Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Dell's Injury Part 1


Dell is my 4 yo colt out of Malarky and Babe. He has been my pride and joy. I had bred for a reining type colt for years and I had gotten a cow horse, an all around horse and a hunt seat horse. Go figure. Dell's full sister, IRS is 16.1, thankfully Dell got the short end of the gene pool and he measures in at 14.1 1/2. Finally, I had gotten my reining prospect. With Malarky's cute head, short coupled back, Babe's great pasterns and strong hip. His mind is fabulous. He is an over achiever, but not to the point that he anticipates, he just loves to work and really loves to please.

Dell shared his pasture with a 5 yo Kiger Mustang Gelding. They were quite the duo, playing and entertaining each other all day long. My fence is Electrobraid, which is a soft braided rope fence with a single electric wire woven through. The beauty of this fence is that if a horse hits the fence with force, the insulators will break and the fence will drop, keeping the horse from getting tangled up. Unfortunately, on August 24th, Dell and the fence did not see eye to eye. In a matter of minutes, Dell had gone from standing at the fence waiting for me to finish bringing in the girls in, to standing on top of the hill, with his leg dangling and a whole line of fence gone.

The vet and I believe what happened was that Dell was stung by a wasp, and he kicked out at it and when he brought his leg back he hooked the bottom line of the fence, cupping it at his hock, and then from the zapping of the fence, he took off like a bullet, running so fast the insulators couldn't break fast enough. The fence acted like a saw and opened his hock wide open, exposing the bone and cutting into it almost 1/4 inch, he also partially severed his extender tendon.

To say the least, I was utterly devastated. I don't think I have cried so much. Usually, I am very calm when a horse is injured, not that day, I was in absolute hysterics. To make matters worse my vet gave him about a 5 % chance of survival. Our saving grace was that I was right there when it happened and the bone was only exposed for less than 45 minutes before she got here. Our biggest worry had been if the bone died. If that happened there was nothing more we could have done.

Thankfully, Yvonne is a very aggressive vet. She placed stay stitches in that she knew would not stay for long, but would buy us some time. Dell went on an aggressive amount of antibiotics for 2 1/2 weeks, being on both Naxcel (Liquid Gold) and Bactrim, along with a supplement called GLC that helps to repair bone.

We needed to minimize Dell's movement, so Zared and I quickly modified Dell's stall so that he could reach his feed bin, and water bucket and we installed a tie ring to clip a hay bag to and another tie ring to clip him to. Dell needed to remained tied as long as possible.
Yvonne wrapped the wound and instructed me to re wrap every day for the next 2 weeks, as well as wrapping his other 3 legs for support, we also needed to call my farrier in to built an extended toe to his hoof to keep him from buckling over when resting that leg. Ralph would be out in 4 days to build a whole hoof.

That Thursday, Ralph and Yvonne worked on Dell for 3 hours. I have never seen a horse do so well under so much strain. He was only lightly sedated when we first started, just to take the edge off, as Ralph worked on his hands and knees to form Equilox onto Dells hoof, to build out the extended toe, and then Yvonne, also on her hands and knees working with a heat gun, to harden the Equilox so another layer could be smoothed on. Dell's foot would have to go on the foot stand, get worked on and then set down to be dried. Three hours later, Dell had 2 inches of toe extending from his hoof.

Stay tuned for the next part....

1 comment:

Linda Reznicek said...

Interesting injury. I am always amazed at how horses can hurt can themselves--but also how they can heal. It sounds like he's an amazine boy to get through that.