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I am so bummed...

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  • I am so bummed...

    I don't know if my horse will ever be sound. It is so depressing. We have been battling some kind of *something* in his left hind for 7 weeks. It was intitially treated as cellulitis and that seemed to work. We thought he was getting better... and now he is worse than ever. He is only slightly weight baring on that leg.

    He has been on every antibiotic under the sun, steriods, anti-inflammatories, cold hosing, wrapping, radiographs, ultrasound, cultures, constant injections. And he is such a good sport.

    I feel so powerless! The vets are obviously trying, but I think they are starting to get pretty discouraged as well.

    If he could just be pasture sound that would be great. Of course, it would mean that I will not get to do the jumpers in this life time. As, he is only 6 and I already have an 11 year old 2'6" hunter.

    So, I am really facing the demise of my riding goals as well as the current misery of a horse that I love.

    Sorry to be such a downer, but I need someone else to whine to, as I'm sure everyone in my regular life is sick of hearing it.

  • #2
    I know how you feel. Mind if I whine with you? Been kind of going through a similar thing with my horse since June...problem in her fetlock, we injected it, it worked amazing, a month later she was dead lame for two weeks until we injected it again with something else, she was sound again and getting worked lightly, then had a couple months off when I went away to school, the next time I came back to see her she was lame, the vet came out again, we thought she was getting better, she was supposedly sound (but I was back at school, so haven't seen her sound since August), now she's lame again. Not really much else we can do. I can't help feeling guilty or like I "broke" her. It's sad, because she likes having a job and being in work and it makes me sad to think that she's basically just going to be a pasture pony now, once we figure out a home for her.

    I'm sorry about your horse It's so hard when you don't know if there's anything you can do to help them feel better.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      HJ0519- I'm so sorry to hear that! I hope it works out for you! How old is she? Perhaps an extended vacation would do her some good?

      Comment


      • #4
        When in doubt, turn him out! Seriously, maybe a winter off and out in pasture would help?

        Sounds like you've run the gamut of options. Has he been to a university clinic?

        A little story... The gelding that came to me in October had an array of issues, one of them being a massive infected gash on his LH and some subsequent cellulitis in that leg and weird flling in the other 3. We did the antibiotics, hosing, wrapping, walking, etc. and finally my vet looked at me and said "why don't you just leave it alone for awhile..."

        After a few bumps in the road, he's now got 4 clean legs (well as clean as they can be for a 20 y/o TB!) and he looks like a different horse.

        I guess my point is, sometimes you can do EVERYTHING under the sun, when really, they just need a little time and the chance to let their bodies work it out on their own.

        I know how frustrating it can be to see them hurting, and watching your riding goals go down the drain. Hang in there, and don't give up hope just yet. Sometimes they surprise you.
        We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          [QUOTE=FlashGordon;3699672]When in doubt, turn him out! Seriously, maybe a winter off and out in pasture would help?


          It definitely might, if we can get him a little more comfortable. He is extremely lame and the more he walks, the worse he gets. I can give him as much time as he needs... even 5 years from now he will only be 11.

          I am in Baton Rouge, which has the LSU vet school. My vets are using their labs and I could certainly send him there for inpatient care and more diagnostics. We are waiting on test results from fluid they drained from his fetlock. They subsequently injected an antibiotic into the joint. That was approx 36 hours ago. No real change as of this morning. Next step is a lymph lavage (I think that is what he said).

          I am glad to hear that it is working out for your new guy! Not many people would do such a good thing!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by short strided View Post
            I am in Baton Rouge, which has the LSU vet school. My vets are using their labs and I could certainly send him there for inpatient care and more diagnostics. We are waiting on test results from fluid they drained from his fetlock. They subsequently injected an antibiotic into the joint. That was approx 36 hours ago. No real change as of this morning. Next step is a lymph lavage (I think that is what he said).
            Oh man... so it sounds like a potential joint infection?

