Saturday, October 27, 2012

What 4+/5 lame looks like

Well, we did the joint lavage on Thursday afternoon. Friday Saga was only a bit better, but analysis of the synovial fluid showed the white blood cell count within normal limits. The hope was that we'd gotten the infection is just one lavage, so Saga came home to convalesce in his stall.

Honestly, when I picked him up he was not noticeably better. This morning when I took him out to graze for a bit (about 10 feet from his stall), he looked pretty bad.
 
This is how he stands most of the time - right foot out, with no weight on it.

This evening after dinner he looked even worse. The only way for him to be any MORE lame would be if he was 100% NWB on that foot - and that would make him a 5/5 lame.


It's horrible to watch, isn't it?

I called my vet, but at this point, there aren't many options. We are going to check the joint fluid again in the morning to make sure the infection isn't back. In the meantime, we've made a splint (per the vet's instructions) out of PVC pipe and duct tape, to immobilize the joint. Even immediately after we put it on, it seemed to help him a little. So that's something, I guess.

Slightly redneck splint, but it seems to be working.

I am not going to let my horse limp around like this for very long. Every day he's essentially non-weight-bearing on that foot, the risk of compromising the supporting foot increases. I'm keeping him in standing wraps, and checking him several times a day for signs of laminitis, but he could also bow a tendon or something. Not good. He's still perky and eating, but he is clearly in a lot of pain and it's not getting better.

At this point I'm trying to prepare myself for the possibility that this is not going to have a happy ending. Have I mentioned lately how much horse ownership sucks?

21 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry, horse ownership does suck sometimes
    :( Sending healing thoughts to Saga.

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    1. Thanks, TBA. Every little bit helps.

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  2. This is breaking my heart. :( Sending healing wishes to Saga and praying things look better tomorrow!

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    1. in2paints, it's breaking mine too. Thanks for the healing wishes.

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  3. Ouch! That IS quite lame :( Poor guy.

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    1. Yeah, I am really having a hard time watching him like this. :(

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  4. Oh:( Poor baby. And poor you. Sending all the happy, healing wishes your way.

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  5. Oh dear. I am so sorry to read this.

    I am assuming that you could not pull his shoe on the left front, but maybe you could boot his right front with thick pads in an effort to cushion and support the fetlock above. This might be nice for his left front, too, if you can get the shoe off. Maybe you try it with the shoe on. It is just a thought as I realize there are not many options. Can your vet inject the fetlock with antibiotics? Maybe they already did this.

    I wish that I could help somehow and that this wasn't happening to you and Saga. I respect your dedication to Saga, his comfort, and quality of life. I hope this is not the final chapter.

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    1. Val, we did discuss pulling shoes, but he also has a history of bruised soles when not in shoes, so it's possible we'd be adding insult to injury.

      And yes, we have already injected the fetlock with antibiotics, twice. He's also on massive amounts of antibiotics in his grain.

      Thanks for the ideas though - any little bit helps!

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  6. So sorry...

    Hoping that a remarkable turnaround is in the works. Barring that - I know you'll do the best thing for Saga, despite how much it sucks.

    (((hugs)))

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    1. CFS, thanks. I hope you're doing OK with the storm!

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  7. OMG, I'm so sorry. My thoughts are with you, my friend :hugs:

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  8. ...He's a good horse, and you are a good owner. Whatever happens, you both gave your best. I'm still hoping for a good outcome, though...

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  9. Oh poor guy, and poor you. This sucks.

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  10. I hope everything goes okay for you both. We went through that last year, with a knee joint. My guy is back in full work, dressage and deals with a yearling. He only had one standing lavage and the vet's put a long lasting antibiotic right in the joint. Good luck I know it is tough.

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    1. We are now on round 3 of antibiotics in the joint and still showing no signs of improvement. :( But, I'm really glad that your guy healed up so quickly and is 100% again! That's great!

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  11. Hello! I found your blog through Andrea's Pangea blog. I am so sorry to hear about saga. I have gone back and read several old post and Saga seems like an amazing horse. I hate when fellow horse friends are hurting. Good Luck in everything you try and I am sending strong and healing thoughts your way. I am so impressed as to how strong you are for Saga and the whole ordeal.

    Good Luck!

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