Gogo's 2-month recheck at Tufts was at 9:00 this morning. Technically, this is three months out from her injury (a little less, actually), so I was not expecting the news I received for such a short time out from the injury. Gogo's tendon is HEALED. There is nothing at all to be found on the ultrasound anywhere. The only thing of any remark was that on ultrasound both tendon sheaths of both SDFTs has slightly hazy margins, which essentially means nothing at all. Maybe it's residual, maybe it's just how she is. Either way, it is doubtful that it is or ever will be lameness causing in the present or future.
However, it's not so simple as a hop right back to work. She was still ever so slightly off RH. It was so slight that to me, she looked sound. Dr. Chope didn't seem that concerned about it, but had another vet that I wasn't familar with come over for a second look after she ultrasounded clean and I was getting ready to have a new rehab program outlined for her. We had already run the ultrasound over her fat hock and found some very mild joint effusion (possibly from recent trama?) but it wasn't bothering her that we could tell. When this other vet poked around at her, he also found she had very mild effusion in her right stifle - again, something I neither noticed nor could hardly see unless I got in there and felt both stifles several times, and even then I wasn't totally sure. What did concern me was how seriously reactive she was to palpation of both SI joint. She about sat down when he palpated her. THAT to me is indicative of a bigger problem, something I've actually long suspected given her chiropractic history. When we jogged her again and flexed her, she flexed positive to both full flexions on both hind legs. And again, I couldn't see any difference between any of the jogs. Me being a worried horseowner with insurance and this vet being a macho vet at a high-tech school, he "highly recommended" a bone scan and gave a long list of why exactly I wanted to spend about $2000 doing that. My concern at this point is whether or not Gogo's insurance will continue to cover her at all after this year. We've already been cancelled from another company, Markel (and I use the name so that you will all know to never use them), for making a single claim on Gogo - we scoped her for ulcers and she was clean. They made an exclusion, and then bam! Cancelled when the policy came up for renewal. What's the point of insurance if you CAN'T USE IT. We are with Broadstone now, and hopefully they will do what a sensible insurance company would do and make a temporary exlusion for a length of time, and charge me ridiculous amounts of money. Very irritating. Anyway, so I got some sharpness from my mother about it, got some more pep-talking by this vet who I am now convinced I don't like anymore, and decided to go ahead with it. I mean, it does make sense to me - we'll be able to know exactly what kind of bony trama we are dealing with in her entire back end, and know what we can rule out and what is/is going to be problematic. What irritates me is that this guy essentially is playing with my money by putting me in an emotionally unstable situation where I obviously want the best for my pet and will do what I have to to secure that for her. I could have said no but... what if there really is something going on that simple blocks and radiographs couldn't have told us? It just kills me that it's SO subtle I can't hardly see a thing. Are we finding problems that weren't there to begin with? I don't know. I mean really, she looks fine and sound to me, but I'm not an expert.
Dr. Chope is great. This other guy, not so much. I make it a point not to use male farriers/vets for this reason.
Likely what is going to happen is that something will pop up on the bone scan, they'll recommend a course of injections for Gogo the Pincushion, all my morals will go down the toilet and I will come back with a much happier and sounder horse and a much more miserable me.
We do what we have to, I guess. But this is the bad part of fancy diagnostic work. Would I have ever even bothered to have this looked at if I never knew it was there? Woudn't we be home and getting back to work already tomorrow morning if that other vet hadn't happened to walk through the room? Does that make it right or wrong?
I've written about all these morals before and I still feel the same way. There are plenty of horses doing just fine with way worse problems that we have. Hell, if they were to run me through some fancy diagnostic machinery they'd probably tell me I shouldn't do physical labor ever again. But I still seem to be getting along just fine. I hurt really badly some days but I do it anyway.
Anyway, in short, the news is essentially great. Gogo's tendons have healed and she is *almost* ready to start trotwork again. We just need to figure out if this is some sort of mild low-level joint pain or something else, and address it as needed. You still wonder though how and when this all happens, and why we continue to do what we do if this is what happens to our bodies and our horses bodies in the end. Are we creating problems where there aren't actually any at all? She could just be stiff from standing around in a stall for 3 months. That sure as hell would make ME stiff. It's quite likely we're just looking into this way too much and I'm spending ridiculous amounts of insurance money for no reason at all. We'll know tomorrow.
I guess I'm doing the right thing. Maybe. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing or just wasting time and money. All I know is that I really just would rather have her home than sitting radioactive in the ward at Tufts until Friday. That's just... creepy. And it makes me feel dirty, in a way.
Yes. That's how I feel about all the vetwork that has happened in the past year versus any other year for any other horse in my entire life. I feel dirty. I just hope this all gets over and done with quickly. I just want her to be able to go back outside and get filthy and run and just... be a horse.
The very special Ridgeway weekend
1 day ago