Life was already crazy before the Nebraska Mustang Crisis and trying to get the Rolling I organized to get the horses over.... A couple of days ago I noticed that Huckleberry was looking a bit odd in a very personal area and I noticed a few blood-tinged spots on his legs. He has never been one to willingly drop so off to get the gloves I went. An exam made me uneasy ... his penis was inflamed and sore so I called Doc D. We discussed the possibilities, summer sores, bladder infection, bladder stones, bladder cancer. The latter made my heart race wildly. He prescribed bute twice daily for inflammation and pain, worming with Ivermectin in case this involved summer sores, and an antibiotic in case it was a urinary tract infection. I decided during my sleepless night that if I was going to drive across the big valley to get the antibiotics that I might just as well drive it pulling the horse trailer. Off Huck and I went the next day to see the vet.
Huckleberry has summer sores on the end of his penis =( Summer sores
are more properly known as Habronema. According to Wikipedia,
Habronema is described as a parasitic inflammation caused by eggs that
hatch in the feces of horses infected by a stomach worm. The larvae are ingested by the
maggots of various flies species. When the maggots mature into adult
flies the larvae migrate to the mouth-parts of the fly and are then
passed on to the horse when they feed around moist areas such as wounds
or , nostrils, lips and eyes. They can also invade the eye and the eye
membrane. If the larvae find their way up through the nose they can
migrate into the lungs and cause tiny abscesses around the embedded
site. Horses lick wounds infected by Habronema thus causing a new cycle. Frightening! Poor Huckleberry! If you remember, Huck had his
sheath cleaned mid-April.
There was a back-up at the hospital and while Huck and I waited to see the Doc, we met these two cuties... A little blue-eyed, medicine-hat mini paint ... how cute! she made me smile in spite of my worries.
Finally, after an hour and a half wait, we got to see Doc Lamb. He wasn't the Doc we were scheduled to see while Doc D was out of town but heck... you can't get any better than Doc Lamb. Doc showed me the granules caused by the Habronema and explained to me that we would have to sedate and debride the wound. Debride the wound. Ouch!
Huck was good and properly sedated for the procedure.
Now... I simply have to brag on our boy here just a bit because when they opened these stocks and asked him to go in he stopped dead in his tracks and looked at me as he leaned backwards. The technician started to wave him on from behind but stopped when I kindly asked her to give us a minute. 'Step up, Huck.' I quietly urged with soft but gentle pressure on the lead. He wavered for a moment, 'Step up, boy.' I urged again and his eyes grew soft and he walked right in. This is an awesome horse.
Once well sedated, Doctor Lamb went to work on our boy. He debrided the tissue, injected Vetalog around the wound to help it heal and gave me some special Habronema medication with DMSO to apply twice daily. We have to worm him again with Ivermectin in ten days. After our procedure I stayed with Huck and placed my head agaist his shoulder, gently rubbing, patting and reassuring. Soon enough his beautiful head came around and rested against my backside... he was waking.