Friday, January 29, 2016

Pricey Pinpricks

Stabby. Stabby.
Just days before the huge blizzard, my vet came out to give Pig his discussed hock injections and drop off some other prescriptions.
We started by drugging him a few times to keep him from kicking everyone and snapping off needles in his joints. You know. Precautions.
Of course, drugs couldn't stop Mr. Sensitive from flailing his hind legs about a bit anyway. Nor did it stop him from nearly falling over. Nor did it stop him from kicking me in the knee later when I stupidly pulled off his blankets from behind his drunk ass. (No worries. I'm fine. Not even a bruise. He was too drunk to put any power behind it...)
Aw-yeah, glucocorticoid corticosteroids right to hocks...
Another reason I love this vet (other than his penchant for realism and great medical explanation) is his hospital-grade commitment to sterilization during the injection process. I have literally never seen a vet take as many precautions as this guy does to limit the possibility of joint infection.

Does your vet?

See when you are injecting a joint, you are breaking the skin barrier and taking the chance of introducing bacteria into the fantastic bacteria breeding ground of the joint. And joint infections are nasty. Career ending. Life ending. They will drain your bank account and make you want to forget about horse sports. You do not want to mess around with joint infections.

So, I highly recommend you ask your vet what his/her policy is on injection precautions.
Does your vet take this care?
My vet does a few things:

  1. Tries to maintain a sterile environment for his needles and gloves. Obviously it's a barn, but he was super careful about not touching sterile items with his bare hands. He really went above and beyond.
  2. Clips and scrubs the injection site thoroughly. This takes minutes per site. It is not a quick iodine rub down. Then, the scrub must be wiped off, all while maintaining sterilization as much as possible.
  3. Adds in an antibiotic to the injection, just in case. While I'm usually against the use of antibiotics as a preventative, when it comes to joint infections I am all about it. Reduce, baby, reduce. 
This antibiotic, actually.
The process kind of takes forever, but I'm okay with that. Even in sub 15 degree weather. What I'm not okay with? Getting the bill before I even have a chance to test out the goods... thanks to Snowzilla, Pig got even more time off than prescribed after the injections. 
Holy ouch. Goodbye budding savings account.
I'm hoping extra time off just allowed the drugs to do their anti-inflamatory job even better, so we'll be ready to leap back into action this weekend. 

Fingers crossed?

18 comments:

  1. Ouch. I've been toying with the idea of adding up all the EPM related vet bills but I honestly don't want to think about it as a whole number.

    There is a lot to be said for a good vet that goes the extra mile to prevent issues. Gotta love good aseptic technique!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh man. Don't go totaling up necessary vet bills. It's overall just a bad idea...

      Delete
  2. careful vets. i like them. big bills tho? ugh not so much...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love that your vet uses a surgical-quality scrubdown! A+

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh ouch... you're the first one to beat my total for standard injections. Wheeee.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Damn for both injections?! I need to move! Rico's were always at least twice that depending on if my vet came to me or if I hauled in. I always preferred to haul in because of the sterilization, but he did a great job at my barn closing all the doors and scrubbing the hell out of his legs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meanwhile this is about 3x as expensive as I am used to... #thingstomissaboutindiana

      Delete
  6. Pig!! Feel so good that you buck her off ;)

    ReplyDelete
  7. That's awesome how careful he is - we had one get a joint injection and five years later, she's just now broodmare sound. So nasty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Infection, not injection.. Although it came from one.

      Delete
    2. Ugh. That's awful! They don't do these sorts of injections on people any more for a few reasons, one of them being the danger of infection. Too bad the other options just aren't as good for horses. :(

      Delete
  8. Hope G feels great after them

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm super paranoid about injections too! Glad your vet takes extra percaution

    ReplyDelete
  10. Certainly pricey, but hopefully it will be worth it!!

    ReplyDelete