Friday, June 26, 2015

Ultrasound Update - Cue Despair

Prair has been getting more than her fair share of attention from her arsenal of vets recently.  Aside from the check up on her Left Hind, our GP has been out to try and investigate her chronic diarrhea which has made a angry resurgence.

I'll start with the check up on her left hind, since that's most of the drama. 

We started by lunging Prair on a small circle, where, even with a heavy martini in her veins, she was still exhibiting Dragon-like-symptoms.  But once a bit settled, she looked great.

Both directions.

No limp, no shuffle, no quick step.  Sound.

So we flexed.

And that's where the wheels fell off the wagon. 

Her left fetlock flexion is still really positive.  She shows obvious discomfort at the flexion being held and the first two steps off the line looked nearly as bad as I remember eight and a half weeks ago when this adventure started. 

I almost canceled the Ultrasound since we knew it wasn't going to show brilliant progress, but I was too curious and too interested to delay the opportunity to get more information.

The (little bit) of good news is that general inflammation in the area is down.  There is still some edema around the suspensory, but less than there was 8 weeks ago.  The medial branch of the suspensory still shows a small area of disruption, but appears to be making (some) progress.  This would be great news f the DDFT was following suit, but the DDFT looks exactly the same as the images we saved from the previous ultrasound.

There is s slight line showing on the DDFT, which is likely a small split in the tendon.  We can't confirm exactly what or where without an MRI, but I'm still holding off on that procedure since confirming it's a split doesn't change any treatment plans. 

Essentially, the vet took one look and asked for two more months of stall rest followed by another ultrasound.  A pattern we would keep repeating until we see either improvement in healing or scar tissue form. 
Obviously not what I wanted to hear.  I am extremely skeptical of miraculous healing when there hasn't been much indication of progress in the initial two months - especially when the structures received PRP and shockwave to invite progress with limited results...


There we are.  I spent the long drive home from the barn being fatalistic and trying to think about my (reasonable) options.  One thing I am fairly certain of is that if we can get meaningful healing, and Prair comes back sound on that limb, I don't think it's fair to ask her to jump (however small) again as her primary job.  Attempting to rehab her as a solid, exceptional Dressage mount for an Ammy seems more responsible. 

At this point (as in today, thought I'm sure I'll waffle on this), I still really want to jump, so if Dressage-Ammy-Mount was an option, I'd likely be looking for a home I trusted for the big mare.

Of course I have to consider the possibility that she won't be serviceably sound and think about what that means too. 

She's pretty, she has great bloodlines and two (stunning) babies on the ground, so we know she has value as a broodmare as well... it just seems too soon for her to become a professional mama.

Anyway, obviously for the time being some patience is probably what I need the most - but it's hard not to let my mind race a year down the road and wonder if I should try to move her now to a less expensive facility where she can enjoy her (extended) rest in a slightly more affordable fashion. 

Though my immediate reaction to that thought is concern over moving a horse that I want keen eyeballs on to a facility where the service level might be lower and the staff won't be familiar with her.... Not necessarily a great tradeoff, especially for peace of mind.

Lots of thinking to do, and thankfully a sunny, beautiful weekend coming up so I can wallow in my Mare Despair, probably with wine in hand



  1. Ugh, not the best news to get. Sending good vibes that the next few months will heal that leg right up!

  2. I saw this on IG, and I'm so, so sorry about the lack of progress and 2 more months of stall rest :(

    I know that you will do what's best for Prair (because you've made the best decision for all of your horses) and I'll keep sending positive vibes your way! ((hugs))

  3. I feel your pain... Trust me, I feel your pain... I ultimately decided to move my horse to a place closer to my home. Who would take better care of my horse then me and him being closer to my home makes it much more convenient to get to see him daily... I used to drive 40 minutes each way to the barn, now the barn is 10 minutes each way...

    I have also made the decision to not jump again if and when my horse comes back. I figure, he will tell me what he can and can't do, but I will not jump him... I am not yet sure if I am ok with that our not...I'm still struggling.

  4. I hope I'm not sticking my nose where it doesn't belong and I know unsolicited advice is pretty unwelcome, but here goes anyway ;) Please check into the Rockley Farm blog. I have zero experience personally or anything to do with them. They are in the UK and I am here is the US. Anyway...they are doing remarkable things with MRI confirmed DDFT, navicular, suspensory injuries in working horses and have been able to get them back to eventing, jumping etc...without issue. Takes a lot of time, patience and knowledge, but before you give up on her completely you may want to see if it is something you could replicate.

  5. Dislike. I'm so sorry the news wasn't better.

  6. So sad the healing isn't coming along as quickly or uniformly as we'd wish. Hugs to you and prayers for continued and improved recovery for Prair.

  7. No no no. Not what we wanted to hear at all. I frowned through this whole post. Except at the thought of stunning babies, I do love stunning babies. But yes way too soon to go down that road. Wine, definitely lots of wine. It's just about the only solution for this.

  8. Dislike :( I'm sorry, definitely not the news you wanted to hear!

  9. I had one where I tried for over a year to rehab a DDFT injury. When I finally gave up and turned him out he went from broken bone lame to sound in about 5 months.

  10. :( Hoping you don't wallow too deeply and that things look up!

  11. Boo! Really not the news anyone wants to get. Some wallowing & wine are good initial coping mechanisms but hopefully the time to think & mull things over help thoughts become clearer.
    Would giving her a year "off" to make a baby help or hinder at this stage? It wouldn't be too late in the season to cover a sport horse mare within the next few weeks, the more pressing concern would be the affects of carrying extra baby - weight might have on the injury if in 10 months time it was still not healing as preferred...although with that amount of time passed there would be larger concerns if healing were that slow
    Sorry - not helping! :-/
    I'll shut up but keep absolutely everything crossed for more positive outcomes and tasty wine and cheese scoffing for the weekend. *hugs*

  12. That is such a bummer, I am so sorry. Hope there is magical healing in the next 8 weeks!

  13. Crap, I'm sorry the news wasn't better. =-(

  14. Ugh. I'm so sorry for the bad news. I'd love to hear more about the chronic diarrhea and what you have explored with it. My filly struggles with this same issue and I haven't yet figured out how to resolve it.

  15. Boo, don't like this :(

    Good news is that she has a great mom to tend to her!!

  16. I have faced into a very similar situation with my own boy... it's just so hard. I am so sorry, I feel for you. Wine helps. So does wallowing.

  17. This is so disappointing! I really figured you would have better news :(

  18. oh no - what a disappointment! wishing you and Prairie the best of luck!


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