Been A While

It’s been a while since an update from me. Only 2 weeks but in this crazy time, 2 weeks can stretch to 2 years. It did feel like that in some respects.

We last left off with Scarlet still having a bit of heat in his leg. That did go away. I think it was mostly due to standing more directly on the leg because once we were able to start walking, it would go down over the course of the walk. I finished the antibiotics and stopped wrapping. None of the heat or swelling came back so I called that good.

Of course Scarlet wasn’t going to leave it there.

On April 3rd he had an overreach on his right fore. A little bloody and it seemed to split the back of his frog. My farrier wasn’t concerned (I’d initially wondered if it was an abscess trying to come out. Never dealt with one, its too dry here. So I had no idea what they would look like.) He just said to clean it and put some ointment on it. So I did. But Scarlet likes to bite at his wounds when the flies get to them. And so he started making them worse.


I got a bell boot to cover it and he seemed okay with that. But then he started jerking his foot away from me when I was cleaning his hoof. Only on the outside corner of the frog on that foot though. The rest of it was fine. And his heel bulb looked kinda inflamed. And it was tender. So I tried cleaning the wound and leaving the bell boot off. But he was still getting at it with his teeth.

After a couple of days of trying to clean it and it just seeming to get worse, Scarlet wasn’t resting much weight on it while standing. He would put weight on it for walking. I couldn’t tell if he was lame on that leg as he’s kinda lame all over…


We arrive at last Monday and I’d reached out to the vet. She scheduled a time to come over. She couldn’t find anything obviously there and she was happy with how he put weight on it. Since he was tender, she packed it with poultice and cotton and then wrapped that sucker up in duct tape. We basically treated it like an abscess as it wouldn’t hurt if he was just sore.

I kept it on for two days, adding duct tape as needed. He definitely liked it being packed. He put more weight on it almost immediately. After two days, it didn’t look like anything had drained. But he wasn’t sensitive on it anymore so… bruise? I’m going to have to assume a bruise.

He’s still doing good on it which means we’ve been able to take advantage of summer arriving with a vengeance. We’ve been walking every morning since the 14th. I did about 4-5 days of just short walks back and forth in front of his stall. I wanted us to not have very far to travel to get back to his stall if he was having issues.

After he seemed to do well with that, I increased the walk to about 3:30 minutes. I’m trying very hard to take this very slow and carefully. We’ve had so many set backs that I do not want to cause any of them myself. I intend to increase only every 4-7 days and only if Scarlet seems to be doing well at that distance for several days.

He has seemed to be doing well for a while. His strides have gotten more even each day and he seems to be stepping easier each day. I’m pretty happy with his movement and I’m glad that he seems to be liking the new weather. I’m planning on increasing our walk by 30 seconds on Monday. Hopefully he does well there.


Scarlet has been improving. Which is great because if he hadn’t I think I would have lost my mind. I definitely had a mentally hard week. It wasn’t like he was dying right in front of me but… it was hard to not spiral. He had another thing his body needed to heal. What if this swelling set back his nerve healing? We couldn’t walk due to this and the rain so what if that caused more problems. So yeah, spiraling.

He did improve pretty much day by day though so I was gradually able to claw back part of my sanity. Though the rain really didn’t help with that fight. It rained pretty much from Mon/Tues through Friday. As of the end of Friday, we’d had 3.6 inches of rain in TWENTY-FOUR HOURS. That is nearly half of our annual rainfall. Everything was flooded. The road to the barn was flooded.

My backyard

The road to the barn being flooded was horrible timing. I’d started stack wrapping per recommendation from my vet on Thursday evening. It looked like this when I did it:


And then like this the following morning:


So obviously not great. Stack wrapping is hard. I’ve never seen anyone do it in person so I had to watch videos. Definitely not the same as someone physically showing you how. I tried a second time Friday morning:

Thanks for pooping right as I’m taking the picture bud…

It was better I thought. But I wasn’t convinced it would stay up for 12 full hours. And I was worried it would get caught on him or inhibit his movement. So when I couldn’t get out to the barn (we have small cars and they would have not made it across the water that was there) I freaked out. I tried to find a backway but there really wasn’t a good option.

So I spend the night panicking and not sleeping well. I rushed out as early as possible the next morning and found the top wrap lying outside of his stall. Someone had taken it off of him. I still don’t know who but I’m grateful they did.

Overall, Scarlet is improving. The swelling is mostly down, just a small spot on his hock that is soft and puffy but I think that might be residual and not active swelling. He has a few spots of heat on his hock and just below the joint. But the difference is noticeable.

I’m hoping that the heat disappears completely in the next day or two. I think I have a couple more days of the antibiotic left. I’ll definitely talk to my vet again if there is still heat when we finish that. I have been sending her email updates along the way so she is aware of how he is doing. Fingers crossed this is the last strange bad thing to happen before Scarlet recovers from his nerve stuff.

Give Me an F-ing Break

In case you couldn’t tell, that is one leg that is puffy all the way up to his groin. And it happens to be his good leg.

So much fun.

Scarlet decided, or the fates decided, or I stepped on a sidewalk crack or who knows the cause! But I was out yesterday and was grooming him and leaned down to brush his front leg, looked up and immediately thought ‘FUCK’.

So, texting several friends to ask wtf do you do with a puffy leg, I initially thought it was just his lower leg. I sent an email off to the vet asking if she thought I should switch Scarlet to the bute that I have on hand and what did she think about putting a standing wrap on it.

I then dashed home to get some ice packs. Because its been raining here. A lot. Again. (I know.) And there was no way I was going to be able to get Scarlet out of his stall to cold hose with two barely functioning back legs. I need at least one mostly functioning one.

Upon starting to ice, I realized that the swelling went up his WHOLE LEG. FFS. Updated email to the vet with pictures.

She wasn’t happy with it being warm, though Scarlet didn’t really indicate that it hurt when I poked him all over. So I had to make a lovely 45 minute drive (one way) to go pick up antibiotics for him. Got those and rushed back home for an important two hour meeting. Once that was over, I rushed out to the barn to try to shove them down his throat. He decided he was picky and the powder wasn’t fun to eat. So he got 3x the normal amount of grain just to get him to eat the powder. Luckily, my vet has confirmed that adding liquid to the powder is fine so he’s getting his meds in a med/grain slurry from now on. He eats that just fine.

So my regimen now is bute once a day, uniprim once a day, ice his legs as often as I can fit it into my freaking schedule (likely 2x), check on him 3x per day, poultice his entire freaking leg and cross my fingers that he stays out of the rain, and then wrap the lower part with a polo wrap. We debated trying to wrap the upper but it would likely hinder his movements and cause more problems than the good it would do by helping the swelling.

Please let this work quickly and allow Scarlet to have at least one relatively functional leg. Please let him stop finding more things to add to my plate. I cannot deal with the stress.