His left front leg (on the right side of this photo) was injured and swollen. Ouch.
Who knows how it happened. Another horse could have kicked him when they were turned out, or he may have even clipped (kicked) himself at some point. It's just another one of those things.
When I ran my hands over the swelling I couldn't feel any heat, which was good. Even better, the abrasion revealed no puncture wound. It just needs a little TLC for a few days.
Fortunately, Sam likes attention and is typically a very good patient. It was off to the wash rack with Gimpy for some hydrotherapy, a.k.a. cold hosing. It's literally just cold hose water running over the swelling for 5-10 minutes. I try to multitask water usage during a drought, so I added some suds for his weekly bath.
The sunshine revealed a better look at the hurt
Look at that horse. He was so grateful for the attention he didn't even mind when I snickered at his injury.
When we were done with cold hosing, I let him graze for a few minutes while he dried. Then I assembled a few cankle-reducing implements.
That's a tub of sticky, clay-based medicated poultice (also called mud), of which I am a huge fan. Some people prefer to use ointments, but I love poultice. Unlike some chemicals, which can scald a horse's skin, it never does any harm; and I think it works beautifully.
Also pictured above is a green wrap, a plastic shopping bag, and a white standing wrap underneath it all. I'm gonna do Sam up in mud.
I had to use the shopping bag to cover my hand. Because I'm out of plastic gloves and too memory impaired to remember to buy more. For a year. L-A-M-E.
Memory impairments dealt with, I started by grabbing a big palmful of the poultice, which I smeared thinly down the outside of his leg from the knee down to the ankle.
Most of the swelling was on the inside of his limb, but I figure it's all part of the same lower leg, and swelling tends to move around as hours go by. Better to stay ahead of it.
Around the inside, staying away from the scrape itself, and back to the outside to smooth and apply more as needed.
Meanwhile, my baby may or may not have tasted the poultice.
Once the mud was on, I debated applying a paper or plastic liner before the cloth wrap, but decided against it. I will rue this decision when I try to wash that wrap, which will be sticky and evil and impossible to clean.
Rue it, I tell you.
Then I wound the white standing wrap around his leg, followed by the green wrap. I don't have a picture of it because my photographer was distracted talking to someone else. (*Ahem* Cabbage!) The photographer's pay will be summarily cut.
A side note: leg wraps should be done only by someone experienced, or with good supervision. A bad wrap job, or the wrong kind of wrap, or a wrap left on too long, can cause serious damage to tissues. I give this wrap an A-. I'm a perfectionist, and I'm a little rusty.
Wrap complete, Cankles was then turned back in his stall to take it easy and basically watch soaps, eat bonbons, and live it up until his leg looks better.
What's your vote: do you use poultice or ointment? Did you remember to get more latex gloves and if so can I borrow yours?