Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dusty’s Coming Along

Mellon keeping Dusty company

Our vet was out today to recheck Dusty and see how she is progressing.  Her laminitis/founder is doing really well.  There is no more rotation; it’s stabilized at 8 degrees. She has a good, thick sole now and her hoof is growing out evenly from her coronet band, which is a good thing.  He feels that we can correct the rotation in time with proper shoeing and care.  So that was a bit of good news concerning both her front feet.

The suspensory injury in her right hind is doing much better also.  The ultrasound shows that the fibers in the branches are knitting together and there are no gaping holes left.  So that was good news too.  Her left hind, which seemed to be the worst injury site, is no worse and it is hard to say if it’s any better.  Looking at the ultrasound, the tear in the suspensory branch still seems to be about the same size as it was previously.  The only difference we can see is that in her last ultrasound it looked as if the fibers were sort of hanging loose and compared to this one they seem to be gone.  Maybe there is scar tissue forming, I don’t know.

Our options are sort of limited as to more treatments.  The vet is suggesting shock wave therapy.  This would consist of three sessions at around $400 or more for each.  Will it work?  That’s unclear; maybe yes maybe no. He’s also pushing for PRP therapy, which is even more expensive.  From what I’ve researched it seems that this particular therapy has a chance of working if it’s done within a few weeks of the injury, after more time has elapsed it’s basically another maybe. The PRP treatment is very invasive the way they want to do it.  I’m not totally sure what they’re advocating but apparently this is an interesting case for their surgeon. He wants to split her suspensory to get in there and administer the platelets which is going to cause more damage before it can begin healing and will enlarge the ligament with scar tissue as well.  For me that’s not an option right now.  There would be a longer recovery time in her stall and the risk of infection, in my opinion. The shock wave sounds like a better option, but not right now.  

Dusty had a lameness exam too.  She’s not lame in the least trotting on the pavement or making tight circles.  On the longe line she broke into a very natural balanced canter and looked wonderful and sound.  Her trot was the same; no lameness and she looked like she can’t wait to have a job again.  Sorry girl, not just yet.

She doesn’t seem to be in any pain and she is healing, although slowly, so I’m going to hold off on any big decisions for now concerning different treatment.  I’m going to keep giving her supplements and light exercise in her turnout time and she’ll be sporting her laser boots each night.  It’s only been a few months and she is fifteen, so I’m going to give her a few more months to heal and see where we are then.  In the meantime I’m going to check into alternative methods and see what they have to offer. Acupuncture might be an option.  If anyone has suggestions for a suspensory branch injury and how you treated them I’d be interested to hear about your methods.

Until next time

Quote for Today
Ask not what your horse can do for you - Ask what you can do for your horse.

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