Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Well that escalated quickly

This latest round of #lamehorsechronicles has turned into a complete cluster fuck, my friends. I'd probably be more concerned about the well being of my horse if I wasn't too busy pulling my hair out and sobbing in frustration as everyone tells me something different but no one will actually tell me anything that helps.

Dear medical professionals,

Please talk to me like I'm a five year old and explain how to make my horse's boo-boo better.

Thx.

that cow collar really completes your look, bessie.

Let's recap before we get into the down and dirty.

Bobby's vet--let's call her Vet A--that's done all his diagnostic work since we moved up here, including the injury to the RF last year, reviewed the x-rays and pronounced Bobby a navicular horse with "significant changes". Put a three degree wedge on him and we'll go from there.

Farrier--if we were getting picky, which we're not, we'd call her something like Baby Jesus--also reviewed the x-rays and said, "No, those are not significant changes to the navicular bone. Certainly there is some degeneration there, but I feel confident that with shoeing we can get him feeling pretty much normal." She also said she'd be curious to see what Vet B had to say.

still incredibly large and incredibly awkward

Vet B is technically retired but still holds his license. He's BM's old vet and is still close friends with her, so we sent the x-rays off to him for a second (third?) opinion. All the sudden we go from navicular horse, to not so much of a problem navicular horse, to "This horse is never going to be completely sound for anything. He's going to be a money pit and you'd be doing yourself a favor to not pursue treatment."

Um, whut.

The x-rays were shoddily done, the horse has a bone chip in his foot, probably his coffin joint is ready to fall apart, and there's most definitely bursitis. I could inject this, that, and the other thing, but nothing would last. He might be sound for a short time, but nothing would ever be fixed.

"but will there be cookies?"

Obviously with that being about as far apart from what Vet A had told me as you could get, and being a REALLY SHITTY diagnosis and prognosis, I wasn't satisfied with that. I contacted JenJ who had told me she had a vet that could take a look at the images. She put me in contact with her vet, Vet C, who I sent all the reports and pictures over to, as well as what Vet A, B, and Farrier had told me. My plea was to just give me a clear picture of what the actual fuck I was looking at, and, without seeing the horse, how she'd recommend proceeding.

Vet C agreed that the navicular changes are currently a nonevent. Of all the things that could be going on, navicular is not at the top of the list for the guilty party. She was concerned with the angle of the coffin bone, and felt that a three degree wedge would angle the bone too severely and cause him more discomfort than he was already in. This also aligns with what Farrier discussed. She'd already planned on putting him in a two degree because of the angle instead, so that was good.

She saw no bone chip, instead saying there might be a cyst, but it was probably just bad x-rays. (So I glad I dropped $350 on shit x-rays. SO GLAD.)

too lame for walking last wednesday, so instead
we grazed out back.

Her line of thought was more possible soft tissue injury somewhere in the foot. She gave me lots of treatment options mostly revolving around injections, but her main message was that the best diagnostic tool for this case would be an MRI. Sadly I don't have $1k sitting around waiting to be shelled out for my horse's foot, nor am I currently interested in chasing down maybes with a needle that may or may not do my horse any good, and probably won't do any lasting help in the long run anyway.

So on Friday I took all this information to Farrier, and we agreed that the most likely scenario we're facing here is an acute injury inside the foot. Navicular doesn't just pop up overnight and make your horse 3/5 lame at the walk. Bobby competed barefoot heavily for three years on every footing known to man without ever having an issue in his feet. Too much jumping on too hard ground last month with changing angles in his feet probably did him in, but it's not necessarily the end of the world for him (that last bit varies dramatically depending on how morose I'm feeling at any given moment).

he takes getting new feet very seriously

We went ahead and put on aluminum shoes with a two degree wedge and a rocker toe to lift his foot up and alleviate heel pain. Initially she wanted to do a leather pad as well packed with Magic Cushion, but I've been packing them myself with Hawthorne's Sole Pack, and once she had his old shoe off, she felt his sole was feeling so much improved from the last time that she did without. He was also significantly less tender when she put the nails in this time around. Small wins!

those toes need to come back

fancy feets complete with sole pack

He's currently on bute to help him adjust, but he's slowly getting weaned off this week so we'll see how he feels without the aid of drugs. In the meantime though? When I walked him yesterday, he immediately felt looser and more comfortable all through his body. After our fifteen minutes were up (scintillating stuff I tell you), I cautiously asked him for a trot to check how he felt.

To the right? Sound as a dime.

To the left? Sound as a dime and trying to drag me over ground poles like a feisty sassy pants.

feel good, must eat pretty things to celebrate.

I'm in no rush to proclaim him magically fixed, and I'm resolutely sticking to a slow rehab schedule in the event this is a soft tissue injury, but that made me breathe a massive sigh of relief. We don't ever have to jump again if that's what this turns into, but I do need him to be sound enough to hold up to real dressage work.

Long term, he'll get the winter "off" to figure out shoeing needs and slowly seeing what sort of work we can bring him back into. If he still feels lame, or like we're still questioning what we're dealing with, in the spring I'll do the MRI and get a concrete answer.

Short term, my farrier is a magician. She should charge a surcharge for that shit. Only please don't because holy shit this horse is expensive.

"there is a fly, i cannot work in these conditions."

