Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Culprit & Vet Photos

I was going to post a video from the Belinda Trussell clinic back in November (way back when I stil lhad a ridable horse) but I think this'll be far more interesting.

This post details the events of our second visit to Milton Equine, but beware: I took pictures. Like, pictures of blood, puss, and other fun stuff running down Cadence's leg... It doesn't bother me, but I thought I'd at least give people the option to not loose their lunch if they aren't much for blood and such.  It's nothing to terrible, honest.  Some just don't like that stuff though, so I figured I should give the option
Here's a sneak preview to entice you into reading further:

Okay, for those of you brave enough to continue, we trailered up to the vet's with the threat of bad weather.  We had a green christmas, but that was supposed to change. We arrived about 15 minutes early, unloaded, had a quick chat with the intern, and then he set to work while we waited for the vet (Dr. C) to arrive.
My Dad was worried that we'd rushed back too soon, as Cadence's wound looked better yesterday than it did Sunday.  However, as soon as we began taking off the bandage, it was apparent we'd made the right decision to return.  When A(the intern) had removed the outer layer of the bandage, he started to pull away the gauze.  When he began to pull away the gauze, puss began running down her leg.  Like a LOT of puss.  This picture doesn't really depict it very accurately, but it sort of gives you an idea:
Fun fun fun, eh? So the vet took repeat x-rays and ultrasounds, and thought he saw sometihng going on with the splint bone, but the x-ray showed nothing so he guessed it was just gaseous tissue (which thee was a fair bit of in the area).

Dr. C thought there might be sometihng in there that was irritating it and causing the wound to not heal up properly, so he probed in the wound a bit, and uncovered a small chunk of what they guessed might be hoof wall.
 Above: Waiting for her leg to be cleaned
Below: mid-cleansing
 A good view of the wound... 
...some of the granulated tissue was rubbed off while it was being cleaned

Dr. C felt something else, but was unsure of whether it was the splint bone or something else, so he popped a probe in and left it touching what he thought was the splint bone, and shot another x-ray.  The probe wasn't touching the splint bone, which meant there was somethig else in her leg.
 The above picture is by far my favourite :)

The options were to continue probing around and see if he could drag out whatever else was in there, or to put her under, stick her on the table, and open her leg up.  Opening her leg up was (in this case) the safer option as we
A) Didn't know what exactly was in there
B) Didn't know where exactly it was
C) Risked tearing anytihng it came in contact with while attempting to pull it out
D) Have insurance to cover this
E) Will be able to facilitate the healing of the wound better if she's opened up, and everything is cleaned up

They didn't haven any surgeries scheduled for that afternoon, so the mare was put under a general anesthetic, and after she dropped, was popped onto the table, and wheeled into the OR.  I was lucky enough to be able to stay and watch through a little window, which I found fascinating.  Before they'd even opened her leg up, Dr. C was actually able to pull this out of her leg:
It was all red and bloody when it was pulled out; this picture was taken at home after I'd cleaned it up.  To give you an idea of the size though, it's over 2.5 inches long.  7cm for those of you who use the metric system.  Once they opened up her leg, they recovered several more fragments of hoof wall, and a lot of hair at the bottom of the fluid pocket
Cadence will be at the vets until Friday to facilitate her recovery, and to monitor the wound.  I'll leave you with a few parting images:
 Above: Hoof in the bag while Cadence was still in surgery
Below: hoof fragment measurments (I think you could all figure that one out for yourselves)
Bottom: Hoof after I'd cleaned it.  Hair was inside crack in hoof fragment


  1. OMG! Who is missing a hunk of hoof? That'll be the horse to NOT pasture your mare with again! Ugh!

  2. What a mess. Glad they got all that out of there. A friend of mine went thru that a few years ago. Leg that looked like deep scrapes wouldn't heal. They put him under and started scraping everything and found tiny tiny bits of metal. Cadence, OTOH, seemed to be carrying around a spare hoof! She should heal up quick now and be back in action.

  3. Wow, really interesting - I have never seen anything like that! Let's hope that now she can get busy healing...

  4. What?!? How did that even get in there...glad they found it - hope she recovers soon!

  5. Goodness!! Was she kicked by another horse?

  6. HammersArk: The mare herds have already been changed up, even though Cadence hasn't been turned out since the incident. I don't really blame the mare whose hoof I believe was imbedded in Cadene's leg.. Cadence can be quite bossy at times and I have no doubt she played an equally large role in the 'incident'

    Barbara & Katie: I couldn't believe that none of her tendons were torn, or that nothing was fractured! Thank god for small miracles.

    Stephanie: I have to admit, I found the whole surgery and everything quite fascinating. I talked to Dr. C, and I may start volunteering at the clinic. We'll see.

    Lisa: Yes, and I think I know the culprit. Though I don't blame the other mare, I'm sure it was jsut as much Cadence's fault as it was hers.

  7. What the?

    Lucky it didn't hurt any of her tendons. If that were me, I would have been terrified watching them pull that out!