Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Ultrasound.

Today was d-day in terms of Prair's rehab and our theoretical plans for Thermal.  She's been feeling great under saddle which is wonderful, but in the back of my head there was still a 10% chance that our ultrasound would reveal some horrid new lesion or massive hole in a tendon. 

I mean, there's always a chance right? 

And with horses if it can go wrong, it probably already did... and something else bad happened too.  It's just a good rule of thumb.

So, my expectations have been really guarded.  Really, really guarded.

The short version is that all is well.

The slightly longer version is that all is relatively well.

And the irritating long version is that really we don't know yet.  (which maybe is the infuriating answer for all soft tissue issues.. no smart vet ever wants to declare a tendon "totally healed," and I get that).

But, what we saw is mostly good.  No new lesions, no new roughened edges, which is what we were most concerned about potentially seeing.  What we did see is the same small area of a roughened edge (if the cross-section of the DDFT is a clock, its a little squiggly looking from 3 to 6).  What was new was a bit more inflammation in the tendon sheath and possibly some edema. Nothing huge, not enough that if this was Prair's first exam that my vet would want to inject it, but enough to notice and we're pretty sure it wasn't there before (we're not totally sure because the older films weren't loaded on her laptop, so we have to wait a few more hours for a proper side by side). 

I'm almost certain the inflammation is new though.  I have Prair's previous ultrasound seared into my brain, and I do not recall any discussion of inflammation of the tendon sheath - though it's possible it was there and just wasn't the most significant item to discuss... who knows.  Not me... yet.

Clinically though she's sound,  very sound on the lunge, and more even than she was at our last exam.  She flexed a tad positive on both forelimbs (specifically in the fetlock), which raised a few questions, but when she lunged sound on the hard pack, the vet's concern evaporated.  If she was uncomfortable on the hard pack, we'd be more alarmed, and she would have wanted to inject the coffins to alleviate it, but we avoided that.

All other flexions looked great.  Hocks, stifles.. all clear.  even her back palpated well, so all in all Prair's in comfier place than she was at this time last year.

So it looks like Prair is still healing well.  She's feeling more and more even under saddle and apparently all signs point toward things being OKAY.  So we got the green light to continue at our current workload (which is pretty heavy) and jump up to 2'6". 

Admittedly we've been working a LOT and jumping a ton.  Not big, but often and that may be part of the inflammation question.  Also, it's possible that some edema is the new normal for that tendon when it's in work... Again, who knows (not me... yet).

The current plan is to go to Thermal, play low and slow (nothing over 2'6") and then see how she comes home.  We probably won't ultrasound again (unless something bad happens) but we'll do another lameness eval and see if she's any more or less uncomfortable after three weeks of horse showing. 

The one additional thing we did explore today was Prair's neck.  She's been carrying more tension on the left side, and it's been consistent enough that it seemed prudent (though not urgent) to see if there's anything going on independently there, or if tension is potentially a result of the LF issues and her attempt at guarding it...?  There have been a few horses who have had some rather serious arthritis in their necks and have benefited greatly from having them treated.. maybe it's proximity bias, but it's been on my radar and hard to rule out.

Neck ultrasound showed nothing significant at all... so that was the end of that road.

I hoped on for a lesson after all the poking and prodding and Prair was LOVELY.  Some of our best course work and easiest flying changes yet.  I think we're on a good path... I just hope we stay on it!

Tomorrow we've got one more lesson before packing our trunk and shipping south on Friday!

It looks like I was riding in a rainbow...


  1. Glad she seems fine and you got the go ahead to head to thermal!

  2. sorry it wasn't the matter-of-fact 'all clear' that perhaps we were all hoping for - but like you say, maybe this is the new normal? in any case, i hope you have an awesome time at the show and can't wait to hear all about it!

  3. Glad to hear everything went (relatively) well, and you're headed to the desert! Keeping my fingers crossed for you and Prair having continued success and bringing home lots of pretty satin :)

  4. Glad it was a pretty good exam! And I'm excited for all the upcoming Thermal-ness :D


    Hope all continues to go well. :-)

  6. Sounds excellent hope the mare continues down the road to awesome.

  7. Yay green light for Thermal! Hope everything continues to get better and better.

  8. yay! so basically she's trying to tell you she's not hurt but she could really go for a massage ;)


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