Friday, January 13, 2012

Stall Time

We swung by the barn on our way out of town on Sunday to take Jesse and Susie back to Chicago. I checked on Steen's leg. The cut looked about the same. The swelling was no worse. So I put more neosporin and wound powder on and felt pretty unconcerned about it. But then we went out again on Tuesday and it still looked no better. The leg also felt hot to the touch, which didn't make me happy at all.

I took Steen to the wash rack and although he gave me a definite "you've got to be kidding me" look, he did not move when I started to spray cold water on his leg. Luckily it was in the 50's, and he was probably overheated in his blanket anyway.

I hosed off the leg and probed around at it a bit more. In digging I discovered the wound actually went a lot deeper than I'd thought. There is a puncture that basically goes straight up his leg under the skin, but the angle was so odd and it was under so much hair and skin, it was extremely difficult to see. Even once I found it the only way I could see it was to hold Steen's foot up in the air and squat down so I was underneath, looking up.

So I did a more thorough cleaning with warm water and antibiotic, trimmed away the hair, and had a discussion with the barn owner. She was concerned about the flap of skin reattaching properly, and suggested a leg wrap. In the past when our boys have had booboos, she's been the one do the actual bandaging, but she's recovering from foot surgery so this time it was up to me. Brian helped, of course, and without much difficulty I had Steen all wrapped up.

The bandage came out looking pretty tidy, if I do say so myself. We gave him a powder med for inflammation and turned him back out. But the next night we got a snow storm, and what with the blowing snow and freezing temps, having him out in the elements with the bandage wasn't a great idea. Yesterday morning the barn helper brought him into a stall. 

This afternoon Brian and I went out to see how things were doing. Steen was in the outdoor arena while his stall was getting cleaned, and he was wound up. He was holding his head up and glancing around in a way I haven't seen in ages. I haltered him and pulled his blanket to discovered he'd lost roughly a zillion pounds in 36 hours. (While I will concede I might be exaggerating slightly, he really is a lot thinner.) It never ceases to amaze me how this horse can drop weight when conditions are right.

I unwrapped his leg and was happy to see the swelling is entirely gone and the wound pretty well scabbed over. I groomed him and practicing moving his feet a little, at which point he was content to settle down and start to relax. I kept an eye on the cut while Brian rode, and it wasn't inclined to ooze or break open as Steen moved around. So eventually I concluded he'll be healthier and happier in his normal environment. I applied more neosporine and wound powder and sent him out into the snow-filled pasture. I'll check on him tomorrow. I am hopeful things will progress from here to healing, but if he gets swollen again we'll probably have to go for another round of wrapping.


  1. Ah horses, and their propensity for randomly injuring themselves. Someone at my barn was joking that "horse" must translate to "accident-prone" in some ancient language. :)

    Hope this injury remains minor, and Steen heals up without complications.

  2. Yeah. I really can't figure out how he could have done this too himself. It's probably not even worth the effort of speculating. :) At any rate, thanks for the well wishes.


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