Last week Hot Rod finally got an appointment to have his joint injected at the OSU large animal clinic. I normally take him in August, so he was a couple months overdue, but you know, LIFE sometimes gets in the way! I also hauled a boarder of mine to have a couple injections done on her, as well.
Just a little back story on Hot Rod: when I bought him, he did not exhibit any lameness, but after several months he began refusing to pick up his right lead. At first, I thought it was a behavior issue, or my riding. I enlisted the help of a trainer and we still got no where, so I had him radiographed, and we found ringbone in his front right coffin joint. DUH. How bad did I feel? Pretty bad. We have been injecting ever since. Thankfully, it’s only in the right, and we hypothesized that he might have had an injury when he was young. However, we won’t ever know for certain, and ultimately it doesn’t really matter because the injections help immensely.
I went through a very long period of disappointing rides after that initial injection, thinking we would only lope to the left forever and ever. He still anticipated the pain and refused. After months of building up his strength (and trust that it wouldn’t hurt), he started picking up his right lead. Phew! We are now consistent ambidextrous lopers. 😉
Back to the vet appointment.
If you’ve never taken your horse to a teaching hospital, it can be a surprise. I’ve been there countless times, so I knew what to expect, although it still can get on your nerves. Young students (many non-horsey) crowd around your animal, feeling them, checking reflexes, taking temperatures, touching sensitive areas, etc. They also ask a series of unrelated questions, taking each query as seriously as possible. I made a joke about his weight during their questions, and four pairs of big eyes just blinked back at me. “It’s just a joke. He’s fat,” I explained. They solemnly nodded.
Thankfully, Hot Rod was a gentleman about everything until they starting probing around in his mouth. He was all, “my foot is down there, you idiots…” I resisted the urge to say the same. But, these poor souls. You can’t help but giggle and watch them do their little routines. They have to practice though, so it might as well be on my horse.
The mare I hauled was actually in a super cool research study, examining the effects of Tildren on horses with navicular syndrome, combined with therapeutic shoeing. It lasted many months and has been extremely interesting to observe. They are still working on the results, but this particular mare is feeling so much better. She started with crippling pain. I never thought I’d see her carry a rider ever again, or be turned out, or go without a daily dose of Previcox. I’m happy to say, her owner has ridden her, she gets regular turnout, and she does not have to be medicated every day! Huge success for this mare!
This was her last dose of the Tildren, and I thought the procedure was really interesting to watch. I’m not very familiar with it, and I always love learning new veterinary things! They used catheters and tourniquets on both legs, slowly injected the Tildren, and then waited thirty minuets before removing the tourniquets.Very different than your average joint injection.
I’d say the visit was a success for both horses.
It was especially refreshing because my horse WALKED ON THE TRAILER both times without a single pat, smooch, or spank. This, my friends is a HUGE success for us. It’s okay, I’ll wait while you clap for us… Thanks 🙂 Great trailer-loading, injections done, questions answered and now I get to ride my boy again! Whoop whoop!