"And, when you want something, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it." -The Alchemist, by Paulo Coehlo

Friday, May 3, 2013


On Wednesday, I arrived at the barn to find Lily hanging her head out the door, happy, perky, grain finished, and hay about halfway gone. This was already a good start-she was in a much better disposition than the day before, when she'd been at the back of her stall and appearing quiet.

I took her out, and even before I took off the wraps I knew her leg was more swollen than the day before, and the swelling went all the way down to the coronet band. Dammit, dammit, dammit. Another boarder was walking by as I studied the leg, and she did a double take, barraging me with questions. What was going on? Had the vet looked at the leg? Had radiographs been taken? What was I doing for the leg? Was Lily on antibiotics? I answered her as best I could, while I tried to get Lily out from under the steel roof so I could text my vet STAT.

I started walking Lily, simply because this allowed me to be on the phone with the vet. She texted me back immediately with questions. Lily was more animated in her walk than the day before, and just happier, despite the increased swelling. I started to think this wasn't the infection worsening, but a reaction to the Furazone used for the sweat. Before I started this blog, back when I first got her, Lily had had some mystery swelling in her right hind (her other leg) and I'd tried sweating it out with DMSO and Furazone, and my poor mare had ended up with an elephant leg as a result. I had mentioned this to Dr. R, who suggested using only Furazone for the sweat this time.

Yeah, I don't think there will be any more leg sweats in the future for Lily.

After about only 10 minutes of walking, the swelling had gone down dramatically! I didn't even think to take photos of how it looked initially. Dr. R asked me to send her photos by phone, and these are the ones I sent. By then, leg actually looked better than it had the day before.

You could still see some very minor swelling in the pastern in this one.

Pardon the diaper bootie slipping off; it was the one I'd put on her the night before and it had reached its limit. Not sure why the Furazone changed to orange.

Left hock. Still puffy, but more definition of the point of the hock than the day before.

Fat fetlock
I hadn't even cold hosed/iced it yet, which is what I proceeded to do, washing off all of the Furazone with antibacterial soap.

Lily then got to wear her ice boot and ice pack while hand grazing. Now you could really see some definition in Lily's hock:

Front view of the bottoms of Lily's hocks. Note the medial saphenous vein running down the medial portion of the left hock, between the ice pack and the ice boot. I hadn't seen that since Monday night...You couldn't even palpate it on Tuesday!

The ice pack fell off as it melted, so I just left it off and took Lily over by the outdoor arena to graze, where Tina was taking a dressage lesson and looking good.

Lily's leg after 30 minutes of hand grazing (and re-booting her hoof):

Normal. A normal fetlock with the teensiest of puffiness around the back.
BIG SIGH of relief!

I sent my vet the updated photo, and put Lily away so I could drug Jez while waiting for Sally to come to the barn, so the little girl would be ready to go for her 20 minute ride at a walk by the time her mom arrived.

Jez was good. So good, in fact, that we decided that the next day we'd try riding her without her Ace.

Sally took this pic of Jez and me. This is my absolute FAVE of all of Jez's quirks and games. She sticks her nose out through that hole for treats. I didn't have treats, so I was giving her kisses on the nose instead, which made her reach out through the hole all the more! "But where are my treats?!" "Here, have another kiss instead!" I love that mare. She cracks me up. I've met few horses with that much personality and  that big of a sense of humor. 
More on that later...Haha...

The vet sent me a tube of Naquazone, a diuretic/low dose steroid combo, to finish getting the edema out of the leg. Lily loved that...not! She hates any and all pastes, but I much dramatic head tossing and flinging while I held on to her lower jaw, I succeeded in getting it down her gullet. I'm lucky she's small!

After her second walk and icing that afternoon, Lily got poulticed and I put standing wraps on her which BQ removed at night check.

Thursday morning, she was better. The hock was pretty much back to normal. The fetlock was puffy, and the puffiness had gone to the pastern again, but after washing off the poultice and walking her for a few minutes, the leg looked normal again. More icing, more hand grazing. Charles had come with me to help give Lily her Naxcel injection, and he took a bunch of photos:

Walking. I just realized our butts kind of match...lol!

