You know when you think you really don’t need to call the vet… but then you think, “What if I”m wrong…”.
That is exactly what happened to me with Gwen yesterday.
I thought I knew what the crust on her ladyparts meant… but then I couldn’t remember specifically except I seem to remember this happening before with someone and it wasn’t anything to worry about – I thought, but wasn’t sure.
Then, with her hock bump… Well, I knew that she had been kicked three weeks ago and that the swelling was gone (except for the bump) and she could bear weight. (At that time, the vet said nothing was broken and to keep her activity to a minimum until it healed.)
I did my online research and felt that this new bump was a ‘capped hock’. In which case, there was nothing to be done unless I needed to fix the cosmetic bulge – which I didn’t.
However… what if I was wrong and it was an infection…?!
Even though I kinda thought that both issues were non-issues; I also doubted myself and thought I’d never forgive myself if she actually had some sort of infection in either spot.
So, I called the vet.
He came out.
In 5 minutes, just by looking at her, he told me:
–The vulva crust is because she’s an older mare who has less ability to digest alfalfa correctly, so I should stop giving her alfalfa/orchard blend and stick with straight grass. (I was feeding her the alfalfa because I wanted her to keep weight during winter. I swear, I am not sure alfalfa has done anything good for my horses – ever…) The crust was nothing to worry about and would clear up as soon as I quit feeding her alfalfa.
–The hock bump was indeed a ‘capped hock’. A capped hock is the bursa near the joint that is swollen and inflamed. It will probably never get any better… but it isn’t an infection and it won’t get worse. She’s bearing full weight on it. The bump is purely cosmetic, at this point. There is really nothing to be done. *Note: If you get a capped hock and you want to show your horse, there are immediate remedies that do help that lump go down. If you go online, there are lots of tutorials on how to reduce a capped hock, if you catch it quickly.
And then I wrote the check. Relieved and a bit lighter in the pocketbook.
MORAL OF THE STORY…
I’d do it again. Peace of mind is very valuable.