Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Ugh. It's always something.

Jetta appears to have a large hematoma on her belly. On Monday I had her tied up at the barn while I went to fetch Misty from the pasture since she was being difficult and I was taking both horses back up to the barn I board at.

Apparently I didn't tie a good enough knot because I come back and Jetta is standing with the lead rope completely untied almost, save the end has a knot tied in it so it was still connected to the tie ring. She had the rope between her legs and was standing with her head down and breathing hard. She had rope burn across her back legs and on her belly. It appears that she got the rope wrapped around her hind legs and between her front legs so when she felt tension she pulled really hard and got hurt.

I didn't really think much of it. She wasn't lame, the rope burns weren't bleeding, just leaking a bit of serum. The rope burn on her belly looked pretty owie, it had made a dent about 1/4" deep into her stomach. I put some ointment on it and drove the horses up to the barn and left her in the pasture for the day.

Yesterday I got there and it was really, really swollen. I had a minor meltdown - two options, hematoma or hernia. The hematoma seemed the most likely option. The swelling wasn't hard but it wasn't squishy either. I didn't feel any "hole" in there like there would be for a hernia. It was hot to the touch, not painful but she didn't particularly like me poking it hard (understandably). Temp was normal as were all other vital signs. I iced it and her back legs which were also quite swollen. She wasn't lame but did seem a little short strided understandably with her hind legs since they were twice their normal size so they got standing wraps.

Everything was normal - her demeanor (bratty and trying to kick my head off when I wrapped her back legs), she ate, drank, pooped normally while I was there.

Today I came to the barn expecting it to look worse. Lots of internet searching convinced me it was a hematoma. Luckily its not any bigger meaning it's probably done bleeding. It had just migrated a bit more towards her midline. I unwrapped her legs and they're back to their normal size

I called the trainer over and asked her if she had any experience with hematomas, which she did. She looked at it and seconded that it was a hematoma. She recommended I alternate heat and cold packs, also that I could use DMSO on it to speed healing. Also, that I should wrap the rope burns on her hind legs to keep the scabs soft and hopefully speed healing and prevent proudflesh.

She thought I should still be able to ride just fine, so I think I'm going to give her the rest of the week off, but maybe lunge her a bit. Then we'll ease back into riding and if it gets any bigger I'll stop. 

Oh the joy.


  1. Ouch! Hope that goes away really quickly.

  2. Ooh. That can't feel good. Hope she heels quickly.

  3. How are you using the DMSO to treat it? My horse has a hematoma on his chest that we just found. I haven't dealt with them before. Ugh, silly ponies!
    Hope Jetta gets better soon!

    1. Kelly - I bought a little roll-on bottle of DMSO to use. It's supposed to help break up clots and help the body reabsorb the blood. You have to use it on clean, dry skin. Any residues on the skin will be carried into the horse since DMSO is a strong solvent. Hope your horse heals quickly too!

  4. Oww! I hope you can get rid of it soon!

  5. Oh no! Thats horses for you though. Hope she heals up fast.