Monday, July 11, 2011

The "Dusty" Diagnosis

This past Friday the vet came to reevaluate Dusty’s suspensory injuries and her laminitis/founder.  The x-rays to her front feet show that she has 6 and 9 degree rotations in both feet.  The ultrasound to her suspensory branches on both hinds show minimal improvement in the right hind and not much at all in the left, where the pictures showed she still had a decent sized hole in her suspensory branch.  Not great news, but we do have a protocol that we are going to follow.

We’ll continue to rest her in her stall on and off during the day. She is allowed out in her own small paddock with a grazing muzzle under supervision a few times a day; obviously no running will be allowed.  She will continue to have her laser boot treatments and will be getting shoes on her hinds, which she doesn’t have now.  The vet and farrier will confer as to what kind of shoes will be most beneficial to help her be more comfortable and give her the support she needs so she can continue healing.  Dusty is on isoxuprine right now and some bute also.  Very shortly we will also be starting her on a DSLD regimen that we used on Sweetie that helped her a lot.  Dusty doesn’t have DSLD, but we’re hoping the supplements will help to heal her ligaments and tissues.  It’s worth a shot and many horses have had good results with this particular treatment (you can find out more about it here.)

Our vet recommended PRP (platelet-rich plasma) treatment as a possibility for her suspensory injuries.  I’ve read up on it and I’m not at all sure it will work; one of the reasons I have my doubts is that the information available says this treatment should be done within 2 weeks to 30 days of the initial injury.  Well, it’s been a lot longer than that, so it might be too late to start.  But I suppose it’s an option.  It’s also very expensive for a “maybe.”  He also mentioned stem cell treatment, which is twice the price.  If I were absolutely sure either of these options would work I might use the butter and egg money and give it a try, but I’m under the impression it could be a shot in the dark.  If the supplements don’t do the trick I might have to really consider these options.  As always, these things are wait-and-see, and healing takes a very long time.

I would like to mention that when we took her out and put her on the longe for a walk for the vet Dusty immediately broke into a beautifully balanced canter as if to say:  “See I’m better, really!  Now can I please go out with the herd!”  This mare will do anything so she can go back to work.  I’ve got to admire her spirit.

Until next time
Quote for Today
Don't look at a horse as an animal; look as if the horse is a real person, because a horse can tell the difference.

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