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HowClever 05-18-2012 11:22 AM

Just how deceptive can a wound be... *graphic*
I wanted to share this as a "warning" of sorts. Warning isn't the right word, but it is late here and my brain is in shut down mode. Also for anyone who is interested in the progress of something like this.

On the 10th of April my wonderful old, retired standardbred, Kody, hobbled up to the fence and greeted me with this...

After some colourful language and cleaning I was left with this...

I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking "it could have been so much worse!" I bandaged him up and chucked him in to a yard.

The next day, while doing morning chores, I stopped at the fence of his yard and called him over. He made his way to me, cautiously and obviously sore. As he got close I watched as he dragged the toe on that foot. And I watched as he struggled to flip the toe back up to step forward. And then he knuckled over. Shoot.

So I called the vet. She came and confirmed what I had suspected when that foot went over underneath him. Severed lateral extensor tendon. With the added bonus of a decent amount of suspected nerve damage.

That little, what should have been minor wound was much, much deeper than it looked. There were also two "pockets" under the skin underneath the wound that were collecting fluid.

He was obviously put on antibiotics and I began bandaging from hoof to hock to stabilise the fetlock joint and try to prevent the horrible knuckling over. He was locked up and our journey back to pasture soundness began.

Now as if that wasn't enough, we had a setback when Kody developed a nasty allergic reaction to one of the antibiotics he was on. I went out in the evening to feed and rug and found him standing in a corner, looking completely miserable. Under normal circumstances he would have turned his head to greet me with a nicker. I could see him looking at me, the white of his eye was showing as he looked back at me.

Shoot again! I haltered him, which is when I got a good look at his chest and saw how swollen one side of it was, and asked him to flex his neck. Nope, no deal, wasn't happening. I asked him to lower his head. Nope, no deal, not happening. Took his temperature. Elevated. Dialed the vet again. She came out and diagnosed an allergic reaction to the Neomycin. Each site that he had been given an injection in had swelled. The neck had done so internally, which is why he could not move his head more than a few inches in any direction. He had also collected some fluid on his lungs.

This was his chest while we waited for the vet...

I spent that night monitoring him very closely, checking his temperature every hour or so. I had his water bin up on a chair so it was at a height he could reach. His feed bucket was tied up high as well. He was interested in neither for the next 12 hours.

So obviously he was pulled off the Neomycin and we continued with the Penicillin.

At 7 days, we had this...

At 10, we had this...

So here we are at day 39, after 3 full courses of antibiotics, plus the discontinued neomycin. Daily bandage changes and having finally discovered an awesome, innovative way to stop him from knuckling over altogether thanks to a girl on another forum. He has a tennis ball strapped behind his pastern :lol::lol:

This is what we have now...

Our focus now, is getting that tendon healed. We still have a long way to go.

So there you have it. A wound that, honestly, when I saw it all cleaned up on that first day I thought "pffft, I've dealt with worse!" has turned out to be one of the most challenging things to deal with (and one of the most expensive too! Nearing a grand in vet bills, well over that if we factor in the cost of bandages, gauze, etc!).

Bloody horses!!

themacpack 05-18-2012 11:25 AM

Great post....glad you included pics. So happy he is.doing well. Thank you for sharing.

MHFoundation Quarters 05-18-2012 11:26 AM

Thanks for sharing this, HC. Good educational tool. Goes to show that things aren't always what they seem.

Poor Kody, great progress though. Sending jingles his way for a speedy & thorough recovery.

calicokatt 05-18-2012 11:27 AM

WOW! That's pretty intense! Great job with the care, will be interested to see how he continues to progress.

CLaPorte432 05-18-2012 11:30 AM

932 Attachment(s)
Holy goodness gracious! :shock:

HowClever 05-18-2012 11:36 AM

All thanks really are owed to Kody. He has been such a gentleman about the relentless poking and prodding and jabbing he has had over the last 5 and a half weeks. Would have preferred he hadn't done it at all, but at least he hasn't been too much of a pain in the butt about letting me doctor it!!


Originally Posted by MHFoundation Quarters (Post 1505747)
Thanks for sharing this, HC. Good educational tool. Goes to show that things aren't always what they seem.

That's it MHF! Never would I have guessed when I first saw that wound that I would still be treating it 39 days later, let alone only being part way in to recovery!

Lins 05-18-2012 11:37 AM

Thanks for posting, I like reading about the steps people take to help heal a horse.
Do you have any pics of the tennis ball thing? I'd like to see how that worked :)

So glad to see your old boy is doing better, and hats off to you for doing everything in your power and obviously taking lots of care to ensure the health of your horse.
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aldebono 05-18-2012 11:37 AM

Poor Kody!

Any picture of the tennis ball brace?? I am curious to see it.

Speedy recovery. The wound looks much better without all that granulated tissue.

kait18 05-18-2012 11:45 AM

oh my goodness that is a doozy... thanks for the pics and now i am curious as to how you used the tennis ball... do you mind taking a pic of that so i may see what exactly you did to keep him from knuckling over... :) thank you

ps good job with the care looks alot better :)

HowClever 05-18-2012 11:47 AM

Just so you can see the rest of the handsome old man, before he damaged himself! 23 years young :D

This isn't the best photo, but you can see the bulge of the tennis ball sitting back there. It's wrapped in there and effectively stops the foot from being able to flex far enough back to let him knuckle over.

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