I got Cuzco cleaned up last night, and he clearly had a very narrow escape. It’s hard to tell from the photos because of all the hair, but he has bites on both sides of his neck, and the upper portion of it is swollen and obviously stiff and sore. He has a couple of shallow puncture wounds, but we’re on the third day out and there’s no pus or swelling or even oozing from them, so I don’t think he’ll need antibiotics. I’ll just keep them cleaned out with some iodine and I think he should be ok. I think his studded collar, of all things, helped protect his lower neck. There were no wounds down there, and some of the studs look a bit bashed up, so thank goodness for fancy collars with double rows of metal studs!
Cuzco is very lucky he didn’t lose his left eye. I saw first thing that he had a scrape under it along the lower eye socket. What I saw later when I was cleaning him up was that he had a corresponding wound on top of his head in the spot where the horn is missing. It looks to me like a coyote grabbed Cuzco’s head in his jaws, and the upper teeth took out a chunk of skin on top while the lower teeth put the gash just under the left eye. Both are quite shallow. The one on top took all the skin off so the bone is showing through right behind his scur, but it hardly bled and he can’t feel it at all. That was the spot where his horn was removed, so there were no muscles, nerves, or blood vessels under the skin… just bone.
He has numerous shallow bite marks along his back and sides but only one kind of nasty one. But it’s no worse than some of the ones I’ve seen my horse, Skokie, give him in the past. He also has some scrapes that I suspect are from running through a dozen or so barbed wire fences over three miles of countryside. But nothing serious. Mostly he just looks traumatized. He’s barely eating right now, but I suspect he’ll settle down over the next few days. Unfortunately, I have to chain him up because he already tried to run off to the neighbors’ this morning when I let him out of the pen. I suppose I could just keep him locked in the pen, but I’m hoping he’ll eat sooner if he has fresh browse instead of hay. So he’ll stay on the tether until he starts feeling at home here again. He’s so jumpy, I’m afraid anything could set him running for the woods if he’s not restrained.
I’m just so glad he’s ok. I was praying I’d find his body. I never expected we’d find him alive, especially so far from home after two days and two nights!