then doctored it up with various goo’s in hope to kill any sign of infection.
My usual routine with her injuries is to scrub with antibacterial scrub and put antibacterial goo on it. With this injury I also began icing her leg and even went out and got one of the Roma Ice Boots (from Dover, follow the link). She was still sound a week later but we were still seeing some swollen areas and a few odd areas that were making me nervous (shoutout to TSE sometimes guest writer Michelle for noticing the bump in the right picture below about 3-4 days after the incident).
Of course Bella picked the worst time to get herself hurt. The original injury date was July 18th, two weeks later we were moving into our new house. Around The Salty Boyfriend’s needs, my job, and then moving, getting out to take care of Bella in the afternoon’s was a serious task. I’m so grateful that she’s at such a great barn where I know and trust the people working there. The person who brought her in that day was temp help for the day, and didn’t know Bella’s a bit of a nut. I know that she’s probably more traumatized by the whole ordeal than Bella is/was.
I waited about two weeks before calling the vet, while the wound was still healing and I still hadn’t seen one off step I wasn’t satisfied with the amount of swelling she still had and I was pretty sure at the very least we were going to need oral antibiotics. What I wasn’t prepared for was my vet asking to do x-rays on her ankle. Dr. Z was worried about a bone chip and while I hadn’t considered that (I figured at that point she’d have to have been a little sore right?) I wanted to cover all my bases and ensure that she was going to be fine.
X-rays came back clean (I still need to request copies those), and Bella ended up with more topical antibiotics as well as oral. Dr. Z gave me the go ahead to put Bella back into work, and so I did. I’ve been trying to be more consistent with her again now that life is settled into a routine for the TSE household again. It’s still difficult but she’s been putting in solid efforts for me and I’ve been jumping her over little stuff lately just to make it boring again (shoutout to my chiropractor who had to fix both my shoulders this past week after 5 weeks of me havig Bella yank on me non-stop).
Her leg looks great again now, she’s finished up her 3 weeks of twice a day antibiotics (she never got sour about it either guys, she’s a gem sometimes). Looking back I can’t say that I would have handled this any differently. I know a lot of people jump to the vet first but it’s just not how I am. I know Bella really well, and I think that makes a world of difference. After eight years (as of August 25th) I really have tuned into her and what’s normal, if she’d been at all off in her personality or off physically I would have called the vet a whole lot sooner. Now though, I have extra topical antibiotics for her next injury (because I know it’s coming).