Friday, August 26, 2016

God is Laughing At Me

This is the kind of thing that really makes me wonder if there is such a thing as fate, destiny, or karma.  Luck perhaps?  Although that doesn't seem to quite cover the sublime irony of it all.

Maybe it's that greasy little guy in the orange Naugahyde Easy-Chair who is always peering down at us just waiting for the perfect moment to let loose with the cosmic fly swatter?

Yeah, him.  I bet he's laughing his ass off right now.


As anyone who knows me or has read this blog for any amount of time would guess, one of the first things I did with Ben when he got here a couple of weeks ago was carefully inspect his feet.  I had looked at them, of course, and they are mostly in decent shape.  They were in need of a trim and one of them had what appeared to be deep sulcus thrush in the frog.  This can be painful and cause a lot of problems if left untreated, but it is nothing I haven't dealt with before.  It needs to be taken seriously, but it can be fixed and I am not intimidated by it.

I got out my preferred cure and my hoof knife and set to work.  And that is when I heard the first tiny whisper of doubt in the back of my mind.  Being a typical human, I am as good as the next guy at callously ignoring clear evidence that points to an unwanted truth.  We only believe what we want to believe.

When I injected the thrush treatment into the sulcus area, I was met with a nasty, grey ooze creeping back out of the crevice, which is not good and not normal.  It had an odd smell and looked entirely unwholesome.  The whisper got a little louder, but I didn't want to hear it so I stuffed it in a box with a tight lid and shoved it into a dark, unused corner of my mind.  I got out the big guns and packed the foot with my magical Magic Cushion and wrapped it well with an elastikon bandage.

Secure in my denial and faith in Magic Cushion, which has not let me down yet, I left the foot to heal in its medicated wrap.  Last Sunday, I took the wrap off and inspected the results.  The Magic Cushion had worked a little bit of it's magic and the nasty grey ooze was gone, as was the weird smell.  However, what was revealed was the true culprit:  a soft, white, fleshy mound growing where no such thing should be.  It bled profusely with the tiniest scratch and was surrounded by unhealthy, grey tissue.

That mean little whisper I had been working so very hard to ignore, burst out of its box, full grown, loud and screaming at me, "You see?!  I TOLD YOU SO!  Now you're in for it. You should have listened to me."

I knew what I was looking at, even though I never thought to actually see it in real life, and could no longer deny the plain truth of it.  I still find myself shaking my head in stunned disbelief though.  I already have a donkey with a weird, rare hoof problem, how could I end up with another?

And besides that, this is one of those bizarre, odd, rare diseases you read about in a magazine with a combination of horrified fascination and secret gratitude that it won't ever actually happen to you.  It couldn't possibly.  Surely not.  And surely not to someone who already has a donkey with a foot problem.  That shit just doesn't happen right?


It does happen and it's been confirmed by the farrier at Cornell and by my vet, who probably thought I was kidding when I called her and told her I thought Ben has Canker.

But he does.

God is so laughing at me.


  1. No fair! My own experience of canker is limited to a heavy horse being treated for it in one of the All Creatures Great and Small books. Does not sound like fun! A least he landed in the right barn to have it diagnosed and treated, though!

  2. Oh no. Poor Donk. Poor you. I know nothing about it. Is it treatable?

  3. Holy Moly Kris. Are you going to be the one to clean it out? Peroxide and acetone together sounds like it will explode!!

    Look at it this way: if Ben hadn't come into your life, his chances of being sound would be slim.
    And YOU ARE the best farrier this side of Cornell! xoxo

  4. God isn't laughing at you. Fate, destiny, what have you brought poor sweet Ben to you because you are one of the few people in this world who could manage his problem. God/whatever (I'm not a big believer) is using your skills to help this guy. Of course YOUR stress level, emotional investment, time, energy, $$, etc . . . apparently THAT isn't taken into consideration! (Or maybe it helps you in some way??)

  5. Well this description is what Siera had last year. I've worked closely with a Nationally and Internationally certified farrier and we went from NO frog and grey ooze in March...then Dan stepped in and now Siera has normal feet. She had NO frogs and grey ooze in one front foot, one hind foot.
    He didn't call it canker, but he did say it was a serious issue.
    I hope you can work with this as Ben looks like such a great animal to be with.

  6. The link wouldn't work for me so I "binged" it and found a good article on Equus Magazine. I can't express how sorry I am that you and Ben are facing this. Neither of you deserve it. Having always lived in the desert, I am thankfully unaware of these many hoof conditions that thrive in wet conditions. But you are up to it---soldier on.

  7. This is no laughing matter! I will agree with Shelly though, you are probably the best person for Ben. He's lucky to have you. Breathe. You can do this.

  8. Oh my a I am so sorry...hope you are up to the task to get rid of it. God must have thought so or Ben wouldn't be at your farm:)

  9. Ben is very lucky to have found you to get him through this.

  10. Sorry to hear that, Kris. Try this:

  11. Good Heavens...I have a question? Is Canker in a hoof related to sarcoids?
    I have been so enjoying the new addition! H has at least come to a place where he will be properly cared for!