Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Abcess update

After the trip to the vet's on Saturday, Kate has been an absolute grouch! I can't say as I blame her too much, as I've continued to poke and prod her twice a day.

She doesn't want to get caught (absolutely new behavior), even with food involved (!), but once she realizes I won't quit 'til she stands for the halter, she faces up and looks for sympathy. (I took this video on a day when she's actually getting better--tho, in the moment it took me to shut off the camera and put it away, she decided to take off again, with a buck-fart.)

Then what does she get?

More poking and proding!

She's gotten better about the syringe of meds (in an applesauce paste), and actually seems to appreciate the hot packs and a little massging of the swelling on her udder. But once I try to get the other syringe, full of dilute iodine, anywhere near the drainage hole on her udder to flush it out, she stomps, and dances, and kicks out--usually at the wall behind her, but occassionally a cow-kick in my direction. (She actually connected hard with the stall door yesterday, and broke the heavy duty latch!) Talking to the vet yesterday, pointing out the absurdity of my doing, by myself, what it took three of us (and a sedative) to do Saturday, he said if I just get plenty of iodine on the udder it should be okay. So I've taken to adding it to the hot water soaks.

With all this, how is Kate?

Judging from the bucking-leaping-airs-above-the-ground hissy fits that continue because she's turned out separate from her buddies, she feels fine! I do worry that she'll try to scale the two fences between herself and the rest of the herd, so I watch until she settles down to eat. (My principal has been very patient with my repeated, slight tardiness.)

The abcess still feels very hard, but seems to be slowly decreasing in size. The vet had said there was quite a bit of a fibrous scar tissue capsule around the infected pocket that he drained. I worry that maybe he didn't get it all out, but there certainly hasn't been much drainage evidenced on her white back legs, nor when I try to squeeze it out.


  1. What a production. Will this affect her breeding potential, do you know? Poor Kate...I would be pretty bitchy (and probably alarmed) if you were going after my boobies that way.

  2. PS - Just watched the video and Kat is so pretty. I do exactly the same as you when walking down a horse...just patiently follow until they realize that I'm not going away. I bring apples if things look dire.

  3. I DO have some concern for Kate's future ability to nurse a foal. At this point, it appears that the mamarry gland itself is not compromised, but if and when I do breed her, I think I will make sure I have access to some stored colostrum and milk replacer, just in case. But that's a long way off!

  4. I don't blame her for trying to avoid you, but I catch horses the same way, just keep following until I achieve my goal. Hope she feels better soon.

  5. Poor Kate, but I do like your calm strategy for catching her. Wouldn't it be great if we could explain to our animals when things we do are for their own good? Although, come to think of it, that didn't work for me when my parents tried to do that.