Saturday, August 31, 2013

Calming Down A Little and What the Vet Said

So yesterday I was kind of in a tizzy over all my animals falling apart.  Well Mason and Smarty are healing up just fine. So that is 2 less to fret over.

Butch has yet another lesion and a vet visit is inevitable.  But then Butch is also very old, and we have known for a long time that the end was not to far off for him.  Perhaps there is something to do be done, but if not, then it is what it is.  From the day I brought him home, I knew we would not have him for years and years, in fact we have had him much longer than I expected. We have done well by him, he has had a wonderful life with us, being spoiled rotten on a daily basis.  No I am not putting him in the ground yet, I'm just saying I have come to terms with how things are.  Fretting isn't going fix anything.

The vet visit went well and I can say I was so proud of my girl. She was a perfect doll for it all, even the vet said so.   We got some definite answers on some things, and some slightly less definitive answers on others, but we have a plan and I'm going to follow it.

Dr. R, started from scratch.  I had emailed her all of Sassy's history, but since we had gone in so many directions with her, we both felt that a fresh start was in order.  She began by watching her move and could see that she was clearly worse on the left than the right, but that there is lameness on both. Although on the straight away, she was sound.  She did a flexion test on both with no changes, although Sassy did resist the flexion more on the left.

Then she did nerve block.  She started with the outside left and we saw some improvement. Then she did the outside right with out much change. Then she did the inside left and the inside right. By time she was done Sassy was moving at least 90% better.  She attributed the other 10 % to her thinner soles and the terrain that she was moving on.  I had to agree with her on that because she would move perfect for several strides and then take a short step then move good again.

She isolated the pain to her heels, which we pretty much knew already.

Then she did the xrays.  There was no sign of the former coffin bone issue, so it has healed.  She showed us some very mild changes of her navicular bone.  Not the same changes that the last vet showed me, but they are there.  She said that she feels that this is the cause of her pain.

She gave me the option of doing the MRI, but also warned that because this has been a chronic issue, and not an acute issue, the treatment plan will most likely be the same.

Here is what we are going to do.  She wants me to take her to a specific farrier (not the same one who came to trim last time) who she feels has the correct experience to help her.  He is local so that is helpful.  She wants to see what the corrective shoeing does for her.  We may end up adding in some injections into her bursa depending on what we see with the shoeing.  She also wants her on a shorter farrier cycle. She says 8 weeks is too long, 5 weeks tops is what she needs. She also said that an anti-inflammatory dose of bute for a while (2 grams rather than 4) would be a good thing. Especially until she gets her corrective shoes.

She wants me to put her on injectable joint supplements, rather than oral, so that she gets an exact dose. Unfortunately with my job/financial situation, for now we will have to keep with the oral. But of course she said that Oral is better than nothing, so as soon as I can I will be getting some Cosequin. It is still expensive, but from the research I have done and the reviews, it seems to be my best choice for now.  I'm hoping I can get it at a discount rate at work....could I be so lucky?

If the shoeing and supplements don't make any difference, then we can go back to the MRI option. Although truthfully if it doesn't work, I will probably just put her down. I have to draw the line somewhere, and that is going to be it.

We also discussed Danny and his weight loss. She told me not to worry too much yet. She assured me that the move and extreme temperature changes effect an older horse a lot more than the younger ones. She told me I need to micro manage his food intake, keeping him on his own at feeding time to make sure he is getting all of his food. I have put him back on the Platinum performance and she said to keep him on that along with the senior feed. Then she said that even though he just had his teeth checked in April, and they were ok, to go ahead and get them floated asap.  She also said that she felt that he would be picking up very soon.  She said that a lot of older horses really flourish in the fall here, so we will see. I set him up in his own stall yesterday and he is just going to have to deal with it. He gets time out with Trax every day in the pasture, but he is going to have to be stalled by himself.

All in all she was very nice, she explained things on the xrays very well, made sure we didn't have any questions, and once again gave me some hope. We did discuss the option of doing a nervectomy, but I didn't like that plan.  She didn't either.  I liked though, that we discussed all the different options, and she was great about "whatever you want to do, we will do".

I am always afraid that my horses are overweight, but she said that Sassy is a perfect 5 and there is absolutely no laminitis at all going on. In fact, she said that everything in her xrays look fabulous except for those very minor navicular changes and her thin soles and under run heels.

Now after reading back over all of this, I recognize that corrective shoeing isn't going to heal her.  At this point I just don't want her to be in pain and I don't know what else to do except follow the vets instructions and see what happens. I know that there are people who can heal horses like this with the right barefoot trims and stuff. But I am not that person, I don't know anyone who is, so for now I will work with what I have.

Right now her and the King of the Fatties are out there wandering the property eating all the grass grown up around the trees.  They seem to be having a great time...oops no sooner did I type that, but TC came in and told me to go catch my horse. Seems Sassy went under my rope gate and out to the road.   You know what they say about the grass always being greener.  Now she is out puddle jumping in the arena. Digging in the water and just being her silly old self.

TC wants to go up to Globe today, so it is time for me to post this and get all my ponies back in their "homes" for the day.

1 comment:

  1. There is so much conflicting information out there, it is hard to know whats right. I am not entirely convinced that shoes on horses are a terrible thing. I used to have a great farrier who saved the life of one of my horses with shoes. Unfortunately, there is no one like that here now and every shoe these other guys put on, leads to trouble. I think it all comes down to who is putting the shoes on. Your new vet sounds sensible and if she has had good success working with this fellow then it makes sense to try. We all like to think we can fix every foot if we just find the right thing, the right barefoot trim, the right shoe, the right supplement, but genetics ARE a factor as well. Some things just are what they are. You have to work with what you've got. I hope this new protocol works out for both of you.