Monday, October 2, 2017

when good splints go bad

Keen observers may have noted that there has not been an update on Charlie for a little while. The last we heard, our favorite bay hero had sustained yet another splint-like injury turning his erstwhile leg into something more closely resembling an alien appendage.

one of those legs is not like the others!
The initial grotesqueness of that injury earned him a night of stall rest and standing bandages. Over the course of the next few days tho, the swelling and lumpy-bumpiness subsided to reveal something a little more standard looking: a tight, clean leg with just an active, hot splint protruding.

original injury flare up from friday progressed to looking like a more classic splint situation by monday
So Charlie quickly returned to a more normal turnout schedule - tho only in a small paddock with a buddy or two instead of in his normal giant field full of geldings. Things chugged right on along and I began making plans to leg him back up again with some trail riding (while still fully determined to take a zillion x-rays once Charlie's planned vet appointment finally rolled around).

shit got weird tho on tuesday
Really tho, I should have already learned my lesson about "plans" bc by the next day Charlie's leg had evolved to its next level of .... intensity. The whole thing was hot and fat, especially around the knee, and he was LAME on it.

the whole thing blossomed into cellulitis. and the splint looked.... highly suspicious
My immediate conclusion was that he must have gotten kicked in the knee.... but after further examination, discussion with peers and text consulting with the vet, we determined that the new heat, swelling and lameness was probably directly related to the original splint. And in fact, it was likely cellulitis.

plus charlie finally went lame. it was definitely buggin him :(
also this pic is photographic evidence of what i mean by saying charlie will tell you where it hurts. stoic he is not.
Maybe this is my karma for that one time when I thought Charlie had cellulitis when in reality he had just aggravated the splint... Well this time it became BOTH! How special.... Naturally we immediately began a course of SMZs and Charlie returned to stall rest.

by wednesday the splint was operating under codename Mt Vesuvius
In conjunction with the leg's newfound fatness, the splint itself was behaving rather.... oddly. Changing shape and size. Resembling nothing so much as a volcano.

stand back, she's gonna blow!!! (for the record, that's ichthammol on the splint while the rest of the leg is poulticed)
Suspicions of something nefarious going on inside the leg appeared confirmed: this thing was gonna erupt.

exploratory pin prick by vet yielded a syringe full of pus. yeppers, this zit is ready to pop!
So when we finally got our day with the vet, we were basically all hands on deck: all the xrays, all the poking and prodding to figure out what's going on here. The xrays themselves weren't as clear as the vet wanted them to be -- likely bc of the surrounding swelling and infection. But we found what we were looking for: Indications of a fracture.

so...... we popped it. 
That alone was basically enough to inform our next steps. There's a real injury in there that has not healed well and Charlie's immune system has officially classified it as a "foreign body" -- thus the massive infection. So that foreign body (the broken bone fragment) has gotta go.


But first we gotta clear out as much infection as possible. Including lancing that damn abscessing splint (which was grotesquely mesmerizing, fyi, and the vet was downright giddy that I got such good footage of it lol. #bloggermediajunkieftw) and throwing everything under the sun at Charlie in the hopes of reining in his cellulitis.

animalintex pad under gauze, then all covered with a cottony bandage to absorb the drainage
Obviously I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed by this outcome. Even tho it was basically exactly what we had concluded would be the case all along.

for the record, charlie is an excellent patient #nodrugsneeded #wellok #maybeanerveblock #andatwitchtoo #justaropetwitchtho #heskindaintothatsortathinganyway
All the best case scenarios still involve a somewhat lengthy recovery period (including a not insignificant period of stall rest). Given that we're rapidly approaching winter tho, I fully expect to take the recovery extra slow. No sense rushing -- there's nothing to rush toward, ya know?

extra wrap bc of the cellulitis
The flip side, tho, is that even with the fairly major medical intervention this injury requires, it's still at its most fundamental a straight forward and inconsequential injury. Knocking on all things wooden, once we can get through this major pain in the ass of treating Charlie's calamitous splint.... Well. Life should just keep on keepin' on after that. Theoretically.

charlie was pretty casual about the whole thing
So now my priorities are just shifting a little bit to focus on keeping Charlie comfortable while we work out all the scheduling details. And naturally in the meantime I'm on full wound cleaning and bandage changing protocol for that damn abscess. Blargh.

poor pony
So we'll see how things shake out. I'm somewhat selfishly bummed about missing out on another fall season of riding -- including all my favorite shows and even the nascent fox hunting plans Brita and I had been making..... C'est la vie, tho.

