What do you do when your chronically lame horse that is recovering from surgery with a good prognoses for soundness gets lamer. Your surgeon says it is not "unexpected" and sees no reason to see the horse early. We are head bobbing lame at the walk intermittently and me worrying sick. This is a fluctuating lameness up and down I can't really take it. This horse is my best friend in the world.
1) You will yourself to not do a lameness exam every damned day and also to take your surgeon's word for it. If you say "headbobbing lame" and "should I worry or do you want to see him before the scheduled recheck" the DVM knows what you mean. If he says "ignore daily" do your best to do that.
2) Enjoy Fharoah's personality, progress and spring. If his perception of life is good, take him at his word and try to be patient. He is.
I would have a hard time accepting lameness at the walk in a horse that is so far into rehabbing. I recall a little of your horse's situation (we shared stall rest stories at one point), do you feel in your gut that the vet's assessment is wrong? Can you get a second opinion or x-rays or ultrasound or something? How long is the wait till the next app?
I consider my horse's six months of stall rest (hoof injury) to be one of the worst periods of my life -- I have no children, obviously!
I'm so sorry you're going through this. Your horse is lucky to have you.
I don't really have any advice for you but I do know the feeling-- My horse had been dealing with some lameness problems that the vets couldn't figure out..after a misdiagnosis another vet found severe hind suspensory problems. The prognosis wasn't good. Much to the vets surprise, he looked so much better at the re-check a mere couple months later and the vets even had difficulty finding everything they saw before. So anyways, he was cleared to start slowly being brought back-- but from the start it was obvious that he was still lame even though the suspensory problems were healed.
(After more vet visits and such, he is looking a little better, although we've yet to figure out what else was wrong.)
Just try to hang in there!
And with the bute, if you're worried about giving it to him due to the risk of ulcers, you should check into Previcox / Equioxx.
Originally Posted by RugBug
Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.
Jingles for you and your horse during this horrible "waiting period" ~ one day at a time ~ it is very tough to go through long term lameness issues with a best friend. Hang in there ~ AO ~ Always Optimistic !
Thankyou you are all awesome. He is walking better today I am just a freak every time he limps at the walk. LOL I think he is gradually improving overall and hopefully another si months or less he will be sound. I do trust my surgeon and he thinks it is going to take longer than a year because of early complications, but still thinks he has a good chance at soundness eventually. I have to not worry as long as he can walk which was better today.
You just take it one day at a time, and try to trust your vet. I spent years with a sinking feeling about my horse (and was told she was sound by numerous vets). She finally had stifle OCD surgery a year ago today. Every "unexpected" problem reared it's ugly head, and my mare's continued slight lameness is a mystery to all the top vets and surgeons at UC Davis. We can only think that because she is nearly 8 and has been moving this way her whole life (because of the lesion) training her to pick up that foot will take forever...
But, like you she is my best friend, and she is happy. I get her out every day, and push only so far. I evaluate her daily, and sometimes just go for a walk, just happy she is in my life. Little by little things will get better.
Alright grr I am stressing some again nothing I can do but gosh he does seem to have an intermittent come and go random limp at the walk still head bobbing lame at the trot in his stall paddock is all soft with no rocks. Not alloud to stress have to be patient reality I have no justification I am worry again.
Last edited by Fharoah; Apr. 19, 2010 at 04:58 PM.
I say this as someone who has been through something similar to what you are going through. Can you take time off -- say a week or 10 days -- from visiting your horse? Get someone you trust to do the care, pay them if you have to, and just take a break from it all?
I never managed this with my horse (3 year old with hoof surgery was on stall rest six months). But I went through much the same what you are going through, and it would have helped.
When we turned my horse out after 2 months of stall rest (multiple splint fractures) he was sound at the walk but head-bobbing lame at the trot. My barn manager & I FREAKED OUT because he had never been lame during the entire recovery period.
My vet said it was disappointing but not unexpected, and that we had to just wait it out. Watching him gimp around the paddock made me want to puke, but we toughed it out and he came sound on his own within a few weeks.
at this point you have to have the out of sight out of mind attitude.
Just go about your day and follow your rehab program.
I'm at 24 months with my horse now.
I can drive myself MAD watching him walk. He's a large lumbering horse and I swear he throws his head up every time he takes a step but then he totally sound at the trot.
I even showed him in a hunter hack on a loop and he was totally fine.
Rehab is the WORST.
Try not to put pressure on your horse to heal faster. It will happen when it happens.
I went through something similar. My horse had surgery on hind suspensories, was not healing according to plan, and seemed to need to be retired. Turns out he just needed lots more time than the surgeon had originally said. (Of course, it's always day by day after something like that.)
How to cope? Focus your energies on something you don't usually have time or energy for. Pick up a new hobby, work out extra, whatever. I was lucky, I started dating after a long hiatus & met a great guy who kept me busy and took my mind off my horse's lameness. Point being, Do Something or you really will go nuts.
Best wishes for a full & speedy recovery for your horse!
"You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince
Thank you! You are all wonderfully supportive. I guess I am just going to stop jugding him which is easier said than done. I has been 8.5 months and sometimes he just seems to limp like discharge. I have to just give it time.
I wish I could go away but can't have to care for the horses feeding mucking not good at being away from my boy but would love a holiday eventually.