Thursday, April 7, 2011

Part 1 (Vet Appointment)

Whew. Still have that pit in my stomach.

I hate vet appointments. I don't remember the last time we had a good one....do you? Denali was in the field when I got there, and came barreling up to the gate. The silly girl managed to break the back strap on her blanket and her blanket was all kinds of crazy.

The vet and I decided we'd talk about "options" once we worked Denali in the round pen. The last time she was "ok" and was a 1/2 out of 5 on the lameness scale and pretty much worked out of it. Yesterday, yesterday she was an obvious 3/5. She did work out of it a bit, but going to the left. Ouch. Going to the right she looked pretty good, it's that left hind that is still a mess. The vet said if we sonogram it, that we would probably still see a lesion on it. Damn it. I don't have the $ to sonogram it at the moment.

Here is the downfall. The best chance for that syspensory to heal is to put her on stall rest. Problem? She can't go on stall rest because of her neck. It would end up killing her one way or another. At this point it's just a matter of which is going to quit on her first, her neck or her leg.

Positive? I'm selling my saddles and don't need to worry about saving that money for another saddle. I own a pasture pet. I did sell a saddle so when I get that money we will talk about doing a sonogram on that leg. It doesn't really matter since I'm not willing to put her on stall rest. I also told the vet that I have a gut feeling that something is going on up near her ears. There is a lump there, and Denali has been twiddling her ears a lot, and if she has a halter on it's continual. It's a bad gut feeling.


We scrubbed her scratches, and then the vet did chiro on Denali. She was so out. We did confirm that it is her C5/C/6 that has the arthritis. How do we determine that? The vet pressed there and Denali all but dropped to the ground. Sigh. While the vet was doing Chiro Denali tried to pull out an old trick. Biting. The girl who was handling her yelled at her, but didn't reprimand her any other way.  After the third bit attempt I took her from the girl. I was so mad/embarrassed. Yes Mare, it hurts, but you DO NOT BITE! I told the girl I knew she wasn't afraid of her, but that I also know it's weird to be holding someone elses horse and to discipline them in front of the owner.



There is still a small chance that at some point she might be ridable. The problem is that it is going to be a long/expensive road to get her there and I just can't afford it. There is no way. If we lived somewhere else where board wasn't so expensive maybe. For now we are going to try to determine if that suspensory is healing or if it is deteriorating. How do you do that? You work her. She is going to get worked five days a week at the walk/trot in the round pen. I unfortunately can't get out there 5 days a week so I need to hire someone to do it. She only is going to charge $10.00 an hour (she works for the vet and is doing it for so little for me), but that is still going to add up fast. I might break out the Rehab Denali blog and put stuff on there to sell. We don't need it right?

I picked up some Devil's Claw Plus to see if adding that will help with some of the inflammation that she has in her legs/neck. We'll see. Fingers crossed.

Lots of things to think about. I can pull her off of half her supplements since she's not ridable, but I'm afraid that they help and I don't want to have her in pain. I won't put her down. She's happy, and I know that in the past people have suggested that. When she's in pain we will put that back on the table.

Options:
1. Continue Rehab - problem? - $$$$$$
2. Retirement board - problem? - There is no cheap (aka less than $400) retirement board in the Seattle area. At that price, I will just board her so she's at least close to me.

At this point we are going to work her for the next two weeks and see what happens.

The vet asked about selling her. To who? Who in their right mind would want to take her on? More on that in Part 2 (coming soon to a blog near you.)

18 comments:

eventer79 said...

Ahhh, sorry to hear that result, but it's still good to have information. I used a Devil's Claw blend for Solo's hock arthritis a while back and I really like it, so I hope you see some results from that.

Will sonogram results change what you do with her? Because if your course of action is the same either way, why do the sonogram? Maybe save yourself the money and skip it?

Denali is lucky to have you and lucky to be loved by you. You are right in that it would unfair to her and unfair to a buyer to sell her.

I wonder if you have any connections that could just hook you up with someone with a pasture she could live in. If you don't need a barn/arena/etc, surely with some poking around you could make a deal with someone so she could live a little cheaper?

Sending lots of good karma for you and Denali, it's been such a rough road for two strong and loving girls.

smazourek said...

:( I'm with you, I wouldn't put her on stall rest either.

Jill said...

Oh no. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. {{{hugs}}}

Muddy K said...