107 comments:

  1. Wow, that is incredible footage! Irish had an injury like that when he was three- shortly after I bought him. I was hosing him off and saw what looked like a swelling around his cut and and when I touched it it spurted out just like that. I freaked out. Called the vet and he was all 'that's great, keep doing that and keep it clean'. He healed quickly and well.

    Now that I'm done geeking out on the wound- poor you and Charlie. I know he'll be fine and that you will look after him really really well but it sucks in terms of the riding/training/conditioning. I know in a year it won't matter but in the mean time I would be going a bit crazy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol abscesses are oddly.... easy to geek out over, right?? like they're disgusting and horrible and nasty.... but also like, kinda amazing lol. but yea, it's always better when it's not our own horses! sigh....

      Delete
  2. Oh Charlie :( I'd be majorly bummed, too, but hopefully we have a MILD winter and you'll be 100% ready to go in the spring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. my fingers are crossed for a mild winter too! and at least now we have access to way more space to hack out for easy and gentle legging up when he's ready to rock 'n roll again.

      Delete
  3. Charlie could have screwed over your plans by throwing a shoe. He didn't have to be so dramatic about it. I'm sorry Emma. That really sucks. Like you said though, it should be a self limiting issue that once you fix goes away completely and lets you move forward towards the 2018 season.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i know, right?? like charlie -- thrown shoes are MUCH preferred to broken bones plz!!! oh well. 2018 here we come!!!

      Delete
  4. Damn, Charlie, that's a horrifying yet mesmerizing lance video which I did, yes, watch. Best wishes for a speedy recovery! I'm right there with you on "alternate plans that were not the plans we had planned" this fall. Here's hoping for a solid recovery for Sir Charles! Do you have any plans to snag a few rides on a substitute beast while he's on the DL?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ugh yea you know all about it too. planning for plans when the original plans meet an unplanned demise. hopefully tho yes i'll be able to get some saddle time in the interim. there are a few munchkins around the farm who could benefit from extra mileage -- it's just a question of finding the right fit.

      Delete
  5. So sorry to hear this news. Hoping for a speedy and uneventful recovery for Sir Charles (and good spirits for you!). I have no doubt you can make lemonade from these damn lemons.

    Thanks for the video, BTW! Mesmerizing and satisfying, indeed!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha glad you enjoyed the video -- it made the rounds around charlie's barn all of its own accord too. apparently horse ppl are into that sort of thing!! and yea.. i'm working on the whole 'lemonade' thing. at least by this point i'm practiced at it?

      Delete
  6. Holy shit Charlie! Well it definitely sucks to miss the fall, but fingers crossed for a simple surgery and recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yea he never does anything half way, does he. seems like it *should* (theoretically) be a straightforward treatment tho.

      Delete
  7. i would like to point out that it is the almost exact 1 year anniversary of runkles splintzilla

    and hes got pretty tits up insane too. its good that you caught it when you did and had it well taken care of. rehab and rest and youll be back out like gangbusters in the spring no worse for wear.

    ALSO CAN I RECOMMEND SPLINTEX??????????????????? lololol

    oi. im sorry. fingers crossed for a thorough if not speedy recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ugh yea as soon as i saw his giant lumpy bumpy alien leg, Runkle was the first horse that came to mind. unfortunately splintex isn't enough to treat what charlie did but hopefully he'll be in good shape once we get that bone out!

      Delete
    2. oh yeah no... its too far gone right now for splintex. however barring there being an open wound tehre id suggest splintex after to prevent any calcification from happening

      ugh i'm really sorry. bad charles. bad.

      winter sucks for rehab (cold + tb on stall rest = omg) but its better because come spring he'll be back and you won't have missed anything.

      Delete
    3. that's my hope too! and i may be a little optimistically hopeful that it won't be *too* cold by the time charlie's getting back out into turnout (probably about 4wks post surgery). plus he's a quiet dude so i'm not too worried about him getting wild. despite being cooped up for the past week or so, he's still been chill when i've hopped on for some easy walking to improve circulation. gotta love them quiet ponies <3

      Delete
  8. Aw Emma, that stinks. Hoping for full and speedy recovery for you two!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! i'm optimistic about the "full" part at least!! hopefully! lol.....

      Delete
  9. Chaaaaarlie!!! I thought the poultice/ichthammol leg pic was hilarious... like a negative of his "normal" leg.

    At least splint surgery is relatively straightforward and he should be alright? *knocks on all the trees* I hope he has a speedy and complete recovery!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol yea i definitely had to be quick to explain what the ichthammol was when i sent that pic to friends too bc it looked NASTY haha. but yea, theoretically everything should be smooth sailing unless charlie decides to get creative again. but like, newsflash charlie: this is NOT a contest about who can take the most mundane things to the most extreme levels!!!

