Jingles for Pi please ... Update - stitches come out tomorrow!
Good morning fellow COTH friends I've posted a lot about Pirate, my 1/2 blind mustang cross horse that has Squamous Cell Carcinoma on the eyelid of his good eye. We're asking for jingles this morning because he goes in for surgery to remove the tumor at 10:45 am CST .... hoping all goes well and he keeps his eye!
That said ... coming to Missouri has been by and far the best decision I've made in a long time. As we were standing there waiting for the opthamologist, a neurological intern walked by and noticed his head tilt - which we've always attributed to his blindness. That sent the evaluation in an entirely new direction as they then noticed he had nystagmus as well. We consented to a full neurological workup in additiona to the opthamological exam. And now we finally have answers about Pi ... he has peripheral vestibular disease probably caused by severe trauma to his head at some point. In addition, he is completely deaf in his right ear, completely blind in his right eye. He has about 30% vision in his left eye (cataracts in both eyes) and his left eye is also rotated down so he is always looking at the ground. The nystagmus means he can't focus on the horizon so he doesn't really have any kind of spacial awareness.
I have to admit ... at the end of the neurological exam I got big warm fuzzies. I, of course, have always thought Pi was "amazing" because of how far he's come with trusting people, and how wonderful he is under saddle now. But to hear a neurologist at a major University vet school start his presentation to me with "Well, all I can say is this horse is nothing short of amazing" ... made me feel so good. They do not believe it was caused by EPM because we never treated EPM and because of all his scarring and damage, but to go from his severe head tilt when I got him and the complete wasting he had of his right side, not even able to hold up his left hind hoof because he had no balance, to where he is now - straight, balanced, free moving... then add in that he has nearly no vision and only limited hearing but he pastures fine, trail rides alone, is a pretty talented dressage horse, and even loves to JUMP ... jumped a set of barrells for the first time yesterday even ... well ... yeah. Amazing.
Anyway ... surgery is coming up, so I'm heading to the hospital. Should be an easy surgery - expected to be a standing surgery, though of course there are always risks of complications. If all goes well we can head back to Sioux Falls tomorrow with the cancer gone. I'll update after he's up and moving again!
Last edited by Tif_Ann; Nov. 20, 2009 at 04:51 PM.
Massive jingles from me and Willie - my "amazing horse" who seems to have somehow survived cushings, laminitis and three surgeries/w complications to remove penile SCC.
JINGLE, JINGLE, JINGLE that all goes well for your wonder boy!!!! And hugs for you for believing in your horse.
Pi's surgery went well! We were able to stay as a standing surgery - no need for general - and it was pretty uneventful. Cool though! Once the tumor was out they did cryotherapy and then three stitches later it was all closed up. Had to wait for him to wake up and make sure he was doing well but it went so well they let me take him home late last night instead of making him stay overnight. Nine hours in a trailer later he's set up in a stall for his two weeks of rest and aftercare!
I'm very excited - Pirate's stitches come out in the morning! He has done so well ... no swelling, no infection, etc., and he is FULL of energy. It almost makes me think that the cancer had worn him down some, he's so hot now. It's great! Hopefully he'll be off stall rest tomorrow and back in training!