I went out this morning to feed and water Lizzie, to find her lurching on three legs, with the originally injured leg (the first turnout injury, prior to getting kicked by Lily, and prior to the concussion-related injuries due to galloping up and down like a mad thing) blown up massively, hot, and running with infection. I called the vet and he came out immediately. I called work and told my boss that I needed some personal time off today. The vet was worried about there possibly being a loose bone fragment from the original injury that has decided to come loose from the cannon bone, thus causing the sudden infection, so he did x-rays.
X-rays for horses are extremely expensive, almost £100 per plate. If they move, the image is blurred. She was under sedation, we were both wearing lead aprons, I was trying to hold her still, and every time he went to take the shot, she would move. Click, move, £100. Click, move, £100. Twice people came to the stall door to see what was happening, and the poor vet was practically snarling at them to go away and let us do this in peace. He finally got several shots, gave her another whopping dose of antibiotic, and left. I washed the blood and other less mentionable substances out of my sleeves, and went on to work.
Well, fortunately, there doesn’t appear to be any broken bones or bone fragments, so we’re not looking at a major surgery to remove them. Hopefully the antibiotic will take the infection down, and then he’ll do a minor surgery to clean the wound again, removing the proud flesh, etc.
Damn horses…I’m on the verge of giving up. I’m out of money, and I’m out of hope. Between Lizzie’s injuries and Kip’s broken shoulder last year, I’ve had enough. But how do I give this up? What would I have in my life if I didn’t have horses, something to dream about and strive for?
I’m so confused. And I feel as though I’ve been kicked in the stomach. And I have two freelance sites coming up that will probably just pay for the vetwork. :(
7 thoughts on “Further Veterinary Problems”
Damn, I’m sorry to hear about this. I was hoping that the one hock was healing for you, and this sounds like a different leg. :(
The thing is a horse that you love and loves you–a riding “partner”–is very much worth even the pain and headache of vet bills and meds.
I know I can’t do anything for you, but consider yourself ((hugged)).
Below is a story that might give you some hope… Merlin was injured far worse than it sounds like Lizzie is, and came back to ridable from it. If you want my tricks for getting the horse to willingly finish off his (powdered)meds and lick the bucket clean, just ask. :)
One stable I worked at used to do “Haunted Hayrides” for Hallowe’en. The horse that was used for the “headless horseman” was a TB named Merlin who really loved his role, he’d keep cutting around closer to the tractor than his rider wanted him to, despite anything she did. Then one night he cut too close and went into the bucket of the front end loader (tractor). He sliced his left knee so badly that they thought he might have to be put down, but instead the owner of the stable (usually very cheap), had the vet stitch him up–over 300 stitches, internal and external, re-attatching everything (including a ligament) with a drainage tube sticking out. Antibiotics and bute twice a day, no grain-just hay (a tiny handful of grain to shut him up at feeding time), only brought out of his stall to have me change the bandages for weeks…then slowly back to handwalking for lengthening times, and eventually riding at a walk, then trot, then canter as well. He was very stiff in that leg(over the months it did get better), and will never jump again, but one of the students (a mature woman) absolutely loved him and bought him anyway at a price much less than all the vet bills. He has a loving home and only one rider now.
Lizzie already has more advantages than Merlin did–she has a single loving person instead of being a lesson horse, and she isn’t injured as badly. Will your vet work out a payment plan with you? These equine friends of ours sometimes do stupid things and injure thmeselves, and aggravate us, and frustrate us–but then they’ll see you or hear your voice and give you that neigh or whicker that you know is just for you…and how can you resist that? It’s what will keep you going.
Good, positive, healing thoughts coming your’s and Lizzie’s way!
Argh, that’s my nightmare, the vet care, and why I am still waiting. I hope your fortune in these amtters improves and soon. It’s time you get to enjoy your horses.
She’s insured…that was the whole point – this HAS to be an insurance claim. We can’t afford it otherwise. The two sites may or may not materialise – and if they do it’ll probably be September, October at the very earliest…
Horrible story about Merlin – poor thing! Yes, Lizzie’s injuries were so much less disastrous than that, thank goodness. I’m glad that his story had a happy ending.
Lizzie has had three sets of injuries, and then a flareup of the first one. She cut her leg quite deeply one of the first times I turned her out in the smallest paddock, nicking a tendon. This is the injury that just flared up, two weeks after the initial event. Then she was kicked on the hocks, one knee, and belly. Then, when she was recovering from those, I turned her out in one of the larger pastures, and she galloped like a mad thing until I could catch her, sustaining concussion damage to the tendons on two legs and jarring the feet quite badly. As I was cold-wrapping and hosing all of that, and it was getting better, the first injury decided to infect terribly overnight. *sigh*
Thanks for the positive thoughts. :)
Bad luck really sucks. It’s disheartening to know that no matter how much time, effort, work and money you pour into something, bad luck can still bring you down. :(
You know I’ll try, babe – but the vet says that this insurance company is terrible about paying, if they do pay it will be after eight or nine months of fighting with them. I might have to pay the vet and try to get the money back after from the insurance company. :(
Don’t I know it.