      Delete
  10. Good gracious, Charlie! Go big or go home, I guess! What a bummer, but at least you know what it is and have a good treatment plan. And while totally disgusting, how wonderfully satisfying to get that gunk out of there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ugh seriously, it's like he prides himself in pushing everything to the max lol.

      Delete
  11. Huge bummer that Charlie is injured, but WOW THAT VIDEO IS PURE GOLD!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha yea it's nasty but amazing all bundled into one gooey mess

      Delete
  12. So bummed for you that you didn't get to finish out your season like you wanted! Hopefully Charlie gives you the most boring and straightforward recovery of your life, and you guys come out in the spring ready to slay. In the meantime he is look FINE.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. gosh i hope so. maybe charlie just wanted to express his RF solidarity with Bobby. hopefully tho, all treatments of all maladies go smoothly!

      Delete
  13. Yes, that video is oddly satisfying. I'm so sorry about your guys situation tho! So frustrating! At least you now have real answers and a game plan to work on - that always makes things feel a bit better. I'm wishing you guys a quick and easy surgery/recovery.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ugh yea it's definitely good to know exactly what's up. so i can still be making plans and whatnot bc i love making plans even if they're not really the type of plans i wish i could make....

      Delete
  14. Ok wow, that was super gross yet oddly fascinating. At least I put down my chai before I watched?

    Also, BAD CHARLIE. NO MORE DAMAGING YOURSELF! Heal up quick and stop causing your poor mum to have ulcers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol yes, good to separate the chai from .... that stuff in the video lol. bc definitely don't want to see any similarities between them!

      Delete
  15. Oh no! At least it sounds pretty straightforward with a good prognosis -- hopefully everything goes according to plan and you guys are back at it before you know it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! i'm obvi pretty disappointed, but also optimistic that things will get better. and hopefully soon!

      Delete
  16. CHARLES. Not cool. You have nothing to prove!
    But medical brain in me loved that video.. Oops. I swear, between horses and hospital, I have lost all sense of gross vs not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha right??? horse ppl are so crazy and sick lol, but all my horsey friends seem fascinated by the video. i was too!! (tho yea it's gross lol)

      Delete
  17. Um Charlie? Not cool at all... And here I am whining about a minor colic... (let's face it, if I don't have to call out the vet, it's a good colic on the scale of colics. If the vet comes out, it's an expensive colic. If we're heading to New Bolton, it's panic time. We've experienced all of those variations).

    Hope everything goes as planned and Mr. Charlie's recovery goes well! No complications Charles and continue being a good patient! Horses, stop complicating things!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ugh i mean, i totally get the worry over colic tho. like, sure a mild no-vet-needed case is like... usually not a big deal. but add in the "chronic" situation, and the fact that colic can pretty quickly evolve from "nbd" to "life threatening" and... yea. colic deserves some respect! splints on the other hand... ya know. it's a *splint.* it shouldn't be a big deal. yet apparently every now and then... they try to be all big and bad and nasty. go figure.

      Delete
  18. I'm so sorry Emma! I feel horrible for you! But so fricken relieved at the same time that this is a fixable thing. And ya, that video is gold.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i'm happy it's a fixable thing too, so so happy. i've always felt like charlie could do whatever i wanted him to do so long as he stays sound. and if he doesn't stay sound enough to do the thing.. then we'll figure that out. but i'm not ready for that yet!

      Delete
  19. I got through 5.5 seconds of that video. Sooooo disgusting!

    Hate that you're missing the rest of the season, but glad it's something that stall rest (and disgusting wound cleaning) will eventually heal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well... and surgery. that's kinda the biggie here lol, and the reason we're looking at such lengthy recovery period.

      Delete
    2. Oh no! I don't know how I missed that part. Ugh, hate that!

      Delete
  20. I am not brave enough to watch the video! What a surprising outcome. What will the recovery time be (ballpark)? Such a bummer about your fall plans :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha yea the video is nasty! recovery is kinda in stages - we need to clear up the infection before we can operate, so that's where we are right now. then once he has surgery, he'll need something around 4wks of stall rest followed by a slow reintroduction to turnout. it's possible that i could be legging him back up again by the end of next month but we'll just take it as it comes.

      Delete
    2. I'm crossing my fingers for a speedy recovery!!!

      Delete
  21. Yikes! I hope the infection clears up fast and he can have an uneventful surgery and recovery. That video 🤢🤢🤢

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks - i'm hoping for uneventful too!! fingers crossed!

