Wednesday, January 25, 2023

King of the Dings: Bone Bruise Edition

Ugh, guys. Everyone is out here making goals and plans for the new year, legging back up and all the things. Meanwhile... We're just.... ya know... still doing what we were doing when I last posted.

pop quiz: who's really in charge here? 
hint: probably not me LOL
Generally speaking, Charlie's honestly had pretty good feet. Sure, they're a little small, a little shelly... Soles are a little thin. But by and large, they've been fine with thoughtful management.**

(**Not withstanding a few very important lessons I had to learn the hard way, mostly relating to working him on hard ground....) 

dramatic reenactment of the offending gravel 
(also the diagram i made for a friend who checked on chuck while i was out of town)
Except... Somehow we've managed to accumulate a history of fairly acute hoof trauma

flashback cafe to Episode #1: Roofing Nail Edition
As if anybody could forget, there was that time Charlie stepped on a god damn roofing nail right in the middle of a jumping lesson. Literally mid canter stride. 

and again, to Episode Oh My Fucking God Why Is This Happening Again: This Time with Mulch
And that other time when he somehow Punctured His Hoof Capsule on a Piece of Mulch WTF. Or... uh, that other time when he picked up a shoe nail while out in turnout, and carved a big ol' hole in his foot by carrying it around for a while. 

turns out when you compensate for one leg long enough, others start to get sore too.... chuck gave us a scare by standing on two legs for like... three days in a row. Sir! Stop!!
In each of those past cases, while Charlie escaped serious injury from the acute trauma itself -- no joint involvement from the punctures, no serious infections.... He ended up abscessing within ~2wks, and in some cases became sore or bruised on his other compensating limbs too. 

"haha just kidding i'm fine!" -- charlie, released for a brief wallow + wiggle
So recovery has always been a long and drawn out affair. And y'all don't need me to tell you: Charlie will milk any little ding for all it's worth. He feels everything at an 11, know what I mean?

wild animal lol, that stink eye <3
This most recent encounter involved a spiky bit of gravel wedged tightly between his frog and shoe, in what were already soft muddy conditions. It was there for an indeterminate amount of time, and the horse was significantly lame even after I got it unstuck.

actually well enough for some proper freedom too!
january 13
I should say, tho --- I am immensely grateful for this detail. I saw the rock, I pried it out myself. Saw the immediate effect. There was no guess work about WHY my horse was so critically lame in that moment. 

but, eh, not for long. peaks and valleys, y'all. thank god for Mikey lending us a hand!
for anybody interested: i opted to Ice-Vibe the support limbs vs the lame legs, figuring it's probably the weakest of my medicine, so i'd use it on the least affected limbs. all 3 non-abscessing feet also got magic cushion, while LF got wrapped in ichthammol 
Bc guys.... Acute hoof pain can make a horse look like it broke a friggin leg. It can be scary. A LOT of people have spent A LOT of money in the history of horses just to diagnose and learn -- ooch, ok, just a hoof bruise or abscess... 

"it burnssss :( "
We are also lucky in this case with Charlie that.... After the initial bruise calmed a bit, but *before* the abscess set in, the horse recovered enough to go out with his friends for a few days. During which time he did in fact trot and canter around like a sore, but basically ok horse. 

same characters, same place, different day...
So when he became significantly lame again, we didn't have to play the game of "Did we miss something? Could he have chipped or cracked off a piece of his coffin bone? Or somehow injured something in his soft tissue?"

mikey <3
Which... Again, if you've had to play that guessing game.... It's awful nice to just have answers. We know it was a rock, wedged deeply into his foot. We know he got better before getting worse again. Classic abscess yo-yo-ing symptoms. 

so helpful
Naturally I made a vet appt anyway bc.... Eh, my vet is immensely practical, but we both kinda have a shelf life for how long we'll let a horse be very lame without taking a closer looksie. For this case, that shelf life was about 3wks -- following multiple (3) targeted PEMF treatments and two separate multi-day courses of bute (while discontinuing the Equioxx). 

srsly tho, i've been told mikey is more popular than me, so here's your fill! 
So I made an appt, with the agreement that I would cancel if the horse was better. The horse *did* get better too, actually, plus a drainage hole appeared!! Yay!! 

