Dec 03

Chronic affliction blows crone’s lobe

By the shaking jumping ghost of Jehosaphat (by which oath crones occasionally swear when they’ve already yagged out “god fucking dammit to hell are you fucking kidding me” about 67 times and are then inclined toward a brief, restful phase of ironic 19th-century folksiness), I tell you I can’t stand it another minute. By gum.

Pitiful horse tragically afflicted with volcanic lumpage

I allude, of course, to the chestnut mare Ginger Rogers and her absurd propensity for mysterious lumpages and repellent edemas. Journey with me now, back through the mists of time, to the dreadful day a couple of weeks ago when Ginger Rogers presented with giant, leaking, crusty umbilical pus-bags. Recall that her epidermis was riddled with lumps the size of grape tomatoes, some of which had ruptured to emit that yellow crust that looks like raw sugar. I appealed to the CoTH forum and even to a couple of veterinarians for advice. From the forum I got sympathy — which was nice — and from the vet, in lieu of a diagnosis, I got a 5-day course of dex, some Dermalone ointment, and an expensive lab test for pigeon fever that eventually came back negative and/or inconclusive.

And so my desperate struggle began. Twice a day, every day, whether it was windy, or chilly, or even partly cloudy, I fought my way to the paddock with my little first aid pail. I sponged off the crust, applied Betadine and Dermalone, administered apples spiked with dex tablets, and fretted feebly, wiping a tear from my jaundiced eye. A more pitifuler tableau you never saw.

I forgot my latex gloves a couple of times, so stay tuned for the post where I complain about getting laminitis from the steroids.

Everything a crone needs to ineffectively combat oozing lumpomas.

Anyway, knock me over with a feather, Ginger Rogers’ condition cleared right up. To celebrate we hoisted cups of wassail on the Lido deck and played air drums to Led Zeppelin IV long into the night. We all thought her hideous disfigurement was a thing of the past.

Well, we couldn’t have been more wrong. It’s as if the affliction, stunned only momentarily by my steroidal offensive and inspired by the oath-taking Crones of Cottonmouth County, has raised itself up, shaken its fist at the sky, and sworn by Grabthar’s hammer and the suns of Minivan that it will be avenged. It’s even more gruesome than before. Ginger Rogers’ embattled ventral midline looks like supersized, hairy, weeping cottage cheese, and over the rest of her body, including her face and ears, festers a superabundance of those horrific oozing boils. Her epidermis is like unto a miniature primordial volcanoscape. It is most gross.

Currently I await the phone call from the vet. In all likelihood she’ll tell me to bring the horse back in, so I’d better go out and begin the 3-hour process of hooking up the horse trailer. My mental preparations for the white-knuckle ordeal of solo horse hauling consist of ingesting a couple of Ativans.

So, that’s about it. I don’t really have anything else. Possibly you think that this blog should serve a loftier purpose than that of a self-indulgent chronicle of my petty daily vexulations. I guess you’re probably right.


Skip to comment form

  1. Susan

    I had this problem with my older TB – he was covered in large hives that developed a secondary infection on top, making them crusty and oozing, and a puddle of edema in his belly. After spending hundreds of dollars on topicals and steriods and antibiotics, I tried a course of probiotic, on the advice of a holistic vet (Madalyn Ward – holistichorsekeeping.com). Within 24 hours hives had nearly disappeared.
    Hives are a manifestation of something out of balance in the gut. Or they can be, anyway.
    Good luck,

  2. ChariD

    Admittedly, I know nothing about horses, but could it be some sort of allergy? Good luck with the horse hauling and I hope the vet is able to diagnose something this time.

  3. buttonwillow

    With us it’s a round robin of girth galls (been through 2 saddles and five types of girths and covers now, but i am getting pretty good at bareback riding) and random other complaints (mysteriously swollen knee, hoof abscess, limping with no apparent cause). I haven’t really ridden in a saddle for over a month now and since I just had some personal maintenance done it’ll be at least another. Of course right now she’s just fine.
    They just seem to go through these phases. Hopefully Ginger will straighten up and fly right.

  4. Val

    A very quick PubMed search:


    (In other words, a dose of ESe – Vit E/selenium – wouldn’t hurt a thing)

    – from the specialist in long-distance diagnostics 😉

  5. Satchel

    If my daily vexulations were that gruesome, you’d better believe that I’d be whinging about them 24/7. In any case I hope the transport is uneventful and something can be done for Ginger tout de suite.

  6. Angela

    Say, isn’t the whole point of this blog to detail the chronic cavils of crone circumstances?

  7. tinagrrl

    SELL !! Move back to Austin, and or other citified places — then you can pine away for the wonderful country life.

  8. gingerest

    “Possibly you think that this blog should serve a loftier purpose than that of a self-indulgent chronicle of my petty daily vexulations” – PISH AND TOSH. It says right on top, “Dreadful Acres”, and specifies “Country life is a cascade of awesome horrors.” You could blog for a decade about this and still not offset the pastoralist blatherings of Marlowe (I bet he never so much as laid eyes on a sheep) much less the blockheaded bucolicism of the Transcendentalists.

