Friday, February 13, 2015

Discharge Papers

They are finally here!!!

History: SPYDER is a lovely 8 year old Standardbred that presented for re-evaluation of right front check ligament injury. Since the last examination, he is confined to a stall and small paddock. He is walked for 45 minutes daily. Intermittent tendon sheath effusion has been noted.

Clinical Examination: The gelding was in general good health. Mild carpal sheath effusion was noted in the right
front limb. Mild thickening was noted in the proximal palmar metacarpal region. The check ligament was not sore to palpation. Cardiac auscultation performed by Drs. ter Woort and Slack revealed a 2/6 murmur over the pulmonic value consistent with ejection murmur and 2-3/t murmur over tricuspid valve consistent with tricuspid regurgitation. Normal heart rate and rhythm was noted.

Diagnoses: Diagnosis 1: Check ligament injury, RF

Prognosis: Regarding the check ligament injury, the injury continues to heal during his rehabilitation period. The ligament may never return to normal size but we are very encouraged but the quality of healing and his relative soundness today. We recommend continued increase in controlled exercise. His prognosis for returning to previous athletic endeavors is good. Regarding his heart murmurs, both murmurs are unlikely to affect the gelding's life expectancy or athletic ability. Echocardiogram was offered but declined. If the heart murmurs increase in intensity and/or the gelding exhibits signs of fatigue or exercise intolerance, further evaluation is indicated.

Treatments and Progress:
The gelding was walked and trotted in straight lines and while circling on the hard pavement. The gelding took an occasional lame step in the right front limb when circling to the left, but otherwise sound.
Sonographic evaluation of the right front palmar metacarpal region was performed and compared to previous examination. The inferior check ligament injury continues to heal. The previously noted hyperechoic region has filled in with ligamentous fibers. The ligament continues to measure larger than normal which is expected but adequate healing has occurred.

1) Continued regular management.
2) Gradual increase in the amount of controlled daily exercise:
-Week 1: walk 40 minutes, trot 2 minutes
-Week 2: walk 40 minutes, trot 5 minutes
-Week 3-4: walk 35 minutes, trot 10 minutes
-Week 5-6: walk 30 minutes, trot 15 minutes
-Week 7-8: walk 25 minutes, trot 20 minutes
3) Daily exercise can be performed with a rider or in a horse-walker.
4) If lameness recurs, please stop the trotting and contact us.
5) Re-examination in 8 weeks.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Spyder has the typical excitement when being able to trot, as expected. My Facebook post yesterday was, "Spyder's 2 minute trot that he's allowed is "OMG, I'M FREEEEEEEEEE!!!" (rear, buck, rear, yay!) If ever I don't show up at something I'm supposed to, it's because I'm on the ground at the barn. Please send help! haha"

He's ready to go, and it's not the best thing since his injury is still not showing signs of linear growth. I need to keep him calm and less excited, but it's hard to do when a horse has sat for 8-9 months. Ahh! I'm also not thrilled with the animal hospital because discharge instructions have not been sent over a week later.  I e-mailed the doctor with no response, and called about them twice. I deserve them since 1) they sent them automatically each time 2) I pay a lot of money for each visit 3) I should have a documented list of everything that happened at the visit. UGH!

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Tale of Two Rides

So I rode both days this weekend. Trotting in hand is not exactly fun, and we had decent enough weather to tack up and ride. The first ride went pretty well. I was more nervous than Spyder since I only got on one other time in this 8-9 month span. I started with the round pen and moved into open space near the round pen once I felt confident that he wasn't going to act up. Of course, it's all still walking, but the 2 minutes of trot gave a little bit of something to do. We walked for 10-15 to warm up enough for trotting, and we stayed in a straight line for that per the Doctor's recommendation. His walk was more forward than usual which leads me to believe he was happy to "have a job." The babies (young stb's that are beginning training under harness) were acting up and biting/chasing each other, but all Spyder did was watch as we got close to them. He did so well!

The second ride went much the same, but it was feeding time so I took more precaution to keep things calm. I stayed in the round pen because I didn't want him to start rearing and acting wild because he wasn't going to his stall to eat with the rest of the farm as he used to do. This is where I got really upset with the trot. He can trot perfectly to the right, but the left is still the same issue as before. Yes, we were supposed to stay straight so I was trying as hard as possible, but the swinging leg to the left is the injured one (right front). He could not trot when asked to with that leg on the outside, only canter which is where we were when this all started. This stresses me out big time, but I know each ride will be different. The local vet did tell me it could be something that he'll do forever because of compensation, but maybe he can be trained out of it? Maybe he's just doing it because it's weak still? Obviously I have no idea, but the stress of what will come of going to the left in the future takes a toll on me. I plan to ride tomorrow, but I will stay straight so that I can hopefully build it up enough to trot in one direction or the other.

I have to add that on my timehop, I was reminded that one year ago yesterday, Spyder ditched me and I broke my finger (that still hurts sometimes). It'd funny how much a year has changed everything. Riding on the track and learning to not spook/canter better to being hurt and trotting for 2 mins after sitting for so long.. ahh!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Post Appointment and Further Information

I'm still waiting on the discharge information from New Bolton, but the good news is it's not bigger. It's getting a little better, and slowly, but surely, it's coming along OK. I say OK because they can now see where the puncture to the area was. They could also see the old bow better in another area because of the new images. So it seems that leg just "has issues." I know it's not ever going to be the same, I just hope we can go back to doing the riding thing at some point. It's now 40 minutes of exercise with 2 minutes of it being trot for week 1. Each week after gets 2 minutes of trot added up to 15, I think? They really need to send me the discharge sheet so I know what to do and what everything was called so I can look into it more.

Another development/discovery is in Spyder's heart. He has different issues on each side, but the murmur is the more common and lesser of the two worries. The other side of the heart has a leaky valve, and they aren't sure if it's in a bad spot or not from just listening. In being asked to ultrasound the heart, I asked a few questions. 1) Will it change his performance? 2) Does it change his life expectancy? Both answers seemed to be no assuming that it wasn't anything more than what they heard. I was assured it's nothing that will make him drop dead while riding, it may just become a conditioning issue. They recommended ultra sounding it if I was a worry wart to know that it wasn't going to be an issue. Since there is nothing that can be done for it, I figured I'd wait on seeing if anything comes of it before checking it out, if at all.

2-3 months will go by before we go back for yet another ultrasound to see if the trot has gotten it to heal/get more stable/build more fibers. They seemed happy with where it is, but he still can't be turned out. He'll have a good old time keeping it cool (aka bored out of his mind) in the round pen which brings us to almost a year (in May). And so we wait some more.
Hey, stop making fun of me. Hay in his tail is from sleeping in it in the sun today.
Mr. Baldy Legs