Saturday, December 11, 2010
Medial Patellar Ligament Splitting, Post-Op Days 3 and 4: Complications!
Friday when we went out to work with her, her right leg seemed very slightly improved, but it was still so swollen that it pressed against her belly and looked twice as big as her other leg. When I finally got Brandy moving briskly for 20 minutes, the right incision began draining bloody fluid. Concerned about the coming weekend, I called Dr. White. When he came, he was concerned about the look of her leg and said she has developed cellulitis. This is basically an inflammation of the tissue in response to the surgery and is not an infection, but it can certainly predispose to infection. He gave her an IV diuretic (to help reduce the amount of fluid in the leg) plus an IV antibiotic, gave me 10 days' worth of twice daily antibiotic tablets, and prescribed cold water therapy on the leg followed by application of a DMSO solution which causes heating of the area. I didn't ride her that day, but did get in her hour of brisk work.
This morning Kara and I went out to ride both horses and found Brandy flat out again looking like this. You can see the ridge of swelling of her right (upper) thigh against her belly. Again, she didn't want to get up, but finally let me pull her up. I warmed her up in the round pen after she was saddled while Kara lunged Angel to get her in a more cooperative, calmer frame of mind. Angel is feeling fine and sassy, and she was ready to go!
I'm still concerned about Brandy, but feel encouraged that she can move as well as she's doing. I hope and pray that with hydrotherapy/DMSO both before and after working her, plus the antibiotics, she'll get over this hump. I'm also very encouraged about her behavior riding out in the field with only a halter to control her and Angel bopping along excitedly in front of her! Kara had to stay on her toes with Angel, but she had fun, too, so at least Kara and Angel enjoyed Brandy's rehab.