Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Sunday, February 10, 2013

In the Arena #140 - Needle in a haystack...


Spring has come to my world. My world of landscaping work anyway. As in less time for playing hooky or lingering around in the blogosphere, hence I have let my blog posts back up. (time to call the wahhhmbulance)

There are three lovely rides to write about + new pictures and video. (!) Lots of gardening news as well. My plan was to compose a comprehensive post yesterday, but as I sat down to the computer (literally), my internet connection konked out. Technology. Can't live without it... can't live without it.

This morning's feeding contained another dose of reality. Val came across the paddock hopping lame. Head bobbing lame. A big 'ol hitch in his giddy-up.

I began by inspecting all four feet and legs very thoroughly. No heat, no swelling. I picked up and held all four feet. No reaction - he bore weight on all feet equally. After he finished his breakfast (appetite not at all affected) I dosed him with 2g of bute. A couple of hours after the foul tasting medicine, he may have looked marginally better.

I cleaned each hoof within an inch of it's life, tapped all over with the hoof pick, pressed all over each sole (hard). Pressed the heel bulbs and squeezed the coronary bands all the way around.  No heat, no tenderness, no reaction. At all. So --- I'm figuring an abscess goes to the back of the line.

Next I hand walked him. I turned him in fairly tight circles both directions. He seemed to falter a bit turning to the left. Watching his head as we walked, the bobbing downward happened on the movement of the left legs... sort of between the front and hind steps.

I can't for the life of me isolate where the issue is. I don't know where to stick some ice, dammit! My farrier suggested LF or RH going by my description of the head bobbing. The only other bit of info is that he seems not to be straightening his LF all the way - he almost looks like he's a bit over at the knee, and I heard clicking as I walked him.

Val came to me with an injury to his hip that required nuclear scans, and precluded him jumping anymore. He receives Pentosan Polysulfate injections monthly, and is just about due for this month's dose. He also gets hyaluronic acid gel daily.

He had a major flip out on Thursday last week in his grazing paddock. It looked like someone had done doughnuts with the tractor when he was through. Full throttle gallop right up to the gate - slamming on the brakes in soft sand - skids worthy of a reining horse.

I did some groundwork yesterday involving yielding his hindquarters, but haven't ridden since Wednesday, though overall we've been working longer and harder recently. Nothing over the top mind you. ;D

My plan is to see how he is in the a.m. and continue buting him tomorrow. The good thing is he's cooperative about his meds, and he is taking it easy voluntarily, plus laying down several times a day as per usual.

Helpful suggestions welcome. It's funny that I have finally gotten to the point where I'm anticipating riding with a light heart... just in the last few weeks. Hope my buddy's feeling better soon.

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Monday morning update:

I went out to the barn at 0'dark thirty to check on Val because I couldn't sleep, and it was fixing to pour down rain soon. Picked the paddock as well as you can when you can't see. (yes - I had to "feel" around a little bit) Evening mash bowl empty, plenty of water drunk and hay eaten, and a horse ready for breakfast.

Gave him the once over - still no heat or swelling - still bearing weight on all four feet equally. I led him back and forth in the little wedge of light from the tack room. I'd say he looks 50% better today. Better enough to take off like a bat out of hell when a poop pile I chucked over the fence broke an insulator and started the hot rope arcing. I swear to you, when I have to do fence repairs, Val stares at me (from a safe distance) with a combo of utter respect + complete bewilderment. I am magical. :D

Cautiously optimistic...

12 comments:

The Dancing Donkey said...

I wouldn't rule out an abscess, if it is sub-solar you won't see any sign of it until it pops. If it is an abscess, check his temp to make sure it doesn't go systemic. Whatever it is, I hope it is not too serious and heals quickly. Good luck.

Kate said...

Hope he feels better soon. Very hard to tell what the issue is without a video - and maybe even hard then . . .

Terry said...

So sorry to hear that Val is a bit off. Hope it's nothing, and it heals pdq.
Spring is months away for us!

AmberRose- Girl With a Dream said...

Sorry to hear about this, Hope Val is feeling better soon! :D

jenj said...

Aw, poor Val. That sudden onset lameness does sound like abscess, but with all his recent antics it's possible he strained a muscle somewhere. Hopefully it's something minor and he feels better super quick!

Grey Horse Matters said...

The cause of lameness is hard to diagnose sometimes. But he seems like he's feeling better this morning. I hope he continues to improve. Good luck.

Annette Mickelson said...

I'm glad he is doing better. Unfortunatley, I don't have any ideas. I thought abscess at first but he's bearing weight evenly so I dunno.

Wolfie said...

Sending positive thoughts your way. Get better, Val!!

Val said...

If the bute is helping and he is not hopping on three legs from an absess, he probably tweaked something goofing off. You could try massaging his muscles systematically to see if he reacts negatively. Unfortunately, it is all guesswork, but at least it sounds like he is feeling better already.

juliette said...

Good luck with the sweet Val. That sucks...you worry and don't want him hurting, but how can you tell where it is coming from? Hopefully it will be right soon. Thinking good thoughts here!

TeresaA said...

hmm I wouldn't completely rule out abscess but I'm also wondering if it's shoulder?

billie said...

Sending good thoughts to Val - hope things improve further, fast. :)

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