The Dude’s Nubbin

So Ollie’s had a little nubbin that sprouted up in his tail dock right before our Poplar schooling show. I was brushing his tail one day, and stopped dead in my tracks when I felt some resistance. Pushed the hair aside, and WELL HELLO LITTLE GRAY MASS. Naturally, being the worried worrier that I am, I freaked out. A vet came out, took a look and basically surmised, “Grey horse. Melanoma, of course.”  Said to leave it alone until we couldn’t anymore, pretty much.

So we carried on as usual. But then Ollie started rubbing it against stuff like a dog in heat. By early this week, he had done this:


Gross, huh? The nubbin was trying to escape. Another vet was coming out to look at two other horses yesterday anyway, so I had him go ahead and take a look and see if that top part should just get cut off.

Only his first comment was, “That’s no melanoma.” It was potentially something more sinister…maybe a carcinoma. Maybe something else. But whatever it was, it should perhaps go ahead and come out, or at least take a biopsy. I opted for the more aggressive “Oh-my-god-let’s take-out-the-whole-thing” approach. Basically, I didn’t want to look back and think I hadn’t done enough.

So out it came, and the tissue sample results will come back in another week or two to let me know if we need to take any additional steps. But for now, there’s a giant gaping hole in his tail, as there wasn’t enough tissue left to close the wound – the mass was pretty sizable underneath the skin in addition to what could be seen on the outside. So Mr. Oliver gets wrapped and stall rest for a few days, and then gets to be turned out and even ridden again, shockingly. Basically, this nubbin was in the best possible place, pretty much, as far as nubbins go.

So now I wait. And hope it’s nothing. Ollie is my heart horse through and through – I’ve never met another horse like him, and very well might not again. His personality is larger than life, and he’s just The Best in general. And I’m not just being a biased mama! Everyone loves him – there’s just something about him. So I could use all the thoughts in the world that everything comes back OK.

But for now, you’d never know that he had surgery yesterday, aside from his bloody tail. Happy and pushy for treats, and pawing the ground when I’m not paying attention to him. Basically being his goofy, outgoing self. I wouldn’t expect anything less.