I guess I will start with Bre. If you have been on my blog much you will know Bre has been plagued by soundness problems over the years. Dickie came into the picture because Bre just can't hold up to steady arena work. Over the years she had various vets look at her, xrays, creative shoeing, and even a pet psychic. Eventually we came to the conclusion she has really thin soles, an old shoulder injury. Her shoulder gets better with work and she responds well to chiropractic. She doesn't do well in soft arenas that pack in her feet but does great on hard ground/grass. Arena work mentally fries her so that was for the best anyway. If arena work is kept to a minimum Bre will happily gallop for miles and carry me for five hour trail rides (no, not exaggerating).
This past winter/spring Bre went off. I wasn't too surprised because she gets an abscess every year like clockwork. One big whopping abscess when the weather starts going from wet/cold to wet/warm.When she gets an abscess she is three legged lame then it pops and she is back to normal. However, this year it seemed different. The lameness never really resolved and she seemed reluctance to go forward under saddle. She loves to canter and was refusing to take her left lead.
Navicular had been ruled out during previous lameness but lately she has been acting like we needed to revisit those pesky QH feet. I decided to have her fronts x-rayed to figure out what we are working with. The farrier pulled her shoes just before the vet arrived and she was so sore she could barely stand up when we tried to get films. Oddly she didn't react when hoof tested over her navicular bone. However, the picture showed a different story. She has changes in both navicular bones with rough surfaces and flares at the tips of her coffin bones. She also has a cyst on her left navicular bone causing inflammation in the coffin joint.
I felt sick when I saw the films. I have always known that Bre didn't going to be that horse who lives happily into her late 20s. I just wasn't ready to start getting dire diagnosis yet. Fortunately my vet quickly gave me hope. She said she has seen horses much worse off than Bre (both symptoms and xrays) be showing sound after cortisone injections into the coffin joint. She said if the injections work they last six months to a year. They aren't cheap but spending $400 once or twice a year seems reasonable to have a happy and SOUND pony.
|Bre trying to fit a whole apple in her mouth.|