So the vet came out today. I spent most of the night trying to sort out how I feel about everything he said and I'm still not sure I've digested it.
Basically he said that P's problem is neurological, and that likely its Wobbler Syndrome, and then he rated her a 3.
Shocking. All of it. I was expecting hocks or stifle, or something jammed up in her spine, but not spinal compression. I was prepared to hear "injections" not "surgery." I was ready to think her attitude was from pain, not from lack of feeling or understanding what I was asking.
It's a lot of information. It's a lot to think about. And there are a lot of implications.
Things I know:
- I don't know nearly enough about Wobblers. so its time for research. (www.equinewobblers.com is getting a lot of hits from my computer)
- P reacted strongly to the "tail pulling" test, but she doesn't seem that symptomatic otherwise
- I will do whatever I can to make her life functional and normal.
- Surgery success rates seem oddly high, given that that the procedure is on their SPINE
- I don't have care what our timeline is
Things I Don't Know:
- If this could be EPM or an infection. We pulled blood for titers yesterday and won't hear back for 10-14 days.
- What alternative therapy is out there
- Whether anyone else agrees with the first vet
- Risks of her condition degenerating - what to expect
- Other options...
For one thing, no- she's not insured, and if she was insured I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have coverage for anything along these lines... so that's straight up just not an issue.
For another thing, I'm still not worried?
I can't quite tell what this means. One option is that I'm in severe denial and am just not grasping the consequence of this diagnosis. But I don't think that's it. It feels more like I'm "OK" with it. Like the idea of rehab and testing and road trips to clinics and 60 days of stall rest isn't dashing any of my hopes or dreams about owning a horse. It feels like its ok. Like this is what I was signing up for. It's not what I would wish for, but I'll learn from it and continue to take something from the experience.
So, I'm in the dark for the next little while. The only "therapeutic" remedy I can find easily (and that the vet suggested) is a HUGE daily dose of Vitamin E which has been show to improve the impact of neurological disorders like this. So I ordered that today. overnight. why not get started...
Otherwise, I'm looking into the sort of balance/rehab exercises that are recommended for post-op, and trying to determine if there's anything productive about beginning them now. Could strengthening her core help now? can it impact her ability to carry herself? If nothign else it seems like healthy muscle tone would be a bonus going into surgery (assuming we get there), so I might as well keep her as conditioned as I safely can.
Currently I plan on continuing to hack to hack her, but with the knowledge that she might not have a clue what I'm asking for, or even know that she has four legs and that its not just some phantom cow-monster that's always chasing after her.
So peculiar. Makes you stop and think about why you are riding in the first place and where the joy comes from.
Here's to a new chapter and about 47 thousand new challanges.
Oh, and also to a new label on the "New Saddle" change jar. It will now collect funds for a "Spinal Fusion."