This is an outright vent, AND I would appreciate any suggestions to my current problem. Apologies for the length.
My 9 year old QH mare, leased to a wonderful 13 year old girl, had some off days (irregular lameness) since she went into work with the girl in January, got it checked out by my vet and she has been found to have coffin joint arthritis on her R front and a bone chip on the L front fetlock. Ultrasound and lots of radiographs confirm that it appears to be from the sesamoids, and is (by my understanding) encysted or walled off from it's origin. The vet surgeon in this practice isn't really concerned with the R front, and thinks the L front could be surgically dealt with but with a 50/50 chance of returning to work sound. The "stem cell" therapy suggested to me as option 2 (surgery was option 1) was suggested to be the least practical since the chip has migrated so far from the site it likely came from. Option three was to inject both fetlocks, get back to light work and increase it as she allows, try Adequan, look into shoeing options (been barefoot all her life) and hope for the best.
This horse has never been off in her life, and was a tricky one to see lame, it's subtle even now that we know what's going on, largely because maybe both front legs are involved. She was showing training level dressage last summer, was training first level when she was abruptly dropped by another kid last summer (got her own horse and ended her lease without notice), and I just recently let the new kid use her. They were getting along well, working back from her being idle, and the girl absolutely loves her. I have no idea if she was injured sometime recently or before, and she still isn't pasture lame at all. Never saw any trouble, and I'm not absent, not oblivious, and I feel awful for this child. There's more.
I have to share that this kid has been with me a while, and I leased her a small pony first, that pony developed Cushings and laminitis, all under control and well managed before the child grew out of her to a medium pony I have. Medium pony and girl were doing fabulously until SHE colicked with a pediculated lipoma and I put my life in hock to save her through surgery, and this pony is doing just fine now (ten months later), back in use with a new 10 year old. 13 year old finally gets to ride the horse of her dreams (she was the 'star' of our barn), and now this. The girl's mom is struggling with a devastating and life-threatening illness as well. Horses are her joy. I have a coupleof others she could use, but this one is THE one.
SO, I am broke, but have a wonderful vet who knows I'm doing all I can to keep on paying, and I would appreciate any suggestions as to what I should do next. Injections were last Friday, light work was to get going this weekend and I can hardly face this kid. I didn't share about the horse with the need for a tracheostomy last fall (she's the pasture pet friend of the lame mare), that plus the colic surgery plus this...help?! I truly used to be the one who my other horse friends envied, never had lame or sick anything, everybody dies of really old age here. This is making me mentally ill. Sigh....
That is a hard one. Anyway you go you are going to most likely need continued maintenance. I think I would remove the chip and inject the fetlock with IRAP and load with adequan and then try and maintain at a lower level. However I wonder if your horse could be managed with joint injections and possibly previcoxx as a light ridding horse.