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CHERRY HILL'S HORSEKEEPING NEWSLETTER

September 2009

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Rattlesnake Bite !!

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Day 4

8-31 Monday TRANSITION DAY

When I approached Seeker's pen Monday morning, she was back to her normal pre-feeding lap speed, walking very well. I could tell she still had quite a lot of swelling in her forearms and chest but if I squinted a little, she looked like a bulldog-style Quarter Horse with a wide chest and muscular forearms. All swelling that remained was symmetric, cool to the touch and medium to soft in texture.

On this day Seeker got her 7 AM meds and one lukewarm SCRAM session and several short DRY RUBS.

I took her for a few 3-4 minute walks and rubbed her afterwards.

At 7 PM I felt she was doing well enough to wean her off the bute, so I decreased her dose to 1 gram. I also looked through my medicine cabinet to see what other antibiotics I had on hand as planned to talk to the vet about substituting something for the Procaine Penicillin and found I had some trimethroprim-sulfa tabs I might substitute for the Procaine Penicillin if the vet thought appropriate. [The tablets would be given orally so no more painful procaine penicillin injections - yeah!!]

 

Day 5

9-1 - Tuesday BEGIN LIGHT EXERCISE

Things looked pretty good - Seeker was bright, alert, walking around her pen and more reduction in swelling but there was still some swelling in her left front knee and forearm.

The main change was the evenness in her gait and the fact that she was bearing weight evenly on both fronts when walking and that often when I observed her, she was resting her left hind. Up to this point she had only been resting her right hind, the diagonal of her injured left front, while bearing most of her weight on the right front and left hind.

I skipped the bute and held off on the procaine penicillin until I was able to call my vet and confer later in the morning.

He suggested overlapping one last penicillin injection and the trimethroprim/sulfa tabs that I had and then continuing with the tablets for 3 days. (As soon as I got off the phone with him, I gave her both the injectable and oral antibiotics).

I asked if it was OK to exercise Seeker with hand walking and he said even longeing would be OK. It is my nature to proceed with caution so I took her out to the arena and walked her in hand for 12 minutes and then sent her out on the 20 foot lead rope I had attached to her halter so I could watch her move. After walking a few rounds, I reversed her and after a few rounds that way, she acted like she wanted to trot so I let her do so for a few rounds. She looked really good. But rather than trot her then on the short line I'd led her out with, I completed the session, rubbed her and put her away.

A few hours later, Richard took her for a 15 minute walk while I was getting lunch ready.

Mid-afternoon, I walked her again and gave her a good dry rub.

7 PM Oral antibiotics.

Day 6

9-2 Wednesday

Swelling was down about 90% below her left knee; 80% on her left knee and about 70% on her forearm and chest.

Oral antibiotics AM and PM.

Two 15 minute longeing sessions AM and PM at the walk and trot - sound both times.

Day 7

9-3 Thursday

Swelling was down about 95% below her left knee; 85% on her left knee and about 80% on her forearm and chest.

Oral antibiotics AM - end of 7 day antibiotic treatment.

Hand walk AM - 15 minutes.

Noon - Longe 15 minutes.

6 PM - Longe, but off at the trot on the left front, so finished the session at the walk.

When I took her back to the barn, I examined her legs and found there was dried serum along the inside of her left front cannon and forearm. This was new since the noon longeing. So I soaked and hosed her left leg, removing all the dried serum.

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