Who would guess (who that doesn't own horses, that is) that an abscess would cause a horse so much pain. They really do present themselves like they have a broken leg.
The farrier came today and, within a milisecond, found the abscess on old Red. It looks like it came from a nail puncture on the toe of his hoof. My best guess, and that's all that I can do is guess, is that the mud worked up an old nail--probably from the original construction of the barn. A nail that, otherwise, would have been buried under the hard dirt.
Now, looking back, it all seems obvious, of course. (Hindsight) I could see a dot of red that looked like blood working it's way up, and he winced and pulled away when I tapped that area with the hammer. Hmmmm....
He cut a tiny bit into it and it started to drain. I packed it with sugardine (sugar and iodine) and wrapped it with duct tape. Wrapping hooves with duct tape really does seem like a Redneck ("You might be a Redneck if....") thing to do, but it's also what those expensive vets do if you call them out. Yep. I was surprised as anyone to see my vet wrap my horse's hoof with duct tape. I mean, don't you have any fancy Vet type thing to put on it?!? Nope, just one more use for duct tape.
Do you know how much my farrier charged me for this work? "0."
Oh, and guess what, I found a Veterinarian who lives close to me who agreed to sell me Banamine. I won't tell you who that Vet is for fear that they lose their license. After all, super-expensive Motrin for horses is a scurge on our great country. Right? Nevermind the dealers who sell Meth, and Marijuana, and Crack to our youth--let's go after horse owners (or Vets who sell to them) who want to give their horses a little aspirin! (That will be my last vent (ie. sarcasm) on that point for a while).
I have a confession: I jumped up and down for joy like a school kid when he found the abscess. It was like I'd just chose the $1,000,000 suitcase on Deal or No Deal. I'm so attached to these horses despite all I do to tell myself they're just horses, they're fragile, they're prone to accidents...blah, blah. In reality, my heart breaks to think about losing any of them.
That's just something I've got to live with.
Thanks for all your good wishes, everyone!! And, I hope your day is as good as mine is now!