I spent much of last night contemplating my course of action and the possible consequences & outcomes. I know that this coronary band injury would heal up really, really well with a foot cast to immobilize the area. A cast would require stall rest, however, which I'd like to avoid if at all possible. Also, I would have to order the supplies for a cast, which would mean that with my upcoming trip, the cast could only be on for 11 days. I would really like a cast to stay on a solid 14 days, if not 21 days, to make sure he was really healed before removal. Also, with a cast comes significantly more chances for problems to develop - like cast sores.
So, my second option is daily bandaging with turnout. The healing will probably take longer this way, and is more labor intensive, but without so much risk of complication and better mental health for Rhio. The deciding factor is going to be how the wound looks after bandage removal today.
Looking better than yesterday already!
Another vat of beet pulp to occupy Rhio's attention, and I'm happy to report he was perfect for bandage removal & replacement. I'm pleased with how it looks! There is a little seepage on the bandage, but no bleeding and it seems less inflamed. So, I replace the bandage and the hoof boot, this time adding a few wraps of duct tape to the outside of the boot as extra insurance.
All good horse bandages require at least some duct tape - Rhio has duct tape both over the bandage itself (waterproofing) and over the hoof boot (extra insurance that it'll stay put.)
Rhio is very happy to go back out to the pasture with his buddies. I cross my fingers as I slip his halter off - hoping NOT to see him run off & the hoof boot go flying. I put that boot on pretty securely, and with the duct tape wrap for extra security, I'm fairly certain it'll stay put. Maybe I'll cross my toes, too, just in case!
Rhio, Cody, & Winston hanging around the gate hoping for treats.
The downside to having kept Rhio in overnight is having to clean stalls! Winter stall cleaning is a bigger project that summer stall cleaning. It requires a few extra tools - including an ice scraper to scrape the frozen pee off the mats. Lovely. Frozen manure on/in the shavings is surprisingly easy to remove. Frozen water buckets must be hauled into the tack room to thaw. Thank goodness for the Ranger which makes hauling the whole mess from the barn to the manure pile easy!
The full Ranger & required tools - shovel, manure fork, & ice scraper.
I'm happy to report that this evening, the hoof boot is still in place and all seems well with the bandage.
Yep, bandage still present & intact!
I'll repeat the bandage change tomorrow and hope for the best. If it looks the same as today, or improved, I'll be happy with my choice. If it looks worse, I may have to rethink the cast plan once again. Needless to say, Rhio is off the riding roster until this is healed. That puts quite a dent in my plans to try saddles! Oh, well - I guess I'd rather deal with an injury now than during ride season.
Rhio says, "Thanks for letting me go back outside, Mom!"