Horse Care

CHERRY HILL'S HORSEKEEPING NEWSLETTER

September 2009

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Rattlesnake Bite !!

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Day 2

8-29 - Saturday SCRAMS AND DRY RUBS

At 7 AM I saw that the swelling was about the same as the night before. I gave Seeker her bute and penicillin and did her first SCRAM of the day.

The vet called on Saturday morning to see how she was doing and I told him so far, not worse and no complications. I told him I'd call him if there was bad news or really good news.

Seeker got two more SCRAMS on Saturday and in-between them I did DRY RUBS which were a combination of rubbing her leg, chest and midline with a dry terry cloth or grooming gloves (those with rubber bumps on them). Grooming gloves are stimulating and by using my hand I could gauge and regulate the pressure I was applying better than if I was using a brush or a curry.

I started testing her ability to do a little bit of walking which I wanted to start as soon as possible to help reduce the swelling. But after a few steps around her pen or down the barn lane, I decided it was still a bit too early.

The day ended with 7 PM Meds and a 9:30 PM Dry Rub.

 

Day 3

8-30 - Sunday MORE RUBBING

Sunday morning was full of hope as I headed to the barn and there was my bright eyed alert mare wanting breakfast. Always a good sign. It seemed like the swelling had started to go down just a little bit and Seeker was moving around her pen on her own, making her usually pre-feeding laps at slow speed.

I set her up for her first SCRAM of the day and while she was soaking and Richard was bucket monitor, I got the meds ready. I gave her the bute and when the SCRAM was finished, I gave her the penicillin.

I had been alternating injection sites between the right and left sides of her neck and the hamstring muscles of her buttocks (see Horse Health Care). Still, involuntary twitching with each injection indicated that her muscles were getting more sensitive to the procaine penicillin. I made a mental note to ask my vet if there was an alternative to procaine penicillin for this case.

Early Sunday afternoon, when I started one of the DRY RUBS, I noticed that on the inside of Seeker's cannon and forearm, there was quite a lot of dried serum which showed that the compresses had been successful in pulling out some of the swelling from the tissues. So before the DRY RUB, I hosed her leg with lukewarm water and gently shampooed away the sticky serum with Nolvasan shampoo.

We have one very large turnout pen that I thought might be a good change for Seeker so I led her down there so she could mosey around - but all she did was look for edible things growing in the pen, mostly weeds, so I didn't leave her in there for long.

Later Sunday afternoon Richard and I did a dual DRY RUB, one of us sitting on either side of her on milk crates and we rubbed and massaged and talked over the day and what was to come the next few days. Ahhhhhhhh………Seeker dozed.

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