Monday, May 2, 2011

New Developments

' Coming into the shed to check out the hay situation '

We’ve had the vet out to finish giving vaccinations.  We break them up into two sessions because we think administering them all at once is too much for the horses to handle.

We took this opportunity to have some of the horses reevaluated for their various ongoing problems.  The good news is that Nate and Grady are doing much better.  Nate’s hind end is in much better shape and so are his annular ligaments, which are enlarged but no longer actively enflamed or sore. Grady’s feet are 100% more solid than they were when we got him and he no longer needs bar shoes, pads or hind shoes to stay comfortable and sound.  Even his stiff shoulder has improved muscling and range of motion; with continued proper training it shouldn’t give him a problem anymore.  Blue is also doing fine, but his hocks are going to need injections.  Our vet has just come back from a seminar and had some interesting information that might help Blue.  It seems in Europe they have been using a certain drug for about ten years that is actually administered to people to help with joints and osteoporosis.  We’re considering it because it would help keep Blue’s hocks from fusing and give him more mobility. The down side is it has to be ordered from Europe and is expensive.  It costs about a thousand dollars.  I’ll be doing more research on the pros and cons are before I go ahead and inject it. I believe each injection is supposed to last for about a year, but don’t quote me on that until I do some research.

Dusty didn’t come through her examination with flying colors, I’m afraid.  I was expecting her front foot with her coffin bone injury to be a problem, but miraculously it wasn’t.  The vet said he didn’t even have to x-ray her because her feet looked perfect and were coming along beautifully, even now that she no longer needs pads.  When we told him we suspected something going on in her left hind, she was jogged and he did flexions.  There was some palpable thickening of the suspensory branches and significant lameness when she was flexed, but that hardly prepared us for what would turn up on her ultrasounds. It seems she has damage to all four suspensory branches, but mainly in the left hind.  He couldn’t believe that she was not more reactive than she was.  Dusty is one very tough mare. When I rode her Saturday she never took a bad step so I thought she was fine.  It is very hard to spot an injury with this very stoic mare. I’m glad I had the ultrasounds done, so at least we can monitor her progress while giving her the best care she can have.

Dusty will be having Surpass applied to her leg and then set up with figure-eight bandages for light turnout; we like Saratoga bandages over cotton for a little added support.  She’s also getting a little Bute.  
' Dusty making the best of a bad situation '
The vet is going to confer with our farrier about corrective shoeing.  There are some new protocols out there that can help alleviate stress on the suspensories by allowing the tendons to take a little more of the weight.  We’re going to talk to our vet and farrier, who are great about working together on stuff like this, to see what they think is the best supportive shoeing for her.  They’re both conservative and we won’t do anything extreme, but it’s nice to know what options are out there in case she needs a little more help healing and staying sound.

This injury is going to take a long time to heal and whatever we can do to help her along we will.  As of today she is in a limited turnout situation in the small medical paddock.  Sami is keeping her company, much to his chagrin because he is now wearing a grazing muzzle.  There is too much grass in that particular paddock for this chubby little monster to graze freely all day.  We’ve also ordered some supplements for Dusty that will help her cartilage repair itself.  It is the same supplement program that we used with Sweetie for her DSLD and it did seem to help her, so we’re hoping it will help Dusty’s recovery.

I should add that we don’t know how this happened and neither does the vet.  The general consensus is that she might have injured herself in the mud.  It’s been mostly raining and the mud is so bad it will suck the boots off your feet. There’s also the possibility this is the start of a degenerative condition like DSLD, so we are keeping our fingers crossed that this is just an injury and she’ll recover from it without too much permanent damage.  I can’t believe how badly she is injured and not one complaint out of her.  If it were one of our geldings I can assure you they would be lying on their back in their stalls holding the leg up.  Typical men!

Our chiropractor/acupuncturist will be visiting tomorrow (Tuesday) to work on some of the horses.  Hopefully, she can help Dusty to feel better. Next Friday a few horses will get their hock injections, so there isn’t going to be much going on around here with our riding for a while.  We’ll be painting the barn roof white with a big red cross while the MASH unit is in full swing again!

Until next time
Quote for Today
Closeness, friendship, affection: keeping your own horse means all these things.
Bertrand Leclair

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