Friday, May 1, 2009

Horses and their mystery injuries

One thing about owning horses is that they are always getting "mystery injuries," and you have no idea how. But it seems that you can't put two or more horses in a pasture together without them getting little nicks, bites, and bruises from time to time.

Last Sunday, when I visited Panama, I discovered just such a mystery injury: a slight swelling on the front of his right knee. It's not a very large area, and it's such a slight swelling that I wasn't even sure that my eyes weren't fooling me. It didn't seem to bother him at all, as he walked without favoring it and even let me groom it without flinching.

On Tuesday when I went out there, the swelling was possibly even less noticeable, but it had become a little sore to the touch. He let his displeasure known when I tried grooming his leg by picking it up and pawing. It was a half-hearted effort, though, and he did let me groom the area gently. Still no sign of favoring the leg when he moved around, though — and he did a lot of running that day after the mares left on their trail ride.

Yesterday I went to visit him again. The swelling seems to me to be almost gone, but I can feel a little ridge running diagonally across his knee — like he banged it on the edge of something, and the point of impact is becoming obvious now that the swelling is going down. He still is not favoring it at all, but he still doesn't want me to groom it. Not enough that he didn't give in eventually, but he did make a show of acting like he was going to bite my head (he didn't) when I tried.

I am pretty sure he just banged his knee, or maybe even caught a minor kick, what with the rocky relations in the pasture right now — they're still working out the new pecking order now that there's a new mare. The swelling going down, yet the area becoming more sore, supports my theory, because isn't that what happens when you bruise something — it's often more sore as the bruise gets older? Yet I've still been worrying about it. I figure if it doesn't continue to improve, I have Panama's spring vet visit coming up, and I can have the vet look at it then.

What mystery injuries have your horses gotten, and how do you deal with them? Do you always have the vet out as a rule of thumb, or do you make the decision based on how bad the injury appears to be?



At May 2, 2009 at 3:34 AM, Blogger Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Poor Panama! I can sympathize with him. Does he limp or favor that leg, too?
I hope he heals quickly...he and I both! :)


word verification: torke

I torked my knee when I fell. :-O

At May 2, 2009 at 10:26 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

LOL. Yeah, you and Panama have nearly matching injuries -- except butt-scooting is not an option for him, LOL!

He's not favoring the leg, thank heavens. That was my first concern. He seems to be healing -- maybe you need to come out here and drink the same water or something. :o)

I hope you heal quickly too, Lisa!


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