            Keep us updated. And big hugs. One thing I've learned is that even the best laid plans sometimes don't work out the way we hope or think they will. When that happens, I think it really is ok to feel crappy about it.

            Jingles for your boy, and for you.
            We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
              Oh man... so it sounds like a potential joint infection?

              Keep us updated. And big hugs. One thing I've learned is that even the best laid plans sometimes don't work out the way we hope or think they will. When that happens, I think it really is ok to feel crappy about it.

              Jingles for your boy, and for you.
              Yes, at this point that is what they *think*. I hope that the test results come in today.

              And, I do feel crappy. But, I even feel crappy about feeling crappy... like I should try to stay more positive.

              Thanks for the jingles! It makes me feel better to talk about it with people who understand.

              Comment


              • #8
                Lymphangitis (sp)?

                Could it be lymphangitis? (probably spelled wrong). We had an old TB come into my barn and he had an appearance fo being quite stocked up. Almost like it was an infection, his two back legs looked like tree trunks. We hosed and wrapped and buted etc, always only saw minor improvement. Had the vet out and diagnosed as lymphangitis. I don't think there is really a cure, but it can be managed. We had to put this guy down eventually due to other issues. We found he did best when he was turned out and moving as much as possible. Good Luck!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hugs.
                  www.specialhorses.org
                  a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by TB Fan View Post
                    Could it be lymphangitis? (probably spelled wrong). We had an old TB come into my barn and he had an appearance fo being quite stocked up. Almost like it was an infection, his two back legs looked like tree trunks. We hosed and wrapped and buted etc, always only saw minor improvement. Had the vet out and diagnosed as lymphangitis. I don't think there is really a cure, but it can be managed. We had to put this guy down eventually due to other issues. We found he did best when he was turned out and moving as much as possible. Good Luck!
                    We are not ruling anything out at this point. The initial onset was very sudden and he was quite swollen... totally a tree trunk. But, the more he moved around, the better he got. He was spending a great deal of time out and at the 5 week mark he appeared completely sound, if only slightly swollen.

                    However, at 5 weeks and one day, he came in very lame and kind of swollen. But, he does not work out of the lameness, it only gets worse. It has been that way for about 2 weeks. We were thinking he may have injured himself while turned out... thus the radiographs and ultra sound. But, they didn't show anything.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      But, I even feel crappy about feeling crappy... like I should try to stay more positive.
                      You know what? Sometimes we NEED to sit down and have a nice little cry and ask WHY? Part of it is being scared. Part of it is being sad. And yes, part of it is being angry and wondering why...

                      Don't let guilt get to you. It's incredibly difficult to see your hopes and dreams go up in smoke.

                      Yes, there is still some hope... and jingles have been known to have miraculous effects in the past, so there IS hope... but it's also normal to mourn.

                      Sometimes it's even harder to still *have* the horse. It sounds weird, but think about it. If you lost the horse to colic or an accident or such, you would ALLOW yourself to mourn. Because you still have the horse--you feel guilty in mourning, and yet, you have (or might) lost the potential, the dreams, the plans... It's OK to mourn all that. Really.

                      (((hugs))) to you. And some mighty get well wishes sent your pony's way.
                      InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                      Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
                        Sometimes it's even harder to still *have* the horse. It sounds weird, but think about it. If you lost the horse to colic or an accident or such, you would ALLOW yourself to mourn. Because you still have the horse--you feel guilty in mourning, and yet, you have (or might) lost the potential, the dreams, the plans... It's OK to mourn all that. Really.

                        (((hugs))) to you. And some mighty get well wishes sent your pony's way.
                        You are absolutely right! I am feeling guilty about mourning the loss of my plans when he is the one who is actually sick. It makes me feel selfish.

                        You are also right about the crying part. I should probably pick up a bottle of wine on the way home and commence the waterfall.

                        Thanks for the jingles!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
                          You know what? Sometimes we NEED to sit down and have a nice little cry and ask WHY? Part of it is being scared. Part of it is being sad. And yes, part of it is being angry and wondering why...

