Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Vixen was suicidal--graphic photos

I guess after our trail ride ten days ago and her trailer training of last week, Vixen thought she was better off dead than going camping this last weekend. I cannot imagine why, I really cannot. She was doing so good!

Thursday morning, just after we found baby boy Taz in the pasture, Menno found this situation on Vixen. From a distance, he thought she had just cut herself. Boy howdy did she cut herself. It looked like she had tried to slit her throat. Right through muscle, she even shaved some bone off, and when she turned her head to the right, you could see down her neck column.

It was not cute.

Of course, my main doc was on his way to Texas A & M to demonstrate some of his cool inventions at the vet school, so he could not come. My next call found that vet sick in the bed, and his wife/partner in surgery. She switched things around though and got out there by lunch time, thank God.

These photos cannot possibly really show how bad the injury was. It was about 8 inches long, and several inches deep, just along her jawline on the left side. She was in a very small pen and we never did find any evidence of how she did it.

By the time I got there, reconstruction had already began. First the muscle was tucked back inside where it came from. You cannot get good perspective from this photo, but Jo had her fingers in the hole up to her third knuckle--the whole finger. A layer of meat was sewn over the muscle to keep it put.

Several layers of stitches were put in.
To facilitate the copious drainage that would occur as it healed, a drain was sewn into place between the first and second layer--I think that is where it was.
The drain was designed to hold open a space for drainage to continue as it healed--I took it out Tuesday nite. It just had a few stitches holding it in, and I snipped snipped and slid it out. It came right out just like it was supposed to. I hosed it down--she was not a big fan of that at all, as you can imagine, and I sprayed it up good with scarlet oil.
This is the final version. Inches of skin were shaved down, I think there are three layers of stitches there. She was a hairs breath of kitting her facial nerve and her jugular vein, in different places. She was super super lucky.
It took some pretty heavy drugs to keep her quiet through all the stitching, but she never acted like she really hurt much. I guess there are not a lot of nerves in that area. It did not bleed anywhere near as much as I would have thought either.

Today is day 7 of the injury. She is 2/3 of the way through one antibiotic and 3/5 through the other. To get one of them in her, I have to put it in her grain, and it is making her fat. The other is such a load of liquid to inject into her, she is starting to dread seeing me coming, even if it does mean food. The prognosis is that the sutured area should be healed within ten days. Dr Miles thinks it is likely to blow open instead of healing clean, but that is okay as it will insure it heals from the inside out that way.

She may have avoided one camping trip, but it sounds like she will be back in business by Memorial Day. Next time she decides to kill herself, she needs to have better timing. As soon as I get a chance, I will post about her first day in the Shawnee. What a trip she was


Holly said...

holy moley! What a hella wound! That's one lucky mare!

City girl turned Country Girl said...

OH crap!! WOW she got really lucky!! I really really hate finding injuries like that! It is so gut wrenching!! Glad she's going to be ok!!

phaedra96 said...

Wow, that is one nasty wound! Have you found out HOW she did that? So close. Just....OMG!!

Train Wreck said...

WOW! At first I thought that was her shoulder. To have that on her neck? sheesh. What a great doctoring up. She needs on of those cone collars! lol Hope she heals quickly.

Gail said...

Wow, and you never found how she did it? That would have freaked me out for sure. You are one cool collected horse lover.

Anonymous said...

Geez Louise or should I say Geez Vixen! Oh my---but it looks like Doc and you have "things" under control.

Enjoy anyhow Carol

sandraclark4 said...

The wound looked pretty dry today. You're right. She doesn't seem to be bothered by it.

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