Thursday, August 31, 2017

hoof wars: the abscess strikes back!

Remember last Tuesday way back when I said Charlie had a minor abscess that took him out of the action for a couple days? But that he had come sound again? Gosh. I have such fond memories thinking back on saying those words.... lol

drinks. i need them.
Apparently the sucker just went dormant or whatever the right term is for that. Which is like, a known thing that abscesses do. Such a tricky thing tho, as it had even evaded his new farrier, who had her eye out for anything suspicious while shoeing him last Friday. Elusive sonuvagun!

flash back to better days - hacking around with Riley in her natural element
Since this is my space for documenting all things Charlie and his associated care, here's the full play-by-play of the events leading up to current time:

-    Charlie warmed up for a ride with a few very intermittent funky steps (most often while turning left). This isn't necessarily the most unusual thing in the world in a horse who had a lengthy career on the track and has had inconsistent work for the past month. We took note, kept going, and were relieved to see he improved as he went.

-    The following day, the funky steps persisted as the norm rather than the exception. And Charlie did not work out of it following a focused and purposeful warm up at trot. I called it and headed back to the barn expecting to find the horse fully crippled the next day.

-    Day 3: horse is fully crippled. Suspicions of an abscess appear confirmed. Slightly elevated digital pulse on outside of LF fetlock isolates the quarter in which we believe the abscess is brewing.

this dog actually might be a better eventer than some horses i know haha #99problemsbutaditchaintone 
-    Treatment options are limited bc Charlie was wearing full leather pads on his fronts. So we basically gave him some bute and tossed him out in the field to recover.

-     He appears to improve rapidly over the course of the next few days - culminating in a routine farrier appointment during which no signs of an abscess were detected. Sneaky little bastard, we should have known when there weren't even any tracks to be discovered!

current state: laaaame ponehhh walkin back to the barn :(. will insurance cover ichthammol ointment?? 
-    Fast forward a couple days as the horse is coming back into work. Third day in a row of working, those same intermittent funky steps are back - esp during left turns (recall, we had found signs of an abscess in the outside quarter of his LF).

-    Next day, horse comes out to work and rapidly progresses to fully crippled again after beginning to warm up. This time, the hoof itself (in that same quarter) is actually warm too. 

-    We treat with ichthammol slathered across entire coronet band, no bute this time, and toss that pony out into the field to do what he will. Timing is terrible bc I wasn't able to go see him the next day, but Trainer P offered to slap an epsom pad on him when she stopped by in the morning.

distractions :D and in case you're wondering: the left side is a super neat concept for a 6-pack cooler, it's basically just one giant zip up coozie. doesn't keep the cans super duper cold, but it's plenty sufficient for our tailgating purposes! and on the right side: the freshly bedazzled shirt that goes along with all those tutus i wrote about for an upcoming team adventure!!
Thus we arrive at the current state of things. And now we wait, I guess. I'm not overly keen on the idea of having the farrier back out to start exploring - as Charlie's very short shoeing cycle means he doesn't really have a ton of hoof to sacrifice in digging around for gold. But perhaps should we still be waiting around by tomorrow, I'll ask farrier to take another look?

me, just wonderin when my horse will be sound again....
In the grand scheme of things, an abscess isn't really a big deal. Just another notch on Charlie's belt of "dings." This horse, I swear. The title of "King of the Dings" suits him so perfectly bc he's always got some tiny little stuff going on.

So far nothing major - in the year I've owned him, we've had exactly one non-routine vet visit. And that was only bc the vet was already coming and I was panicky about cellulitis. Had the vet not already been visiting, I would have waited (per my usual habit). Considering the leg was better the next day anyway, my cellulitis fears would have been assuaged and we would've carried on sans vet. (Tho in retrospect I'm glad I called bc the splint benefited from Surpass treatments).

at least the weather is pretty?!
It's still annoying tho. Especially because the timing makes me a little uneasy. Fall season beckons!! Oh well. We will do what we can and in the meantime I'll just try not to worry about the stuff I can't control.

Surely I'm not the only one who has been sidelined by something seemingly minuscule? Or had some little pesky aggravation keep coming back and refusing to heal??? Or been down to the wire for an event, competition or other outing, with no real clear guarantee that the horse will be ready to go?

36 comments:

  1. Vallu has had really weird and tinyyyyyy cuts on both hind legs which come, make his legs a bit warm, I panic and clean them and then they go away. There is no heat and no swelling but it's been this way through the entire summer and refuses to go away! Hope Charlie feels better soon and the abscess goes away!

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    1. omg those little cuts would drive charlie absolutely bonkers!! and me too probably bc they would probably blow up each and every time #sensitivebutterfly!! ugh glad they're not serious tho!!

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  2. Abscesses are the worst in terms of driving one crazy. With Irish it's not unusual for him to show this pattern until it makes it way to a place to blow out. I do the turn out thing and I would even hack him out to keep him moving because that helps it to come out.

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    1. ugh this pattern is the *worst* haha! definitely agreed on turnout and movement helping, but i'm such a sucker and made a rookie mistake - gave him bute bc he was so pitiful and i wanted him turned out but didn't want him forgoing water or something like that bc he was too ouchy to walk that far. but... i'm now fairly convinced that bute did us a major disservice in bringing the abscess to more rapid resolution. le sigh...