                          Don't let guilt get to you. It's incredibly difficult to see your hopes and dreams go up in smoke.

                          Yes, there is still some hope... and jingles have been known to have miraculous effects in the past, so there IS hope... but it's also normal to mourn.

                          Sometimes it's even harder to still *have* the horse. It sounds weird, but think about it. If you lost the horse to colic or an accident or such, you would ALLOW yourself to mourn. Because you still have the horse--you feel guilty in mourning, and yet, you have (or might) lost the potential, the dreams, the plans... It's OK to mourn all that. Really.

                          (((hugs))) to you. And some mighty get well wishes sent your pony's way.
                          Thank you so much for this, it helped me a lot.

                          Hugs to the OP too, understand what you're going through

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Blech. Rotten deal.
                            Here's a completely crazy idea... what if he got a splinter or something similar into or near that joint?
                            I don't know. There's got to be something!
                            "Uh, if you're going to try that, shouldn't you unplug it first?"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Im sorry, that's tough. If it makes you feel any better I have a 6 year old that has been lame for 1.5 years now. Two MRI's and three bone scans later and the top vets in the country have deemed him physiologically perfect...just not rideable. Every test, scan, image we've taken of him is 100%perfect but he's crippled when you ride him and (The best part!) it swaps legs consistently. We don't even know WHERE he's lame after 1.5 years and tens of thousands of dollars!!! We recently blocked and then injected his neck and shoulder as a last ditch effort and absolutely nothing came of it.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Rienzi- That is definitely a possibility. I will take a good look at the leg and see if I can find any evidence of an entrance wound. All of his hair fell out already because of the prior extreme swelling, so his skin is readily visible. Poor leg looks like a moulting bird!

                                hedmbl- That must be maddening! It really sucks to be left with so many questions!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by short strided View Post
                                  HJ0519- I'm so sorry to hear that! I hope it works out for you! How old is she? Perhaps an extended vacation would do her some good?
                                  She's 15/16ish. We thought that a little vacation would help - she did have one from mid August - Columbus Day. She was sound when I left for school, but then she was very lame the next time I saw her Sometimes I think that if she'd been kept in regular work after I left, she would have stayed sound. But there's too many what-ifs to dwell on them. It's almost ridiculous how much I've cried about this horse/situation.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Well, I just talked to the vet. The cytology on the joint fluid came back negative for organisms but positive for inflammation. But, he did say that it would be wise to continue to treat it as if there is infection in the joint. They are on their way out to do a digital infusion (profusion... can't remember). Anyway, the procedure entails injecting antibiotic directly into a vein in the affected limb and tourniquetting it for about 15 min.

                                    The vet has been coming out twice a day to ice the leg with something that circulates ice water. Apparently my ice boots weren't doing the trick. He just told me that Mikey walked back to his stall this morning instead of hopping, like he has been doing, so we may be making progress!

                                    Perhaps your jingles are working!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by short strided View Post

                                      hedmbl- That must be maddening! It really sucks to be left with so many questions!
                                      It's extremely frustrating. I have a love/hate relationship going on with that horse b/c of it. I think I just keep cycling through the stages of grief b/c some days I feel bad for him and other days I can't stand the sight of him! Poor guy, not his fault but it's really heartbreaking when you just can't figure it out.


                                      Originally posted by short strided View Post
                                      The vet has been coming out twice a day to ice the leg with something that circulates ice water. Apparently my ice boots weren't doing the trick.
                                      !

                                      Probably a Game Ready System. One of the best purchases I ever made was my Game Ready. It does awesome things for their legs! I hope everything works out okay! Jingling.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Probably a Game Ready System. One of the best purchases I ever made was my Game Ready. It does awesome things for their legs! I hope everything works out okay! Jingling.[/QUOTE]

                                        Yep, that is exactly what it is!

                                        Comment

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