Doc Lucas came out on Friday to take a look at the ponies. We’d been here 4 weeks and as much as anything else I needed a prognosis with some clue about a time frame. I’d heard everything from two weeks to six months – and anything beyond a few more weeks would require a radical change of plans. It was hard to decide to go ahead and spend the money – about 25% of what I have left! I am so glad I called – and got the vet I did.
Doc Lucas is old school. I learned so much in the 40 minutes he was here – and none of it was fancy or expensive. Jesse is on a regimen of daily baths with 10% bleach solution. He said he wasn’t going to take a skin scraping because it wasn’t going to change his advice. It’s probably a fungus – bleach kills fungus. Bleach also kills pretty much everything else – so there’s an extremely high likelihood that it’s going to fix the problem. Hair will stop falling out and start growing back. I have also bleached the pads and left them in the sun to cook – and the whole padding system is in transition to provide more ventilation.
Finehorn had an abscess. It finally burst (thanks to repeated hot compresses with castor oil and epsom salts and garlic) and left a hole. The hole isn’t something you want to look at. It is going to take time to fill in and grow some hair. It’s not infected, she doesn’t need anti-biotics and she’s really good about letting me doctor it and do whatever I need to do. Twice a day I take the hose to it until it’s clean and back to basics – then I use a syringe (without the needle attached) full of hydrogen peroxide to probe around and flush it all out – followed by a syringe with (less) iodine. I can hardly believe how quickly it’s improving!
The plan is to be back on the trail in about two weeks. Doc Lucas seems to believe that at that point I’ll be able to pad her adequately to be able to carry the packs (with a cut-out pad to take pressure off of her withers – and a lightened load) and from then on she’ll continue to heal while we travel (we hope!) We’ll probably be doing shorter travel days with more rest days for awhile – and that’s OK. We may not make it as far up into Colorado as I’d hoped – and that’s OK too. Summer is here and I’m happy about that!