My poor, favorite horse, Makoto, has a huge swollen left hind leg. Seeing him hurting and all gimpy makes me just want to cry! He was ridden really hard this past Monday for a long time by a Japanese rider and I think that's what did it. On Tuesday his left hind hock was swollen and sore.
Yesterday, Wednesday, his leg was puffed up and he was totally out of commission. So, I had the Japanese vet come out and she gave him the standard 5 days of penicillin and 4 days of pain killers. These are shots that have to be administered daily. The penicillin is IM (intramuscular) and the pain killers must be given IV (intravenous).
For IM injections (easier) you inject into the muscle of the horses neck. You clean the area with alcohol, insert tip of the needle into the muscle, pull back slightly on the syringe, so you are sure you are not in the vein and if there is no blood, then you inject into the muscle.
For injecting IV (harder) you first have to find vein by placing a finger or hand firmly at the lower portion of the neck and watch and feel for swelling in the vein above the constriction. If you can see and feel it, you clean the area with alcohol, take the needle and place it firmly into the vein, and you should see blood come out of the the needle into the tubing. Then you have to quickly grab the preloaded syringe and place it firmly on the hub of the tubing and draw up on the syringe and blood should fill the syringe. If it does, then you are clear to inject the drug into the vein in a steady and not rapid motion.
So, it's my favorite horse, I'm super worried and freaked out about him and I have to stick him with needles and hope it all goes well. I'm very confident that it will, it just makes me feel so sorry for him. But, the medicine will make him feel better and hopefully kick-butt against his leg problem. I also had the vet give us this super icy-hot stuff that gets spread all over the leg (the gray stuff on his leg in the pics below).
Penicillin and pain killers are the typical prescribed method for treating the horses over here. No x-rays or blood are taken, no diagnosis is made. It's just "oh, oh, oh, here are the meds." My least favorite thing the vets like to do here is ask me what I think and what I think we should do... ummm I didn't go to vet school. Living over here has really made me gain a ton of experience at being my own back yard vet. It has also made me realise that the horses have amazing healing power and are more resilient than I previously gave them credit for. Remember Woods? Yeah. Sky had a similar problem to Makoto's leg and Sky totally recovered, so I'm sure Makoto will be fine too. Cross your fingers, say a prayer, meditate for him, which ever, ok? Thanks.