Drifter's diagnosis :/ - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 09-17-2012, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Drifter's diagnosis :/

Those of you who saw my last thread know that Drifter has been losing his rear right these past few days. It will suddenly just slip out to the side, as if he is halfway doing the splits. It has been completely terrifying to watch.

The vet came out today. I am taking Drifter in for xrays and an ultrasound next week. We are x-raying both hocks and doing an ultrasound on both stifles. All in all, about $700 worth of pictures he said

His belief so far is that Drifter has pulled a ligament in that stifle. Coupled with his old hunters bump (injury from previous owner) and the 6 inches of muscle he ripped out of that same hip (injury pictures of that on another thread..underwoods works wonders..GET SOME!!) that is making him one sore boy. He is staying in his private paddock and getting bute. Hoping to get some of the inflammation down.

They also drew blood for EPM and Lyme since he was running a fever. That has me freaked out Hoping both of those tests come back negative.

As far as Drifter's future he says he will never be an eventer at the higher levels, but maybe if we get lucky he would be able to compete at novice. MAYBE. We will have to see. His barrel career is also over due to the ligaments in that stifle already having been torn once in a barrel race. Fine by me, I don't really know how to barrel race anyways!

Mainly I am just hoping for neg results on LYME and EPM and hoping we can eventually get him trail sound. I would be fine with that. Prayers and good thoughts still appreciated!

S/N: the field vet who came out today was different than the vet I normally see. He recognized Drifter's brand and told me he looked uncannily just like a horse his colleague had owned before passing away in a car wreck a few years ago. The horse's name had been ML. I went and grabbed Drifter's folder and showed him his papers. His name was ML, and it was the same horse! Apparently the friend of his was a vet in Kiln, MS who also owned a barrel racing horse breeding ranch. He had bred his mare to Flaming Jet in order to get Drifter. Before he could choose a name for him, he went to AQHA world in Dallas, and sadly passed away in a car wreck on his way home. To honor their father, his daughters gave Drifter their father's initials as his name (hence, ML). The vet seeing Drifter went on to tell me that the oldest daughter had won many speed events on him until he lost his leg at a race going into the 3rd barrel at 5 years old(tearing that stifle ligament, grr!). It was cool to run in to someone that knew Drifter from his past.

I took a picture this morning of Drifter grazing with our jumping arena in the background. The last course we jumped is still set up (guess people liked the pattern, ha!) It was a little bitter sweet for me. I love eventing, and I never thought I would be able to own a horse and not compete but Drifter has completely stolen my heart. I will gladly say goodbye to the jumps if it means I get to hug that big, beautiful brown neck every morning :)
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post #2 of 25 Old 09-17-2012, 01:57 PM
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My sincere wishes for Drifter's good recovery.
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post #3 of 25 Old 09-17-2012, 02:00 PM
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I hope your horse recovers quickly. How great to meet someone who knew the horse and some of its history. Its nice to kow that even though he may will not be able to do the sport you wish that you still plan on keeping him. Hopefully you will be able to get another horse to use for competetion.
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post #4 of 25 Old 09-17-2012, 10:07 PM
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Oh, that's so hard to read. Bittersweet to meet someone that way that knew of him in his previous life.

Wishing the best for your boy.

"Vulgarity is no substitute for wit. - Lady Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham
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post #5 of 25 Old 09-18-2012, 12:07 AM
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I am so hoping that the news comes back with the easiest to cure. He looks like a very sweet fellow and it's so hard to know they are hurting.
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post #6 of 25 Old 09-18-2012, 12:56 AM
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I sincerely hope that the final diagnosis isn't too severe, he's a cute looking horse. I also had a chance meeting once with someone who knew my TB mare. He was actually the vet that attended her birth some 9-10 years before I saw him. He also saw the mare, asked what her name was, and said that he knew her before she was even born lol. So nice to get even more history on your horse from someone who was there. I'm so glad to hear that no matter what the diagnosis is, you are planning on keeping him. Its so hard with the economy these days, but I see so many ads up for horses being sold only because they can no longer do the job the owner got them for, so the owner wants to sell so they can get something that can do the work. Just keep giving him lots of hugs and attention, and let us know what the x-rays and ultrasounds show. Keeping you guys in my thoughts.
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post #7 of 25 Old 09-18-2012, 02:46 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all. I am trying to keep my eye on the silver lining. We are supposed to hear back about EPM and Lyme results later this week. Possibly Friday. I will consider it a major victory if both of those come back negative. The unfortunate sad truth is that as a student financing myself through college at this time, the cost of curing either of those problems is daunting to me. However, I am not worrying about what I don't know and will tackle that problem when I come to it if need be.

