Founder, an abscess, and bedsores, oh my.

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On Saturday, Tazzy had a wonderful day. He was up, alert, and enjoyed his little nibbles on grass. The breeze was a wonderful aid in keeping cool, and crossing the parking lot of his own accord was an easily accomplished feat. As they say, all good things must come to an end. So on Sunday, it all came crashing down.

He was down for approximately nine hours, and needed some convincing to get up. My wonderful barn family walked him around and even gave him a quick bath to help refresh him. Unfortunately, he didn’t quite bounce back as quickly as we had hoped. The stiffness was not the only problem. He was really starting to favor one leg over the other, and became pretty lame on his front left. I was hoping it was an abscess, and not a continuation of the damn sinking.

It was a sad sight to see. Tazzy would lay in his stall and bite at his hoof, clearing showing that it pained him. My wonderful farrier came back out as soon as he could on Wednesday, and pulled his shoes off. Not an abscess in sight. He rolled the toe back, and dropped his heel a little more. The Yellow’s broken feet were growing and he needed his shoes to be reset! The video that was text messaged to me, was a bit of a relief. He was walking out stiffly, but without any noticeable favoring of one leg over the other! His hooves are still broken, but he is no longer 3-legged lame. (All four feet are super sore, but “whatevs”. At least he is no longer acting like it’s broken!)

The bedsores are getting pretty bad. Since he’s been spending the last few days laying down, he’s losing all of the hair above his left hock, and his right side isn’t far behind. I worry about whether they are painful, and of course, at the risk of sounding vain, if they are going to heal normally with minimal scar tissue. It’s an ongoing battle, as long as he is spending a significant amount of time laying down, he will continue to have sores. Despite how ugly they are, they are actually pretty insignificant compared to the warzone that is his hooves.

The truth is, I’m growing tired of being optimistic. It’s been 5 weeks, and every time I feel like we’re “up” and making progress, it all comes crashing back down. I struggle everyday with knowing if I’m doing this for the right reasons. Am I putting my best friend through all of this pain and discomfort, only to have to end his life down the road? The idea that, “a day too soon, is better than a minute too late,” has been weighing heavily on me. I will never forgive myself for letting him suffer without just cause.

I watched him hobble around the farm today. I forced him to walk on, despite his painful feet, because I don’t want arthritis to get the best of him. I kissed his velvet muzzle, and frustratingly begged him to eat his medications. I told him we’d beat this.

Then I got in my car. And cried the whole way home. I know there are people fighting harder battles. But this is the hardest battle I’ve had to fight. This is not like my dog, who was too tired to fight, who was suffering with no end in sight. That decision was easy. I was not going to let my companion suffer. This is different. Taz isn’t ready for death. He will never be. The fire in his eye will always be there. He’s a natural born fighter. He’s knocked on death’s door before, and defeated the odds. Waiting for him to tell me when, is futile. Tazzy is the little league team, with false ambition. He knows no limits, there is no clock. I’m the referee. When do I call the Mercy Rule?

2 thoughts on “Founder, an abscess, and bedsores, oh my.

    glorialsmith said:
    June 4, 2015 at 10:25 pm

    First of all, don’t compare your battles to anyone else’s. This is your world that you live in. Yes you’re sympathetic to other causes but they aren’t at your front door trying to break in. You can feel whatever emotions you want to feel, but don’t let guilt about your emotions be one of them. And you don’t need to be optimistic all the time! You can feel downright shitty whenever you want. Allow yourself that.
    Second, there is no right or wrong answer, truly. What I think you should focus on is how you feel and what’s leading you in which direction.
    With all that being said, I think you’re a fantastic Mom to your Tazzy and he’s lucky to have you and all the amazing people in his life. You need that village. I’m glad you’re blogging about it, blogging really helps me get it all out and also tell the story less times to all the people who want to know. Ps when are we getting that drink?? Pps I ate a huge bowl of ice cream tonight, that certainly made me feel better. Might I suggest the same for you? 🙂


      goncalvestania responded:
      June 5, 2015 at 6:56 am

      Gloria, thanks for the support. It really means a lot! I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy this blogging thing, but I immediately felt like I had to write down my thoughts, and the blog was the best place to do it. I feel guilting for not feeling optimistic, like I’m a quitter, and I should try harder. But sometimes, I just don’t want to adult. So I too are ice cream, out of the box, might I add, and then went to bed early. Take that world!


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