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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On July 30, Moonshine was in so much pain that she could barely manuever herself to lie down.

On July 31, she was much much better. We were giving her bute. She was still lame, but not three-legged lame. The past few days, she's been the same or a little better each day. She had been getting bute every morning. This morning she didn't get bute and she's just barely lame, and she's putting weight on that foot now. My daughter got her to pick up all four feet for picking for the first time in weeks.

My main vet is out of town for two weeks. The vet I'm consulting with at A&M needs imaging before she'll say any more, and the person who the vet's office is sending out today to do the imaging, I think she's just a vet tech not a vet (we'll find out). So I don't have a professional to ask right now.

My question is, can I start hoping yet? Our hope is that she would just be pasture sound and not have to be PTS immediately or confined to a stall indefinitely. Maybe that Noltrex worked? The vet did say that if it was going to help it would probably do so within a week, and she started feeling better after five days. (Her problem is that her stifle is extremely degenerated and extruded, and there is really nothing there that can be fixed any more.)

I don't want to get my hopes up needlessly, but she's been slightly better every day since Sunday. Is she maybe going to make it, at least this time? I know her long-term prognosis is not good, but maybe she will be OK for now?
 

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Honestly we're so wired to FIX things that sometimes we forget that we just need to let time pass, to wait and see. This might be a case of that. Sure, her ridden career should probably put aside. Yup, she probably needs a peaceful life without herd drama. Yes, there's proof of extensive damage. But maybe she did injure herself and just needs to recover back to her previous baseline, the ticking time bomb that it already was.

If whatever you're doing is working, keep at it. Don't push things. If she reinjures herself like this again you now have something to compare to (timeline/pain management). Most importantly, does Moonshine have the spark to live? That's my measurement. In a week, if there are more bad days than good, then you know. So maybe rate each morning/evening or however often you see her ongoing.

Extend things by a week initially and go from there is my advice. And you can always hope. I've seen enough miracles and bad injuries but I'm still amazed at the things we can bounce back from...
 

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I apologize if I’ve missed the answer to this - but do you have any idea how the injury happened?

We know the exact date and time that our horse injured her stifle and that did help us to chart her improvement.
She was eventually riding sound, not for extreme work but for normal riding.

Even now she shows signs of some stiffness in that hind leg, there’s no indication that there’s pain involved, based on the way she chooses to race around the field!
I’m afraid that there’s often a tendency for people to want to rush recovery and use medication to mask discomfort
I think the only real answer is that injuries need ‘as long as it takes’ to repair but sometimes they just don’t.
 

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Hero had a very similar injection last Friday and I am also waiting to see what it does. He had a joint lubricant with steroids. I am wondering if the vet mentioned Pro-Stride as another option to try. According to my vet, the joint lubricant can help a lot of horses, but if you are willing to pay more for an injection, the Pro-Stride lasts twice as long (she said about 3 months for the lubricant if it works, but up to 6 months for Pro-Stride). The difference is that Pro-Stride can actually cause healing in the area instead of only decreasing inflammation. She was telling me about a couple of barrel horses that had injured stifles and went on to barrel race again after she treated them with Pro-Stride.

From this website:
https://woodsideequineclinic.com/pro-stride/
"Regenerative Therapies

Regenerative therapies basically use cells or cell products to help restore/heal tissues in the body. Veterinarians have been employing a number of regenerative therapies in joints such as IRAP, PRP and stem cells.

We have used IRAP on a number of horses who have not responded to typical injections of HA and steroids and patients who at risk with steroid use. It is a derived from the patient’s blood through a process of exposing the blood to a special tube, incubation for 24 hours and then spinning the blood in a centrifuge. Ultimately it produces 6 to 8 doses which can be frozen for later use. Typically we will inject 2 to 3 doses one to two weeks apart and then use as needed.

Pro-Stride is a newer product that combines IRAP and PRP. PRP (platelet rich plasma) is another blood derived product that concentrates growth factors helping fight inflammation and promote healing. Pro-Stride offers the advantages of a 20 minute processing time as opposed to 24 hours with IRAP. It can be used in the field and in most cases will have a positive effect on the joint for approximately a year.

