July 31, 2007

Vet Visit with Rajiyyah

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Some days I really feel jinxed. I get a mare going well and then something happens… Not something minor. No, it has to be something major: laminitis, pulled tendon, colic surgery, deep cut near tendons with possible infection… (I know, no relation to anything I’ve done. If I wrote out the list of medical issues Isis has had anyone would be suspicious.)

Last night, when I unbandaged Rajiyyah’s leg, it looked red and possibly infected. I did the regular regimen (20 minutes hydrotherapy, washing the cut out with chlorhexidine, and wrapping the leg). Her temperature was normal. Called the vet this morning. If anything might be infected, I’m not going to take a chance.

I left work early today to get to the barn a little before the vet did. I cleaned out Rajiyyah’s leg. It didn’t look too bad. It’s draining a lot, but I suppose that is normal. The skin looked redder than yesterday. Rajiyyah was still good about letting me clean the cut out.

The vet arrived with about six vet students. It was funny to see them crowding around Rajiyyah. She was fabulous with all of them. Very patient and happy to have the attention. She kept wanting to see all of the items the students had on them. Inquisitive little girl.

Prior to the vet examining the cut closely, she sedated Rajiyyah. Poor little droopy headed girl. It was probably a good thing though. I don’t think she would have allowed the vet to probe inside the cut otherwise. The good news was that the vet didn’t find anything inside the cut. However, she was worried about the depth of the cut (about .5 inch into Rajiyyah’s leg), the proximity to tendons, and the possibility of infection.

The vet wanted me to take Rajiyyah to UT today because of the location of the cut near the tendons and the fact that it might be infected. If the infection gets into the tendons, things get complicated and nasty fast. However, the swelling has been going down and the infection that is there seems to not be as bad… although it did look worse tonight.

I really panicked when the vet suggested taking Rajiyyah to the hospital. We don’t have a trailer at the barn. We would have to rent a trailer, hope to find a truck to use, and then get Rajiyyah to the vet school. Once there, the treatments would be intensive: IV antibiotics in her leg, and possibly other things too…

The thought of taking Rajiyyah to the hospital really panicked me. Was the cut really that bad? Had I completely misjudged the cut on Thursday and made a huge mistake by not calling the vet out immediately? Luckily, no. The vet said that she probably would have told me to do exactly what I had been doing, although she would have prescribed a round of antibiotics for Rajiyyah at that time.

The vet and I compromised. The vet gave me oral antibiotics for Rajiyyah. We’re going to try keeping her on them for two days. The vet is coming back out on Thursday to examine Rajiyyah’s leg. If she looks okay, then we’ll continue on the current course. Otherwise, we’ll be taking her in to the hospital. Yay medical insurance.

I was pretty much a nervous wreck this afternoon. How do you tell your Mom that her favorite mare has an injury that might get into her tendons? I called Mom and gave her an update. Felt relieved that she agreed with my treatment decisions.

Here’s hoping that things work out for the best… On one good note, one of the ladies at the barn was having a lesson when I arrived. Her instructor said that she might be available to haul Rajiyyah to UT if we need it.

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