We discussed several options, antibiotics right away or wait, painkillers, when to lance, etc. He thought the best time to lance it was when it had developed a soft area. The first days, the swollen areas are extremely hard to the touch. We agreed that I would keep watch a few days and then call him when I thought the time was right.
This morning, I went out to feed and inspect her chest and the swelling seems to have spread, thinning out. She is still having lots of trouble walking and moving her neck up but it doesn't really seem to be worse. I took a couple of photos with my obnoxious camera. Fifty tries before it takes the photo! And, of course, the morning sun is at the worst possible angle on a dark horse. Oh well, maybe you can see it.
I dug around in my refrigerator and came up with some bute from a few years ago. The medicine was expired in March but I figured it still had some potency. She felt good enough to turn away from me and the tube of medicine but I knew she was hurting because she can hardly walk. I dosed her a little higher thaan prescribed and then worried that I might have overdosed her. She seemed fine, however.
Now, what to do next? I've been reading everything I can about this and everybody says something different as far as treatment. My conclusions are:
- Antibiotics given too early can prolong the illness and possibly cause additional swellings?
- Some advise lancing. Vet said it's better for him to lance and clean out abcesses than to let them burst on their own.
- Lancing spills lots of contaminated fluids and is absolutely gross. Trust me on this or google videos for pigeon fever in horses. There are some outstanding videos of pus spurting from the horse's chests if you are into that sort of thing.
- Contact with contaminated fluids could cause additional infections in other horses, alpacas, and possibly even humans?
- If the infections internalize, it can be life threatening, otherwise, just a PITA affliction.
- No treatment and the horse recovers okay? Some say "yes".
- Pain killers administered only if horse is in excessive pain. Otherwise, may prolong affliction?
Okay, so now, my course of action. I am tempted to see what would happen if I don't have it lanced. Nobody else has come down with it, so far, and they've all obiously been exposed. I hate to spread more contaminants around. Also, I worry that cutting them open can lead to worse infections, yeah, right!! And then there's the time and money factor. I have been working long hours with no end in sight so time off from work is difficult to get. And money, there is none. lol. I've had a lot of extra expenses lately and still more to come. But this is Yalla!, my baby, although I don't really think it makes a difference who it is. Last year, I took Scout to the vet with an edema on his underbelly. The vet prescribed a slow acting antibiotic and sent us home. He recovered just fine with no slicing and draining. Matter of fact, it was around this time of year. Coinidence? Or did he have a bout of it? I wonder? And talking to Lisa, Baby Doll had a mysterious swelling that eventually went away on it's own. Maybe, we are just too quick with medicine sometimes and the body will heal itself all on it's own?
Maybe I'll decide what to do in the morning...