      Delete
  22. What is with all these blog horses and their special leg injuries! Did they get together and scheme against us??? I hope he's on the mend soon, that leg looks painful! Having just gone through my own bout with Scout and cellulitis I really feel for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. it's definitely a conspiracy! cellulitis is definitely no fun at all, glad Scout is feeling better! luckily charlie's cellulitis seemed on the mild side of things (if there can be such a thing as "mild" cellulitis) mostly exacerbated by the abscess. now that the abscess is gone he's feeling MUCH better!

      Delete
  23. could not watch and should have not ate breakfast first. BLECH. UGH CHARLIE! CHARLIE.

    If you ever want another horse to ride and you come up to Fair Hill let me know you can borrow a certain buckskin any day!!

    Fingers crossed all goes well with Charlie and this is the last of the bad luck (Amanda do NOT let Henry read this blog it may give him ideas)! LOLLOL

    Charlie!! I swear....i am glad he is such a good patient though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. aw thanks! that's very generous of you! i'm hoping this is all the last of the bad luck too, and am definitely grateful charlie's such an easy patient!! lord knows i'm bumbling enough with this stuff!

      Delete
  24. damn Charlie!
    That's a great video (I mean, gross and mesmerizing and I get great satisfaction watching infections get their comeuppance).

    So sorry that you've got surgery still ahead, ugh, at least he picked a fairly good time of year? but still, ugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. well personally i think the timing could have been better considering i lost my entry from one show, had to scratch another, and still had a couple more things left on the calendar before the season actually ends. but. ya know. i guess it could always be worse

      Delete
    2. ooof, that sucks. So sorry Emma.

      Delete
    3. thanks... yea it's just crappy. like in the grand scheme of things it's fine. everything should be fine. but i admit to wallowing a little bit in my self pity.

      Delete
  25. I'm so sorry to hear about Charlie... crossing my fingers and toes for a straightforward recovery. Hopefully you can find some way to entertain yourself while he's healing and that he continues to be a model patient!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you! i'm equally hopeful he remains a model patient and that i can likewise still find some saddle time while he recovers! really tho, i just hope all goes according to plan!

      Delete
  26. Could you catch ride something for fox hunts? Because damn I want to fox hunt too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yea i'm reeeeeeally disappointed about the fox hunting plan. charlie has such a classic hunting look, and i really think he would enjoy it too. blargh blown plans, they're the worse :( it would be cool to find something that could hunt in the meantime, but i'm a little skeptical since most of what avails itself to catch riding for me seems to be more of the "remedial" variety than the "badass do-anything" type horse...

      Delete
  27. Oh emma, that's super sucky. Charlie really is the King of Dings and you guys need to catch a break for sure. Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Also thanks for the pus shooting video - it is oddly mesmerizing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ha glad you enjoyed the video! if nothing else, we aim to please with entertaining video here at 'fraidy cat eventing!! ;) but yea.... it'd be way cooler if the video was less "ding" and more "king".... sigh.

      Delete
  28. oh Emma. Blerg. What a pain, but silver lining is this sounds like something the big man will recover swimmingly from with no limitations? Fingers crossed for all medical interventions to go smoothly and the stall rest/recovery time to pass quickly for you both!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks - yea the prognosis for something like this is typically excellent. that damn splint bone is just useless vestigial nonsense and once it's gone it can't cause us problems any more. that's the goal, i guess! obvi i don't want to get ahead of myself here in saying that everything will be perfect (bc: horses) but i'm optimistic

      Delete
  29. Aw, sorry to hear Charlie's down for the count for a little while! I hope he heals up quickly and well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you! i'm hopeful for quick and easy recovery too!!

      Delete
  30. Fingers crossed for an easy and uncomplicated recovery. Poor Charlie, and poor Emma!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks, we have a combined sad :(

      Delete
  31. Ugh ugh ugh. Also, we should trade abscess blowing pictures / video :) Sending him good vibes toward an EASY recovery. Poor fellow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ugh yea, those pictures are so oddly fun and satisfying to take and post!! thanks tho - hopefully it's smoother sailing going forward!

      Delete
  32. Damn, Charlie, why'd you have to go do that?! I'm sorry Emma! Fingers crossed for an easy recovery!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! i know you've been through the wringer with all this kind of stuff too... it's just always something with these guys!

      Delete
  33. Ah man, that really sucks! Poor charlie and poor you. Hopefully, everything goes textbook with the treatment and you guys can come through recovery and be up and ready by springtime!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks i'm hoping for text book too!!

