Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In Which We Inject All Four Legs

So, I did end up having the vet come out yesterday morning.  The heat and swelling were gone from his fetlock completely thanks to icing and poulticing, but he still wasn't sound on hard ground.  Given that he's been not quite sound on hard ground for six weeks, I figured it was time.  

Oh boy, was it time.  After I gave her Tucker's complete medical history starting from birth, because that's what you do when you're his mom, we went out to the flat area in front of our indoor and Tucker dutifully displayed his gimp.  We did fetlock flexions, more gimp.  Blocked his right sole, no change.  Blocked right coffin, sound on the right.  Blocked left coffin, sound up front (sweet relief). 

She had me take him in the indoor so we could see how he moved on better footing, and as soon as he trotted in there she said "Oh!  He's fancy!"  Yes, he is when he's not limping along like he's walking across a mine field of legos.   My poor child.

I told her I didn't like how his right hind looked now that his front end was sound, which she agreed with (I'm either a good client or the worst one ever, I can't decide). We flexed his right ankle first and dear lord, the poor thing hobbled away on three legs.  

My heart sank, my stomach flipped, I was immediately overwhelmed with guilt.  The mom guilt is so intense when it's your own horse!  I've seen other horses flex and jog off lame a whole bunch of times, but I was not expecting my boy to be three legged lame.  She blocked the ankle so we could see how the right hock looked, and that was positive too.  A little less in the left hock, but still not great.  

Ultimately she recommended injecting both coffin joints, right hind fetlock, and both hocks.  So that's what we did.  First we sedated and scrubbed him:

The sleepiest most pathetic of Tuckers
Sorry, I didn't take photos of the actual injections.  I wanted to concentrate on what she was doing. But I did capture his various stages of drunkenness:

"I can hear you. Are my eyes opening?"
"Seriously I'm opening them as wide as I can."
His plan for the next week is two days of just turnout, Friday tack walk, Saturday a little trotting, and Sunday light hack.  No grain for the next 3 days because of all the steroids in the injections (laminitis risk) so he'll just get his soaked alfalfa cubes when everyone else eats.  Then back to normal next week.  I'm SO glad she didn't want him stall rested after all this.  Tucker does not do stall rest!

I feel a little terrible that I had to inject all the things, cause I feel like I should have had him evaluated/treated sooner, but I'm relieved that we had this taken care of and he's going to be feeling better.  I'm also incredibly thankful that the heat and swelling in his fetlock wasn't evidence of a soft tissue injury.  I was bracing myself for 6 months of time off.

He's usually so sensitive, but today the vet said he was quite stoic.  Maybe as he's gotten older he's gotten less wimpy about pain?  Anyway, given his age I'm going to make sure I have him seen at least twice a year to make sure he doesn't get that painful again (especially now that I don't have to justify the expense to anyone but my cringing bank account).  This boy is just too good to me to let him get sore, ever.

There are a lot of parallels here... Tucker and I are both took a while to figure out what exactly was going wrong, but we are both now on the path to things getting a whole lot better.  Tucker got blocked, I blocked Ethan's phone/email/facebook, so I never have to hear horrible things about myself from him ever again.  I feel free!  


  1. That's a lot of injections. At least you got them all done at once.

  2. Aw poor Tucker! He is gonna feel like a new man after all that! Probably the issues had been slowly developing for so long that he never really felt the full force of the ouchiness. I bet he will feel the full force of feeling great again tho!!

  3. Oh man. Glad you got the bottom of the ouchiness. Also yay for all the blocking! No one needs that kind of negativity.

  4. poor baby, but hoping he's up and "fancy" again very soon! <3

  5. I bet he'll be feeling extra super fancy with his new juicy joints! So glad it turned out to be a relatively easy fix.

  6. Poor Tucker! I hope that these work.

  7. All of the blocking!! I blocked my ex and it's the best thing I did.

  8. Poor drunk Tucker! I bet he'll be feeling GREAT soon. I know what you mean about the mom guilt, when Rico needed injections I felt TERRIBLE but he ended up being super happy on them and felt better than ever. Awesome news on the additional blocking, definitely the best habit I've gotten into after relationships end!

  9. I am glad it was diagnosed/resolved easily and quickly. I totally get you on the mom guilt. Boca is ever so slightly off on his RF, but he works out of it. I am delaying looking into it, because we just did the whole surgery thing in Feb, and I think my husband might divorce me if I bring up more vet work. And yet... it is lingering in my brain. Ugh. Horses. Why U So Expensive?

    Yay to blocking all the things! Especially the Ex. Ain't nobody got time for that kind of negativity in their life. Onward and upward!

  10. Block joints block ex. I like it.

  11. I had a breakdown when my horse had a three legged trot after a flexion. I was pretty sure I was the worst horse owner ever.


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