Friday, March 1, 2019

The saddest puffer fish

I was getting caught up on some blog reading today and was reminded once again just how fragile horses are. Maybe it's just the fact that I have so many horse friends and read so many blogs, but it just seems like they are always doing something to hurt themselves and beyond that, it seems like the smallest thing can bring them down. So it's no surprise that eventually I'd get some sort of negative update about Scout.

He's apparently not afraid of fire ants... and I don't know if he's been laying in patches of them or snacking on them, but his body has a very poor reaction to them. He was scheduled to go for his first xc schooling with Nora when she sent me this:


Oh dear.
We opted to have the vet out and they gave him some Dex and within a day he was looking much better. One thing that's great about Ocala is that there are vets bopping around all day so it's easy enough for them to swing by and look at something non-emergent. By the next day, it was pretty much normal and he was back to feeling like himself.

She finally got him out XC and I'm so grateful that she spent 6 weeks getting to know him on the flat and working with him over stadium jumps to sort out some the balance and strength issues and getting him really forward off the leg. Clearly, it's paying off because he's a different horse this year out on XC!

This was the out portion of a half coffin complex

SO cute!

UMMMM. Beast mode.

But the following week, he had basically the same reaction though this time it was much more severe. So what was going on? Well after having the vet out again, they think he must have originally received a bug bite that created a severe reaction and developed into cellulitis on his face.

That's a sad puffer fish. 
His whole face and neck were swollen this time so it was a bit of a worry. Given that he's so prone to cellulitis they treated it accordingly, this time with more aggressive antihistamines and a dose of antibiotics to clear out any possible infection brewing. He got some Banamine on top of that to help him feel a little more comfortable. The face is such a tricky place for something like cellulitis because the swelling doesn't have anywhere to go when they are grazing and eating. Thankfully, it didn't take more than a day for him to completely bounce back. And better yet, Nora said he was thrilled to be ridden the next day!

Happy kid, post-ride

And while it would be easy to be disappointed about these little setbacks and having to reconfigure plans, I don't really get too worked up about this kind of stuff anymore. If there's one thing I've learned with horses is that everything planned needs to be in pencil and setback are just part of the joy of horse ownership (insert sarcasm here). The problem with having a horse that has had cellulitis is that they are just always prone to it -- any little nick or cut bears the risk of it developing into cellulitis. So I'm extra happy he's not sitting knee-deep in the mud like the rest of the horses at my barn in PA, clean/dry legs are definitely half the battle with a cellulitis prone horse!

8 comments:

  1. yikes, poor baby!! i hate seeing swelling around the nose and mouth, hopefully he clears up asap!

    he looks like a million bucks jumping xc tho :D

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    1. I know I was so worried with his neck so swollen! Wait til you see the xc pics from this week!

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  2. Pufferfish indeed - poor guy! At least when he gets home to you he won't need to deal with any fire ants!

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    1. OMG, right? Though I think I'll take red ants over all this mud!

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  3. Bobby stuffed his face into a ground bees nest when we first moved to the barn we're at now and his whole face blew up. Sad, sad puffer fishes indeed! Damn, he looks SO AMAZING right now otherwise though!

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    1. Omg bees!!!! Thank you! He’s going SO well!

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  4. Oh his sad little face!! Glad he's on the mend :)

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  5. Awww poor guy! I'm allergic to fire ants so I feel his pain

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