My TB gelding was bitten on the withers by another gelding 4 months ago. His withers became swollen and eventually an abscess burst. When it first occurred, it was so bad that my gelding wouldn’t reach his head down to graze and I had to hang all of his hay up high. Under supervision of the vet, I spent an entire month going out every day and flushing the wound with hydrogen peroxide (not an easy task) and applying topical antibiotic. He was also on excede shots that the vet was giving him. The vet also opened the drainage hole wider. Come a month later it starts to close up but messily. A few weeks later, it reopens. I have a different vet come out- they take x-rays: no bone chip. Culture it, it is not brucellis so not fistulous withers. They continue with the excede, prescribe him an oral antibiotic, and I continue flushing the wound with a sterile salt water/betadine solution this time followed by topical antibiotic.
A month later, he seems completely healed. Abscess has healed cleanly. I wait 3 weeks and the vet gives me the OK to start riding him lightly. Everythings great. I go out of town for 2 weeks (during which point he’s not being ridden) and he has a blanket put on him because its -10 here. I come back and the abcess has reopened. It seems very shallow and small compared with previously and he doesn’t seem to be in too much pain, but I have no money left after $2000 down the drain, and I’m emotionally exhausted from having to basically traumatize him by flushing the wound every day.
I don’t know what to do. Do you think at this point it could go away on its own and it was just because of the blanket? Should I be worried that this might require surgery? Lastly, do you think it would make it worse to start riding him lightly if the saddle is not touching the sore and riding doesn’t cause him pain? This upcoming summer was going to be one of my last seasons competing him (not that I’ll have the money for it this summer), and having lost 4 months is a big deal because he gets stiff when he’s not in work Final question, for anybody who has read this novel I appreciate your patience: I haven’t asked for a dime from the owner of the horse that bit him. However, I’m pretty upset that she didn’t offer to pay, especially because she mischaracterized her gelding (new to the barn) to both me and the barn owner as an extremely passive gelding (not the case, he has gone after multiple of the horses and has actually now been kicked off the farm by bullying). Do you think it would be fair to try to contact her and ask for money?