Earlier in the week, our vet Dr. H came to the main farm to give the first of our spring shots and pull Coggins. After I had roached Gogo's mane and cleaned her all up, I trailered her over in the morning to the main farm, and when Dr. H arrived, I asked if he would be willing to take a quick peek at Gogo as a fresh pair of eyes (he's our 'leg guy' and specializes in the lower limb). He said yes, and before we drew blood we pulled her out of the stall she was temporarily in and watched her jog.
Now, I get to see Gogo trotting and cantering around her pasture on a fairly regular basis. She mostly walks, but she does trot and canter over to see me on a fairly regular basis whenever I come to the gate. I've mentioned before that the lameness has improved over the past two months in turnout, and has progressed as such: for awhile, she was a little off at the trot, but noticeably off at the canter when she could only canter on the left lead behind (could canter on both leads up front but would crossfire behind). A few weeks ago, she started being able to canter on both leads comfortably and regularly with no more crossfiring and no heat or swelling in the leg after any of these episodes. She was just a hair off at the trot, and if I didn't know her as well as I do I would be willing to say it's not noticeable unless you're very versed in hind-end lameness. However, the day before the vet appointment, I watched her trot away from me while I was attempting to shoo her away from her favorite rolling spot after I turned her back out into the field following her bath. Wow.... she looked awesome! She was honestly and truly what I would really call sound. I don't give any benefit of the doubt anymore. To me, if she's even the faintest hint of uneven, she's still lame.
When I pulled her out for Dr. H the next day, I didn't expect her to look as good as she had the day before. I expected that since she had been running and playing the day before, she would probably be off, even if it was just a bit. I handed her off to the tech, gave them both a case history, and Dr. H and I stood back and watched while she and the vet trotted off.
"Wow," he said. "If you hadn't told me anything I would be asking what the problem is." She looked GREAT.
We discussed what my original plan was for rehab, and what modifications we should be making at this time. I told Dr. H that originally I had planned on turning her out in January 24/7 (which I did), reassessing in June just to see what we had going on, turning her back out for another six months, and then doing a total workup in December. Dr. H's comment on this was that we should stick to this plan at least up until June, "but if she looks this good now, there's no reason she can't go back to work in June." Personally, I think I am not willing to move any faster than my original plan states. This is exactly how it's been every single time - she comes sound quickly and without any major treatments, but one misstep and she's back to where she originally was. To me, that seems like we just haven't been giving this the time it needs. These past two reinjuries, even if she was sound and the ultrasound looked good, the tendon was not strong enough, and in both circumstances all it took was one misstep for the tendon to fail her. Doing things any faster than we are at the moment just doesn't feel like a good idea. What's six months to me anyway? I've got time. And so does she.
And I really like looking at her out my back window.
The very special Ridgeway weekend
1 day ago