Woke up yesterday morning to Harley with two puffy front legs. You What?! Good grief, Harley. I hoped he'd stood too still overnight, and would be back to normal when I got home later.
No such luck. I found him around 1:45pm puffy, warm, swollen. I cold hosed, I hand walked, I longed him lightly a bit. Very minimal improvement. In utter frustration, I waited for trimmer Eddie to arrive.
He saw what I saw - swelling, minor heat, no extreme pulse in the hoof, no serious response to pain. Hmm.. Okay. He trimmed Mo while I dressed Harley to work. We were both hoping to see *something* fixable. I mean, really, isn't 95% of the horse lameness in the hoof?
Nothing. Harley was short-strided up front, which he's been off & on. No serious obvious lameness, however. After a longe and a quick ride, Eddie and I decided the same that Jen suggested earlier in the afternoon. Jump day, was a bit too much. Harley hadn't used his body in that manner in a while, and he over-did it (perhaps on that one big over-reaching jump he took). Maybe I didn't have enough leg protection on that day in only his splint boots. Maybe I need to do practice jumping in polos until he's up to shape doing it. Maybe he's still growing a bit, and it was a lot of effort on his ever-growing bones, muscles, and joints. Eh, who knows. Regardless, he got a trim, a terrific hoof condition report and check up, and a gram of bute with his supper around 4:30pm. After the workout, there was a noticeable improvement in swelling and heat in the legs - progress.
Later that evening, around 7:30pm, I headed back out to the pasture to see how he was doing. I found Harley standing still, droopy, lethargic, and looking miserable. *Covered* in little bumps. Face, eyes puffy, neck, chest, upper front legs, belly, some of his sides. Ugh. Fire ants. At least I hoped it was fire ants, and not some throat-closing allergic reaction. R and I walked some of the pasture, and found a few ant piles, only one looking slightly disturbed. I called Dr. Sam. No answer, no call back. After an hour, I called again. Dr. Sam suggested more bute (another 2g), benadryl (200mg), and "watch him". I concocted a mix of water, candy cane, peppermint treats, electrolyte "Horse Quencher" (peppermint flavor), benadryl pills crushed up, and bute powder. Harley ate some of it voluntarily, and more was squirted in his mouth with a syringe. By 11:00pm, he looked to be resting more comfortably, most of the medicine gone from his bucket (that I didn't squirt in his mouth), and reduce swelling/bumps. By 1:00am, he looked even better, and nickered when I walked up to his stall to check.
This morning, 6:00am, I was nickered at for breakfast by a normal-looking Harley. No heat in his neck and chest, no swelling in his face, no more puffy eyes, no bumps all over. Most likely, he rolled in some fire ants. His legs looked a bit better than yesterday yet. Since he had a bit over 3g of bute yesterday evening, I've decided to wait a little while until well after daylight, maybe 9:00-10:00am, check those legs again, and maybe proceed with more bute.
Oh, and I'll go see Dr. Sam today, too. I realized last night I don't own any banamine that isn't expired, and Dr. Sam asked if I had dexamethasone, to which I replied, "Uh, nope". Must be something I need in my first aid kit here at the house.