Friday, December 23, 2011

Never A Dull Moment

No matter how long you've been around horses, you've never seen it all. And just when you think you've seen it all, some horse will catch wind of your ego and set out to prove your wrong.

Well, I can now check Giant Scary Lump-on-Side That Grows At An Alarming Rate off of my "Things Seen List." Poor little Tiffany just can not catch a break--as if Cushings, founder, and arthritis weren't enough, she had to go and develop a basketball-sized lump on her side (and give me a few grey hairs in the process, I'm sure!).

A little over a month ago, I was grooming Tiff and felt a medium-ish hard lump on her right flank. I remember telling Judy that I wasn't sure if it was some kind of sting/bite or a fat lump or what, but we would need to keep an eye on it. For several weeks, I saw no change in it. Then about two weeks ago it looked like it had a little scratch on it, almost like it had been lanced. And over the next few days, it shrank until it was almost non-existent.

But Monday night I pulled her sheet off and went, "Hhhhmmm, that thing is back and bigger than ever." I called Judy and left her a message to give her a heads-up--I said it certainly wasn't an emergency situation, but Dr. F should probably look at it in the next few days.

Well, Tuesday evening I peeked into Tiff's stall and my eyes just about popped out of my head. I could see a massive lump under her fly sheet. I pulled it back to find this:

I immediately called Judy (who was down in the Keys with her family for her dad's birthday) and started texting her the pics. Of course, she said she would call Dr. F and get back to me as soon as she heard from him. In the meantime, I slathered a whole bunch of epsom sat poultice on the lump and took Tiff out to graze. She seemed completely fine apart from the massive growth--she had eaten all her dinner and happily munched away on grass as soon as I put her out. 

Within a few minutes, Dr. F called Judy and told her it didn't sound like an emergency and he would be out to see Tiff first thing in the morning. Wednesday, Judy got a call bright and early--Dr. F told her that his best guess was Tiff had been either bitten by a spider or stung by a scorpion, and it eventually got infected. He drained about 15 ccs of fluid out of the area and gave her a shot of antibiotics. He also left a tube of Surpass for us to rub on the lump daily and some antibiotic packets to sprinkle on her dinner for 6 days.

Well, Friday night it looked like this:

Apparently, the fluid is draining down to her belly (???). I told Judy I didn't think it was an emergency, but she called Dr. F just in case. He will be out to see her tomorrow morning (Christmas Eve), so please keep your fingers crossed for her. According to the barn owner, Tiff has been spending more time lying down the past few days, which is not a good sign. She's been eating voraciously and chipper as usual, and happily goes out in the evening to eat grass, which is promising. But. Judy and I found three more little hard lumps on her left side tonight. What are the odds of four spider bites/scorpion stings?

Send some positive vibes our way, please! This mare has been through so much and she really deserves a break.


eventer79 said...

Poor pony! I have no idea what those could be, but I hope they go away as suddenly and mysteriously as they appeared.

achieve1dream said...

Yikes!! Poor baby! Could it be pigeon fever? I know that's usually on the chest though. How totally weird. I hope she gets better soon.