For the past few months, I couldn’t bring myself to post here about Kasane. Her injury on her front right leg is serious and more complicated than we originally thought. It wasn’t just her front right fetlock that had arthritis, there were other things going on that had been highlighted in the bone scan done in early December.
Because the joint injection did not completely resolve Kasane’s lameness, the vets did additional investigation. The next step after the bone scan was either to do an MRI (ouch! expensive!) or to use that money towards treatment. I chose the latter.
The diagnosis for her front right leg turned out to be an injury to the proximal suspensory ligament where it attaches to the canon bone. Recovery time is 8-12 months, with the first month or two in stall rest followed by small paddock turnout. She has to be ridden or walked for 15-20 minutes 3-5 times per week.
The prognosis for horses with this type of injury is not good: 60-65% of horses with similar injuries do not return to the level of work they were in prior to the injury.
This all happened back in late December and early January. Initially, I was stunned. It felt like every time the vet came out, there was no improvement in Kasane’s condition. I hate it for her. She is so good with everything. So patient and trusting and I’m putting her through all of these tests and she does it. We were getting ready for a horse show just before this injury happened. We were riding so well — the most advanced stuff I’d ever ridden. It was amazing. It felt like we were on the brink of being able to do anything. And then this. And no idea if I’d get my girl back in full form or if we would be resigned to trail rides at the walk.
Worrying over what might or might not happen wasn’t going to help her. I couldn’t do anything except on focus on what I could to improve her chances so hopefully she will be one of the 35-40%.
I wanted to do something to help address the whole body issues, like her sacroiliac (SI) joint in her back. (The chiropractor was unable to complete an adjustment on Kasane’s back because she was in so much pain.) We added a few more treatments to the mix to try and help her. One of the ladies at my barn is an equine bodywork specialist. She uses massage and acupressure to help treat horses. I’d seen the good results she had with another boarder’s horse, so I was willing to give her a try. Kasane has weekly bodywork sessions. She’s also on a Devil’s Claw and Yucca supplement to help with pain management.
The vet suggested using shockwave treatment and Osphos (helps repair bone damage) to help her healing. We did the shockwave treatment first, with three treatments three weeks apart. Her lameness improved from a 1.5 (on a scale of 0-5, with 5 being the worst) to a .5-1. Minor improvement, but I’ll take it! These treatments finished up mid-March.
Next, Kasane had the Osphos injection in early April. Osphos has some potential side effects, like colic, so I wasn’t excited about putting her through it. I stayed with her for two hours to keep an eye on her. My good trooper thankfully didn’t have any side effects from it.
Our next checkup with the vet is May 10th. I am really hoping that the improvement continues. Of course, other things have happened that might impact that, but more on that in another post.