I'm sure this will sound like a ramble, but I just want to splurt it out to someone who's willing to listen...I had posted over a month ago about my Appy mare Christy's injury to her knee that she was getting surgery for...We've had A LOT of ups and downs in her "recovery". She had her surgery on November 21st. She has been on stall rest since and with only light hand walking/grazing in the past few weeks. She has been walking sound and trotting sound for visual vet exams...until a few days ago. My vet came out last friday to do a re-ultrasound (1st since surgery). We both noticed that her knee was a little warmer than usual, but nothing we were too worried about (since it was wrapped beforehand). She performed the ultrasound and was still not very happy. Behind her big scar she still had an area of tendon disruption and fluid in the tendon sheat... This wasn't exactly what we wanted to see after almost 2 months after the surgery. Now since Friday her leg keeps getting warmer and warmer and it is swelling again, more than normal (sadly these images show actually that this is almost the smallest it's been sincethe injury, that's also why I'm not optomostic). She had gotten to the point of letting me touch her leg without a fuss, not showing any type of pain of any kind, but she's different now. Again, she pulls away her leg when someone gets near it, and she seems more stiff...I am just so frustrated it's horrible. I do not have the means money wise to do anything else major with her. I am loosing all hope as she slowly slips downhill again. I still have $1500 in vet bills to pay off and they continue to pile up now. My vet sent pictures of her leg to the surgeon to get his opinion. I already had to choke through the option of either putting her down or paying for the surgery which I couldn't afford. One of the boarders was amazing enough to donate part of the costs of it. We ended up having a field surgery because I cannot afford to take her to a surgery center, so the surgeon was kind enough to come to me.
I am sittin here in tears because I have nothing left...I am running out of options very quickly. A rescue won't take her..and honestly I am way too stubborn to just hand her off...she's my baby. I have had some very tough times in the past 2 years...she's my only safe guard.
I want to know if any of you guys would have even an inkling of an idea of what I could do for her? I have tried everything that I can afford...but sadly I am a lot more willing than my bank account is able. I guess it sounds weird...but I just want even a little bit of hope brought back into the situation. I don't mean to sound ...i dunno...needy, but I just want someone to even BS me to thinking that everything will be ok. My life is already upside down enough. I just don't want to loose her now too.
I'm sorry for the ramble, I'm just...done with everything. I want something to go right for once...
Time, Honey, give it some more time. I do not have the education of the vets that have worked on her or even know the extent of the injury, but time. My boy was 15 when I got him and he had a very bad hock injury, his hawk was that size when I bought him for very little money. I was a very green rider so the vets new I was not going to be doing much with him (I had no trainer or very much experience in riding) all we did was walk for the 1st 2-3 months I got him and I just worked on my muscles and balance, vet came out and looked at him ad said some light trot work was fine in straight lines so we then moved to that. I have had him for 3 years now and up till 3 weeks ago we were well on our ways to showing H/J this spring. Well of course now he fell in the pasture on ice and he had a swollen cannon up to the knee, it has been 3 weeks since he was seen by a vet and just from the fall his knee is very, very swollen. The vets are just saying give it time.
I understand that your horse has gone through alot more then mine this time but if my horse is still very swollen in the knee just from a fall that has been x-rayed and told everything is fine, then after surgery I would expect that it would take alot more time then just almost 2 months considering my boy is still very swollen also and it has been almost a month. My boy has fluid and his knee is almost twice the size of the other.
My vet did ask if I wanted to do Shockwave therapy, does your vet do this? It is suppose to speed up recovery in some way (not sure how). I hope this helps!! I am not a vet and can not say it will be fine, but no one thought my boy would be 100% sound after his hock injury but then again he also has a chip in his knee(the one he fell on) and old arthritis that the vets saw in the x-rays and the can't believe he is still jumping for me now!! He is a 17 year old OTTB now and I believe that he is a tuff guy and am hoping for a speedy recovery for the both of us!!
Hope this helps makes you feel a little better!! Prayers for you and your mare!!!
Shockwave doesn't really do anything in my experience.
