Tuesday, April 5, 2011

COW: A Pain in the Butt

One of the joys of veterinary medicine is that you never know what you might encounter in the course of a day. Couple that with inexhaustible propensity of horses to perpetually explore new and creative ways to injure themselves. Their creativity defies comprehension. This week’s case of the week (COW) is one such example. The call came in for a horse with a stick stuck in her leg. I’m never really certain as to what the full extent of the actual problem may be based solely on the owner’s description. But as you can see from the picture, this client pretty much nailed this one on the head.

Assessing the problem is always the first step. The challenge with this sort of injury is to define how far in it really goes. On rectal exam, the stick could be felt pushing all the way up into the pelvis. Given the circumstances of the situation, the decision was made to do all we could to manage this case on the farm.

Here is what it looked like once the horse was anesthetized and rolled up on her back. From this view, we could see that the stick was broken at the level of the skin and most of the stick was heading straight north. The sliver was fairly easy to extract with the horse in this position. With the stick out and antibiotics and anti-inflammatories on board, the horse is well poised for a full recovery.

This is what the empty skewer looked like out of the horse.

Here is a picture of where the timber was grown. This horse somehow rolled or sat on this little stand of wannabe trees. You can see the one in the center that is broken off.

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