Sunday, May 30, 2010

This bites!

Yesterday morning I went out to the barn, planning to ride Panama before we went to visit the in-laws. As I was cleaning out his feet, though, I spied this on the back of his elbow:

My horse's reaction to horsefly bites

At first I thought he had fallen and scraped himself up, but I quickly realized it was also on the inside of his leg and up around the girth area, as well as on his chest:

My horse's reaction to horsefly bites

A little further down, I found this:

My horse's reaction to horsefly  bites

And this:

My horse's reaction to horsefly  bites

And on the other side, just behind the girth area, this:

My horse's reaction to horsefly  bites

But the real shocker was the one on the underside of his belly:

My horse's reaction to horsefly  bites

I guess I didn't blog about it, but last summer we encountered horseflies for the first time. It was a memorable first because for the first month or two, every horsefly bite he got swelled up in a quarter-sized welt and erupted into an open sore at the top. There were a few times I actually couldn't ride because he'd been bitten under the saddle area. As the summer went on, though, he stopped reacting so strongly to the bites, I guess because he built up a resistance to them.

Anyway, these welts seem to be the same things. Some have sores, some don't. I took a profile photo that shows how swollen even the small welts are. These are both about the size of quarter in diameter.

My horse's reaction to horsefly  bites

I've never had one swell up as large as the one on his belly, but one of the more experienced horsemen at the barn said it's just because of gravity. I also haven't seen anything like the rash on the back of his elbow, but it seems like it's because he got bitten quite a few times there.

Today his welts were smaller and harder (not as puffy), there was no longer any heat in his elbow rash, and the big welt was a little less swollen. I did hose the worst ones down with cold water, cleaned the open sores with betadine, and put a little Furall on them to protect them. I'm hoping to be able to ride tomorrow!

A funny story before I go. I asked another boarder for her opinion on what to do about Panama's welts, and while we talking about it we both sat down on the side of one of the huge metal troughs in Panama's corral where they throw the hay. It tipped a little, and then the uneven ground caused the steel bottom to pop in and make a huge noise. Panama and Daisy both startled and ran away, and we got up, realizing we weren't sitting in the best of places.

Both of us slipped through the fence and continued talking on the other side. While we were talking, Panama walked up to the trough, stared hard at where we'd been sitting, and then deliberately banged on the side of it with his hoof. He jumped a tiny bit at the noise, but continued standing there, staring at the trough. Both the other boarder and I started laughing, because it was perfectly obvious that he was trying to figure it out: Why had it made noise when we were sitting on it? He figured out a long time ago that it made noise when kicked, but this was clearly different, and he wanted to know why!

What a funny, curious, and smart boy he is!

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2 Comments:

At May 31, 2010 at 7:08 AM, Blogger Sydney_bitless said...

Holy crap, poor boy! Try using MTG that stuff might keep them off. Hes gotta be allergic.

 
At June 2, 2010 at 4:18 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Yeah, I think he is. I usually use Bug Block and it seems to work pretty well. I just didn't have any yet because the flies came out literally overnight.

 

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