Thursday, July 15, 2010

it's so slashed and torn

My daughter came over and made me dinner Wednesday night. How sweet is that? Afterwards, she and I went out to the big field to bring the horses in. They were standing just east of the gate and when they saw us, they neighed and came along the fence line towards us.

I picked out a couple of stickers from Yalla!'s lower leg again. I wish she would stay away from the cactus. The other evening, she had a cluster of cane cholla cactus thorns embedded in her upper lip. It must have been very painful. She didn't want to stay still for me to pull it out so I finally headlocked her and sort of pushed it out from behind. Ouch!!

As we were haltering the horses, I noticed the tip of one of Annie's ears appeared darker than the other. I looked closer and freaked! Somehow, she had spliced the tip of her left ear in two. The blood had already dried up and she didn't seem to be in any pain. We discussed calling the vet- it was after hours- and decided that it was too late to use glue or stitches on it anyway. I'm not financially in a position to spend a lot of money if they can't do anything, so we decided to let it heal on it's own and watch for infection. She just had her tetanus shot in May. I know, you're probably thinking- bad horse owner!

I was surprised at how very little blood there was on her. I'd always heard that ears bleed profusely but I didn't see any dried blood on Annie's legs or face or anywhere except a slight darkening at the very tip of her ear where the injury was.
I wonder how it happened. She has had runny eyes lately. (I actually cancelled a vet appointment for her eyes last week because they were looking better and I didn't want to deal with trailer loading issues.) I think she must have been rubbing her eye on her leg while standing too close to the fence and then she caught her ear on the barbed wire fencing as she came up.

Today, I climbed on the barn pipe rail fence and took this picture pointing downwards. It's the clearest view I've seen of it. It makes me ill to look at it (shivers). I feel so bad for her.
I called five tack shops looking for Scarlet Oil in the spray bottle. Three of them said that they usually carry it but were out. The others had the aerosol can but not the liquid. I didn't think I would be able to spray her with the aerosol can. Finally, on my way home tonight I stopped at one last tack shop that I couldn't remember the name of so I couldn't call it. I got there five minutes before they closed too. They had the liquid in stock so I bought it and poured it into a spray bottle. I haltered Annie up, carefully slipping the halter over her ears, and climbed up on the top rail of the fence, straddling it for balance. Then I coaxed her up to me. I very, very carefully sprayed her ear with the spray bottle. She doesn't like me doing it but she also knows I'm helping her so she was very, very good and I got the injured area pretty much covered with the Scarlet Oil. Now her ear tip is all red instead of black. I will put some more on in the morning. And I'm going to pray it heals well with no infection.

I will leave the horses in for a few days so Annie can recover. The weather is cloudy and there is a possibility of rain- I hope- so the grass can grow. There isn't a lot of grass out there but daily grazing has really done a world of good to my horses' conditions. Scout is fat, Yalla! is growing, Nadia and Annie have put on some needed weight, and I haven't had to use my hay. And it's been bad for them too- cactus stickers and now Annie's ear! So, my dilemma is, once Annie's ear is healed, (Oh, why, why did this have to happen?) do I continue to graze them, knowing the risks, or do I keep them inside?

It's so slashed and torn - song: Under Pressure, artist: David Bowie and Freddie Mercury


fernvalley01 said...

If you think it was the fencing , can you tie plastic ribbon to it?I use old grocery bags they stand out a rustle in the breeze and keep the horse a few steps back of the fence

Fantastyk Voyager said...

Good idea, but
#1- it's not my field
#2- it's acres and acres
#3- I really don't know how or where it happened. Just that they do often stand by the fence.

I'm sure they been poked by it. Heck, I get poked when I climb between the strands to go see them. I know- dumb idea- sometimes my clothes get pinned.

Paint Girl said...

Poor Annie! That looks like it really hurts! I sure hope it heals up without an infection. Horses seem to always know how to find trouble, don't they?

Mikey said...

Horses do the most amazing things. I've been on a run of horse incidents lately, so don't blame yourself. Horses just do the dangdest things to themselves, things you never think they will in a million years get into.
The upside is it's almost like a brand. Your horse will always be distinctive!!
(I know, I'm a real big help, huh?)

Sydney_bitless said...

Eek! Barbed wire in my books is a big nono. Indigo would maim herself I am sure.
Maybe a fly mask with ears is in order?

The Wades said...

I don't think you sound like a bad horse owner not calling the vet--you should like a rational one. We all know how much you love your animals.

Crazy about the feed store.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

That's a deep cut. If the vet came out he'd clean it, maybe stitch it anyways, put her on antibiotics and pain killers. I went through that when Gabbrielle tore off the tip of her ear. In her case, he clipped off the tip, which was probably the most painful experience she had in the whole process, and wouldn't let me touch her ear for months afterward. Annie wouldn't need anything clipped off, but would need the two portions brought closer together, so they can fuse during the healing process. Sorry about this incident.

CCC said...

I don't know if many people know this but I have seen it with my own eyes and it might explain why no blood was visible. You've seen dogs lick wounds well, I've seen horses do the same on other horses. We had an old gelding with a leg injury and all our horses stood around him and took turns actually licking it. He looked like he really enjoyed all the attention. Maybe . . .

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Poor Annie. I hope her ears heals well. :(


Shirley said...

No you're not a bad horse owner. Horses get into trouble even in what seems to us a safe environment. The ear will likely heal just fine, and they will be a lot happier turned out. You can't bubble wrap them!

Ed said...

It kind of gives her character, hope it heals up fine..:-)

achieve1dream said...

Let them graze! We all take risks everyday (driving would be the worse lol) and if you have the opportunity to let them live like horses should then do it. I do know how you feel though because I worry about putting Chrome out on our new lease land, but I will as soon as I get the electric fence up. I'm sure her ear will be fine and I don't think you're a bad horse owner. Save the money for a real emergency. If the flies bother it use some bag balm (the stuff they use on cow's udders comes in a square green tin). Don't beat yourself up. Horses will be horses. :)