Beluga’s Bumps, Bruises and Other Updates

Black horse named Beluga standing facing the camera with mouth wide open looking like she's laughing.

Still pretty in my eyes.

I’ve had baby Beluga for two months now, which is crazy to think because it feels like much longer. The progress we’ve made together has been wonderful and doesn’t seem possible under such a short period of time. She is very much not the same horse who arrived on the ranch, in more ways than one. Admittedly she is in the middle of a very ugly growth spurt, and bares little resemblance to the dainty long limbed yearling I purchased… only two months ago. When exactly did she get so bum high? And where did her neck go?? Oh and now she has a large bald spot that showcases, very nicely, the softball sized hematoma on her chest.

Two weeks ago she jumped out of her paddock and grazed her chest – on a fence post presumably – just between her forelegs. I came home that evening after my classes and found her in the field adjacent her to paddock, hanging out with her two paint pony friends. It wasn’t until I got closer that I noticed she was missing hair and there was already swelling in the area. A lot of swelling in fact, that looked and felt like a warm fluid-filled sac. Did I mention she is going through an ugly phase? My first reaction was to call the vet to have him drain it, but he informed me we should wait since it was likely to get bigger until enough pressure had built up in the site for the damaged blood vessels to stop leaking. Even though it looked bad, the fluid would eventually reabsorb and overall the healing process would be easier than if we had lanced it – since we would have been dealing with an open wound and risking infection.

The vet told me to hang tight and apply cold pressure to it over the next 24 hours. It has been fourteen days now and Beluga’s bump has shrunk and feels more gel-like. Now I message it regularly and walk her around as I am supposed to, but it’s still going to be another month or two before it goes away completely. I tell all my friends who are interested in meeting her but haven’t yet; they’re gonna have to wait until summer. Hopefully by then she won’t have any new Quasimodo bumps and bruises, and she’ll have grown out of her awkward not-a-yearling-but-not-quite-a-two-year-old stage.

Postscript: I’m late in getting my post up because of the recent flurry of due dates and finals. My life has become this uncomfortable juggle of getting enough sleep so as not to be a zombie but still staying up late enough to finish papers and study. Really really looking forward to the holidays, Christmas and rum eggnog! Until next week. :)

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