The vets orders today were Drifter is to stay in his small private turnout. He does not want him feeling good with the bute and tearing around with the other geldings. It is killing him. We have in the paddock right by the barn so he can watch all the activity and gets lots of kisses and attention, but it looks like that is starting to get old for him. He stood in the middle of his paddock this evening, with his head hanging low. I called to him and he barely looked at me. Got him out and checked his temp and such- everything normal. The only thing I can think of is he is tired of being alone- he is really quite sociable (to the point where it drives other horses nuts). I took him out and let him graze for a while, spent some time brushing him..but I just could not get him to perk up :/

I have decided I am going to talk to my BO about possibly allowing me to bring in my niece's pony to stay in the paddock with Drifter while he recovers so he has a friend. Joe is a 32 year old side of the road rescue, who is a great babysitter. He kept Drifter company the 3 months he was healing from his hip wound. They are great friends, and Joe will keep Drifter quiet while still allowing him a chance to socialize with another horse. I am hoping my BO says it is ok. It will be a little more expensive to pay board for both of them in the private paddock, but I am completely ok with it. Joe is UTD on his shots and coggins so I am hoping I can talk to the BO tomorrow and get him in by Wednesday night.

Other then that, it is just a waiting game until we go in next week for xrays and the ultrasound. Thank you all for the thoughts and well wishes! I could not sale Drifter for anything, so he is with me as long as he chooses to be. If it ends up being something serious, I am a believer of quality of life over quanity of years. But again I will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Would anyone by any chance know of something I could get him that might perk him up a little in the paddock? He is usually so inquisitive and active I know it is probably painful for him to be shut up all day. Trick training and such for the moment is out until I hear more from the vet about what is wrong. I dont want to unknowingly do something that causes more problems.

I again just want to say thanks to the HF family! It's good to have horse lovers with experience and knowledge to bounce ideas off of, and to help each other through rough times. Drifter and I appreciate it all
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post #8 of 25 Old 09-18-2012, 02:51 AM
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Drifter is so lucky to have someone care so sweetly for him! And what an incredible story of being able to know a bit of his history. Please keep us updated.
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post #9 of 25 Old 09-18-2012, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Well. Went out to see him today after class. A downpour came up all of a sudden so I brought him into the lower barn and made up a stall for him. There is just not enough shelter in his paddock for my tastes, and thick mud plus a possible ligament injury....no thanks...

It is the "sick barn" and Drifter is currently the only horse in there (he will go back out as soon as the rain quits) so I didn't mind letting him wander the hallway while I did some homework and kept an eye on him. He ate some of his hay and nibbled at a treat, but he still was just "blah". My heart is breaking for him :( He is one of those horses who needs a job, and he is usually so high energy, so seeing him like this is hard.

He is still not wanting to put weight on that leg. His hock and stifle both were swollen today, though not as bad as they have been. He still shows resistance when pulling his tail to the side, and he can cross both back legs while yielding his hind end, so still no neurological signs showing up (Thank goodness).

I am going to try and get him some toys at the CO-OP later this afternoon. Maybe there is something there that will perk him up and relieve his boredom.

I have some pics of his leg below, and how he is refusing to put much weight on it. I also snapped a pic before I got him out of the rain. He is standing like this more and more lately (even when the weather is beautiful) and he had only been out there for about 10 minutes before I brought him in. He looks like the saddest horse in the world :/ The water backed up fast in that paddock because it is at the bottom of an incline and the drain had backed up. As soon as the rain stops, I am going to open it back up with a shovel. He will not be going back out until the mud has dried up.

Thanks again, HF family! :)
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post #10 of 25 Old 09-18-2012, 04:46 PM
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Man, I can sure imagina how you feel right now. He does LOOK forlorn. but, remember that such emotions are human ones. Sometimes a horse that is doing basically nothing is not nearly as bored as we think he is. Horses like doing nothing and lolling about.

the pony sounds like a very good idea. Even chickens or a goat might help.

Hope that he recovers soon and you can ride him and watch him frolic!
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