Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bad News

The vet came out yesterday. I was so optimistic that I wasn't really prepared for the diagnosis. She has a tear in her lateral Suspensory ligament by the splint bone where it bisects. She's on stall rest for at least 90 days. I had to sit down when the vet told me that. Denali. Denali in a stall. Denali in a stall for 90 days! She's not allowed out of her stall at all for the next two weeks. Too much of a risk of her hurting herself. Rehab is going to be one interesting journey! One very interesting journey for sure!

We have lots of options. The vet started talking about stem cells and I stopped her, "You do realize that I bought this horse for around $400.00 right?" Not that I don't love her, but dropping that much money into a horse that I don't plan on taking to the top is just not fesible for me financially! I didn't even ask how much it cost, but I can imagine. Don't think I'm a horrible person!

Some other options:

1. Shock Wave Therapy. It's $300.00 a pop and she'd need at least 3 treatments.

2. Pegasus Rehabilitation Center. It's amazing and I'd love to send her here!! It is $1,800 a month.

The vet said that doing the shock wave therapy and Pegasus would be the most beneficial for her. UGH!!!!


Oh and to top it all off, remember this lump? The vet is going to look at the x rays again. It keeps seeping and so one suggestion was it could be a piece of dead bone working its way to the surface. She'd need surgery if this is the case...

For Sale: One Thoroughbred Mare, 6, has a suspensory injury in left hind, possible bone fragment in her rt hind, and was recently treated for EPM. Has aggression issues with other horses, and needs a confident rider.

How does that sound? No, it's not real! That is how it would read! Ideas on treating this kind of injury? Anyone else going throught this fun time! She hates, hates, HATES the stall!


Anonymous said...

Sorry your news wasn't good.

My mare had a rear suspensory injury - low not high - and we did our rehab the old fashioned way - stall rest, hand walking and then gradual increases in the amount of exercise. It takes a long time and there are often steps back on the way, but you'll get there if you follow the vet's instructions. My mare is now sound and has had no other issues with that leg - and it's going on 8 years.

Good luck!

Laura Maynard said...

Oh no... that's not the kind of news you wanted to hear :( Fortunately they can be rehabbed back even without the stem cell or shock wave treatments, it just takes longer. Most of the horses I've known of who have come back took about a year to return to their previous workload. I can totally sympathize with the sticker shock for those treatments. My vet thought about shock wave for my mare extensor tendon issues but we gave it time and stall rest and it healed on it's own. When the tendon frayed, and this might be applicable to the lump surgery, the skin couldn't close over due to the necrotic tissue. So we ended up with a big deep dark black pit of dead tissue over her cannon bone. Keeping it moist and wrapped worked for a while, but then was too much. In order to get the wound to heal (once the necrotic tendon had flushed out) we covered the roughly 2" diameter wound with amnion which acted like a skin graft. Worked wonders for the skin wound part of the whole mess.

Jingles for a safe and speedy stall rest and recovery. Don't be afraid to use a little ace, with your vets approval, to keep the edge off her.

in2paints said...

Oh no... :( So sorry to hear this!

I just went through this with my mare, although she had a DDFT lesion on her front leg, but I'm back to riding her, so the prognosis is good! My mare was a super patient, though, and stayed really quiet. Hopefully Denali will do ok on stall rest.

Something else you can look into is PRP treatment (Platelet Rich Plasma). That's what I did with Lilly and I can't tell you if it worked or not, but I'm hoping it helped. It cost me around $950. The stem cell therapy is really expensive... my vet quoted me about $2000 for that one, which is why I went with the PRP.

Good luck with the rehab! We're here for you! :)

Jay Jennings said...

So sorry. Seems bad luck has settled over her stall.

Angie 2 years ago had a pulled a tendon in her right hind and needed stall rest for 30 days it was awful for her. Then it was a game of how much can we walk before she explodes and goes nuts and re-hurts herself. It's so difficult. Even then the reintroduction into daily work was so difficult to balance what she needed to burn off energy get out her TB silliness vs. not re-injuring her self.

Are you going to be able to send her to Pegasus? (which I have heard wonderful things about btw)

How is this going to affect you moving barns?

Too bad you wouldn't consider our barn. We have a TB's there on re-hab and the staff there is super experienced for this sorta thing.

Also who is your vet? Have you consulted with the vets at Pilchuck in snoho? They might have a better alternative or might be cheeper on the Shock Wave...

goodtimetoreview said...

Ugh! What a crappy day! My monster was retired from the track because of a suspensory ligament injury. I’ve forgotten much of what the veterinarian who gave him to me said about his rehab, if he even told me at all. Other than he was in rough shape when he came off the track, that he had spent 2 years on a 160 acre ranch with 40+ OTTBs buddies and that he was totally sound now for his new career. I haven’t had any problems with his legs other than the time he kicked the back of his stall so hard he hurt his legs (he's not the brighest crayon in the box)...Lets hope that D gets better sooner and cheaper than expected!

This is going to sound totally dumb to most people probably. But a cutting horse trainer that I knew would teach her horses on stall rest tricks. (There are books out there on this subject). She showed us how to train a few simple ones and I’ve taught both horses I’ve had to give kisses. She had horses that would shake their heads yes and no, give hugs, take the hat off her head, smile, etc. A lot of the tricks can be taught right in the stall and it gives your horse something to learn and to keep them from going completely crazy and gives you some time to bond with them. I know it’s probably a really dumb idea but it’s a thought. :-)

Nicku said...

