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1 month of pen rest complete

top tips for surviving pen rest

After 6 weeks of box rest for Scottie’s most recent injury, I was surprised and relieved to get the news that Scottie could start some pen rest! But this came with it’s only stresses…

Scottie has always been a nightmare on pen rest. He drags you out to the field. He leaps around inside the pen being stupid. And if that wasn’t enough, he has a terrible habbit of escaping from his pen. So while I was relieved that he was allowed to start going out, as long as he was sensible, I wasn’t sure how long it would last.

We had a strict plan to build it up over a month. We were starting at an hour a day in a pen about twice the size of his stable. Over the month we were going to build up to 3 hours a day in a 15x15m square.

As expected, our pen rest certainly came with it’s dramas. Week 1 included Scottie rolling into the electric fence and a rather dramatic walk back in from the pen when his best friend wasn’t out.

Week 2, he slipped on the yard, just walking in nicely. He cut his knees and a fetlock open. Luckily, they were all superficial and while they did swell up a little bit, he was quite comfortable. But by this point, he was starting to get quite bored in the stable. He was regularly chewing the scabs off his legs as they healed, taking the healing back a step. Touch wood, he seems to have stopped this now.

Not long after slipping on the yard, Scottie started rubbing his bum raw in the stable. At first, his tail looked fine, he was just rubbing his bum cheek. He rubbed it raw. His legs and sheath swelled up and it looked awful. I’m fairly convinced this was one of his weird reactions to an insect bite or sting. I treated it how I usually treat these flare ups, with anti histamines & bute. And it slowly improved.

However, before it started to get better, he did start to damage his tail too. This meant he gave himself more itchy scabs to rub. I tried everything. I tried anti itch lotions, I tried washing every day. I tried leaving it. I tried brushing it regularly. I tried a mixture of everything. But I found that getting him out for 3 hours a day in the pen, giving him plenty of hay and extra toys in the stable really helped stopped him rubbing and I think we are slowly getting there. He started rubbing again after coming off anti histamines, so he has taken a bit of a back step. He’s due worm tests next week, so I’m going to include a pinworm test with it, just to be sure. I’m fairly convinced it’s a mixture of being bored and the skin being itchy where it’s healing. I just want to rule worms out as the problem.

But, despite Scottie being an absolute pain in the ass in terms of minor injuries and issues, he has actually been very well behaved. He hasn’t been silly in the pen, he is occasionally a bit silly when you’re walking to get him in, but really very well behaved compared to how he usually is in the field! So on that side of things, I really can’t complain.

We are having a catch up with our vet next week to work out what we do next.

Last Updated on 22/09/2023

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