Thursday, October 09, 2008

the rafer johnson report

(photo credit to son)

The vet came by today and did radiographs of Rafer Johnson's leg, right through the cast. The bone is fused about halfway across, and you can clearly see that the rest is fusing.

We decided to leave the cast on for one more week, and next Thursday he'll be getting this cast removed and a new, hopefully slightly smaller one, put on.

The vet will saw this one in half and save it so that we can possibly reuse it as a bivalve cast in the last stretch.

There was a small pressure sore, more like a calloused area, just inside the current cast, so we applied some Neosporin while he was still groggy and now he is back munching hay!

The vet was very pleased with the progress and the fact that Rafer is getting around so well on the cast and is feeling so spirited. Rafer showed the vet he could not only buck but rear up on his hind legs, cast and all! He did not really want the sedative injection today but he settled down and did a great job.

Salina was in the back field whinnying and I think that got him a bit excited.

Anyway, we are very happy with the healing we're seeing - the vet said what you see on the radiograph is actually a conservative view of the healing that has occurred. And if you think of this as a 4-month process, we're only in week 5 of a 20-week time frame. (well, duh - no one corrected my math error - it's actually 16 weeks total!)

Whew! We're on the road to recovery. Not done yet, but it's good to see the progress.

Way to go, Rafer Johnson!


the7msn said...

Whew, indeed! This is great news. George and Alan, and I, are sending him our biggest hugs.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Time will pass quickly and it will all be over soon. Glad to hear he is healing so well. Way to go Rafer, you're the man, er donkey!

billie said...

Thanks Linda and Arlene - I was in his stall visiting for about 45 minutes before the vet came. He knew even before I separated Salina that something was brewing, and I wanted to get him doing the happy donkey snort for as long as possible before the vet truck drove up. :)

Salina did her galloping routine but thankfully calmed down and let herself relax with the geldings.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What a sweet photos of Rafer. He looks so small and protected there.

What awesome news to read about him this morning, though. You're all so close now, and Rafer's managing his ordeal with true class and spunk.

Woot! Woot!


billie said...

I discovered that sweet photo on my camera yesterday, and loved it. My son had the camera out taking pictures and he managed to capture some very lovely moments. It is so interesting to see what different members of the family "see" with the camera.

Thanks for the good wishes - I am so happy to have that radiograph image in my mind's eye now. Healing in process. :)

Janet Roper said...

Way to go Rafer Johnson! Hip hip hurrah!
Janet & Shiloh

billie said...

Thank you, Janet - now that we know the healing is going well, I am really looking forward to the cast change next week.

Victoria Cummings said...

I'm so glad to hear that Rafer's recovery is going smoothly. I just love the way Salina watches out for her little buddy - it was such a good idea for you to get a friend for her. I'm sure it's improved her life more than anyone can know.

Chris said...

That's awesome news! It's lovely to know that even if they're in a cast, they can still have such a lively spirit.

Indeed, a gorgeous photo too.

billie said...

Thanks, Chris - he has had exactly 2 mopey days since this happened. He's an inspiration in so many ways.

billie said...

Victoria, I often wonder what she's thinking. She adores Rafer and he is her top priority but I also know she loves spending time with Keil Bay. I try to make sure she gets some time with him in the field every day or so, and sometimes let him be with her in the barnyard so they can graze side by side.

She will take about a ten-minute break from Rafer before returning to his side. She knows when I give her a break that I'm staying with Rafer myself, so he is never left alone, but even so, she limits it to about 10 minutes. It still amazes me that you can set a clock by her. She will soak a hoof or accept hosing for precisely 20 minutes, she knows when feed time is and lines up at the feed room door, and she has a perpetual timer on how long it's okay to be away from her young donkey charge.