Stem cells are cells derived from the body with the potential to convert to the type of tissue needed for repair of the injured area. They have been used in conjunction with surgery in the hopes to regenerate cartilage. Veterinary and human medicine are still in the early stages of employing this therapy.

There are a number of new options for prevention and treatment of degenerative joint disease even beyond the one ones mentioned above. They have given a greater ability to treat severe and more challenging cases than we have had in the past."

The vet told me if I want to try it, they will draw blood, then spin it down in a centrifuge and reinject it into the joint. If Hero does not have good results with the steroid and lubricant, I plan to try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@gottatrot we had the PRP therapy done and it didn't seem to help anything, unfortunately. Although, who knows, maybe it's playing into her feeling a bit better now.

It turns out it was a vet who came out, and she said that for our goal of having Moonshine be pasture sound, we can be cautiously optimistic. She said let's keep her the way she is, in the stall/paddock, on bute, and then have her regular vet look at her again when he's back in town in two weeks.

ETA: I'm sorry to be posting so many different threads on Moonshine right now. It's just been a real rollercoaster over here, one day looking at body disposal services and the next day thinking that she might make it back out to the pasture.
 

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Oh, sorry I missed that you already did PRP. That's interesting, but maybe you are getting some kind of extra effect from the Noltrex because of that.

Have they discussed having her on Equioxx instead of Bute? I'd be concerned about using Bute for too long, unless you already have her on ulcer prevention. When I used Bute for more than a couple of days, I would add Omeprazole to be safe.
 

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@gottatrot we had the PRP therapy done and it didn't seem to help anything, unfortunately. Although, who knows, maybe it's playing into her feeling a bit better now.

It turns out it was a vet who came out, and she said that for our goal of having Moonshine be pasture sound, we can be cautiously optimistic. She said let's keep her the way she is, in the stall/paddock, on bute, and then have her regular vet look at her again when he's back in town in two weeks.

ETA: I'm sorry to be posting so many different threads on Moonshine right now. It's just been a real rollercoaster over here, one day looking at body disposal services and the next day thinking that she might make it back out to the pasture.
My advice would be to stay cautiously optimistic from now on. I don't know that I'd ever get to the point of being actually hopeful. Her joint sounds pretty degraded. Once you discontinue the bute for longer than 1 day, you may see where she really is and that will be your deciding factor. I would walk around with fingers crossed but I don't know if I'd allow myself to get much further than that. How old is she?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How old is she?
Maybe 18 or 19 or 20. So she's not young but not really OLD either.

I think, at least we have a bit of a respite now. Maybe we can put her back out in the pasture in a month, and maybe she'll hurt herself again and that will be it, but at least then we wouldn't be shocked like we were this time. It seemed like it just came out of the blue this time. Winning a (casual) show to being a candidate for euthanasia within two weeks. Sure she had been lame one or two days a couple weeks before that, but horses turn up lame all the time and it ends up just fine.
 

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Maybe 18 or 19 or 20. So she's not young but not really OLD either.

I think, at least we have a bit of a respite now. Maybe we can put her back out in the pasture in a month, and maybe she'll hurt herself again and that will be it, but at least then we wouldn't be shocked like we were this time. It seemed like it just came out of the blue this time. Winning a (casual) show to being a candidate for euthanasia within two weeks. Sure she had been lame one or two days a couple weeks before that, but horses turn up lame all the time and it ends up just fine.
At her age, while not ancient, her recuperative powers are not nearly as good as they were at 8-10-12 years old. She's at the age now where if she blows a knee (stifle) it's not likely to make a real good recovery at her age. So like I said, cautious optimism.
 

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I would never risk turning her out with other horses again. If the BO will let you separate her via fence, do that.

