October 11, 2004

Lameness, revisited again

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Isis Bint Sirdar

On my way home tonight, the barn manager called and said Isis was lame today. Severely lame. She was not wanting to put any weight on her front right foot, had trouble turning that direction, and stood with her leg held up. He had examined her legs, shoulders, neck, cleaned her feet and found nothing. No obvious reason why she would be lame.

I asked him to give her a bute and call me in the morning. It would be well after dark before I could get to the barn. During the hour-long drive in to town, the more I thought about it, the more I realized I had to go out and see her. I couldn’t just let it go until morning.

Just like everything for the past two weeks, I had no idea what would be causing this episode of lameness. She had been lame the day before. She had also been trimmed. My farrier is very good, and has rarely trimmed her so she was sore. I also gooped Isis with the liniment yesterday form her shoulders down to her fetlocks and rubbed it in, hoping that would help. Of couse today, I’m wondering if that just hindered her in some way.

One of the other horses had an abscess. Maybe Isis’ lameness was caused by one of the stone bruises from the trail ride abscessing? It might explain not only the lameness but why she was suddenly more sore today. The trim could have made the infection closer to the surface, which would result in increased lameness.

Who knows? All I know is that the mare I’ve spent two years so carefully helping to heal is lame again. I’ve dreamed about going on a trail ride with her off-site for years. When we finally do, and everything is carefully planned, everything seems to go wrong. And we’re paying for it over a month and more. I know, I know, no evidence that this lameness is tied in with the trail ride. Well, she hasn’t been thoroughy sound since that ride, so why wouldn’t the lameness be fallout from her workout?

It’s hard to describe how frustrating this is. I keep thinking that if the trail ride had just been either the walk up the hill on the stone *or* the trailering lesson, maybe she would be okay. We were so careful on the trail. We walked a few steps and then stopped. She wasn’t sweating or anything when we got back to the trailer. Her feet, however, were very sore.

I’m looking for something to point to and say if I don’t do that again then this won’t happen. With a danger-prone horse like Isis, that is an impossibility. Even in a rubberized room, her curiosity would still get the better of her.

Those summer sore on her stomach are still there. I’ve been treating them for weeks. The swelling on her belly is at least gone, but the skin where the swelling was is flaky and very itchy. She’s been rubbing her belly in the dirt to itch it at times. I’m using gnat away cream on it during the day and a tea-tree oil/hydrocortisone cream during the night to help fight itching.

At least the rainrot is staying under control this year. She has a spot or two on her legs, but that’s it.

The worry-wort part of me thinks that maybe Isis won’t be able to be ridden again. Last time the vet was out, Isis was okayed for breeding too. Maybe all I’ll be able to do is breed her… although I can only afford two horses. A third would be too expensive. (When the board bill is more then the rent, you know something is wrong.)

I called my Mom when I got home. She knew as soon as I called that smething was wrong. She patiently listened and reminded me that most likely it was just an abscess, which is easy to correct. It just takes time. I shouldn’t focus on anything else until I’d talked to the vet. Worrying wouldn’t do me any good. She reminded me that I’ve done everything I can do. She’s right, of course. (Aren’t Moms usually?) I really appreciated her listening to me vent about Isis.

Sometimes Moms are great to remind you what is important. Especially a Mom who has horses and understands that horses are family members too.

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