May 22, 2009

Isis and arthritis

Isis ad a lameness exam today. She has been moving stiff since early April. Not enough to where she was lame or off, but just enough that she wasn’t moving right. She was unhappy when I rode. When I ride, she falls in on the right side.

The vet came out today and did a thorough lameness exam as well as x-rays of Isis’ back left and right hocks. Lameness exams take some time: over two hours in this case. She found some soreness on Isis’ front right leg and stiffness in Isis’ back left hock.

The vet did two nerve blocks on Isis’s heel and pastern to make sure the soreness was not caused by something deeper in Isis’ foot. I’m still not sure what caused her soreness there. Maybe it is because she has to compensate for her back left hock hurting?

The vet had a digital x-ray machine: she took the x-rays and then immediately developed them. Pretty spiffy. The x-rays showed that Isis has some arthritis.

The vet is going to make a recommendation for treatment early next week. Possibilities include intramuscular Adequan, IV Legends, or hock injections every six months. Adequan and Legends both are given every week for the first 3-4 weeks (at $50-60/dose) and then once a month after that. The hock injections give HA directly into the hock joints. It’s about $400-500 each time, but it’s only that once. (The bad part is what if something gets into the hock joint when the injections are performed.)

And then there is the whole question about how Isis’ IR might react to these treatments… The vet wants to do more research for treatments and how they might interact with Isis’ IR.

I felt relieved when the vet told me that it was arthritis. It’s not comfortable for Isis but at least it isn’t some strange complication from the IR. It’s just part of my girl getting older.

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