Don’t Forget Me When You’re Gone

He did it again. Big Spot managed to injure himself while the humans are away. We’re not sure if it’s just coincidence, if he’s more vulnerable when his regular caretakers aren’t here, or if it’s his way of keeping the peeps from forgetting about him when they’re gone. I’m going to go with that last one, as it’s rather in keeping with his it’s-all-about-me Appaloosa nature.

The first time it happened was a major colic episode in the summer of 2018 when T and N were in the north celebrating’s G-Ma’s 90th birthday. We almost lost him that time. But in true tough-old-horse fashion, he pulled through and was here to greet them when they returned home.

On the mend in 2018.

The second time was during the summer of 2020 when T and N escaped to the woods during all the Covid craziness, taking a camping trip to the David Thompson Region of Alberta. Nevada managed to shish kabob himself on an old willow stump when he went down to roll, creating a twelve-inch deep puncture wound. Yup, you read that right…it was a foot deep. Again, he pulled through after days and weeks of wound flushing and antibiotics, first by Judy and then T and N when they returned home.

The foot-deep wound in 2020.

This time, it was a mostly invisible lameness that sprung up just before Christmas. He was sore on one front leg and swollen just below the knee, so we all assumed he’d fallen down (which he sometimes does when he goes to sleep standing) or that Gidget had made contact during one of their little spats. Since neither of these scenarios is something he’d want to admit to, we left him alone, not pressing him on the cause. They gave him bute (equine ibuprofen) for a few days, which seemed to get him moving around a bit more, and waited for things to improve.

Cooling his sore foot in the snow.

But things didn’t improve. In fact, on Christmas morning, the poor guy was in so much pain he lost interest in his food and was hardly moving, just standing on three legs with the fourth one pointing forward. He’d touch it with his muzzle every now and then, as if to say, “Um, this thing hurts like crazy. Can I get some help here?” And help is what he got, in the form of a Christmas Day emergency visit from Moore Equine Veterinary.

It was quickly determined that an abscess was the source of the problem, the leg swelling a side effect of the infection rather than the source of the lameness. The vet dug a small hole in the bottom of Nevada’s foot and out came a bunch of thick yellowish fluid. Yuck. No wonder it hurt with all of that jammed in there!

The draining hole.

We watched and waited for him to go trotting off, one hundred percent better, but he was so distracted by the bandage on his foot he didn’t move at first. Once he got used to the feel of the wrapped hoof, his interest in food returned and he started to move around more freely, even coming over to the paddock fence to visit with me, which he hadn’t been doing for days. But he was still lame, and the thick yellowish fluid continued to ooze out, right through his bandage.

Leaving yucky footprints in the snow.

Two days after the vet visit, it was like a miracle occurred. Nevada was suddenly weighting the abscess hoof about 95%, the swelling had gone down, and he was back to his bright-eyed, bossy self. We were all pretty excited for him, especially Nat our winter sitter, and I’m guessing T down there in the desert. Happy dances in two countries! And we did our own bit of celebrating, having a bite-my-face play session over the fence. At 32, my old friend isn’t as playful as he used to be, but we still get into it every now and then, usually with a good weather change or, in this case, a recovery from injury or illness.

So if the old boy was looking to be remembered over the holidays, I’m pretty sure he accomplished that. First, when he came up lame and again when that big Christmas Day vet bill arrived. Two painful events in one!

Appetite returned!

As for me, I never worry about being remembered. I know that T thinks about me every day. I mean, how could she not?

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3 thoughts on “Don’t Forget Me When You’re Gone

  1. Ah Stormy, I remember it well..the one foot deep wound. Although a fair bit of time has passed, the mention of it still gives me the shivers.
    I would guess it’s a combination of the two possible reasons. He’s a character alright, and has had over 30 years to build it. Between that and simply having the wisdom of a horse, it’s bound to be somewhat complex.
    Glad you are faring alright until your peeps get home and Spot is on the mend yet again.
    Hay! Hopefully see you in Spring 🥰😊🐎🐴

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thirty years to build character is a long time … no wonder he has so much of it! And I am pretty happy he’s on the mend. Although I like to challenge him from time to time, I wouldn’t want to be anything other than his 2nd in command.
      Storm 🐴

      Liked by 1 person

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