Somehow Lauder Lass seem to receive a wounded leg, which is rare as she is Queen Bee in the field and rarely are there any kicking sessions. However, on Sunday there must have been something going on as she had a definite swollen near side Hock and inner leg as well as a swollen area above her off side fetlock.
Although the near side showed no signs of blood or cuts, it was clearly swollen/ bruised and some hair had been removed leaving her ‘undamaged skin underneath’ short of hair.which ever way both legs needed tended to straight away and without static or interruptions.
As any one does in this kind of a situation, the kettle was boiled, the Dettol and salt found, cloths, salt, Comfrey ointment, frozen sweet corn ( we didn’t have any frozen peas) gathered together as well as some ‘Non Bute’ and a mix of feed with a good quantity, or more than usual quantity of Garlic in it.
Lauder Lass has only really had one wee blip, and that was not long after we got her, but we think it was based more on exhaustion, perhaps from all the years she had been so petrified, but time, tlc and understanding pulled her through, to a larger platform of confidence.
However, this wound clearly needed urgent attention, so everything was gathered together quietly and placed on her table in her stable. Now the smell of Dettol or Antiseptic or disinfectant is a smell she has sensed before so that wasn’t going to be an issue for her. At this stage we didn’t know whether either of the legs would need bandaged or not, and in our hearts we were hoping they wouldn’t have to be. But the other concern was, could it be fractured or broken! now that would be a night mare!
By this time, and thanks to all the tlc she has been given by everyone, including her special blacksmith, (who tends her for nothing, because he does not understand how any one could have treated her in the dreadful ways that she had clearly been treated) she has become used to her front legs being lifted and her hind legs being scratched but she’s not that keen on her hind legs being held – understandably to be honest.
As you know we can now place a halter on her as well as a lead rope but preferring to work her free rein without tension (after all she has had so much tension at the end of a rope before ) a bucket of feed was prepared and an empty one. The empty one so that we could put little scoopfuls in at a time, making her realise that if she stood well for treatment she would get a little more.
We had previously prepared a tray, on it was a tub with hot water with a mild solution of antiseptic and salt, the other had the frozen sweetcorn still in its’ packet. Alongside was a bottle of comfrey ointment which is extremely good for reducing swelling quickly. using hot and cold also makes the nerve endings work so our intention was to clean the wounds and reduce the swelling as much as we could. She was not particularly lame on it so we were sure it was not broken, but time would tell. With it being so swollen, and hot we chose to use a cold damp cloth to start with, as hot could have been more uncomfortable for her and made her jump. Our body language was slow and reassuring with no sudden outbursts of anxiety, at the same time we had Classical FM quietly playing in the background which also seems to make her more relaxed.
With her totally trusting Judi, she was left in peace to get on with the job in hand. Observing from behind, she started working from the top of her leg with the cold flannel, gently stroking it, Lauder Lass twitched a bit to start with, but, with great relief, after a few moments seem to enjoy the cold sensation around the heated and swollen section of her leg, which started off from about 20″ above her hock all the way down to her fetlock. Every so often Judi would stop and commend her in a calming voice, giving her a belly scratch at the same time, but usually after she had finished her wee scoopful of feed. So to her she was getting two rewards for standing so well, a human reward as well as an Equine reward, the latter being, ultimately more important. The photograph here shows where both legs had to be addressed, cooled down, heated up, cooled down and heated up, this was repeated about 25 times each and then where there were no signs of cuts comfrey ointment was gently massaged in to the swollen areas.
The first photograph shows the swelling The green line shows where her leg line should be.
Lauder Lass having her leg treated, and how good she was at accepting it. The trust that she has built in human kind is just incredible especially when you know of or realise how scared she was in her earlier days.
As many of you will know if you keep a horse or any animal stabled or confined to a small area then fluid can collect and make it all the more difficult to remove, especially if their stables are small with little exercise being allowed.
With Lauder Lass not being too lame, we decided to let her out but in to a smaller area first, at least till we could see which way her leg was going to go. As we said earlier she was not hopping lame and just seemed a bit slower than normal so a small bit of pottering and grazing we really felt could do no harm.
Since Sunday her leg has been getting treated 4 or 5 times a day, with comfrey ointment as well as hot and cold compresses and as a result, we are delighted to say there is a huge difference, so she is definitely on the mend. Although these photo’s were taken at a slightly different angle you can see the swelling has gone down, so hopefully over the next few days it will have gone even more.
Well done Lauder Lass for being so tolerant and for realising that we weren’t going to hurt you.
The biggest lesson of all, have patience with all animals, and that there is always a way to solve a problem, and kindness, 50/50 understanding is the best start.