I have no idea!

I mentioned last post that I was failing on the try to keep Stampede sound goal so here’s a summary of all that’s been going on besides me going crazy!

One Saturday last month I was flatting Stamp and he had just come back from a slight lameness in his left front that seemed like foot soreness at the time but was never bad enough that my vet could diagnose anything. My farrier has mistakenly put pads on Stamp which were meant for P a few days earlier but they seemed to help so I didn’t worry about it. We were doing our final trot at the end of our flatwork – I like to have him do some stretchy trot at the end – and passing another horse on the inside since we were on a big stride. Said horse scraped it’s rider’s stirrup on the brick wall of the indoor as we passed causing Stampede to jump left and he became immediately very lame. He didn’t come back 100% but he was walking reasonably by the time I put him away. However the next day when I came out he was quite sore and clearly didn’t want to put weight on the back of his foot.

Handsome trouble

So I contacted the vet and made an appointment for the beast. She came out and after looking at his feet (slightly sore at the heel) palpated his leg and found him to be very sore along his suspensory in the left front. Palpation of the right front did not lead to the same large reaction so that was our culprit. The vet said she was confident on the diagnosis and we agreed to paint it daily with a mixture of DMSO and Dexamethasone and let him go outside as long as he was being good. I would also do hand walks at night depending on how he looked. He came sound at the walk fairly quickly and I felt good about our progress. Then his leg hair started falling off in some reaction to the mixture I’d been putting on for about 2 weeks at the time.

Outside on 12/28

Inside on 12/28

So obviously I immediately stopped putting the stuff on, washed his leg off, and informed my vet that I did so. Everything then seemed to continue on fine for a few days and I even started some tack walking since he was feeling good and being obnoxious on the ground. A few days later however he stepped out of his stall tentative again. So I’m thinking oh crap he re-injured the suspensory outside or I did too much on him walking yesterday. So I texted my vet and made a plan for her to come out and ultrasound him to make sure things were going okay after she got back from vacation.

So this horse never lays down in his stall normally but he was napping like this while I was taking care of P before the vet came. What a weirdo!

The vet came back out this past Tuesday the 3rd and I walked him so she could see (actually easier to hear) the slight unevenness in his walk. She had me trot him and there was a mild head bob particularly when he first started trotting. So we ultrasounded the leg and found that everything looked great in there. He also had no reaction to palpation any longer. The only spot he seemed sore was the same heel but he was not even consistently reactive. I expressed my frustration that we needed to find out what was going on and we agreed to do blocks to find out where the unsoundness was coming from. After a lack of cooperation from Stampede my vet got the first block done at the hoof and Stampede walked off sound after it kicked in then trotted sound in hand. X-rays of his hoof were taken and my vet was off saying she would develop them and let me know the next day what they said.

Well I never heard from the vet on Wednesday. I texted her and decided maybe she was busy and I’d give it until the next day. That night however I found Stampede to be very lame at the walk and the area of his scabs was warm and puffy.

Outside 1/4

Inside 1/4

I washed the leg and applied some nolvasan (chlorhexidine) cream to the scabs. I thought wrapping might be bad because of all the scabbing and didn’t want the wrap to rub on him. I asked my BM to let me know how he was in the morning and the report was that he was pretty much how I had described him the night before but still happy and eating.

After not hearing from the vet all morning on Thursday even after sending her a text I called her office in the afternoon. Turns out my vet was in the hospital (and still is from what I know currently) hence the way she went completely missing. I have no details on what is going on and hopefully she is okay and will be back soon. Anyways, the other vet in her clinic is only small animal, leaving me on my own unless I want to contact someone new. Since my horse was still eating and pooping and didn’t have a fever I figured I’d soldier on while wondering what the hell was going on.

Thursday night the heat had progressed to his hoof as well so I figured what the hell lets just pack the foot too. So I did that.

Thursday night’s ensemble

Last night he was then swollen more above the hoof wrap and everything was otherwise much the same besides that he had rubbed the outside scab bloody at the top. He was maybe walking just a smidge better but still quite crippled. Still no fever and still eating food. I decided after texting a bunch of friends (thanks guys for listening to me freak out) to give him a dose of antibiotics and wrap his actual leg despite some of my concerns because I realized that we wrap his leg even when it’s hot and blown up with cellulitis (been there a few too many times!). I put cream on the leg that I sometimes use on his hind scabs then saran wrap and then a pillow wrap and put the beast away.  No pictures because by then my hands were freezing off between having my gloves off for crazed texting and leg treatment.

Today his leg still looked and felt about the same although the scabby skin looked a bit better. He did have a little bit of liquid running down his hoof at the same site as the abscess from hell from about 2 years ago (link to a collage about the abscess from hell). It didn’t have a smell and after cleaning it off I couldn’t find a hole and nothing more appeared so the mysteries continue. I’ll go back tonight to wrap him up again and give him his third dose of antibiotics.

The mystery continues…



  1. Erika

    Mystery lameness is the WORST! I hope he heels up soon and that you get some answers.

  2. KateRose

    Oh my lord. That’s insane! Sounds like you are on the right track, hope he’s feeling 100% soon.

  3. L. Williams

    I hate mystery lameness, i hope you get to the bottom of it!

  4. Emma

    Stampede has officially attained Sensitive Chestnut Level 3000. Good luck, and hope your vet feels better soon too!

  5. kalinann

    Mystery lameness is the absolute worst.

  6. Tracy

    Good grief! Sending you all the healing vibes I can spare ❤️

  7. Carly

    What the hell, Stampy! I’m sorry to hear about your vet, but hopefully for your sanity she’s back in action soon!

  8. carey

    How frustrating. Hope you figure it out!

  9. heartofhope10

    Oh Stampy, buddy, only one mystery lameness at a time. 🙁 Sending good thoughts your way!

  10. rooth

    Ugh sounds awful but I’m glad he’s not feverish (silver lining?). Thinking of y’all

  11. Hannah

    I hope you figure it out and he feels better soon! Mystery lameness is never fun.


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