Maybe this isn’t her first stitches in her life, but in 12 years this is her first stitches with me. Strap in for this week’s story time.
I had just gotten off work. I was feeling good. I was planning out my night – what I was gonna eat for dinner (a veggie burrito bowl I was excited to make). I had to stop by the barn on my way home to scrub eve’s scar leg because I hadn’t done it in a couple days (you can read about her scar leg here). I figured I could stop by, scrub her leg, check her supplements and then eat dinner around 6:30pm.
I walked into the barn and opened Eve’s stall door. I said HELLO PRINCESS as I usually do as I went to pet her head. As soon as I did, she pulled away. And my radar immediately went off like f*** something’s wrong. I took my phone flashlight and saw a deepish cut on her head. It looked old and was kind of hidden. I hadn’t seen her the day prior because I – god forbid – spent a day with my boyfriend. I got some people at the barn to evaluate it, and it was really hard to tell. Eve just wouldn’t hold her head still. She didn’t want anyone to touch it or even look at it. As the barn staff told me, “just the pressure of my gaze was too much for Eve to handle,” which made me laugh because Eve was being the most dramatic. It didn’t look like a serious wound. It seemed superficial. I tried to clean it out with betadine and spent 30 minutes trying to scrub it while standing on a bucket. I got a little bit on there, but Eve was just straight up being an asshole.
We didn’t make any progress, so I moved her back down in front of her stall and tried to find some antibiotic ointment to slather on it. And wouldn’t you know, I didn’t have any. I had alcohol in every possible way it’s manufactured, drawing salve, furazone, syringes, oral antibiotics, leg wraps, epsom salt, gauze pads of all types, aloe vera cream – but no triple antibiotic ointment. I was all set to treat a puncture wound, leg injury or abscess, but I had nothing for that ravine on her face. I eventually found Tricare which was similar to what I needed. I had to stand on my tack trunk and spent another HOUR trying to get it in there. I had to slowly pet the top of her neck and work my way up to her ears and head. And it was when I was petting her on the top of her head that I really felt the swelling.
There was a swollen knot right above the laceration, and I had seen that when I first got there which made me snap a pic to my vet asking for their opinion. But when I was standing on the tack trunk feeling around by her ears, I saw the swelling spread around her ears, poll and that whole top right corner of her head. I was like shit. If it was a superficial wound, there wouldn’t be this much swelling. So I scheduled an appt with my vet the next day to come take a look. Honestly, whether or not there was swelling, the vet had to come out anyway. Eve required sedation to treat her face. I couldn’t even guess at what was happening up there because she wouldn’t even let people take a photo (photos apparently hurt).
I didn’t get to eat my veggie burrito bowl last night because after I talked to my vet and got medicine on Eve’s face, it was 9pm. So that was nice.
The vet came out today. I had to leave work and hold her. They sedated Eve once, and we had to use a twitch because she was god awful. They scrubbed it really good and flushed it out and saw that the cut went under her forelock, and under the skin a few inches where that knot was. It was great. They thought stitches would be a good plan even though it was an old-ish wound. They injected her 20 times to numb the area. Plus gave her more sedation. I should say I am extremely squeamish when it comes to needles and I have always nearly passed out when the vet comes. Whether they’re looking in her eye or drawing blood or digging in a puncture – I always feel lightheaded and have to sit down. The vet came at noon and I had barely eaten or drank anything. I thought for sure I was going to pass out especially because Eve got like 10 injections with needles PLUS the needle for the stitches going in and out of the wound. But did I pass out? No. In fact, I had zero reaction to the needles at all. I didn’t even feel faint or lightheaded or anything. For the first time in 12 years of owning Eve, I was unphased. I think Eve finally cured me.
It was either Eve or the constant rush of adrenaline I felt when Eve was so doped up, she was swinging from side to side and I was worried she was going to just fall over on the hard concrete, break her body and die. She was standing so awkwardly and at one point almost did fall over when she couldn’t put her leg down right. She was drunk as shit. That was probably the scariest part – making sure she didn’t fall.
But she didn’t. Praise Jesus. Despite Eve being unable to feel her head wound anymore from the numbing, and the great amount of sedation she was on, Eve still managed to be an absolute asshat while getting her stitches. She was supposed to get 8 stitches, but ended up only getting 7 because the vet didn’t want to die that day and said it wasn’t worth it. Which I agree.
The stitches come out in 2 weeks, if they don’t fall out before then. I just have to monitor the wound over the next few weeks and make sure it’s healing ok. The swelling has already decreased a ton, so that’s reassuring. It looks a lot better. Eve is on antibiotics while it heals and bute as well. If I’m able, I’m supposed to put triple antibiotic ointment on it, but I doubt Eve will be cooperative. If I have to stand on a tack trunk and massage my way up to her ears for an hour every night just to put some medicine on it, I might just not and say I did.