03 October 2016

Healing Stoney

Healing Stoney took a lot longer than anticipated...
Though Stoney won't admit it, he's starting to get up there in age. He turned 20 this April but instead of celebrating the way we like, it was a bit more eventful as we tried to nurse him back to health because of an unknown lameness.
See that HUGE divot by my thumb? That was his ENORMOUS abscess.
Usually, Stoney bounces back from injuries pretty fast. Horses kind of have to if they don't want to be an easy target. This time though, Stoney hobbled for weeks, some days no better than a three-legged old man just trying to get to the grass he wanted to nibble. After several visits to and from the vet and debating whether it was a raging abscess or a weird case of founder. I'd take an abscess over founder any day.
With no sign it was an abscess--no hole, no heat, no throbbing pulse--it was decided he was suffering from founder, a dangerous condition where the soft inner part of the hoof becomes inflamed. As you can probably guess, there's not a lot of places for the swelling to go when it's encased in a hard outer hoof. But, just as I'd had enough of his gimping around I called the vet one more time to schedule him for an x-ray to check the bone in his hoof, the mother-of-all-abscesses finally broke through and was able to drain. Thank goodness. Seriously. It was such a relief to see him walking normally, albeit somewhat tenderly, after all the packing, washing, soaking, fretting and praying that he'd get better.

Then, I woke up to find his eye swollen shut.
Equally as worrisome as a hoof injury is an eye injury. There are a million ways a horse can hurt their giant eyeballs and horses seem to be intent on doing so. To say it was disheartening and frustrating was a gross understatement.
I made him as comfortable as possible with some horsey aspirin, a cold compress, and his fly mask to keep the sun and insects out of his eyes and called the vet again. The whole time I worked on him, I said a silent prayer that he'd get better, that it wouldn't cost another arm and leg for the vet after I'd already paid an arm and a leg for his hoof treatment, and that he'd be comfortable as possible.

You know what? It worked.
After being out of commission for a good part of the spring and being cautious with him over the summer, he's finally back, running at full capacity. Jack jokes that Stoney is getting too old to be useful, but Stoney knows he still has a job to do.
 He has too many lessons and first-time riders to thrill, horse shows to take the girls to and reminiscing rides for me.
When he does grow too old for all of that, he'll still have plenty of doting children to repay all of his kindness.
But that's not just yet.

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