Friday, July 25, 2014

Next Week

We're going to New Bolton on July 31st at 10am. We'll have to leave early to get there in time for the appointment as it's a good 2 hours without traffic. I will be packing my car so I can ride to show them the lameness as they evaluate the situation. I hope he doesn't have to end up staying (as the shipper will wait for us if he doesn't), and let's hope we get a diagnosis... and one that isn't too detrimental for either of us.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

More News

And so it's not the knee or below either...

The walk was great, to the right was great, and to the left is still a mess at the trot (2/5 on the scale). The slower he goes, the better his dragging leg can catch up, but he still hops up to burst into the canter or trips to make himself right again. The swelling is still there, and his week off  will hopefully bring that down. He got an injection of bute to decrease his swelling from the strain as well as the nerve blocking from the day before.

Next steps? New Bolton Center Hospital. They are a HUGE facility that is part of the University of Pennsylvania's network for veterinary care. They have many facilities, and New Bolton is the spot for large animals. They have everything that Spyder would ever need to be diasnosed in one place. First, they are going to block the shoulder/elbow. If they find something, more tests will be done to get to the bottom of his lameness. If they don't find anything in that area, they will move into diagnosing the problem with all of the equipment at their disposal.

I have contacted a company that will do the shipping, and Spyder will get his very own box stall in the trailer for the ride there and back. I am hoping that he doesn't need to stay and that the results will bring us news of recovery, but time will tell. Of course, I have a work trip that got scheduled yesterday, so we'll have to wait another week before the appointment. The referral is getting called in today so I'll be able to set it up for the week of the 28th. I am nervous, anxious, and excited to get to the bottom of this which all leads to excitement and stress. I know that we'll find out something, and I just hope it's good news.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Still Nothing - But Happy 3 Years!

As of yesterday, Spyder and I have been a team for 3 years! Although we haven't always been the best team, the past year has made such a difference in our partnership and things were finally coming together...

So I had a bad ride that I talked about in my last post, but a better ride the time after. What the heck? Can anything ever stay stable so I can really get into what may be causing this lameness? This time, swelling. The fetlock is puffy like a windpuff might be, but the pastern has some swelling just above the back of the hoof. So I'm thinking: 1)Is this the problem and I'm finally seeing it? 2) Is this associated swelling? The answer? #2. GREAT.

Anyways, I got on for the vet yesterday before we did the blocking. I wanted to get a good idea of his level of soundness for that day (since like I said, it's always so different, but always the same area at this point). He got cut off in the fetlock area to determine if that swelling was the problem... negative. I think he felt more peppy for the ride (of course, he couldn't feel the swelling/pain in that area), but his movement is still restricted and the hop/jump into canter is still there. I got off, but a thunder storm rolled in so we didn't block the knee area. We plan on doing that today, weather dependent.

So what now? Well, we need to block the knee to see if that has anything to do with it. If that's not the case, his shoulder needs to be blocked to rule out or discover that as the source of the issue. The vet wants him to go to a specialist since it's a tough area. Depending on today's findings, a hospital trip may be in the future. I'm excited to get to the bottom of this and to find out what is bothering him because stress and anxiety are going strong. From there, I'll be able to decide on our future together and what's fair for each of us (worst case).

The vet asked, "do you just love riding or is this the horse you need to ride?" It got me choked up because to keep him where he is, he'd have to be able to be ridden to some extent. He's only 7, and I don't even think I can argue that 20 years (or more) of hanging out is justifiable for board like I have. Other options? I could take him to my parents backyard like I used to have when I was younger and at home. Fair? No. It's not fair to him because I wouldn't see him much, and it's not fair to my parents because they want to sell their house at some point in the next 5 years or so to downsize. He wouldn't have companionship, and he wouldn't have anyone to keep his active mind and personality busy. Find him a companion type home where I can visit - option. Give him back? ...don't think I can do it, but it's come up. Yes, I know, I'm thinking ahead, but so much is going through my mind. I just hope we get some answers soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My Ride Tonight

It started off OK. Spyder was happy to see me since it's been a while. He was peppy, excitable, and didn't display any sign of pain. Once I got on, that was another story. We went to the right as we can't make sharp left turns. I did a ton of walk warm up before going to the left, but staying on a wide, open circle. We turned back around to trot tracking right which went well. I decided to make a HUGE loop to go back to trot left, MISTAKE! He was a tripping mess and couldn't bring his leg up so he kept lurching and skipping into a canter to correct his movement.

Going back to the right, I could tell he was a bit uneasy. I decided to end it there with lots of stretching and walking around the barn. We stayed in the shade the whole ride since it was close to 90, and I spent time with him after. We went to the wash stall to cool off, Spyder drank from the hose, and I took him to some taller grass to graze. I took him back to the barn for a ton of fly spray and put him back in his field (which is still the alternate field). His field he'll be going back into soon looks great with so much grass. I'm sure he'll be happy to get back in there.

I put in a call for the vet to let her know that he was off with the DMSO/Cortisone, but it wasn't off like 10 days of being off/untreated. I am hoping that I get a call back soon with the steps we need to take to get to the bottom of this. I do have the "suspect" information written on my last invoice, and we can try to block the suspensory or inject the bicipital bursa. Either way, I hope something works. The stress levels are high and I can only hope that a miracle will happen at this point. I have no idea if he'll ever be sound considering we don't know the issue after weeks/months of treatments. While I'm glad the hind end sorted out, I'm not so sure I'll have the same luck with the front end.

Back from Vacation

I am back from vacation in Alaska (will post some pics to Facebook soon), and I did ride twice now with the shoes on (before I left). They didn't seem to do anything nor did the week of DMSO/Cortisone. I warmed up with a lot of walk and can only trot - no turning to the left, either. The trot was still a mess both days, but his attitude has been better from not getting ridden much/at all in the past few months.

Spyder's sat for about 10 days now with no treatment since my last "ride" so I plan on getting in a light ride (in the shade) because it'll be so hot. I am worried to see if it's the same or better, but if anything, it hasn't gotten worse. I really hope I am able to get on whatever this may be and move forward as these past months have been so boring and have been worrying me like crazy.