Don’t Panic Yet


Freedom
Freedom today during one of the moments when all four feet were on the ground.

I’m sure you know that jolt of adrenalin when you show up at the barn and you see there’s something wrong with your horse. The sick feeling you get when you start to wonder if what you are seeing is just one of those minor annoyances or something that leads to weeks (or months) of layup, vet visits, diagnostic tests and more!

Freedom was well along the path to recovery from his lacerated heel bulb (one vet visit, four Animalintex pads, and a week’s worth of SMZs later) when I showed up and found his left hind leg hot and swollen. Don’t panic yet, I thought to myself. It’s icy out. The ground is hard. He could easily have tweaked something. He’s weight bearing. All reasons to hold panic at bay.

Freeedom
Freedom giving me the evil eye after leaping into the air and trying to run off. Left hind leg is thankfully not swollen.

I knew it wasn’t cellulitis. He’d been on antibiotics for a week. There was nothing that looked wrong except for the size of his leg. I will admit here that I’ve been far more likely to jump to the conclusion of disaster since he injured his check ligament. That started out as a hot, swollen leg too.

First line of defense was ice, wrap and bute. That was what the vet would tell me any way. So, since it was Friday afternoon, I checked in with the vet so I would be on their list for Monday, and then went to work. Gradually as my heart rate returned to normal, it occurred to me that the new problem was on the diagonal hind from the laceration. Was it as simple as stocking up? Was he standing uncomfortably and causing strain on that leg?

Fast forward to Sunday and that seems like it was the case. He’s still sound. With wrapping his leg is normal (I left the wraps off tonight to see how he does), and he’s feeling good. In fact, when I hand walked him today, he was like a kite on a string. He was feeling a bit too good!

Cautiously optimistic, I think his leg was just stocked up. I have my fingers crossed until tomorrow.

 

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