Thursday, August 20, 2009

Not So Silly Baby

Today was Al's first day of vacation. He had a doctor's appointment first thing, and I was going to go into town with him, to get last minute supplies and gas for our trip tomorrow. I headed out to the barn to do a "quick feed" and put everybody's fly masks on. As Jackson stepped away from me, his left hindquarter looked positively deformed!
At first I thought that there was an indentation right at the point of his buttock. Looking closer, there was actually a hot, soft, fluid-filled swelling, perhaps the size of a cantaloupe, with more generalized swelling surrounding it, from the croup halfway down to his hock. Upon close inspection, I could find no "wound"--whether puncture or abrasion. He was not running a fever, which might signify an infection or some kind of insect bite gone overboard. He was moving just fine (thank you), as evidenced by the "catch-me-if-you-can" game he played with me when breakfast was no longer in play as an incentive (maybe just a wee bit stiff). So my conclusion is that he probably got kicked.
Probably by his own mama (I've never seen RT offer to kick him).So Al went to town without me, and I changed out of my "city clothes." After consulting with the vet, I hosed Jackson's round rump down for maybe ten minutes, every hour or so for the rest of the day.
I had not yet had the "bath" lesson, but Jackson handled it pretty well. All those folks who suggest starting at the legs and working up to the body don't seem to take into account the fact that the legs, having less muscle mass, are more sensitive. Jackson did NOT like the hose on his legs, but tolerated it on his hips, barrel, and shoulders pretty well.And truly seemed to appreciate it on his swollen butt!By afternoon the generalized swelling was down, and I think the main area as well, though it's a little hard to tell for sure, because the lessening of the diffuse swelling made the localized lump stand out all the more.
It was now close to 100 degrees out, and wanting to make this a total bathing experience, I sprayed him down pretty much from throatlatch to tail. Both sides.Misty, too, got the evaporative cooling treatment, while RT waited his turn.
Tonight, things look a little better still. I showed the folks that will be minding the farm, and told them what to look for, red-flag-wise: more point-localized swelling, or an actual abscess rupturing. They will have our cell number, and there are lots of folks nearby to help if need be (the primary one being my trail buddy, Pat).
We'll postpone leaving on our trip 'til a little later than I'd planned. I'll decide about noon if I need to cancel the evening's motel reservation....


  1. Yeah, looks like a hematoma - poor little guy - at least it gave him the opportunity to learn more about bathing - he looks pretty cooperative!

  2. Poor Jackson! Thankfully, the hot weather and your horse sense seems to have made the bath lesson a success. I'm hoping things will look even better today, and that you can have a worry-free trip. Thoughts with you!

  3. I hope you don't need to cancel your reservations. Bummer about the swelling. It's amazing that most horses survive such powereful kicking. I'd be dead if I get kicked so hard. My mare kicked a gelding two weeks ago. It was so hard that the gelding groaned and I could hear the loud thump on his shoulder. I thought she broke something. But he galloped and jumped away from her and wasn't limping, even the next day. whew!

    I hope the water treatments work well and the swelling goes down. And at least you got him some bathing training. lol!