I`d like to share a recent experience of a fellow livery, in the hope that it will make us all aware of fractures and their treatment.
On Wednesday morning, this livery was rung by her field friend. Well, not her personal field friend, but the owner of the horse who shared the field with her horse. You can see why I just said field friend, can`t you? Back to the story; the field friend said that the horse, for this purpose named X, had a wound on his cheek.
As a dedicated mother, and knowing that the field friend wouldn`t have called about any old cut, this livery went up to see X. She brought him in to clean what looked like a puncture wound. However, the wound was quite deep, and X was refusing to eat and drink, so the vet was called.
After a long wait for our busy vet, during which time the field was thoroughly checked for protrusions, the wound was inspected and cleaned out. The vet was worried that the wound was not the full story, so wanted to X-Ray. Whether this was because he thought there was something inside I don`t know, but the X-Ray showed a hairline fracture and comminuted fracture of the mandible. X was given powerful analgesia and antibiotics via IV, and the vet said he would be back the following day. X was to be stabled that night, and offered a variety of foods and water in his stable, in the hope that he would eat a bit. Buckets were arranged with tempting chaff, mix, or a soaked feed. The water drinker was turned off, and a bucket provided so that his water intake could be monitored.
The vets prognosis would depend, ultimately, on whether X would be able to eat and drink. The vet suggested that the injuries were sustained as a result from a kick from another horse, which opens a whole new can of worms. I`l get the can opener out for tomorrow`s post …
On Thursday X was taken out of his stable and taken for walks, as he tends to get very stressed in his stable. To everyone`s relief X managed to eat, drink, poo, and pee. He was happily grazing on the long lush grass at the edge of the tracks! When the vet arrived that evening he was very pleased with X`s progress, and they decided that surgery was not necessary.
X has a long road to recovery, which won`t be easy, and the prognosis depends on his determination and will to survive. The vet gave X more pain relief on Thursday and he is to have more twice daily until the vet`s next visit on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, to best care for X, a small paddock with long, fresh grass was found. Because he dislikes living it, the vet thought that field rest would be best for him, particularly as he is grazing comfortably. X needs to live on his own, for safety and to reduce the risk of further injury, and will probably live on his own for the rest of his life. The vet will make regular visits and assess the level of pain X is in, and how to medicate him. Further X-Rays will be done in a couple of months and depending on his level of comfort, his dedicated mother will be able to start riding him. Thankfully it`s spring now and grass is plentiful so he has the best, and most easily eaten, food available. As he recovers other feeds will be introduced to see how he copes with it.
Fingers crossed that X makes a full recovery, he`s in the best hands and will be given five star care.