Monday, November 17, 2008

Day 1 - Mustangs in Wisconsin

This morning, the horses had busted out of the barn. Last night, we had hurriedly nailed up boards to hold them in after they'd grazed a bunch, but they were on the outside, rather than the inside of the enclosure, so they were able to push them off. The enclosure was kinda small for 3 horses so likely Cody pushed one of the other two to where they hit the boards when they are getting out of her way and knocked them off. No big deal; no one was scratched or anything from the event.

They are doing great. At this point, the grass is packed down a little bit more from being walked on and grazed, so I'm not so worried about it being too much for them. They are eating so slowly too. They take a bite here and there, and they are also eating hay that we have out for them. I think there is just too much to look at and watch out for to really get serious about the grazing. They have all lost a few pounds from the stress of travelling and not eating constantly like they were before they left.

This morning, I noticed that Chico's rub mark on his leg had somehow abscessed or been punctured. Puss was running out and had matted up his hair.

We took him up to the garage to thoroughly clean it out. It's bizarre, he's not lame on it at all. In the center of the quarter sized bare patch of hair, there is a circular wound that extrudes outward. I do not remember seeing a puncture wound in the middle of the bare patch when I first noticed it at my friend's ranch a few days ago. I washed off all the serum and then used a syringe to flush the hole with a dilute iodine solution. The syringe tip goes very deep into the hole, it seems all the way through the skin, and when I push the liquid into it, it blows up a pocket about 4 times the size of the bare patch under the skin. When I remove the syringe, the liquid oozes or squirts back out.

Strangly enough, this is perhaps the exact same location where Chico had received a poke from a branch about 6-7 weeks ago. Initially, he was very lame on that poke, but the vet said there was no wood in it, and that the puncture from the branch didn't even go all the way through the skin (she looked at it about 2 days post-poke - we called her out because his leg had really swollen up and he had become very lame on it). The vet had said the inflammation was from the impact of the blow to his joint, so it was just bruised (He walked briskly into a branch that stuck him in the leg). He healed up after a week and a half, and after the initial soreness and swelling, he was never lame on it.

So with this wound, perhaps there really was a piece of wood in there, and now there's been a small abscess growing under the skin for several weeks? A vet told me that right before an abscess blows, sometimes the hair falls out of the skin there. That could be what happened here, but I'm not sure. I was sure he had bumped it en route to WI and just scraped the hide off, but now that it's draining puss I'm not so sure. We will take him to the vet tomorrow because I worry that the infection could progress if not treated and infect his stifle joint. That would be bad.

Chico was such a good sport about being closed into the heated garage so we could treat him in comfort. When I first led in him, he nickered at himself in the mirror, but then realized it wasn't a horse.

Aside from treating Chico, today, my dad and I pushed sand into the barn, and put up some boards in the barn to keep them out of half of it. I'll post pics after I get the "after" pic tomorrow. It was so funny after we dumped a load of sand into the pen (I wish I'd had my camera). They were fine with the dump truck coming into the pen, then Chico and Cody both came right over to investigate the sand pile. They nuzzled it, pawed it, then both laid down to roll and roll in it. Catlow was still off being by herself. I also got some treats and spent time just going out and visiting and scratching them and giving a few treats. Catlow has made a turn around from yesterday. She's always standoffish a bit, but she'll let me approach her now, and she's showing interest in me again, and sniffing my pockets for treats. :) Cody and Chico were pests while we were working on the barn. They kept coming in to investigate what was happening in there.

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