Last Friday afternoon, February 22nd, I arrived to the barn to lunge both Gallon and Ghost. I always start with Gallon first, for no other reason than because his sweet expression makes me feel riddled with guilt if I don’t pull him out first. He looks at me as if to say, “Hi mom, aren’t you here to see me? Your favorite boy?”.
For some reason, I wanted to pull Ghost out first. I would love to say that my intuition is strong, but I think it just happened to be a wild coincidence. When I went into his stall, I greeted him, but before I went to put his halter on, noticed a large gash on the left side of his chest. Most likely a couple of hours old. My brain started to worry since I had worked with him on Thursday, “Surely I didn’t miss this yesterday?”. Of course I didn’t - Ghost was blanketed Thursday night and unblanketed Friday morning, if it had happened Thursday, it would have been noticed by somebody.
I haltered him and led him out of his stall to tell another one of the CANTER volunteers, Jody. Jody is a CANTER board member and spends loads of her time at the barn dealing with the messes the horses get themselves in to. She assured me that the gash was indeed fairly recent, and it hadn’t been there when she checked on him earlier that morning.
Luckily, a veterinary technician who boards at the barn happened to be riding, so we had her take a quick glance at the laceration. She agreed with our thought - “You should have the vet out”.
Ghost’s “regular” vet was called (Ghost doesn’t have a regular vet, he just arrived last month!), but he was busy with another client about an hour away. The UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital was then called, and they told Jody that they were dealing with a colic, so they wouldn’t be able to come right away. I wasn’t able to stay, so I checked Ghost’s stall over for anything sharp, and put him back in his stall.
UC Davis arrived around 6PM and I received text updates from Jody. They shaved the area around the wound and cleaned it up.
After freshening up the laceration, they stitched it up and sprayed silver spray on it. The veterinarian from UC Davis told Jody Ghost would need to start the antiobiotic TMS, which is standard for a laceration, and be on strict stall rest for 2 weeks. He is also unable to be blanketed - Thank goodness he wasn’t clipped!
Since Friday, I have been going into Ghost’s stall to groom him, but feel terrible that he’s stuck in his stall for 2 weeks when his laceration isn’t located on a part of his body that is at risk of opening (For example, over his knee).
Jody had her vet look at Ghost yesterday (the one who couldn’t make it Friday because he was with another client), and he said that as long as Ghost was well-behaved, he should be hand walked and/or tack walked.
Yesterday afternoon I was able to pull Ghost out for a hand walk, which he seemed very pleased about. The next 2 weeks or so aren’t going to be very exciting, but we will be spending some time together regardless! I am looking forward to his wound healing so we can get him back to work.