I kept the appt anyway tho bc eh, the vet was already gonna be at our farm so... Why not. And -- in the interest of full disclosure:: it was basically $100 for an in-person consult. #CoolWithIt

houston, we have a hole! yay drainage! 
It was helpful too. Obviously -- yes, we already knew it was an abscess and the horse is improving... But he's still not better better. In fact, my vet suspects he has a deep contusion or bone bruise, and that it'll continue to be a slow recovery. 

So we made a plan for abscess treatment while still being realistic about accommodating the bone bruise, especially as it relates to a return to turn out and, eventually, ridden work.

just a little animalintex patch to keep it clean waiting for the vet. it'll be fully wrapped for a few more days with epsom salts + some variation of a strong iodine to keep clean. then it'll get wrapped with a hardener like, again, a strong iodine or keratex, to prepare for return to turnout. 
also--- you can literally see the indentation in the frog where the gravel was
Any of you who've had significant bruises knows what that's like. It'll just take the time it takes. But, as is often the case with my beloved King of the Dings, who loves to veer oh-so-close to the edge of catastrophe and calamity: full recovery is expected. 

I'll just have to be patient haha. Or go way off the deep end and buy a second horse.** Not very likely, mind you, but a bored girl can dream ;) 

**PS: Please don't tempt me with links to incredible unicorn sale ads ;P


  1. Hoof trauma can be so terrifying! Hope Chuckles is feeling much better soon <3

    1. thanks! we'll all be much happier when he's comfortable enough to get back out with his buddies -- and stay there!

  2. He's keeping things interesting for all of us - hope he mends up quickly!

    1. ha idk if i'd call it interesting... but he's certainly keeping me busy! at least i can say that maybe, finally, after like 7 yrs with this animal, i can officially whip up a decent hoof wrap LOL

  3. I'm so glad you have such a great, practical vet. Having a plan makes the waiting easier. But also though... If you could NOT Charles that would be great too!!

    1. having a plan is my favorite. i esp like that my vet is so pragmatic in taking into account the sorta nuances in how my barn is set up, charlie's neuroses (for instance: paddock turnout isn't really an option bc he'll weave like a maniac on that sore foot), and the realities about what we can expect other ppl to do vs what i'll have to do... it's one thing to just read a textbook about How To Treat An Abscess, and another thing entirely to weigh the pros and cons and make the best choices for each individual situation!

  4. Oh Charles...why must you torment your mother so??? I guess the silver lining is that he elected to do it in the dark and cold of winter and not May...

    1. ughhhh realistically i know you're right and i should just cope.... but selfishly i'm mad we're missing indoor season :(

    2. I mean, totally fair!

    3. well... ok... "missing" maybe isn't the right word.... bc i'm still going to those shows (having promised transportation to people), just not riding in them myself womp womp lol

  5. Here's hoping he's feeling better soon and you'll get a break from experiencing the many ways the poor guy can hurt himself

    1. i'm sure he'll be better in his own sweet time, that ding-dong just cares about being ok enough to get turned out again LOL

  6. Your vet sounds awesome! But ugh, hoof stuff is so annoying >:|

    1. so annoying blargh... it is what it is, tho, and i'm grateful to have good counsel!

  7. Well January isn't a bad time to be laid up. Right? Horse feet are funny. Irish would step on a rock and abscess for a month. Carmen, I have literally pried a rock out from under her shoe and she's been like 'thanks' and no issues. Quaid has had a sole bruise- he was trimmed (barefoot) and then the ground went from mud to frozen mud ruts. It resolved pretty quickly so I didn't call the vet. Here's to the end of all the hoof shenanigans.

    1. in this part of the world, we can ride and compete basically all year round. right now it's consistently in the 50s and indoor show season is gearing up -- there are clinics, and jumper or dressage schooling shows.... all things i had hoped to do with charlie. oh well!

  8. It seems to me that it's possible Al and Charlie have somehow been in contact with each other. Bunch of weenies!
    Seriously though, I hope Charlie is feeling better asap and that it doesn't take too long to resolve. Glad it's something relatively benign, but ugh, I feel your pain!

    1. oh lord.... i hope Al is ok too! i'm grateful it's pretty benign, all things being equal too... it's just hard being patient!

  9. Oof. That stinks, but at least it's the middle of winter? Here's hoping for a speedy recovery, though!

    1. thanks! we compete year round here, with a super fun indoor season that's already under way, womp. july and august are actually the most universally miserable months! oh well....


Thanks for leaving a comment! You may need to enable third party cookies in your browser settings if you have trouble using this form.