Yup, that is definitely not good news! I am so sorry to hear that :(

Sarah said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry, that's not the news anyone wants to hear.

I'm a first time commenter but have been reading your blog and looked through the archives for about a month now. Feel free to disregard the following, but here are my thoughts:
-do NOT be afraid to use any/all sedatives your vet recommends, and do not be stingy. Kinder for her, kinder for you.
-the good: this will be GREAT bonding time for you two. She will come to really enjoy your time together, I have a feeling. You can also use this time to really work on your riding skills and horsemanship. Can you take lunge lessons? They do WONDERS for your seat and that can only increase your confidence for when Denali is finally ready for riding.

I agree with the poster who mentioned trick training. Also think about clicker training:) You might also look into some desensitizing exercises a la Clinton Anderson. I don't agree with all of his methods but his ground work helped me with my OTTB gelding.

She is very, very, very lucky to have you. I know you will do the right thing for her, and this certainly takes off any pressure to make a decision about selling her, haha:)

Anyway, good luck with everything. I hope this is the end of your horrid luck with Denali, and this recovery period will signify a new start for both of you.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Crap. I'm sorry, I know that wasn't the news you were hoping for. I guess it could always be worse, so just think like that for now. She will get better. Time goes by quickly, I promise.
See what you can afford and then subtract $1000 from it b/c it's always more than initially thought...that is my advice coming from someone who spent way too much with out knowing where the end was. I just dont want to see you get in money woes and still have a lame girl. Gather all your info, talk to locals that have rehab their horses with the same issue and see what will work best for you and bounce off your hubbie (he seems supportive and insightful too).
Denali will probably surprise you will how she'll adjust to stalled life if you visit with a positive attitude and do mental work with her to 'keep her tired'.
Good luck and you WILL get thru this!!!! :) xo

Sarah said...

Also something else to keep in mind-these OTTBs spent their whole racing life in a stall. The majority were NEVER turned out in a paddock or pasture. Yes they were racing but still, this is not going to be new to her. Hopefully her stall is as stimulating as possible, ie lots of activity that she can see, window to outside, stuff like that. Just something to comfort you a bit:)

Andrea said...

I completely agree with the sedatives thing. Long-acting sedation can be SUPER helpful in situations like this. It keeps everyone safer, more comfortable, and happier.

I also second the PRP treatment. It was what we were going to do with Gogo, but she didn't end up needing it. I am treading her particular injury conservatively, with rest and more rest, and walking. Be CAREFUL if you look into shockwave. A friend of mine has a horse with permanent nerve damage in his back from a shockwave treatment, and is unrideable now. Shockwave has the effect of temporarily nerving them, meaning they might feel sound and GREAT enough to go do something stupid and hurt themselves again. I've never actually seem shockwave work, some to think of it. The five or so horses I know personally that have been shockwaved for any reason are, well, all broken for life now. It's hard to say.

But know that I feel your pain, a lot, and I'm so sorry :(

Muddy K said...

I'm so sorry to hear this about Denali. I don't know that I have any advice to offer, but I did have to keep Scout on 24/7 stall confinement for nine weeks this past winter after her splint bone fracture and surgery. My alpha mare grew up on the plains of Oklahoma and never knew a box stall until the day she met me. Being indoors was against her nature, but we got through it. I spent as much time with her as I could, which was easier for me than for some because I telecommute for the winter months. Sometimes I did nothing more than stand beside Scout, looking through the window with her. I groomed her for hours. She was on Reserpine powder, of course, but it also helped her to have me there. Unfortunately, once she was back outside, she went right back to being the herd-bound boss wench that she is, like it never even happened.

Maybe we should trade mares. Ha!

Good luck, and hang in there.

Rachel said...

keeping you in my thoughts.

Julie said...

Great blog! Enjoyed my visit.


Denali's Mom said...

Thanks everyone for your insight and suggestions!!! I really appreciate them!

To try and answer your questions:

Jay, I would LOVE to send her to Pegasus and still might. I am waiting to see if I got hired to teach summer school or not. I wouldn't send her for a month or two anyway. It would be great for her!

We're not moving barns. Not now, and who knows if ever. My trainer just takes such amazing, AMAZING care of Denali.

Andrea, Ophie's Mom reads your blog and told me to read yours (which I have read religiously!) I was interested in hearing about the Shock wave!

Also, she's totally drugged! All the time! If she wasn't she would have totally tore down the barn down by then.

I have some exciting news, I am now the groom for one of the grand prix riders in our area. :)

Jooles said...

Sorry to hear your bad news. Although reading some of the other comments it doesn't sound unusual and others have got through it unscathed. I hope you'll take heart from others' stories. Good luck.

Jooles said...

Forgot to say - congrats on the job!

goodtimetoreview said...

Exciting news about the grooms job! hopefully it is more fun than when I was a groom at the racetrack! all though I did learn tons of stuff, like what it's like to be dragged through a barn by a horse who just finished a race it got me prepaired for OTTB ownership! lol
I've put out job postings to my friends for a groom to myself but oddly enough no one is wanting to work for an intro level dressage rider...weird...