Monday, January 1, 2018

In like a lion, out like a lamb

After writing my 2017 year in review post, I found myself feeling quite happy overall about my accomplishments even amongst some big highs and lows. I was eager to begin fleshing out what the first quarter of 2018 would hold for Scout and I but damn if I wasn't going to get through the end of 2017 without one more beat down.

I got a text from the AM feed/turnout person that Scout seemed really stiff. She wasn't sure exactly what was up but didn't see any noticeable heat or swelling. I told her to go ahead and turn him out and I'd be out to check on him. A few minutes later she sends me this:

Ummm...
She hardly had to say the word "cast" and I was throwing clothes on and in the car to go check on him. I've never seen a horse get cast, or witness one trying to get out of it either, but the struggle evidence on Scout's wall had me nauseous. Who knows how long he was there, or how long he struggled for, but I was certain that he was more than just stiff following the episode.

When I arrived, he was out in the field grazing with his buddies, but when the rest of his herd came to see me he didn't move. He reluctantly hobbled along beside me as my heart sank. So I pulled off his rug and looked him over head to toe, making note of every nick and cut. The muscles in his neck near his jaw were swollen, he had a cut on his forehead, a little cut on his RH pastern, but overall no major lacerations. But when I got around to his right hind I got very concerned. It was swollen around the hock and fetlock, hot and he barely let me examine him. I tried to get him to put weight on it and he nearly fell down. So I called Emily and put a call into my regular vet, and took him outside to see if I could get him to walk and jog a little.

My poor guy

I tried to chase him a few steps and he hobbled away on three legs
I mean, it was 10 degrees, the horses were all galloping around and I couldn't even get him to move. So I stopped, got ahold of my vet and told her what was going on. She said typically horses that get cast either get through it practically unscathed or they are very hurt and that I should get someone local out immediately.

Gulp, nothing like an emergency vet call on a Sunday + Holiday + freezing temps.

And while being outside in the cold was probably preventing the inevitable, after being in his stall for an hour or so waiting on the vet, the limb started to swell significantly and he became even more reluctant to put weight on it.

Naked and drugged
Scout presented with a 103.2 fever, so the vet immediately got some meds on board to help with that and then she gave him some tranquilizer so she could further examine his RH. And bless his heart, he tried really hard to be a good boy while she palpated him over and over again. He was clearly in a lot of pain but never aimed his displeasure at the vet. She sat underneath him on a bucket, with her ultrasound machine next to her for hours (yes, hours because everything kept freezing - literally). What she found was interesting but more puzzling for an overall diagnosis. She ruled out any sort of fracture (for now) and explored further with the ultrasound. It seems as though he injured/aggravated the sephenous vein somehow and she was initially worried that he may be at risk for thrombosis. The ultrasound revealed that there was inflammation surrounding the wall of the vessel and evidence of hemotoma in the surrounding tissues. So she deemed it a likely vasculitis/cellulitis of unknown origin. Since we don't know what came first, the infection, or the cast, or the RH injury we decided to just treat it as it presents and go from there. She's sending his scans to a surgeon to review because of the inflammation around the vein.

So, here we are... January 1st, 2018. My horse is on a course of aggressive antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. I spent 3 months lessons/training budget in an instant and he's facing an uphill battle to soundness/recovery. After what we went through in August/September, and how difficult that was to rehab, I'm feeling very discouraged right now.

But, this morning he greeted me in his usual way, full of goofiness and begging for treats. His fever has continued to go down (100.8 last night and 99.7 this morning) -- so the drugs are working. Now he just needs to battle the infection that's raging and we start a plan to get him back on track. It's too early to say if the soft tissues are effected due to the swelling, but for now we'll just take everything one step at a time. No point in freaking out about anything else right now (#butistillsecretlywill).

Mouth full of drugs:)

Bummed he can't go outside with his buddies
So, please send some good vibes our way. Here's to hoping he's on the mend and doesn't go too stir crazy in his stall. Certainly, I know this could have been much worse for him and I feel a bit stupid even writing a post complaining and whining about all of this, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't terrified yesterday and sad today thinking about our future. I promise I'll try to keep the pity party to a minimum:)

*And a big thank you to anyone who reached out on Facebook and Instagram yesterday (and to those I texted in a blind panic) -- I love this little blog world and all the of the support I feel from you guys!!










16 comments:

  1. Ughhhh I am so SO sorry to read this. :( That's scary and frustrating both. I hope he recovers quickly!

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    1. I hope he does too! I'm so worried about him!

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  2. Oh, shit, I'm SO sorry. What an awful way to start the year. I hope the next update is a good one!

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    1. The year can only get better from here, right?

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  3. oh man that's awful and terrifying! getting cast is awful, i hope he didn't do any severe damage! the fever and infection are so odd too, and the cellulitis. if it weren't for the obvious signs of trauma and struggle from being cast i'd almost wonder about something like anaplasmosis (which has been freakin everywhere lately). regardless, wishing you much luck in helping him heal quickly!! :(

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    1. Agreed. I asked my vet(s) about it they thought that would be unlikely, but this is puzzling everyone. I gotta have the horse with a weird issue!

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  4. I've seen a horse cast before and it's so scary. I've never heard of an infection coming from it though. Horses are such fragile creatures. I hope he gets better quickly.

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    1. Yea, we're not sure if he had an infection and laid down and got cast or what. So scary!

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  5. Sending Scout healing thoughts for a quick and easy recovery!!

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  6. 2018 was supposed to be better than 2017 not worse! There's still plenty of time in the year though, so hopefully Scout heals up at lightning speed and you guys are back out there in no time! Let me know if there's anything I can do, even if it's just cookie shipments.

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    1. Right!? Come on 2018! Aw thank you! I'm sure he'd love more cookies!

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  7. Sending you and Scout all the best!

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  8. Ugh, what a rough way to start 2018. I am so sorry you guys are going through this. I hope that Scout recovers quickly and completely.

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  9. How terrifying!! I hope he recovers easily and without complication. Wishing you the very best!

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  10. Oh nooooooo - damnit. Sending you good vibes and hoping recovery proceeds well

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