      Delete
  34. Noooo Charlie! He doesn't do anything half-way does he? Ugh I'm so sorry it's indications of fracture. That's terrible. It IS getting into winter so not too bad, but damn that fox hunting sounded like so much fun. Fingers crossed (and lots of wood knocking) for a hassle free, speedy recovery!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yea i'm really disappointed about the fox hunting part. like, blargh. it's possible that i could scare up a mount to still go play... but the horses that seem most readily accessible to me are more of the "remedial" sort so... that might not be the best option. we'll see!

      Delete
  35. I'll admit to not being brave enough to watch that video but I'm glad you have some answers and a way forward. Hope Sir Charles continues to impress with his good 'tude and level head through the recovery process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha aw c'mon, what's a little blood and gore between horse ppl?? i kid, i kid... but seriously tho i'm hopeful that charlie can continue to be a model citizen even as he's kinda bored and sad by the whole thing

      Delete
  36. ACKKKK! I FEEL for you. Like, seriously I do. Loved the video btw. But seriously, what will we do with our silly pons?! I buy almost all my bandage supplies on amazon FYI. I can get 100 sterile telfa's for $12, a dozen sterile gauze rolls for $5.50, and a dozen 4 in rolls of vet wrap for $15.80 ish, all with 2 day shipping through prime! Keep us updated- sending you all the good vibes!

    Kelly @ HunkyHanoverian

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ugh i know you know this feel!!! such a bummer.... and yea. amazon prime is the TRUTH when it comes to ordering supplies lol. whatever i don't get there, i get from the local pharmacy haha.

      Delete
  37. I saw this video pop up in my YT yesterday and I was curious when I'd see a blog about it. Gah, that really stinks for the both of you! Hugs and hopefully he heals easily, calmly, and without any further issues!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ugh yea that was definitely the kind of video that gets around lol! thanks tho - i'm hoping for the same!

      Delete
  38. OMG that video. Wow that was a ton of pus. I can only imagine he felt better already just getting that pressure relieved. I hope he heels up nicely for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yea i think he definitely felt better after getting that out, tho it's definitely still sore. just gotta get that bone out now and hopefully he'll be well on the way to a full recovery!

      Delete
  39. Aww, Charlie! That's not how you do legs! :( Best wishes for the big guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! i wish he better understood the whole "legs are for legging and not for self harm" thing.... maybe in time?

      Delete
  40. No way could I watch that video but the pictures are amazing. So sorry this is something you're dealing with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! hopefully even tho it sucks, it'll pass soon enough!

      Delete
  41. Such a bummer. Your video was great (and gross). Haha.

    ReplyDelete
  42. That pus video though! Poor Charlie, I hope that he recovers quick enough and stops trying to off himself. Dude, you have a great life now!

    ReplyDelete
  43. That leg tho. Ugh, Charlie. I am so sorry he is keeping things medically interesting for you. It is a PITA, but I am so glad it is something that should resolve fully and completely, and not have lasting consequences. Bummer to lose your fall season, but winter is as good a time as any to rehab. I wish for you a speedy, uncomplicated and complete rehabilitation for Splintzilla.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks - and yea i am truly grateful that ultimately it's not a very serious injury. just serious treatment. sigh.

      Delete
  44. So is it considered a sequestrum? No chance of his body spitting out the bone fragment without surgery? Or better just to go in and clean, since the wound is already compromised? I hate that this happened! These sorts of injuries just blow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. not a sequestrum as far as i know, just a fracture. i suppose it's possible that the body would eventually reject the fragment, tho it's a bit large. but we already know that the body will resort to dangerous infections like cellulitis, plus all the abscessing -- either of which can lead to very serious complications. so it's a safer bet to go ahead and remove the broken bone now without risking it turning into something worse while it tries to resolve itself.

      Delete
  45. Eeek! That video was strangely enthralling.

    But poor Charlie and Emma! I hope that you two kick this thing in the butt and can enjoy things all coming back together this winter/spring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you! i'm hopeful that things will get back to normal soon enough!

      Delete
  46. I'm so sorry to read about this, poor you and Charlie 😞 Hopefully the recovery will be straight forward and the winter will be mild! Thinking of you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks!! my fingers are crossed for a mild winter too!

      Delete
  47. Hi Emma, I'm behind in my blog reading bc life, sorry that Charlie needs surgery. Hoping his recovery is 100% and you're back at it before too long.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I know I'm late to the party, but that sucks. Sorry to hear this!

    ReplyDelete
  49. This post! OMG, girl I don’t know how you do it. I have faith that you and your man will be back in a action before you know it. Learning from Charlie is so incredibly interesting and terrifying at the same time.

    Prayers and quick recovery to your fur baby!

    ReplyDelete
  50. Poor Charlie! Sending lots of hugs and jingles for speedy recovery!!

    ReplyDelete