Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 2009

My neighbors when I was at Kelly's farm!

As fall gave way to winter, Suki continued to improve. We were able to dial down the gabapentin successfully, and while there were still episodes of the itchies, it was never quite as dramatic as it had been earlier. New hair growth continued, and some of the "peach fuzz" had grown into a proper coat. Some of the new hair was more course than it had been originally, but it was thick, healthy, and surprisingly CHESTNUT! Suki's doctors had told me to be prepared for the new hair to be white which is common when horses have an injury that breaches the skin.

There were still very large areas of skin without hair, but this skin appeared healthy and strong. It was important that we moisturized this skin daily, and SSD was no longer required except for the section of eschar on Suki's back that was still in the middle stages of healing. We experimented with many different types of human moisturizer, those that were without perfumes or for sensitive skin. Again, without prior experience, the veterinarians were unable to give us anything other than suggestions.

There were still concerns about that last bit of burned skin, because it remained open, and now blankets were covering it constantly. It was healing slowly, and there was no sign of infection, but it was not being exposed to air frequently. Kelly was diligent with keeping the wound clean and applying triple antibiotic ointment. It was cleaned twice a day with saline then covered in a thick coating of ointment. Most days Kelly would close up the barn and let Suki stand naked for 30 minutes or so, before bundling her up in her blankets again. Suki has never grown a thick winter coat, but that first winter after the fire there were large areas of exposed skin. She always seemed warm and comfortable though.

Removing the blankets usually pulled some scabbing from the wound, but we felt that our hands were tied, and as I said, no one thought of or recommended bandaging. So we continued with our treatments.

For sure though, throughout all of this Suki never lost her spirit or attitude. Daily pranks with water spitting were still the norm! The first snow in early December dropped a foot or so of beautiful fluffy snow! I had to convince Suki to move from her stall to her paddock. The deep white snow with the glare of the sun startled her somewhat. I cleared a bit of a path and she leaped into her paddock! I was rewarded with a beautiful piaffe and passage in the snowy was breathtaking!

Of course some of Suki's spirit could be a little aggravating! She has that horrible habit of kicking her stall door begging for treats as soon as anyone entered the barn. Of course we indulged her, but Kelly worked on this during meals. Suki is a ME,ME, ME kind of girl, cementing her diva attitude and status! I was constantly amazed at her bravery and will to live. Everyone who met her was inspired by how unaffected she seemed by her injuries. Suki never gave up....I had never witnessed, at any time since that first day in ICU any indication that she would not soldier on with spirit and courage!

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