Chico has injured himself....again. I could go on and on about his past injuries. This new one is bad though, and rivals his other big laceration near his stifle. All these injuries seem to occur on the same leg. Weird.
Sorry for the gruesome photos, but here they are. So, I came home this weekend and went to visit the herd (and turn Stormy out with them), when I notice Chico is in the barn by himself. He walks out and at first I don't notice anything wrong, but then he turns around and WHOA! It was just glaring at me! A huge gash on his right hind leg! It has already started to granulate in so he probably got this last Monday...the day after I left from visiting the previous weekend. It's possible he had it that weekend, but I don't think so. I was visiting them in the pasture and never noticed a thing. I actually picked up their hooves to see if anyone needed a trim and didn't notice anything. So I think he did this on Monday.
Because it is deeper at the top (I grazed bone with my fingernail when I was probing it after I cleaned it out), and it is lateral and just slightly toward the front, I think that he stepped into a stick in the pasture. He may have been travelling with speed, since the gash is so big. My pasture is pretty wild with tall grass (weeds) and downed logs and stands of trees (I like it this way...it's natural and keeps my trail horses used to obstacles), so maybe he didn't see the log/stick in the tall vegetation.
I feel terrible that I wasn't home to see his injuries earlier. And they are out at pasture so not checked on daily by my husband (he did say he saw them all out grazing last week at least once). But now he's being treated. I'm on a low intensity rotation at school this week, so I'm travelling home most evenings to do bandage changes, and my husband is feeding him bute and antibiotics twice a day. Chico is penned up in the barn right now for treatment, so he hasn't gotten to meet Stormy yet (though he's met her out on trail rides before).
I think Chico got really lucky, for how nasty this gash looks...I am pretty sure it does not communicate with any joints nor with any tendons. It does touch bone, but I think he's taking care of it himself. It doesn't really seem too infected. And it's already trying to heal. He can walk on it and bear full weight, but he is lame. I think the tissue swelling is what is causing the majority of his pain right now.
After the stick that was stuck in a wound that abscessed itself out a few years back, I am definitely concerned that there could be wood stuck in this one. I think I might have my "real" vet friend out and ultrasound his leg and see if we can't see anything. I don't have access to an x-ray machine yet...maybe in a year I will have one....definitely something I want to add to my practice. It sure would come in handy right now.
I'm crossing my fingers that this heals uncomplicated and without too much proud flesh and scar tissue.