Thursday, December 2, 2010

Playing Nurse

Eddie got his cast off on Friday…and then got it back on again. That was planned, actually. Even though it's been six weeks since he fractured his coffin bone our vet Ron felt it best we try and keep the joint as immobile as possible for as long as possible since the fracture line extends into the joint. Good thing the cast came off when it did. There were rub spots on the bulbs of his heel that were bleeding. Despite the fact that they are superficial, they needed bandaging and tending. Unfortunately, that also meant the cast couldn't go back on the same way, keeping the joint as still as possible.

Eddie was really good about the whole process -- except he itched. A lot. He doesn't scratch his legs like most horses -- with his teeth -- he crosses one leg over the other and rubs. We each took turns scratching his pastern (the part of his leg just above the hoof) until he seemed satisfied. I know how "cast itch" feels, having had to wear one on my arm several years ago. I used to stick a knitting needle between my arm and cast to deal with it. My doctor wasn't amused, as I recall.

Nevertheless, the reapplication process of the cast went well. Ron wasn't particularly worried that Eddie is still doing some limping. He gave me an assignment; change the bandage over the rub wound every three or four days. Then he gave me detailed instructions.

No problem.


The first bandage change was yesterday. I cut the old bandage away, and that's when the challenging part began. Yeah, the rub spots looked icky, but they weren't stinky or painful. What they were was itchy.

The next half hour progressed with me scrambling to clean and redress the wound, hollering "Whoa" and "Whoa, dammit," and flinging supplies around the barn aisle-way to keep them out of the way. Eddie ended up with half a tube of Neosporin smeared down the front of his opposite leg and a foot bandaged. I'm not even sure it was the correct foot.

What a freaking disaster.

Fortunately my friend Stacey, who owns the barn, dropped me an email later and told me that not only had I managed to bandage the correct foot, but it was still in place. I don't know how that happened.

And to think I have to do this again in three more days. 


  1. Good luck with the bandaging and the coffin bone healing. Maybe it won't be as itchy the next time.
    I'm really enjoying "Death". It was the first thing I loaded onto my brand new Kindle.

  2. Thanks so much, Kathy. I'm really hoping this bandaging thing gets easier!

    So Glad you're enjoying DBADH! Don't you love Kindle?! I'm such an addict!

  3. I don't know if horses have the same problem as people, but a lot of us (people, that is) have reactions to Neosporin - it itches and gets inflamed. My derm told me to use plain old vaseline instead. If the itching keeps up maybe you could trade out the neosporin for vaseline. And if it works I can pretend I know something about horses!

  4. Good point, Karen. The bandage gets changed again today so I'll keep an eye out for that inflamation. Horses and people aren't all that different so of course you know something about horses!