2. It’s unconventional but I would consider wrapping her leg in vet wrap every day, to give her some extra support.

3. I am not sure these would be correct for the circumstance, you would have to check with the lameness vet, but there is a place in Canada that custom makes support stockings. I bought them for Joker when he had torn tendons s from the farrier fiasco in 2012. They make stockings for both front and hind legs.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
At her age, while not ancient, her recuperative powers are not nearly as good as they were at 8-10-12 years old. She's at the age now where if she blows a knee (stifle) it's not likely to make a real good recovery at her age. So like I said, cautious optimism.
That's a really good point. It's hard to think of her as old because prior to this she was a really nice mover, body looked good, very alert and engaged with everything. But yeah, she's old. I just have to admit it. And the next time she hurts herself may be the last time she hurts herself, and we realize that now.

@walkinthewalk I get what you are saying. I'm not sure if we could do that or how much Moonshine would like it. She likes to pin her ears at her pasture buddies but she does stick with them and I think she secretly likes them, even Pony. I said in another thread (I think in my journal) that my daughter and I have agreed to choose her quality of life over quantity of life. I think she'd rather be out there with them than by herself. And if that means she's going to re-injure herself, catastrophically, and that's it for her, well at least she was happy.

I did spend some time thinking about how a smaller pasture could be carved out of the pasture where she is now. I will probably keep thinking about it. I'm just not sure she'd really be happy like that.
 

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Many conditions in older horses eventually result in euthanasia and the same can be said for smaller animals as well. You take it day by day with these older animals, and watch for diminished quality of life. If the horse is painful in one leg, but fairly comfortable in the other 3, you can usually manage with equioxx and other pain medications for a period of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Bute is not a good long term solution and if the lameness is still minimal when your regular vet comes back I would ask about Equioxx. My fingers have been crossed for you.
Yes, absolutely. I'm going to have that conversation with him when he comes out next.
 
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I am sure I have missed most of this since I pop on here on occasion. Could you just make sure she has chill pasture buddies in whatever arrangement you come to? I just have a mare and a gelding and they never fight, so they still have company. But I never see them kick or bite at each other, they posture over food a bit. They rarely have cuts or scraps and the ones they usually do get are obviously not other horse injures.... My mare hurt her hock the other day, but there was a tpost bent in half, by the barn. Really no idea why she was over there, right by the barn and the electric fence on that tpost keeps them from trampling the water spigot. Last time one had a cut like that was like 2 years ago?
 

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Many conditions in older horses eventually result in euthanasia and the same can be said for smaller animals as well. You take it day by day with these older animals, and watch for diminished quality of life. If the horse is painful in one leg, but fairly comfortable in the other 3, you can usually manage with equioxx and other pain medications for a period of time.
Seconded. Make the extra time happy. I agree with your thoughts about why you want to keep her in her herd, @ACinATX - if any of ours can't be in their herd anymore we call time, unless the horse is happy to come live in the garden around our house, which one of ours was but no other. I wish you lots of luck. When you know it's coming but you can still get them some more happy time you will feel better about it all afterwards. Which is not to say I'd take out a second mortgage to buy more time, but if it just takes low-level interventions you won't need a mortgage to do it.
 

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That's a really good point. It's hard to think of her as old because prior to this she was a really nice mover, body looked good, very alert and engaged with everything. But yeah, she's old. I just have to admit it. And the next time she hurts herself may be the last time she hurts herself, and we realize that now.

@walkinthewalk I get what you are saying. I'm not sure if we could do that or how much Moonshine would like it. She likes to pin her ears at her pasture buddies but she does stick with them and I think she secretly likes them, even Pony. I said in another thread (I think in my journal) that my daughter and I have agreed to choose her quality of life over quantity of life. I think she'd rather be out there with them than by herself. And if that means she's going to re-injure herself, catastrophically, and that's it for her, well at least she was happy.

I did spend some time thinking about how a smaller pasture could be carved out of the pasture where she is now. I will probably keep thinking about it. I'm just not sure she'd really be happy like that.
Maybe you can carve out a piece of the pasture for two and put someone with her that will keep it calmer for both. If she is not happy by herself, chances are that she might run the fence line and wear herself out more.
 

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Have you talked about the OSPHOS? Is that an option for you? I do that with Ri-Meister.

Also - did you look into Adequan and is that something that would work for you? I used that for a little while but I liked to call it "liquid gold" because of the cost...
 
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