Well now that the Equifest recaps are done, we can now resume normal programming. This vet visit happened a wee while ago now but I’m behind on the normal life updates with the extra stuff I’ve been posting.
With Birdie’s never ending abscess still going and also guessing that Birdie needed her teeth done, I booked the vet to come out and do a two-for-one (actually a three-for-one because I wanted him to look at this random bump she has on the side of her stomach too). We also booked two of my grazing owner’s horses in to get their teeth done too so really it was a five-for-one. Actually thinking back it was actually a six-for-one because she had a little bit of swelling on each side of her face that I wanted his opinion on.
The vet arrived in his ute full of tricks and we got to work. Birdie was up first and I gave him a rundown what I knew of her history (not much) and her current problems (a lot). We started off by getting her teeth done which meant a sedation shot because if she acted anything like she does with back hooves, I knew it wouldn’t be pretty. Birdie was not happy when she saw the needle coming towards her which makes me think she has seen one before and wasn’t a fan.
The vet went to put the needle in her neck and Birdie bolted to the side of the yard, knocking the needle out of the vets hand. The second attempt worked much better once I had rescued the needle and he got her sedated. Thankfully she was pretty chill while he floated her teeth. Her teeth were in pretty good condition actually, she had one sharp ridge on the right of her mouth but otherwise she didn’t need lots of work.
Once her teeth were gleaming and her smile was back to normal we had a chat about her mysterious swelling. It had popped up a few days before and started on one side of her face along her top jaw and the next day was on the other side in the same place. It wasn’t sore to palpate at the time and of course had gone by the time the vet arrived. The grazing owner and I had postulated over what it could be. She thought it was her sharp teeth ridges causing the inflammation but I thought it was either a spring grass response or was a result of her silly halter leaning behaviour. When she doesn’t like what you are doing, she goes to the end of the lead rope and leans on her halter to get away from you. She’ll stay like that for as long as you are doing the thing she doesn’t like. In this case she had been doing it because we were trying to treat that annoying abscess. She had rubbed the hair off her face where the halter had rubbed too and the swelling was pretty localised to that area. The vet ending up thinking that it probably was the halter and advised switching to a wider halter which I had already done.
In terms of the abscess, he confirmed it probably was an abscess and if she wasn’t letting us treat it he could either come out regularly and sedate her to treat it or let it run its course. He thought that the abscess probably would be over soon given it had been going on for a while so I opted to let its run its course for a few more days and see if it got better. Spoiler alert: It did!
Lastly I asked him about the little hard lump on the side of her stomach. It sits a few cm behind the girth line so thankfully the girth doesn’t interfere with it but I am always concerned about cancer given she’s a grey horse so wanted to get his opinion. He had a look at it and palpated it but giving it a good pinch which she did not like AT ALL. She woke up out of her sedation, scooted to the end of the yard and kicked out at the vet (picture me face palming at this point). He said “Wow, she did not like that” which made me laugh because that was very obvious. After he got another (non-pinchy) look at it, he said it was a bit of cartiledge that had developed after some sort of injury she had suffered. Because it was not being interfered with by the girth and shouldn’t get any bigger, he said we could either get it removed or just leave it since it wouldn’t give her any trouble (unless a handsy vet pinches it). So I’ll keep an eye on it and probably leave it for now unless something changes.
Anyway that was our eventful vet visit. I took Birdie to the other tie up area so the other horses could come in to get their teeth done and hung out with her until the sedation wore off. She was back to normal pretty quickly and gave me some good head nudges while we hung out which is something she’s really into at the moment.
The good news is that the abscess has dissipated (I don’t think it actually burst in the end, I couldn’t see anything) but the bad news is I took her for a ride the other day and now she is lame on one of her front legs – face palm again. We’ll have to save that for another post I think because this is getting depressing.