9.02.2013

do not pull a nail

When my phone rang early Sunday morning, and it was our trainer calling (while she was out of State at a horse show) I knew it couldn't be good. You know that feeling...all I could think of was "what horse and what happened"...she was so calm, and cautious, as she unfolded her not so good news. Me, I was jumping out of my skin and beginning to think the worst - and it could have been...

I won't keep you in suspense. Nemo stepped on a nail. A big - long - old - rusty - bent - carpenters nail. The worst kind. Of course, we didn't know these details at the time. All we knew was, Nemo stepped on a nail and the vet was on their way. He continues proving to be Brad's million dollar horse.

Thankful for our trainers many years of experience, who knew not to pull a nail out. You read it right. Do not pull a nail out from your horses foot. Pulling a nail out is the natural thing to do. I would have. Instead, do you and your horse a favor and call a vet! They can treat your horse sooo much better, if they know exactly where the nail is inserted into the foot and what damage may have been done.   

Before pulling out the nasty nail, the vet took x-rays. What we saw made everyone cringe. Ouch!!  Poor Nemo! The long bent nail barely missed a ligament. It may have nicked the sheath that surrounds it. Brad was given three options: hauling Nemo into the vets for surgical wound flushing, treating the wound at the barn, or just stomach antibiotics. He chose the recommended middle option. It made the most sense after seeing what we were dealing with. Here is the nasty culprit:

the nail
The vet placed a tourniquet on Nemo's leg to keep the antibiotic localized. It was injected into the wounded area. Among other things, Nemo is now on penicillin and daily iodine solution soaks. He is being watched carefully, for any fever/infection/increased swelling/abscess or change in appetite or behavior.  

We met the vet at the barn today for a day after follow-up. She was thrilled with how sound Nemo is, and so are we! She repeatedly mentioned the difference that early care made. We fully know, Nemo is "not out of the woods". In his better interest, the vet recommended that Nemo get turned out with Cierra & Koda. We feel it was the right decision. With movement, the tourniquet swelling went down even more.

The best case scenario, Nemo should be sound to ride in a couple weeks. Worst case scenario, we have to do surgery (option one). Time will tell. We are so very grateful, and reminded, that anything can happen at any given time. Thankful for our trainer, and her wonderful apprentices, who truly love animals and noticed right away, and our knowledgeable caring vets. They are the best. But what we are most thankful for is our one of a kind, beloved, big guy Nemo...

Checking out his wrapped foot, after a well deserved roll

8 comments:

The Dancing Donkey said...

Yikes! Good thing you caught that fast and treated it right. I sure hope it heals up with no trouble.

Shirley said...

Poor Nemo! That had to hurt! Glad it was discovered and treated right away.

tailsfromprovence.com said...

Yup I would have pulled it out too :-(
Glad your trainer got te vet there so quick, I hope Nemo makes a speedy recover

Kate said...

Glad he's doing OK so far - a mare of mine did the same thing and everything worked out well for her.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I hope you get the best case scenario. The high winds have been shaking these little screws out of the roof of our barn, and I occasionally find them embedded in a hoof. Fortunately, they are short and stubby enough that it's the equivalent of getting a pebble embedded in the hoof and I can pull it out. I did find a outrageously long nail laying on the ground the other day and have no idea where that came from.

Kristen said...

Scary stuff! I am so happy that you have such wonderful horse people to help take care of your babies :) Sending wishes for a speedy recovery!

fernvalley01 said...

poor guy! Glad they caught it early and knew what to do !

C-ingspots said...

Oh Aurora, what a scary ordeal for you two! Yes, sounds like bizarre advice at first, but it's absolutely the way to go. If people pull the nails, the poor vet doesn't have a clue. So glad you did the x-ray and got help right away. Will keep you and Nemo in my prayers. Poor baby, but I'll bet he's enjoying all the attention and foot soaks. Praying for the best possible outcome!!