You've found the next step for Denali every step of the way, by listening to your heart. I can't exactly think of her as a pasture pet, but like to think of her more as someone splendid who's retired young. As long as she has minimal pain, then she has a whole life, if that is what you want for her. If you reboot that blog, I'll be buying.

TBA said...

I'm so sorry she's not looking well :( Such a bummer. But at least you still have her and even if she doesn't heal maybe you can teach her to do some fun stuff on the ground. Sending good thoughts your way!

Minus Pride said...

can you spare money to ship her out to retirement board somewhere else? Ship here here to PA :) Plenty of endless green fields.

Seriously though, best of luck and you can always buy new saddles/blankets/anything else you can sell. I know it's hard, but when you can, think positive, at least you still have your horse!!

Sugar & I will be thinking of you & Denali!!

Gingham said...

Oh gosh. That's a lot of information for one vet appointment! You seem to have a great appraoch, and you certainly know your mare... Maybe if you opt for pasture board we could look a little farther away, like skagit county? $$ cut in half up there, and it wouldn't be that much farther than where she is now...

Hmmm, I brainstorm... I brainstorm...

Andrea said...

It really sucks that you are so far away, Gogo really needs a friend in her field.

Denali's Mom said...

Andrea, could you picture our mare's in the field together. The plotting and the evil things they'd think up.

I could ship her to retirement board, and I might end up doing that. She doesn't do well in the cold anyway. I would want her near someone who could keep an eye on her. Either that or a totally trusting place with great reviews.

I will probably do that once I throw in the towel. For now we'll keep trying as much as we can.

Minus Pride said...

Just had a brilliant thought...Skip the sonogram, use the money to ship her to Texas and give Gogo a friend for a year. Andrea obviously watches her horse like a hawk!!!
You may find a different horse in a year!! (plus they would probably do some hilarious stuff together that the rest of us would like to read about haha!!)

Annette said...

Breathe. Just breathe. Breathe compassion for your mare and breathe compassion for yourself. You love her. She loves you. You will do what is best for her. She knows that. You know she loves you. Go with that. Go with the relationship.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

crap..not what you wanted to hear. There are retirement farms that are VERY affordable...where she could be a happy pasture pet, at a distance from you though. I'm sure options will work their way to you...and with Denali it seems she enjoys her time outside being a horse. Inside-not so much.

Barbara said...

Given enough time almost anything will heal. I dinked aroung for 6 months with a horse with a nearly severed tendon who kept re-injuring it in the stall. I finally pulled his shoes, threw him out on pasture and called him a pet. He gimped around for about 6 months a finally started to heal and went back to work about a year after his retirement.
Do what you think is right and stick with it. The 'sell her' comment made me grind my teeth - she's not sound so sell her, uh, yeah, right :-( That's how we do it in the horse world.

in2paints said...

I'm sorry to hear about this, but I think you've got a good plan. Denali is a lucky girl to have you.

Oh, and remind her that 2011 is the year of the SOUND horse!! I think she has forgotten.

Sending well wishes your way.

Becky said...

I am so SO sorry. :( I know there's nothing I can say to make it better - but just think how much you enjoy being around her. I wouldn't ship her off anywhere... just find a quiet barn where you two can hang out together. My favorite times with monster pony are the stress-free "play" times. Not the lessons. Not the times I "work" her. You still have a really awesome pet & friend in her, don't lose that!

Sarah said...

Damn. I'm so sorry, I'm always hoping for the best for Miss D. You know what though? YOU so obviously know what's best for her at this point (ie not stall rest). You are such an amazing advocate for her. Despite her myriad of issues Denali seems very happy, and I know you will do everything possible to keep her that way. I wish you had better news, though, all the same. ((hugs))

achieve1dream said...

That sucks. Sorry it wasn't better news. I agree with the others, if it won't change the game plan don't waste the money on the sonogram.

Does anyone keep horses in their backyard in your area (outside of the city obviously)? Maybe you can find someone who will keep her in their pasture cheap instead of having to board at a barn. It must be so frustrating to have so few options in your area. That's another reason I despise cities (no offense to those who like them).

Anyway I'm dying to read part two and hope there is better news. I'm just glad D is alive and happy, that's what counts. With enough time hopefully she will heal up and be sound. I wish the racing industry would stop ruining these poor Thoroughbreds. I know she appreciates you saving her.

Andrea said...

Oh man the crap they would get themselves into.... I'd be repairing things and bandaging other things pretty much every day!