Sunday, October 24, 2010
Something's Not Right
There’s something bothering Silk, but I can’t quite figure out what it is. Earlier in the week, I sensed that she was not a happy girl. There was some tail swishing at night when I came into her stall to say goodnight. She’s been edgy, looking into the woods as if she sees the same imaginary people that my mom used to see back there when she was having her delusions last year. I found myself tensing up whenever I was around my sweet horse, worrying that she might do something weird.
On Wednesday, I had to go to New York City for a meeting, and it concerned me to be leaving Silk all day. She wasn’t waiting at the gate for me the way she usually is when I pulled into the driveway I went immediately to the barn, and when she saw me, she turned her back to me in her stall and stood in the far corner. My first panicked thought was colic. Then, I wondered if she’d been bit by a Lyme tick. She ate her dinner and was drinking water and pooping, so I reassured myself that it probably wasn’t her stomach that was bothering her.
When I started to pick out her feet, she glued them to the ground and refused to lift them. Silk never does that. In fact, one of the things that I marvel at is that she will normally let me do anything I want to her without complaining or balking. It’s such a change from when I first got her that it always reminds me of how much she trusts me. So when she refused to lift her back right hoof, I began to think “abscess”. Frankly, I was hoping that’s all it was.
She finally let me clean all her hooves and soak and poultice both her back feet. She didn’t really want to balance on either when I lifted the opposite leg, so I decided to treat both to be safe. Then, the battle of the boots began. Silk lets me put the Soft Ride boots on her hooves with the Animalintex pad in them. As soon as I walk away, she starts trying to pull them off. We’ve struggled with this annoying game for three days. I gave her a 500 pound dose of Banamine morning and night for two days. Her mood began to improve, but forget about wearing those boots! I finally duct taped the poultice pad on her back right foot since it appears that’s the one that is most sore.
What’s hard to determine is whether there’s actually an abscess or if she’s just bruised her sole or maybe even feels stiff in her hock. I wish she could talk. She’s not like Siete, who lets me know loud and clear what’s bothering her. Silk is very stoic and from past experience, I know she’ll hold it in until she keels over. And I certainly don’t want that again. Several years ago, we had a mystery illness where she just fell down on me one horrible morning and couldn’t get up. After rushing to the equine hospital, all they could come up with was perhaps an electrolyte imbalance. Thank god, it’s never happened again. Even after all this time, I am relieved each morning when I approach the barn and see Silk stick her head over the Dutch door to greet me.
This morning, she seems better. Her body language is softer and more like it usually is. We’ll leave the boots and poultice off today and see how it goes. It’s always something, isn’t it?