When Kasane was at the vet hospital earlier this month, the diagnostic tests indicated that she had issues in her front right fetlock, sacroiliac (SI) joint in her back, front left foot, and one of her hocks. The vet said to wait two weeks and then check her for soundness. That check was today and I am so happy to report that she looks much better. There is still a slight head bob with her front right, but it’s so much better than it was.
My vet was very optimistic about the video and wants me to start riding Kasane again with a two-week rehabilitation plan. Yay! We’re going to start with 15 minutes of walk. Every third day, we’ll add another 5 minutes, up to 30 minutes of walking. At 30 minutes of walking, we’ll add in 5 minutes of trotting.
I’m going to keep an eye on Kasane and will take a video periodically to check her progress.
What happens whenever you go to the hospital? You come home with a cold. It appears that Kasane may have done just that. On Saturday, I found a great wad of yellow snot on the wall of Kasane’s stall. She hadn’t been in the stall that long, so I thought maybe someone else had used her stall.
Nope. No such luck. Today, the barn called and said that Kasane had white snot in both nostrils. She’s been eating and drinking okay. She seems to be acting normal. She greeted me and was happy to have her apple on Sunday when I was at the barn. No change in attitude that indicates she is not feeling well.
We’re going to take her temperature tonight and see how she is when she comes in for dinner. Poor girl can’t get ahead. If she has a fever (and depending upon it’s severity), then we’ll give her a bute (horse aspirin) and call the vet in the morning.
Update: No fever tonight! Her temp was 99.4F, which is perfectly normal.
The bone scan showed that Kasane has issues in her front right fetlock, ilial sacral joint, back left hock, and in her neck. The vet did some additional tests by repeating two of the nerve blocks. The low four-point nerve block (which blocks the fetlock joint) almost completely resolved her lameness issue. Some lameness was still present, but it was greatly reduced.
The radiographs of her fetlock showed a boney spot on the point where one of the ligaments comes into the joint. The ligament was slightly irritated. There were also signs of degenerative joint disease (arthritis), which may or may not be related to her lameness. An ultrasound of her leg showed no problems with the suspensory tendon (yay!).
The next step would have been either to wait a week and then do a nerve block of the fetlock joint proper (which involves waiting a week and then a joint injection for the nerve block) or to go ahead and treat the joint with an injection of HA and steroids. I opted for the latter since there seemed to be enough evidence pointing to the fetlock joint as a potential issue.
Her discharge papers say to wait 5-7 days before checking her lameness. When we were leaving the vet school, the vet said to wait two weeks before we’d see full results. So. I’m going to wait two weeks before checking her for lameness. I don’t want to get my hopes up. I have a feeling we’re in this for the long haul.
The vet called me this morning from the vet school with an update on Kasane. She is doing well and has been getting the radioactive substance via IV. Everyone loves her because she is so well behaved and sweet. Proud of my girl.
I went to the vet school to see her during lunch. I missed her by the amount of time it took for me to return to the car to put the parking permit in the dash and come back. Her stall was empty and roped off with radioactive warnings.
It’s been almost six weeks and Kasane is still lame. My regular vet referred Kasane to the local vet school for additional diagnostics, including a possible bone scan.
The vet exam today showed that Kasane is lame on her front right (moderate, 3/5) and her back right (mild, 1/5). The lameness was more pronounced on the lunge line.
The vet school had a neat diagnostic tool for detecting lameness that uses motion detectors. During the lameness exam, three motion detectors were attached to Kasane at the poll (head), front right fetlock, and at the top of her croup. The motion sensors streamed data back to a tablet. The tablet then reported where she was lame and the severity of the lameness: moderate front right and mild back right. These findings are consistent with previous vet exams.
Because it’s been six weeks and we haven’t seen any improvement in Kasane’s lameness, I opted to go ahead with the bone scan. She will be kept at the hospital for three days, including tonight. Tomorrow, she will be given a radioactive substance that will highlight areas where there is bone remodeling. The bone scan will not show what is going on, rather it will provide a map of issues to investigate.
I hate to leave her at the hospital for so long, but we need to figure out what is going on so we can help her feel better. The bone scan results should be available on Friday morning.
I have a playlist that I use when I’m writing horse-related stories. There are two I’m working on currently, one short story and a novel-length, tentatively entitled The Lady in the Tree. The playlist corresponds approximately to events and characters in the novel and shows their progression through the story.
Kasane is still lame, even after the chiropractic adjustment. She is moving much better on her hind quarters, but she still is off on her front right (indicated by a head-bob when she trots). During the initial lameness exam, the vet found an issue with the front right as well as the hind end. There was a swelling on the inside of her back right hock.
This swelling appears to have gone down on its own.
My regular vet came back out today to do a follow-up lameness exam with two nerve blocks. Nerve blocks are used to help diagnose the location that might be causing the lameness. If you block out the area that is hurting, then the lameness goes away. Today, Kasane had two nerve blocks done to check from her mid-cannon bone down and then from the bottom of the knee down. We don’t know if her lameness is caused by a tendon issue (like a suspensory tendon) or something else going on. The previous vet exam last week did a nerve block on her heel and fetlock joint. Both of those nerve blocks didn’t have any affect.
Unfortunately, neither nerve block had any impact on her lameness. She was the same before and after the nerve blocks. My vet is going to refer Kasane to the local vet school. It’s a very good school.
I’m not sure how I feel about taking her to the vet school. She doesn’t have anything life-threatening. I know she will be in good hands and we’ll hopefully have a treatment plan after their evaluation. It’s just the idea of returning to the vet hospital that fills me with dread.
The last time I was there was with Isis six years ago when she had her acute onset of EPM. The feeling of jitters comes from those memories, not from anything related to Kasane. Thankfully, Kasane has never had Isis’ barrage of issues and illnesses.
The other thing that kind of weirded me out was the job title. We’re going to see an orthopedic surgeon. Surgeon. Yikes. I had never considered that whatever is going on with her could require surgery. Must stop thinking about this before my writer-brain goes down a rabbit hole.
Kasane will be fine. We’ll figure out what is going on. The vet school will be a good thing because we will have more tools to be able to help Kasane, and that’s what matters. Making her better.