Stick Stuck...

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Stick Stuck...

This is a discussion on Stick Stuck... within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    03-22-2010, 07:06 PM
Stick Stuck...

I went to visit Caleb yesterday and discovered he has a 2.5 cm long twig (about 4mm in diameter) stuck just above his shoulder in his neck under his skin. I felt a bump and when I looked to see what it was I saw the end of a twig sticking out. My barn owner said this happens every once in a while and they need to be cut out or else he will get an infection without question. He didn't tell me what kind of plant it is but said that they have barbs on them and are very difficult to remove.

The farrier is going to take it out on Thursday, hopefully everything will go well, he's also having his feet and teeth done, he's going to have a fun day Thursday.

Hopefully I can get the name of this plant as it is clearly dangerous.

Has anyone else had something similar to this happen?
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    03-22-2010, 07:12 PM
Haven't had it happen, but why is the farrier taking it out? Sounds like a job for the vet.
    03-22-2010, 07:30 PM
My farrier is an All-around kind of guy, he's very experienced he does feet, teeth, stitches, and other little medical things. The has all the proper equipment and can sterilize it/numb it as needed. It's much cheaper to have him do it, than to call the vet who charges 35$ just to travel.

My barn owner would have done it himself (he does for his own horses), but he doesn't really have the proper equipment, and if anything happened it would be a liability for him.
    03-22-2010, 07:35 PM
Green Broke
Hopefully there isn't anything more involved (infection issues) that your vet isn't qualified to handle. Seems that in those sort of situations, paying the extra for the vet is better than not.
    03-22-2010, 07:45 PM
That's why I'm having it taken out on Thursday, because the sooner it comes out the better. The vet is coming in two weeks to check some other horses, and I can have it double checked. If something does come up before that, I can make an emergency call.

Even if I called tommorow, there's a good possibility he couldn't come before Thursday anyway, there are only two equine vets in my area, so it's hard to get a hold of them, even in emergencies.
    03-22-2010, 07:52 PM
Green Broke
Good luck.
    03-22-2010, 08:24 PM
This is not meant offensively toward your farrier, I don't know him or his skill level, I'm sure he's quite good but I'm sorry, your farrier might have "the proper equipment" but he is lacking the proper education. Mainly on what kind of antibiotics to prescribe, etc. I will use a farrier for a hoof problem over a vet any day but in this case, and being that you have to leave it for a few days, I'd use a vet. These sticks with barbs sound like something that could migrate, like grass awns ("foxtails"). If the infection were to get into a joint, you'd be strongly wishing you'd paid a little extra to save the horse. Just my $0.02
    03-22-2010, 08:31 PM
Green Broke
Exactly what I was thinking.
    03-22-2010, 08:50 PM
Its not a piece of grass, its a stick. It can't really move because of the barbs on it. If it really was serious, my Barn Owner would have said "Call the vet, this can't wait" But, he's obviously seen this sort of thing many times before, and treated it. If it didn't have the barbs, one of the stable hands was going to take it out with tweezers, but seeing as it couldn't come out, the skin needs to be cut to have it taken out.

I'm not worried, I have confidence in my barn owner, and the farrier is trained to do minor medical operations, such as extracting porcupine quills (and other foreign bodies) so long as they are not deeply embedded. He also does stitches. The stick is lodged just under the skin, and I saw no blood or buildup around the entry of the stick. If it had jabbed straight in (not flat under the skin), I would have called it in immediately as an emergency.
    03-23-2010, 09:12 PM
I went to check on Caleb today to make sure everything was okay. He was very dirty but his mane falls over where the spot is so he's very clean there. The twig hasn't moved at all and it hasn't swollen anymore since yesterday. It only seems to bother him if I poke at it (which makes sense) although, he has lost hair around the entry site, that's likely a trauma thing. I managed to take some pictures even though Caleb was being fidgety (because my mom was giving him treats and spoiling him).

This is what it looks like, just a little black spot:

Close up you can see the end sticking out a tiny bit:

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