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  3. Having dealt with way too many abscesses over here, first with Hayley, then with Batts, sometimes some horses are just more susceptible to them. That said, when I was dealing with the non stop abscesses with Batts, the only thing that stopped them in their tracks and basically got us off that never ending cycle was White Lightning soaks. A friend of mine swears by it, I tried it out of frustration, but now I'm a believer. It just kills crap. You have to use a heavy duty bag like an IV bag or what White Lightning sells and duct tape the bag closed, but it seriously helps. If nothing else, it doesn't hurt. And since it's the vapors and vinegar and not a lot of liquid, you don't need to worry about softening the hoof.

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    1. i've heard great things about white lightning! glad it's working so well for your guys! i feel fortunate in saying there's zero indication that charlie has any inherent susceptibility to abscesses or recurrences or anything like that, luckily - this is his first in a year, and at a time and in such conditions where horses all over our barn are getting them too. and it's only so drawn out bc of the bute i gave him (kicking myself over that lol). should it become a problem in the future tho i'll definitely keep this in mind for discussion with my farrier!

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  4. yikes i hope he heals up for FH!! (cause i am selfish like that it is all about me :)) LOL. The worse is the NOT KNOWING. I hope you figure him out stat. UGH. Poor Charlie (That coozie thing made me laugh out loud....)

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    1. haha i hope so too tho, so we can be selfish together ;) so far i'm pretty optimistic about FH but obviously it's horses and anything can happen. fingers crossed!!! (and don't you worry - i'll be there no matter what, with coozie in hand!)

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    2. ha if Charlie doesnt come i might throw you up on Remus instead :) HA have beer will travel !!

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    3. omg haha - idk if i could ride him!!!! all this time off with charlie has left me equally unfit and let's be real, it's been a LONG TIME since i had to keep leg on a horse to keep him going lol! remus would have my number in no time flat! ;) but i will happily be around watch you make it look easy on him - whether i have a horse to ride or not!

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  5. Oh no Poor Charlie. I hope it comes to a head quickly so you guys can move past this. Doesn't he know he has some fun events in the near future??

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    1. lol seriously!!! i keep telling him he needs to buck up so we can have some FUN but he's all like, 'huh, wut? mah foot hurts :("

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  6. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this tutu esemble unfolds. Hopefully the abscess blows and resolves quickly and doesn't mess up fall plans. Really, I know nothing about shoes with leather pads - can they cut away the leather to explore or do they have to take off the shoe?

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    1. i am so freaking excited about this tutu ensemble it is hard to contain haha. if the weather tries to screw with our plans (or like, i guess if my horse is still lame....) i'm gonna be so so so sad!!! and re: the leather pads, i actually had them taken off entirely when charlie got his feet done last friday (when the farrier had the opportunity to check his foot out for signs of the abscess).

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  7. Uggghhhh, Charles! I hope he recovers quickly!

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  8. Oh I feel your (and Charlie's) pain. I've been through that whole a few steps off, is he or isn't he dance. Dexter had a stone bruise that never developed into a full blown abscess but took weeks to resolve. Then he was having issues with his hooves (based on the condition he was in when I bought him I'd say his hoof quality had suffered) and frequently losing a show and going lame. Thankfully keratex and biomins hoof mender supplement seem to have helped him a lot!

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    1. ughhh isabel would do that too - get those bruises that never actually did anything but totally crippled her for a couple days. frustrating. it's so hard too when they kinda need opposite types of care for various issues. charlie needs that keratex to keep his feet strong and hard (but flexible!) - but now that we're trying to get the abscess to pop, i gotta lay off the keratex bc it's counter productive. go figure... bleh.

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  9. Nooo abscesses are the freakin worst. Hope he feels 100% soon. Mystic had a horrible abscess as a yearling... that was fun to treat haha

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    1. ugh yea i bet. at least charlie is pretty easy to doctor in the grand scheme of things haha - he's basically a pro at standing in a bucket lol!

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  10. Come on Charlie, we wanna see the tutus!!!

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  11. Ugh. Crossing my fingers and toes for some nice drainage of that pus pocket soon!

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    1. LOL trust horse ppl to be sitting here wishing for pus!!! but.... yup that's basically exactly what i'm hoping for too!

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  12. I swear these things take 10x as long to live through as they actually lasted when you look back.

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  13. Ugh, Charles. Get your feet together, dude! I can't wait to read more about the tutus :D

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    1. here's hoping there's something more to share!

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  14. Yeaaaahhhhh I hear you. Though Amber FINALLY got trimmed, both she and Whisper are sore (although Whisper more so) so I've been taking it easy. Plus because she was long, that messes with the hip that has been SLOWLY getting better with reconditioning and attempted loosening. But poor Charlie. That abscess needs to just go away lol. At least walking in that pasture should help it to get to the surface hopefully. Those things suck. :/

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    1. ugh that's frustrating about Amber getting sore since the trim :( charlie's the same way - he can't go too long, and he definitely will get sore if he gets too much of a change too quickly!

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  15. i wont even go into 'miniscule shit that sidelined me forever'. i wrote the book. BUT i will say that 6 pack coozie is brill, does it hold bottles???

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  16. Sending positive vibes your way for you and Charlie. Also, that majestic, wooded, wizard staff of a coozie is pure genius!

    Wishing you both all the best!

    Cheers!

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  17. Super annoying. I mean, great it isn't something terrible, but it's still annoying. Sending you pocitive healing thoughts!

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  18. Blowing abscesses is the only thing Bobby does easily and well. He's like, wham bam donezo. Nothing else in his life comes easy so I feel like he owes me something!

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  19. UGGHHH! Here's to hoping it resolves itself? And relatively soon? We just put pads on Mae's fronts and her freshly trimmed feet look tons better. No more melting hooves!

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