35 comments:

  1. Damn, dude. Glad JenJ was able to save the day, I like this prognosis a lot better than the first two.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hooray for excellent farriers! It really helps when they are willing to listen to you, the advice of vets, and try and find the best solution for your horse. I finally found one like that and she is a godsend....albeit expensive.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow. So much yikes. But glad that you have a plan, even if it required three vet opinions and baby Jesus the farrier! Hopefully vet #3 was right and a winter off plus special attention to his feet makes Bobby right as rain.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Blah, talk about some real ups and downs. Keeping my fingers crossed for y'all

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow I would be in the looney bin after being jerked around like that with fifteen different diagnoses! SO glad that the new kicks seem to be helping though. Fingers crossed Dressage Superstar Bobby makes a comeback!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Holy crap how frustrating. Particularly, I feel like in this wonderful age of technology we are in there is really no excuse for shit X-rays! I think you and your farrier have some good logic about it being an acute injury and not navicular - especially if your area has had as much rain as mine this summer (which is to say none). He ground is hard as a rock. Here's hoping for continued improvement!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a crazy ride! So glad JenJ was able to help you out

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fwiw, I REALLY like Vet C. She was the first vet who got Simon sound when many had tried and failed.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ugh that is really fucking frustrating!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Yeah, my brain would have exploded and I would be just crying into cupcake number 50 while mumbling to myself in a corner.

    Glad that Bobby is at least feeling better right now

    ReplyDelete
  11. So glad it sounds like there has been improvement! Dealing with multiple vets and questionable diagnosis' is NO fun!!
    I'm guessing since you had him barefoot for so that his nutrition is good? Anytime anyone talks about healing, the first thing I take a look at is definitely nutrition.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd say he's actually on a better program now than he was in PA. Far superior quality hay with more alfalfa in it, and he's no longer on the sweet feed he was getting down there.

      Delete
  12. Man, having such conflicting input would drive me batty. I have no idea how you're doing it. But thank heavens for good farriers, and I'm glad Bobby is feeling better!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ugh I hate foot things. It's impossible to get pictures (unless you are loaded which yeah no) and then everyone has an opinion, potentially no one is right, and frequently vets aren't even very good at feet but farriers are but farriers don't usually have pictures and/or don't always know how to read them...

    and yeah look now i'm over here having a little panic and it's not even my horse.

    fingers crossed for you guys

    ReplyDelete
  14. that's quite the range. I think your approach makes sense to me. Xrays can only do so much. I wouldn't put out for the MRI either. Plus poor Bobby having work when there are FLIES! Carmen get's insulted by the mere mention of work when she's being touched by a fly.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Good Lord, you have been put through the ringer. I'm glad you found a vet you can trust and have the Baby Jesus as a farrier. Fingers (and toes) crossed for you guys.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Ugh, horses are expensive and way too complex. So glad that it sounds like you're on the right track.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I don't know how you are still around because I would have melted into a puddle of confusion and panic. Foot issues are balls. I'm not sure if I am happy that Bacon has a bipartite navicular bone, because at least we knew what was bothering her, but now it will always be there and we are stuck with it. I hope your creature stays sound so you can continue to dressage the pants off people.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Omg, the drama. I'm so sorry you're dealing with all of this :-( It's absolute hell when your horse is lame, not knowing what is wrong is even worse, and when the professionals disagree, it's pretty much Dante's 7th Circle.

    ReplyDelete
  19. goodness, what a rollercoaster! Having a lame horse is the worst, even worse when you don't have a solid answer :P

    ReplyDelete
  20. Good X-rays seem crucial. My vets have always reviewed images on spot and retook an image if it wasn't clear. I guess that's not the case with all vets?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She reviewed them right there (and charged me $55 on top of taking the images, and the farm call, and the gas surcharge, and the lameness exam). She kept taking pictures when she wasn't happy with one--I ended up with about 30 overall--but apparently her standards are not the same as others, and I certainly didn't know what the fuck I was looking for.

      Delete
  21. This is madness!! why do we care so much about these clearly improperly engineered creatures!? Altogether too amazing and too fragile. I cannot imagine the stress of having to sift through a bunch of professional opinions. Thinking about you guys.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Well hell. At least things are looking up? Fire Vet A on the damn spot, good lord.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I think I can say with confidence I won't be using her again.

      Delete
    2. There's my answer! I'd be so pissed! But u did the right thing getting multiple opinions.

      Delete
  23. If it is any consolation, I am currently going through this with my left foot. Like wtf people doctors are sucking too. Looks like we are both waiting on a winter off for both of our boys. Hoping spring brings good vibes

    ReplyDelete
  24. That is one hell of a veterinary adventure. Which is really, really unfortunate. Hopefully Mr. Bobby decides that things can be a little more straightforward in his recovery! But then again, it is Bobby...

    ReplyDelete
  25. UGH! I'm glad Vet B is retired. Jerk.
    Yay for magic shoes! Rio's new flip flops are magical as well. It's amazing how nailing some steel to their feet in just the right way cures things... Baffling if you ask me.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm glad the shoes are working for him. I'm sorry the cause of the lameness is so mysterious and vexing.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh, Bobby. I hope things continue to get only BETTER AND MORE AWESOMELY AMAZING from here on out.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'm sorry you're not getting definitive answers, but yay for Bobby feeling better!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Ugh lame horse mystery issues are the worst. Are you keeping this vet? I hope farrier is total magic!!!! A n unclear diagnosis is not a good thing per say but it's better than getting definitively terrible navicular X-rays (meaning undeniable cyst city). Very happy for you there are things left to try.

    ReplyDelete

If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.