I’ve been back from Europe for almost a week now. The original plan for Henry was to go to Trainer’s while I was gone, but of course Hurricane Harvey ruined that idea. Instead he got basically two full weeks off, which he didn’t seem to mind. When I got back he kind of looked at me like “Oh, it’s you… got any cookies?”.
Henry seemed to do just fine with the down time, other than the fact that he’s a bit fatter (omg horse, stahp, I can’t feed you much less) and it seems he was quite itchy while I was gone. I dunno what it’s been about this summer, but he’s been Mr Walking Allergy since May. The only thing that’s been able to keep him from rubbing all his hair out is my magic spray, which ran out while I was gone. Thus, I came home to this:
His face looked almost as bad, it’s just not quite so noticeable since it’s more spotty.
The very first thing he got on Wednesday (after a nice hack) was a very thorough bath, after which I covered his body in every elixir I could find to make him stop itching until my new bottle of magic spray arrived.
Then on Saturday I pulled him out of his stall to find this:
WTF with the elephant head, Henry? I took his temp, checked his respiratory rate, etc. All totally normal. He was acting normal, had eaten breakfast just like normal. Nothing about his routine had changed. He has a bit of a history with random swelling (last summer it was the sheath) so my first thought was some kind of allergic reaction. I texted pics and his vitals to the vet, who said he didn’t think it was an emergency but he wanted to come examine him just to make sure there wasn’t something bad brewing. In the meantime Henry got a little bit of banamine, and we settled in to wait for the vet.
And by “settled in”, I mean someone got a makeover. Fall season officially starts this weekend so it was time to make him look less feral. We started with dying his tail, and then I body clipped him. Yeah, it’s early for a first clip, and not much hair came off, but every little bit seems to help keep his fat ass cool, so I’ve just given in to the fact that I’m going to end up clipping him every 2-3 months by default.
The vet showed up, examined him, checked all his vitals again (still pretty much the same as when I checked them), felt around the edema, and then took a long look in his mouth. He had some irritation to his soft palate, and a kind of suspicious looking little red spot. The vet stood there going hmmm, and then looked at me and said “Honestly, it looks just like a bee sting, but…. inside his mouth…”. Who knows for sure, but if any horse could manage to eat a bee, it’d probably be Henry. He got some dex, the vet left me with a couple more days worth, and said if it’s not better by then to let him know.
Sunday morning it wasn’t much different, size wise, but the edema was definitely softer. On Saturday the pitting had been like memory foam… if you pushed your thumb into it, it took a while to spring back. On Sunday there was no pitting if you pressed it.
I texted the updated pics (and vitals – all still normal) to the vet and got the okay to at least take him on a long walk under saddle to stretch his legs. Someone is going stir crazy. He spent half of our walk jigging sideways and snorting, so I’m going to guess he feels just fine despite the elephantitis throat.
Afterwards I gave him another dose of dex and decided to ice the area. May not help, but it can’t hurt, right? Henry was pissed.
It looked a bit better last night, so I’m hoping by this afternoon it’s made some significant progress. I’m sure Henry thinks this is a swell way (ha, pun) to prolong his vacation, but it’d be cool if I could actually get some real rides in. Details…