Thursday, June 1, 2017

Because Of %@*#! Course

It's two days until our second show at 4th level. So what is Mr. Big Bad Dressage Horse up to? Well... lots of things.

He's working on his social skills by meeting new neighbors...
And he's making sure to keep his energy up with plenty of snacks...
"Oh man! Alfalfa?! My favorite!"
And he's focusing on the days to come, with maybe a little worry...
"WTF have I gotten myself into?"
What's that you say? Your horse doesn't typically prep for a big dressage show with stall rest and a wrap from elbow to hoof?


So what happened? Good question. My barn owner texted me this photo early this morning:
"HOLY JESUS CHRIST HIS KNEE IS PREGNANT... WITH TWINS" -- My actual initial reaction
It was quickly followed up by this...
The cut is pretty superficial. It's a touch deep, but not really a big deal. The swelling, though? That indicated a much larger problem. My barn manager mentioned it looked like he'd spent the night in the shelter, not moving much. Then she sent me a video of him struggling to walk to the wash area, and suggested he may have a fracture.


She cold hosed him for a long while and gave him his regular morning equioxx. After standing awhile with cold water and ice on him, he walked better.
Define this "better" of which you speak.
The swelling went down some, too.
Oh god... what if it's filled with spiders?
The vet showed up, also suggesting x-rays to eliminate the possibility of a fracture. We weren't sure if the scrape on the knee was due to blunt trauma from something like a kick or when the swelling kicked in. Those questions made the decision to x-ray very easy for me.
Let's take a look inside that knee, shall we? 
Thankfully the x-rays came out completely clean. In fact, that knee might be the prettiest joint in this horse's whole damn body. However, the rapidly developing cellulitis is a real concern.

The vet's plan consists of IV steroids today, possible oral steroids for the next three days, and a course of SMZs to begin immediately. She also suggested a good wrap would help bring the swelling down even faster. I agreed.
"I did not consent to this." -- Pig, probably
The wrap is lovely, but requires Pig to be stalled for 24 hours. I'm hoping the IV steroids from today do their trick and the swelling is much less by tomorrow. The vet is mildly optimistic about my chances of showing, basically indicating that he should be fine as long as the swelling goes down. With zero indication of damage to the joint or surrounding tissues, the cellulitis is really all we seem to be fighting.

If his knee is still confusing itself with a pregnant belly tomorrow, we obviously won't be shipping to the show grounds. At that point, he'd need to start on the oral steroids to keep knocking this down and our chances of showing would be blown even if the swelling magically resolved. After all, you can't show at a USEF show with dex in your horse's system. #funfact

We're going to need a lot of finger crossing and wishes to get him to Loch Moy this weekend, and even then it's the barest of chances. Clearing up his cellulitis is my top concern, the horse show is obviously secondary. Realistically we could be looking at weeks of recovery. It's all an big question mark at the moment.

At least one funny thing came out of this morning's whole catastrophe, this hilarious video of Pig attempting to walk in the stiff leg bandage. His whole confused yet hopeful expression just kills me, as does his ridiculous leg lift. I could literally watch this thing all day.

Oh wait. That's what gifs are for... enjoy!
I mean, I've been trying to train him to lift that shoulder for years. Now if he could just do it without the mummy wrapping and the expensive vet calls...
Feel better, buddy! I'd much rather complain about a crappy dressage test than watch you be so uncomfortable!