On the phone with the vet, discussing injection options for Miss I-Hate-Needles.
You can see how she's kind of resting her left hind here. She has gotten WAY better, but she still does it  more than I'd like to see. 

Still on the phone with the vet. If you pay attention, in these 3 photos, we are both looking in the same direction, with similar expressions. This is from a whole series Charles took, and we are mirroring each other in almost every single shot. Pretty cool. 

Hand grazing by the outdoor. Liz: I told you she's little. ;) Her withers are 15.1ish, but her back is like 14.1 hh. Haha...

Charles took a bunch of her while sitting on the grass with her when I went to get her ice boot.
Everyone keeps saying how calm she is despite being on stall rest. Before I got her, this mare never got turned out consistently and it never made her nuts; she mostly lived in a large stall. I think in her head she has reverted to "I'm a stall-bound horse" and has become content with that. 

Shedding like crazy

Long blond hairs on her front legs that are taking forever to fall off.

I discovered I could pluck them off fairly easily. Look at her face!

Love her lip pointing in my direction. "That is really annoying..."

"Very, very annoying." I was laughing at her.
"Mom, what are you doing?? Stop it!" She'd turn her head to nudge me, but she never tried to step away, and never tried to bite.  Her lips are pressed tightly together, but she is not showing her teeth.

Desensitized. "Okay...that's not so bad." Big ole ears. She has a cob-sized head and horse-sized ears. Lol I kid you not-her ear bonnets are Full size.

Love her. I don't talk about it enough here either, but she is one of the cuddliest horses I've ever met. She loves head hugs.

She is being a BRAT for her injections, especially for BQ and Jackie at night. They were giving the 11 pm injection at night check, and Lily was so so bad that BQ was afraid she was going to break off a needle in her neck, despite Jackie trying to distract Lily with treats. BQ wanted to know if they should continue doing it in the stall, or take her out; she was afraid Lily would try to get away from them. I didn't think she'd try to escape, but then again, Lily can be a completely different horse for other people than she is for me, which is why there are a lot of things I don't allow other people to do with her. I don't think I've ever really emphathized that in this blog. I complain about her not whinnying for me and half-heartedly making me chase her in the paddock and having fear flashbacks when she's in heat, but the ultimate truth is that I know this mare loves me and trusts me a helluva lot more than any other person that has ever been a part of her world.

Charles held her for me with the rope halter, letting her sniff a Stud Muffin in his hand. He was to let her dance around if she wanted to, but he was not to let her toss her head. The minute I stabbed her with the needle, he was to let her have the Stud Muffin. This actually worked really well, with minor dramatics from Lily, but I knew that it would not work that well again. She might forget the inflatable snake, or x creek crossing, but she won't forget the succession of tricks we use to get her to cooperate when doing something unpleasant to her.

I told BQ I'd come back that night and give the injection myself. I was afraid Lily might hurt BQ or Jackie if she really got out of hand. There is a certain amount of antics that I can tolerate from my mare without freaking out myself, simply because I know her so well, and this in itself helps keep her calmer than if it were someone else doing it. I also know how to get after her if necessary without freaking her out more. Not that BQ and Jackie are not excellent at what they do-they are; I wouldn't have trusted them to poke my mare with needles otherwise. But I knew that she had just figured out that when they went into her stall at 11:00 pm, they were going to give her an injection, and just that anticipation could make things a thousand times worse for everyone involved.

I'll write more later-have to get ready to go to the barn for our vet recheck, but just wanted to post that so far, everything is moving in the right direction now with Lily. Still have to tell you guys about the adventure with Jez's un-Aced self...


  1. Sorry she's being so bad for her injections but I am glad the swelling has come down.

  2. Glaaaaaaaaaad that swelling went down, yay!

  3. Thank you everyone for the positive thoughts and prayers! :)