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In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~


6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Does this clinic make my butt look fat?



So says the mare over her shoulder.



Yesterday morning, I got up SUPER MEGA ULTRA early to clean stalls at home (3:45am I mean), headed over to the barn, groomed the Queen Bee, and tossed her on the trailer to make the trek up to see the other Dr. C, my regular vet. I've kept her on this case because she knows this mare and knows her history, and has done a great job with her. Now that we've moved and she doesn't come out this far for farm calls, it is a little bit of a journey to get there with mare in hand, but worth it. We were a little late due to torrential rains, but made it safe and sound. The procedure was quick - lightly sedated her, scrubbed the leg, and injected the sheath with Hyalovet (hyaluronic acid). A 'light sedation' for Gogo, however, is a right knock-out... she is such a lightweight! Within moments, her head dropped to the floor, puddles of drool dribbling from her hanging lips, legs swaying, knees buckling! I half thought she was going to fall over. The procedure was very fast, and with a little bit of help, we hoisted her back into the trailer and let her wake up a little before continuing on the journey home.

With a little luck, putting a little HA into the tendon sheath will quiet everything down, settle the inflammation, and keep any more adhesions from forming. Looking at the location of the injury, and the history with possible adhesions.. that really just had to be it. The lesion is sitting right at the edge of the tendon - if an adhesion was between the sheath and tendon and it ruptured, it very well could have made a little tendon-crater there.

But I also have good news. I asked Dr. C about turning her out and/or breeding her, and I think she was trying to keep her head from spinning! She essentially just told me no, which secretly was what I was hoping to hear. Having looked at the ultrasounds, she told me this injury was minor enough that it is in her best interests to continue on with controlled exercise and getting her back under saddle, and I agree. I mean I certainly wasn't going to turn out a horse with a fresh tendon injury, but I had thought maybe in a month or so it would be all right to do, maybe. Still, I was practically waking up in a cold sweat thinking about all the horrible things that can go wrong when recovering tendons move too much, or unexpectedly. I wish I had a picture of a mare I knew who had done a similar injury to a front SDFT. The owner said to turn her out instead of resting, so they did, and the resulting major deformity was painful to look at every day. After it had "healed", she stood on her toe, leg completely crooked, and hobbled painfully around. And she is now very dead. A little bit scary to think about. Honestly, turning tendon injuries out is an archaic practice. I had to say it, but I do know it and always have. Maybe I was just having a moment of weakness. One wrong move on a recovering tendon and boom! there's your whole eventing career GONE. Whole riding career. Whole life, maybe. That's what happened to Metro.

Instead, I received Dr. C's advice and breathed a sigh of relief. I really do think it is best at this point to get Gogo back up and running again, at a slower pace than before but with the same end goal. We'll continue on with our two months of handwalking and stall rest, and reevaluate the legs at the end of May. The end of May... wow. At the end of May last year, I had already won two events. That is really sad to think about.

Next year, Gogo. We can do this.



(PS - I also just found out that the woman I was going to do the trade with is now calling me all sorts of nasty crazy names because of the fact that I called and told her I was going to follow my vet's advice and keep her in versus turn her out. I know she was waiting to her her voodoo holistic hands all over my horse but seriously lady? Glad I didn't take her up on the offer in the end anyway!)

13 comments:

Daun said...

I am glad you have a plan.

You should try not to be so closed minded, however. Turnout being "archaic" is a bit over the top. I was told to stall rest my mare, that even with stall rest she would never be sound, blah blah blah and I did not stall rest her. I turned her out with hydration therapy for three months. She has a bump on her leg, as you've seen, but at 20 years old, she is sound and foxhunting over crazy terrain. My sample size is almost as big as your sample size. Anecdotes are not evidence, but until we get real scientific work on rehabbing animals (not just so the lesions heal, but they return to work at 100%, their whole body functioning as well as it should), we are all just swapping anecdotes.

Sometimes the "holistic voodoo" that just allows a horse to heal can work. Not always, as evidenced by your experience. But I've see many time when agressive treatment doesn't work either.

