Posted by: shannonc | February 6, 2010

The abscess according to Blue

The good news, no tendon involvement in Blue’s lameness, in spite of the heat up his pastern and ankle.  The bad news, diagnosis of a bruise or abscess in this footing  means that my alpha, high-strung OTTB is sentenced to stall rest, because putting him out on snow and ice with duct tape lining the bottom of one foot would be dangerous.

My concept of the soaking-and-packing treatment program:  give him a little sniff of the hoof bucket and away we go.

Blue, being Blue, decided that this would be a great opportunity to school me.  I hate when he does the whole give me a lesson thing after the fact.  Can’t he just drop me an email beforehand?

The process according to Blue:

  1. Do not wait until 9 pm to start.
  2. Do not attach horse to cross ties, even if you are alone.
  3. Present empty tub to horse for careful inspection, even though it’s the same tub he sees every week when he gets a mash.  Wait for snorting to subside.
  4. Place empty tub near injured foot.  Coax horse into placing foot into tub, giving much positive reinforcement.  Do not lose patience even though you know darn well horse is being a ninny.  Reassure rather than wallop horse when he snatches foot out of *&@^!! empty f*ing bucket for the umpteenth time.
  5. When horse is standing quietly with foot in bucket, bring over another bucket containing hot water and sponge.  Allow horse to acclimate to steam, even though he sees this, too, every day.
  6. Continue running back and forth with even smaller buckets of hot water to refill larger bucket, freaking out that the process is taking so long that the water keeps cooling in the 20-degree barn.
  7. Put epsom salts in hoof-containing bucket.
  8. Sponge water slowly over hoof to allow horse to get used to feeling of wet foot in bucket.
  9. Mix up salts with water, hoping some of it seeps under hoof.
  10. Dare to attach horse to cross ties when he finally seems unlikely to lose his marbles.
  11. Rinse and repeat items 6-9 for as long as horse will tolerate.
  12. Complete packing process (I was so grateful he recalled the days of putting in studs and stood quietly for this part with his foot on my knee).
  13. Do not, repeat do not, forget to bring wine.  In fact, consider bringing the whole bottle.
  14. Pray that the pony never, ever gets an abscess…

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