    Suddenly I realize I’ve been humming “Simple Gifts” the whole time I’ve been writing this.

    Life in the country has been a wrongheaded fantasy of the city-dweller for as long as there’ve been cities.

  9. M.K. Hajdin

    A dumb suggestion perhaps, or perhaps not, if humans and horses are more alike than I think.
    (TMI alert)
    I get gross, painful, inflamed boil type things on my thighs that I was ever having to pierce and drain with a needle. I got them even while I was taking antibiotics, so I suspected it was something other than a bacterial infection. The strange but effective cure? Antifungal foot powder dusted over the area. Didn’t make the boils go away, but seemed to prevent them from coming back.

    Maybe Ginger’s got a fungus?

  10. Comradde PhysioProffe

    I don’t know jacke dicke about horses, so no useful advice, but I do hope the vets can figure out what is wrong with your horse and treat her effectively so she feels better!

  11. Ron Sullivan

    Cripes, and here I was thinking that chicken- and cat-herding on the place we were farmsitting last month was gruesome.

    OK, not so gruesome, because somebody else had to clean out the henhouse/part-time chicken run. Still.

    But I’m still upset that Nigel found one of the hens dead Monday morning, of no obvious cause.

  12. The Crone of Cottonmouth County

    Dead chicken? That’s gross. You know what else is gross? Dead vulture. I had one croak in the middle of my driveway. Up close, those birds are twice as big as you think they are.

  13. Ron Sullivan

    Oh my. What does it take to kill a vulture??

    Turkey vulture or black vulture. You know I gotta ask.

    Also, in the It Could Be Even Worse slot: Vultures have been known, when disturbed, to vomit down chimneys.

  14. Ron Sullivan

    Nigel sez, over my shoulder, re the late chicken: Please note that the flock was in a secure predator-proof enclosure overnight and that’s where we found her; no sign of trauma, so we can rule out fowl play.

    Yeah, I’m indulgent.

  15. minervaK

    Oy vey. Festering boils? All over? Poor horsie. Wish I could help.

  16. Pinko Punko

    GC was driving with the Goob into the neighborhood and the vultures were having one of their gatherings and when it is 3-4 you think maybe they are sharing an armadillo, but she said there were about 20-30 hanging out on a house and on the sidewalk and in some trees just kind of looking, and then at that point you figure some vulture Cyrus is running a meeting where all the vulture gangs are gonna get together and take over, or alternatively some neighbor has a pile of bodies or maybe is butchering something in their backyard, or RE: Ron Sullivan, maybe they were having their chimney barf draft. The only options are creepy!

  17. kathari

    I have no idea why you should follow my advice but I am inexplicably yet strongly moved to suggest that you try the following on the pustules:

    Lightly cook several onions (i.e. bake on low for a short time) til they become a bit translucent and lose their rawness.
    Process into a paste. Mix with binding agent such as bentonite clay or oat flour. Apply.

    Also try control group with uncooked, raw onion paste.

    I dunno, Onion Gods just wanted me to tell you this. I think it has to do with the sulfur compounds.

  18. Janet

    I have had a very similar issue with my horse that turned out to be an allergic reaction to mosquito bites. It comes and goes mysteriously. I don’t see it for a few years and then suddenly there will be a hive encrusted puss ball in my field. Antihistamine does the trick.

  19. Ron Sullivan

    Pinko P: Vultures roost communally, and 20-30 in one place isn’t out of the question. I was thinking maybe your friend just caught some late risers or early-to-bed types, but the bit about the sidewalk… I dunno.

    We had a local scandal this year, come to think of it, and What Kills Vultures: Someone in El Cerrito (just north of Berkeley, nifty little town and way ahead of us in some ways) had a vulture nest in their backyard, and they were watching with happy interest as the vulture couple raised their chick. Unfortunately, the baby was barely on its way out of the nest when it died in their yard of secondary poisoning from rat bait.

    I saw pix of the li’l critter — surprisingly cute. Fluffy, even.

  20. Anne

    Hi Crone

    Trevelyan from COTH here. A friend of mine just had a horse with similar bizarre symptoms – alhough he had a fever as well. Her vet posted about it on facebook, as its a very unusual case. At any rate, worth mentioning to your vet.


    BTW, Love your blog!

  21. The Crone of Cottonmouth County

    Oh hell. Now I have to sign up for Facebook again. Thanks for the link, Anne!

    And Janet, antihistamines are the next course of action if the condition recurs, although the vet said they don’t work nearly as well in equines as they do in humans. Of course.

  22. claudia

    Turmeric is said to help with eruptions and boils, even in dogs (and definitely in humans, as eating some daily has helped my tragic adult acne). Can’t hurt, might help?

  23. stacey

    I never thought I would be so glad to learn about equine pustules and the various remedies for them. I avidly await chronic chrone chronicles.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>