I walked into the pony pen to check on Pepper. He was lying down but got up when he heard my voice. He was bearing some weight on the lame foot by the time I got over to him. He walked off and seemed a little better. He wasn’t dragging the toe like he was two days ago and there seems to be a little flex in the joint. I observed him for a few minutes and decided I wouldn’t call the vet. Today is the day the vet is in Portales area and it costs less on a farm call.
I had started my truck to warm up since I was heading to town. As I was climbing in realized I had the good cane with me. Also, I coughed just a little and thought I really needed cough drops to take with me. This meant unlocking the house to go in and take care of these two items. Neither was drastic and I didn’t really ‘need’ to do it. But, I chose to.
As I came out my door, a white truck turned in with a man driving. As he got out of the truck he held up a bottle and said he was close and decided to run the Xterra by here rather than leaving it in town at our drop off. It was Ryan, Doc’s new vet. Since he was here I asked if he had just a few minutes to look at Pepper. He said yes. I gave him the health information from the last two days as we went to the pen.
Now, I want you to visualize just how prepared we were for this undertaking. We had neither halter nor means to catch and hold him while Ryan checked him out. And the only help he had was me – an old lady with cane.
We actually were able to make it work even though Pepper had other thoughts about the situation. As he cleaned the foot and found nothing he realized that Pepper was sensitive to pressure on the frog. He retrieved his hoof testers from the truck and found a tender spot. He dug it out and opened an abscess. He told me to pack it with Betadine and sugar and wrap for 24 hours.
Later in the day when I had both Tiffany and Jas here to help, they worked together, one holding the foot and the other cleaning, packing and wrapping. He actually seemed to walk a little better immediately although you could tell by the leg lift the hoof felt very different.
Yes, horse ‘band aids’ are like those of people – all colors.
Week later update: His foot is back to normal.