Friday, August 13, 2021

Losing Privileges

Yoshi has been tolerating stall rest... moderately well. Better than I expected to be honest though. I am a terrible owner and have not really adhered to the 15 minutes of hand grazing per day. Knowing that the soft tissue structures were fine underneath of the bandage and that the point of stall rest was to keep the bandage, and therefore the leg and wound, clean and dry, I elected to do self-grazing in the barnyard. It worked fine Wednesday. Thursday I did his stall super early in the morning while he stood oddly quietly in the cross ties. Ms. GY came out while finishing her coffee and we both marveled at the baby thoroughbred just standing there, not dancing, not moving a hair. Maybe he was still asleep? It was still pretty dark and early. I then left to visit my dad for the day. Per my request, Ms. GY tried self-grazing in the afternoon after the grass had dried. He promptly "lost his privileges of self grazing" according to her text (aka rolled in the arena, reared, and took off around the barn), so she hand grazed him for 30 minutes then and 30 minutes after the sun went down and the other horses were turned out for the night. 

Today I let him out while I cleaned his stall and he only did one canter loop. I walked out of the stall to tell him to woah and he gave me the funniest look. He was absolutely begging to be chased and played with. I could tell if I took a few more steps towards him he was going to take off. So I gently told him woah a few more times and brought him a handful of treats. He refocused on eating and settled down to graze for a while. I am trying to balance the management of his cellulitis with his desire to potentially crib. Every once in a while he grabs the wood on the stall like he might. He usually then does something weird like put the entire board in his mouth instead of cribbing, but I'm very conscious of the fact that he might in fact like to be a cribber. I hung stall toys (empty milk jugs with treats to make them rattle) and he has free choice timothy in his stall, but still, being separated from his herd and stuck in a stall might be the thing to push him over the edge to that habit. I haven't started him on trazodone, mostly because of my laziness in getting it, but have kept that in mind if he becomes too much in the stall. As I type this, I realize I'm going to have major regrets if he starts cribbing and I haven't put him on trazodone. 

Given his... uhm... unsanctioned turnout activities, I had to change the bandage this morning, 2 days instead of the 3 his doctor said it could probably go. It was slipping a bit and the elastikon at the bottom had come undone. The leg looks much, much better than when I dropped him off on Tuesday (I have zero pictures, I was too busy panicking). I forgot to take a picture today until I had put nitrofurazone on the wound. 

He was really good for the bandage change. Granted I did it after 1.5 hours of grazing. But after I put his fly mask on and smeared fly spray on his nose where they kept landing, he was very still and good while I got the multiple layers onto him. 

So pretty in this vet wrap - turquoise might be his color? 

Today is day 3 of stall rest, which also means the final day of his IV gentamicin. 33mL off the needle into a good, but not perfect horse makes me more than a little twitchy, so I won't be sorry to see the end of that tonight. His doctor gave us the option of going home with an IV catheter in place, but given that this:

is his favorite way to stand in his stall, I didn't think the catheter was a very good idea... perfect height to rub it on the top board there. He's being very easy with his SMZs and eating them broken up in his grain. I don't even have to make it a fine powder, just smallish chunks, and he is eating it right down. 

His stall is also not awful. He pees A TON. But I knew that. He is the world's best drinker, so it all has to go somewhere. He mostly leaves his poop in piles in the back. Not as tidy as Zinger was, but I have cleaned MUCH worse stalls. He only sort of grinds his hay into his bedding, and if you leave him for just a bit without a fresh flake, he will mostly clean it up. 

He is going to be so pretty after this week of stall rest - no new bites, rain rot healing up, maybe a bit of an improvement to his sun bleaching! Living out 20 hours a day with 4 friends is 100% the happiest he can be mentally, but there are definitely perks to stall life and solo turnout. 

I think it's just because I'm so relieved this isn't a septic tendon sheath, but I'm having fun getting to know this side of him. How is he for IV meds? Oral meds? Bandaging? Living in a stall? Catching when he is on minimal turnout? Handling in general when he is on minimal turnout? 

We dropped the truck off last night for an appointment this morning; the Ford dealership was not encouraging that we would get it back today. At least I got him to the hospital and now I'm not missing any good lesson/travelling time anyways. I'm also off work until Wednesday, so there aren't many better times for my husband and I to have to share one car. I had also been wondering if Yoshi and I needed a break mentally and/or physically. We took May fairly easy, but June and particularly July were pretty busy months. Lots of hauling to new places, lots of new concepts under saddle, and just lots of work in general. It's also the really awful part of summer. Temps up to low to mid-90s with awful humidity. Plus the banana spiders are out right now. The combination of them and the mosquitoes and yellow flies definitely put a damper on trail riding. I would much rather have a mandated break now than in a few months when the weather is perfect for riding. 

Friendly banana spider - it's not even that the spiders themselves are awful, but if you see that sticky yellow part of the web right behind her... yeah... if you walk/ride through that you are peeling that substance off of you for the next... several hours? Also, they are not small spiders. So the idea of acquiring them on your helmet/face/arms etc is not super appealing. 


  1. I'm glad Yoshi is (mostly) being a good patient! And yeah, a break at the hottest/grossest part of the year isn't so bad. Hopefully he'll be all healed up and ready to go on lots of adventures when it cools down!

    1. Me too! Fingers crossed this is our last stumbling block for a bit and we get to enjoy the fall and winter.