It's all a crapshoot and you are doing the best you know how to do for your mare, but never close your eyes to other possibilities. They may not work for you, but they DO WORK in some situations.

Best of luck.

Austen said...

Sounds like you are looking up, which is a fabulous thing!

It must be rough to be facing spring knowing your horse is on stall rest. I would still try to find other horses to ride and work with. That can give you so much more hope!

Also, wow crazy nutjob. Love those. Right?

McFawn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McFawn said...

I'm sorry the turnout-trade lady has proven to be crazy, but I agree with Daun that turnout shouldn't be considered totally backwards when considering rehabilitation for the long run.

Like Daun, I only have the sample size of my TB who I was told (by an Olympic team vet no less) to stall rest for 6 months or else. I turned him out and like Daun's TB he went sound. When he died at 19, he was completely sound without injections.

Walking and moving in a pasture is itself rehabilitation--no amount of treadmills/handwalking can replicate the low-impact fitness of turnout. A horse on 24 hour turnout does not bomb around the pasture like a horse that gets out a few hours a day. Not to mention that turnout gives horses a base of fitness that serves as a injury preventative for the future.

I think its great that you want to protect Gogo, but I would maintain a skeptical view of not just turnout, but veterinary advice as well.

Andrea said...

No no, I meant turnout for a tendon injury is archaic. Turnout for a whole plethora of other injuries is not only health, it is in fact "en vogue". The new chic thing to do. Which is probably a good thing, honestly. (Just not for major tendons/ligaments).

By holistic voodoo, I meant pumping unknown quanitities of herbs I can't pronounce down her throat. This particular woman is a pretty good example about how crazy horsepeople really are. Things like natural horsemanship and holistic medicine are fantastic when practiced by sane people, but for whatever reason they seem to gather the crazies!! This woman has a barn full of unhappy horses... something isn't working.

Daun said...

Andrea, you know I heart you like whoa, so my comment was more of a launching point for discussion than an admonishment.

And McFawn is also my split personality, FYI.

I agree, there are some nutbags out there and I also agree you know way more about tendon injuries than I do *knock on wood*. However, you are Our Great Hope for restoring order to the competitive eventing/showing scene.

I know this goes without saying, but never lose sight of ALL the benefits of a natural lifestyle, not just the barefoot thing. And I get the controlled exercise for tendons initially, but if it were me (and no, you did not ask for my opinion), I would get the mare on a full day's turnout when she's cleared long before she goes under saddle. Build her base being a horse before you build her up to being an athlete.

Love you and the mare.

Andrea said...

I love you too Daun. Lots.

Val said...

Well put, Daun.

My horse is barefoot and I always try to be open-minded, but I do not like it when I am made to feel guilty because I purchase supplies for my horse at the feed store instead of the health food shoppe. I think it is good that you avoided that situation.

Andrea said...

I also have to be careful with turnout though... I want to turn her out before I get back to working her but I don't think I can. If she trots or canters before she is "allowed" to trot or canter - meaning too early on, when the injury is too fresh - she could easily reinjure herself. I'm supposed to introduce it in a controlled environment. Sigh.

And Val, it is funny you should mention the health food shoppe.... because I buy Gogo's aloe juice at the Walmart, and they didn't have any this week, so my roommate went out to pick me up a gallon for me, but she went to... the health food shoppe! And it cost $28! At Walmart it cost $8! I died!

Jennifer said...

Great news indeed! I just <3 Gogo (and you too of course!) and I selfishly can't wait to see her get going again.

I think it's nearly time for an update on your Five Fingers... I finally tried on a pair last weekend and it was interesting. Granted they were a size too small and out of my size, but it was definitely a "unique" feeling. :)

sally said...

"Gogo" ... not a fat butt,instead its simply gorgeous!!!!

Val said...

$28!!! I hope there were gold flakes suspended in the juice!
(I think it is fun to pronounce it "shopp-ee").

Gryph said...

CVS also carries 100% pure aloe juice by the gallon, in the vitamin/health supplement aisle. And it costs about $7 at my local store. Hope that helps!

-Cyg