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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Pausing our pony parties...

Pony parties are on pause for usat the moment 😔

Thursday afternoon I got the call that every horse owner dreads... “Louie’s come in from the field and I think you need a vet”

Panic sets in, and I tried as many ways as I could to get as much information so I could to give the vets as much detail as possible when calling. The basic information was that he has what looked like a puncture wound to his chest and that he was on 3 legs in the fields but once walking, seemed to move much better. I got a rough estimation of the size of the wound, but without a closer look, I didn't know how deep it was.

After calling the vet, I took the 20 minute drive to the yard with completely mixed emotions. Was it going to be a case of a lot of fuss over something very simple & straight forward, or was I going to find a very poorly pony...?

I arrived at the yard minutes after the vet arrived, and on walking into Louie’s stable I could see why he wasn’t so keen on using one of his front legs... Greeting me was a puncture wound to his offside lower shoulder.

Wound on day one, as we arrived at the vets

It didn't look a) as bad as I had expected, or b) like a puncture wound. However, in closer inspoection I could see the puncture 'dent' into the flesh, and Louie was clearly quite sore over the area.

Keeping my cool, as I do tend to panic at these things, I fed Louie a year’s supply of treats to stand him still while the vet poked around the wound. Feeling inside the wound, she felt a piece of wood, likely confirming he had run into something. Fair play to Louie, who is usually a complete wimp, he stood lovely for ten minutes while the vet tried to encourage the wood down and out of the shoulder all without breaking it!

But Louie patience wore thinner and we agreed to give him some sedation to be able to use the forceps to grab the wood in one piece & pull it out, minimising the risk that it could splinter...

Things got worse, quick!

Not a piece of wood gripped between the forceps, but a piece of bone. Any composure I’d had was starting to slip. To show you how much so, I asked the question 'Is that his bone?', to which I got the very obvious answer of 'Well, I don't know how anyone else bone chip is going to get up in there!'

Amazing how quickly your logical thinking leaves you!

Deciding it was best to get the area x-rayed, flushed and potentially doing should joint tap, we loaded Louie to take him to the vets. With Thomas history at an overnight stay at the vets, I had a minor melt down, convinced I'd never se Louie again, but with a very supportive Andrew and a good friend around me, I pulled myself together, stopped being selfish to my own feelings and put Louie first. We were going to the vets!!

It was the first time I’d seen him walk and the leg was exceptional stiff, with him dragging his foot but fully weight bearing as he made th ewalk along the yard and outside to the horsebox. He struggled up the ramp to the box but travelled well, and hobbled into a stable at the other end.

I left Louie and awaited the vets call later that night. Around 9.30pm, the call came & was positive to hear that the shoulder and elbow were completely clear, but the humerus could see the chip of bone missing and a very slight hairline fracture.

That sounds very scary, even typing it now. But the prognosis is good. A couple of weeks box rest before a complete re-assessment, and once everything is healed we can pick up soft ground (arena) lunge work.

I felt so much more at ease after this phone call, despite the findings.

With the puncture wound going past the bone, Louie had a weekend sleepover at the vets to manage any potential infection risks. He settled in very well, seems very comfortable & the vets were really pleased with the progress of the wound from day one.

Wound progress less than 24 hours later

This great progress also helped me to feel much more comfortable, and on seeing Louie on Friday afternoon, I couldn't believe the difference in the wound - it was as if someone had stitched it!!

Wound progress on Monday, just before leaving
the vets
Very little swelling all considered...Just before leaving
the vets

On Monday evening - so five days at the vets - he was discharged and came home. I was nervous about how he would be in the stable as most horses are living out completely or overnight, and then how he would settled as they came & went throughout the day.

He very definitely didn't understand why he had to go in his stable, and with a lot of running around the stable and bucking, he expressed his frustration. The vet had said I could walk Louie in hand on the soft arena surface, so the next morning I did that. He was evidently keen to explode, but he politely and obediently strolled around the arena with me, hunting the treats from my pocket at he went!

That night, I expected to go back and find the leg swollen up and perhaps draining a bit more than normal with the walking from the morning. It wasn't, and apart from a bit of a stiff frist step out of the stable, you could barely tell the injury was there! We've clearly been very lucky with how & where the fracture has been...

Wound after 24 hours at home, bandage only preventing
anything getting in

We’re taking it one step at a time, and hopefully his recovery will continue to go to plan, but if you want to follow along, make sure you're following our Facebook page for the latest updates on how he is getting on!

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