Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Tragic Accident

Yesterday, I was contacted by Lisa, a horse owner whose horse had suffered a severe injury in a horse trailer accident the day before, March 30th. Lisa has given me permission to post her poor mare's condition. The pictures as you can see are graphic, but it will be interesting and information to follow her case as she heels. This is, unfortunately, not an uncommon hoof injury.

It usually heels with a large scar around the back of the hoof over the soft tissue or at best, a seam that runs down the wall from the coronary band. Something, we've probably all seen years after the accident. I feel like the more we do for this type of injury, the less scarring the horse will end up with.

So as terrible as it is and as sorry as I am to know Lisa and her pretty mare are going through this, we are going to follow Fancy's story, with updates as I receive them with the hope that sharing her recuperation will help other horses. And I know we all wish Lisa and Fancy well in her recovery.

Here is Lisa’s story.

The horses, kids and I were on our way to Poulsbo to spend a few days with
Andrea and her kids. Fancy has re-developed her trailer anxiety so I spent
the last three days really working on this and thought we had it managed.
Everything was loaded up and the horses were calm. We headed back home
because I forgot a few crucial things like stirrups and chaps. I could see
Fancy was throwing her weight around, but it didn't look too bad. We pulled
into our cul-de-sac and this is what I saw when I got out of the truck.

This is NEVER a good sign with a horse trailer. There was a trail of blood down the road - why someone didn't notice it and wave me down, I don't know. (People don't notice things like this. - Pat)

Fancy gets in the trailer just fine. It's what she does once we are under
way that is causing the problems... By the time I opened the back I knew
something very bad had gone down, I was hysterical - screaming at the kids
to go in the house and get dad to call the vet because I thought Fancy was
going to have to be put down. OK - I've never seen clotted horse blood
before and I thought she had gutted herself somehow. Yes I am a drama queen
- shut up. ("Who wouldn't be in this situation?!" - Pat)

She was throwing herself to the right and trying to climb up the wall with
her left legs. She managed to rip the mat off the wall but then the rivets
that were left in the wall ripped her up.

I am pretty sure the kids are scarred for life. I might be too. I am sure
Fancy is.

She had blood on her forelock, it was even up on the ceiling.

Fancy was a wreck. She was a sweaty mess and my brain was not
working. My neighbor, Craig, suggested offering her some water and she was
glad to have it. "Thank you Craig - I wasn't thinking well."

Then I carefully unloaded her out of the trailer. Reba was a rock, very calm and soothing, she stood right next to Fancy and quietly nickered once in awhile. Fancy started shivering so I put a blanket on and ended up adding two more. One wrapped around her neck and two on her body. I was afraid she was going into shock. Leslie and Curt brought their trailer down so that we could separate the horses and take Fancy to the vet. There were many phone calls made to the vet during this time.

She was bloody from her front legs to her tail. Even Reba was wearing Fancy's blood.

When Leslie arrived, Reba looked at her and then turned to Fancy with the
quietest sweetest low nicker I have ever heard, as if to say "She's here, you're going to be alright". (Sniff...- Pat)

Fancy removed the entire outside corner of the hind left hoof.

This is where ALL the blood came from. She could hardly put any weight on
it. I gave her 2 grams of bute for the pain, but I didn't want to even wash it because I knew the water would cause so much pain. She gamely walked to
Leslie's trailer and got in with no fuss.

Reba was not happy about the separation but she loaded back into my trailer and we took them to Pilchuck Vet. Hospital in Snohomish.

At the Hospital, after sedation and much cleaning and X-rays. No, the
towel is not bunched by the hoof.

This shows how much hoof she lost. The X-rays show that she did not fracture
the coffin bone, but she did scrape it near the heel. That is gonna hurt
for awhile.

You can see here how much tissue is missing. She removed a fair bit of
sole, but the bar is left so at least she has some support. You can see
that she removed part of the coronary band by the heel so she may
have a deformed heel from now on. This is going to take about six months to
grow back in. She will have to live in a stall for quite a bit of it.

That isn’t going to go over very well with her.

As I try to find the positive here, I have an X-ray so I will be able to see
if my barefoot trimming is right according to the coffin bones and in looking
at this photo I can see that her frogs have grown in nicely - much better
than where they were a month ago.

Fancy will NOT be going on the Chief Joseph ride this year. I may not be going as a rider since I just spent the budget tonight and she still has 3 days in the

So if any of you can learn from this - this is my very hard learned advice.
If you feel motion in your trailer - GO CHECK THE HORSES.

Don't assume it is business as usual. I really thought we would end up in
Poulsbo with her all sweaty and maybe with a little hide missing from
stomping on herself, I was very wrong and I will never make that mistake

Happy trails to you all and I hope you never go through this. I will keep
you updated.


Back to me now. As you can tell, this accident is very fresh and Lisa is still reeling. Please let us know if you've experienced the same situation and what was done for your horse. Any advice for us is welcome.

Thank you, and thank you Lisa for letting me post this as you go through it. Not an easy thing. Stay strong.

No comments:

Post a Comment