I went horseback riding this Sunday with a friend, and it was our best ride of the season so far. Though we only went 5 miles or so, we did more trotting than we have before and the the horses did great on everything asked of them. As always, at the end of the ride the horses got checked over, and we rinsed them off and let them go graze.
Last night, my farrier came and found a nail in Buster's foot. Buster is an easy-going red quarterhorse, and he wasn't happy about having that nail touched. I assumed we'd just pull it, but the farrier said we didn't dare without a vet telling him to, as once you take it out you can never determine where it was and how far it went, what structures it hit and whether it got to the bone. Infections could develop, and it could result in lameness or even a fatality. That got my attention.
After numerous calls to track down an after hours equine vet (as the emergency number at the clinic wasn't working) I finally ran one down. We had to trailer Buster out to the ER to get weighed, x-rayed, examined, get the nail out, and get an iodine wash and a poultice. (They use diapers to keep the poultice on, which is a nice touch...fastened with duct tape). He is expected to make a full recovery, but has to be confined for 7 days and have antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory.
In five years, this is Buster's first ER visit. Esmae my mare, has the market on accidents it seems. Turns out she is a better patient; Buster doesn't like to take medicine. Fortunately he is not quite as smart as Esmae so I was able to trick him into the second dose this morning by slathering the pills in corn syrup and feeing with some grain.