Also, this sounds like an infection. I am amazed that your vet did not prescribe that you put her on more antibiotics. This sounds quite easily treatable with antibiotics. It might possibly have to be lanced if the fluids abscess, and then topical treatments will also need to be applied. It is not difficult or majorly expensive to treat infections, until the horse goes septic and then you are looking at heroic measures to have a chance at saving the horse.
Prbygenny, thank you for your encouraging words! It's just been really tough staying positive with eveything else going on in my life too I guess. She hasn't been ridden since the accident. The vet does not want any weight on her because she's keeps rollercoastering in her knee size, etc. I haven't talked to her about showckwave therapy yet...sounds expensive.lol But hten again, I'm already on the "forever payment plan" with my vet...so can't hurt too much eh?
Anebel, well...I wish it was as easy as putting her on antibiotics. But she was on antibiotics for over 3 months straight (which isn't good for her either). She did have a full blown surery on her knee, so we can't go back in and lance it at the moment beacuse of all the scar tissue. There isn't a whole lot of fluid left according to the ultrasound. And saying that it isn't majorly expensive sadyly isn't true either! At least when you already spend every penny on your horse to make sure she lievs through it! Her antibiotics are over $250 for a month...it's pertty tough with all of the other expenses. And sadly my vet gives 90% of the needed things to me at cost...it's still tough. They ran tests and have done everything I can afford so far. But this economy is hard to even have enough money to pay rent!
Just wait Underfire. I know it's hard. My mare severed her tendons in her leg, one was 100% severed while the other was 80%. That was in August of last year. She had a very costly surgery and then daily bandage changes and stall rest for, I think it was 3 or 4 months. December she had her final vet check so that was nearly 6 months and at that point she was still lame. Now with the severity of her injurey we were expecting permanent lameness but now it's been over a year and she's mechanically sound. (she does have stiffness).
Anyhow, I don't know the extent of your injury but give it time. Lot's of time. AND... If there is a racetrack near you, w/in driving distance, I would suggest getting an appointment with one of their vets. They are usually inexpensive. The reason I suggest this is because they are generally experts in lameness. I have gone to them w/ some questionable injuries and they are really, really good.....
Patience, sadly, is a virtue. I know what you're going through, in some sense. My gelding tore two ligaments in June of 2008, and after stall rest for about 3-4 months, adequan injections, and joint injections, he was still flexing badly for the vet. So, since October he's been turned out in a pasture and given time to just relax and not have to worry about the stress of work. I know your mare can't be put on pasture because she's still off and having swelling problems, but I understand what it feels like to have to sit there and watch your horse be in pain and wonder how you're ever going to get through it. I still go through that every weekend when I drive an hour just to visit Willie. Honestly, it sucks. I can't describe it any other way, but you'll make it through.
Personally, I've found shockwave to be helpful. My vet loves using it and has said in many horses he's used shockwave on, their recovery time shrinks by a lot. Maybe it's just wishful thinking and money that's been thrown away, but if it's feasible for you and could possibly help your mare recover, then I would talk to your vet and consider it as an option.
My horse badly tore a ligament in his hind right leg. He was obviously in pain and limping. The idiot vet I had at the time said it was a bone bruise and that I should work him - which I did for a while until I decided that I was right and he was wrong. I decided to stop listening to him and went to another vet to get x-rays. But, by then more damage was done.
I was starting to lose hope because I couldn't get the swelling down. I know that his was not an infection - it was inflammation. The thing that I found that worked wonders on him was photonic light therapy. It was the only thing that helped the swelling and finally allowed him to heal.
I have used it on my mom after having knee surgery when it was getting infected. And also a friend used it after having abdominal surgery when the wound kept seeping. I am amazed at how it seems to help with healing and somehow killing infection.
The difference in my horse was noticeable within 3 days and he had the problem for 1 1/2 years at that point. I was completely frustrated and about to give up hope when I found it. So, hang in there.
If you are interested at all, I can find out the website where we got ours from.
I know I have to give it time...I guess it's just een super frustrating since we all thought it was getting better again. Her leg was still swollen today, but some of the heat was gone. Well,at least I think it was. She's still not too happy with anyone touching it agin. It's just been hard trying to keep sane!
I really appreciate all of the different therapy suggestions and will definitely look in to themand talk to my vet! I'm just hoping nothing else is going wrong in her leg again...