... since yesterday.
It's a good thing the weather hasn't been too bad.
Blaze seemed fine on Sunday, but when I went out to feed yesterday morning he was lame in a back leg. He couldn't bear any weight on it, and shuddered in pain when I touched him anywhere (from the hip down) on that leg.
After 30 minutes or so of total panic... imagining he'd somehow broken his leg and would have to be put down, and wandering all over the pasture (in a snowstorm!) looking to see if I could see any sign of how he'd injured himself... I shut him in his stall, fed him, and headed to the house to call the vet.
It took the vet 6 (yes, SIX) hours to get here, and he pretty quickly decided that Blaze has an abscess in his hoof. It looks like he stepped on something sharp at some point (probably out in the big pasture) and it's become infected. So... the vet gave Blaze three shots, and gave me a list of instructions. Soak the hoof for 30 minutes at a time, 3-4 times a day, in as hot a water as Blaze can stand. Oh, and throw a handful of epson salts into the water. When it's done soaking, slather some gooey poultice stuff on it and wrap it up. He can have bute if he really needs it. Call if he's not better in 2 days.
I've soaked his hoof every few hours (during the day) since the vet left yesterday... I've spent more time with Blaze lately then with my dh!
It's actually been pretty relaxing out there though, once I figured out the easiest way to get the soaking, etc. done. (One of the hardest parts was keeping the water hot all the way from the house to the barn, when it's only 20 degrees outside... like it was this morning!)
I've spent hours looking at this...
Poor Blaze... he was so sore yesterday... but he's doing better today, and is such a good sport about standing with his hoof in a bucket of water.
I'm getting pretty good at wrapping his hoof... it almost looks like I know what I'm doing.
Adding to the mayhem, Tilly was down this morning when I went out to feed... I went early, so I'd have time to soak Blaze's hoof, and was very surprised to find only Tucker and Blaze waiting for me at the fence. No Tilly. That is highly unusual... All three animals are usually waiting (Tilly braying) for me by 6:00. In (another!) panic I ran to the barn (as fast as I could carrying buckets of boiling water!),
knowing something was the matter with Tilly, or she would have been at the fence.
Sure enough, she was down, wouldn't eat, obviously sick... I thought she'd colicked again. But after watching her for awhile, and talking to my favorite donkey lady (at Longhopes), it became clear that although she was in pain... probably from her joints... she wasn't colicking. (Her hips and back legs are bad, we don't know why... possibly past injury, past abuse, we'll probably never know.) We decided that the weeks of warm weather, followed by the cold and storms was probably just too much for her. So I started dosing her up with an anti-inflammatory, and I put her coat on for extra warmth, and she was herself again by afternoon.
Unfortunately, we have more snow coming tomorrow and the possibility of another big storm on Saturday. Poor Tilly... it looks like it will be awhile before she feels much spring sun warmth on those achy old bones.