Thursday, May 13, 2010


I got an email this morning from Dr. Grant and his interpretation of P's x-rays.  (ps - how amazing is it that he can be in Germany (giving lectures and doing a few procedures) and still receive, analyze and consult on my little Pia's neck bones!? To think the delay there would have been to get his opinion just 10 years ago...)

Anyway, here's what he had to say:
Received images that are of excellent quality and show a mild kyphosis and borderline narrowing at C3/C4. Needs a myelogram to determine how compressed the spinal cord is and if surgery is indicated.
Kyphosis.  Thanks to Wikipedia I've learned that kyphosis is basically a misalignment of the vertabrea, often leading to hunchback or exaggerated curve of the upper spine.  Hmm

Apparently P's lovely gorgeous "natural topline" is actually a "deformity" (or at least part of it might be...)

(Note the pretty "topline")

(Note the "pretty" topline)

I sorta like the irony of P's pretty, long, archy neck being a mutation. There's something darkly humorous in that...

Anyway, I kept reading and following the links on Wikipedia, and found out that from a medical standpoint, kyphosis can refer to a a few different things:
  • A deformity, where the back is bowed (see kyphosis article for more details)
  • A term describing the normally convex (arched, kyphotic) segments of the spine, also called primary curvatures.
  • When related to a single vertebra, describes the angle created between the superior and inferior endplates.
I think we're probably talking about the last one.. with regard to the endplates, since Dr. Grant and Dr. Fleck both saw only one "instance" of oddity in the x-rays.  We're isolated to the C3/4 joint. So maybe it is in those endplates? I'm no vet, but it sure seems like that could cause some pinchy problems and discomfort farther down her back...

So there we have it, the specialists official opinion.  It's all still consistent with Wobblers Syndrome My current plan is to have a few more conversations about implications and likely outcomes.  The myelogram is not a minimal procedure.  It requires P to be totally knocked out, and for them to monkey around with her spinal cord fluid and whatnot.  I know that its extremely safe, I guess I just want to make sure that we are still moving "forward" and have an excellent chance of learning more information and moving on before I knock my horse out and start sticking needles into her spinal canal.  Measure twice, cut once, you know??

The vet update is our biggest news for the day. I did go play with Pia in the sunshine yesterday.  I've been strongly considering a trailer purchase.  I know its an absurd cost to absorb at the moment.  I mean.. who drops cash on a new trailer when there are multiple vetrinary proceedures (including spinal surgery) on the near horizon?  It seems like now is not the time to go making large purchases.. especially if the "moderate" cost of the basic surgery balloons into something gigantic with complications or something equally unfortunate.

I don't really know what I'm thinking.  I allowed myself to drive out to the barn past one of the big dealers... but at the last moment I had a shred of self control and didn't allow myself to stop and shop.  Not sure where it came from, there certainly was no hint of self control around last night when I found a batch of newly baked cookies in my kitchen and worked my way through most of the container.. oops.

Anyway.  P was cute.  She's still clean (thanks to not replacing her grain-sticky-ball-of-fun-and-mess) and she seemed happy that the sun was out and she could finally peel her blankets off.

We did a little groundwork in the ring before lessons started, and she was being so good I opted to go "halter free" for the last few minutes.  It worked great until Pia noticed that (in preparation for a little show this weekend,) one of the jumps had hay bales under it.  She promptly made a beeline for the jump and proceeded to start dragging the bale around ripping bits and bites from it as she went.

So now I know how much control I have.  She'll stick by my side happily, (walk, stop, turn, spin, etc) unless there is something edible nearby.  It took some serious mane grabbing/neck shoving to get her detattched from the hay bale long enough to re-engage with our groundwork.  Piggie....

Back out to the barn tonight to pat and play and think about the myelogram.  Right now I'm leaning toward doing it, and I think I probably will, but these things deserve consideration...

1 comment:

  1. ok, fascinating!!! I too love that we can send images to germany and have them read and sent back, so cool.


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