The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Thank you Hurricane Matthew. No, really, thank you for veering a little bit east instead of west. It made all the difference to us. It meant some rescheduling, it meant Dr. Lacher couldn’t go to the Purina Research Facility, it meant some inconvenience, but overall we made it through another storm. I said it last time and I’m going to say it again: go write down what you wish you had done differently and what you did right so you are even more prepared for the next storm. I’m also going to mention microchipping again. It’s quick, easy, and ensures your horse can be identified. Now for the aftermath: abscesses and skin funk.
After spending hours getting rained on, or just hanging out in 100% humidity in the barn, your horse’s feet and skin will be primed for great things. When feet get wet they allow bacteria to wiggle their way up between the hoof wall and the lamina. This area is the Velcro that holds the hoof capsule on. The bacteria find this to be a warm, comfortable place to set up shop. The body sends in the troops to fight and pus is the result. All that pus causes pressure inside the hoof capsule. As discussed before horses have a very stupid design which involves them walking on their finger tip. Which means all that pressure has nowhere to go and it hurts. It hurts a lot. I really should have been consulted in the design phase of horses. I really could have come up with a better plan. Anyway, if your horse is suddenly very, very lame on one foot in a few days the chances are pretty good an abscess is brewing. I do recommend you check in with our Docs to be sure they think an abscess is brewing. Sometimes, especially with horses, what you think is going on isn’t really what’s going on. I recommend a cat scan, but then I always recommend a cat scan for everything.
Ugh, the skin. I can relate to this one as a sensitive skinned guy. All this weather wreaks havoc on my skin and luxurious, panther-like coat. Oh wait this is about horses. Well it’s the same for them. Giving them a bath in an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal shampoo like Equishield CK as soon as possible will help reduce the skin funk. If you see spots that have crusts or bumps, wash those daily until they clear. If you aren’t seeing improvement after 3-4 days, let the Docs know. They have a bunch of stuff to help with skin funk. And if all else fails, antibiotics are brought in. I hate the antibiotics, and like to come up with new and creative ways to be downright evil about getting the pills!
Hope you all fared Hurricane Matthew well. I hated the extra day locked inside but I suppose it was for my own good. Until next week, may your litter box be clean and your food bowl full!