Wednesday, January 19, 2011

more worry...but ok!

A nice forest hike on Saturday, grass grazing on Sunday, small forest ride Monday...and Major wouldn't move Tuesday. He seemed stiff on Monday after the ride, but moved out just fine on trail, even being a bit of a snot. On Tuesday he just stood there in pasture, wouldn't come to my whistle. I went to get him and he barely lifted his feet, dragging like every part of his body was hurting. He certainly wanted to eat some grass, so we did that. I checked him all over, didn't feel anything, and then proceeded to worry. Actually, I called the vet for an appointment this morning.

After not sleeping and going through all the scenarios in my head (tick bites, Lyme disease! Tying up! Laminitis! Neurologic something! more colic!) This morning I went to the ranch and Major was chowing down his breakfast. He looked perky, but still very very stiff. The vet came (he is the same vet who did Major's pre-purchase, very nice guy and good vet) and gave Major the once-over. Actually he looked him over carefully, saw some swelling on his right stifle. Sore on palpation, and pretty warm. Turned Major in tight circles, stiffer to the left. Hoof testing (nothing). Trotted out, no lameness, just some stiffness. Flexions were ok too.

Finally the verdict: a strained muscle or kick injury to the right stifle, doesn't think anything is broken or serious, didn't recommend pulling blood. I'm thinking more along with a muscle strain, maybe from playing, maybe from our ride? I can't pinpoint any time he didn't move out as asked. When I asked if the injury would make him that reluctant to move, the (wise) vet replied that he wasn't a horse, but if we had a big hamstring injury we might not want to go anywhere either. I'm sure every horse reacts differently. I have some Bute for a few days and will be cold hosing and hand walking. If there isn't significant improvement, I'm to call him back.

I also asked him about Major's feet (even though hoof testers and all the tests said he was fine). I had kept thinking about the barn owner's comments. How can an idea you really know isn't true just get into your brain and bug you? Another blogger wrote a great post about those "ear mites" we need to learn to ignore. Easier said than done. But when I commented to the vet that I'd been told Major's "sore feet" could have caused the colic, the vet just kind of looked at me slowly. He got a little half smile and said that Major didn't have sore feet, I'd always have to watch his hooves' desire to grow lots of toe, and that some people just have an agenda that is hard to change. I felt better hearing that.

So I'll be taking care of the pony in the next week, he'll like the hand walks to eat grass and doesn't mind the cold hosing. I'm hoping it all goes well. But it is hard when I don't know just what it is/what happened. But that is how it goes. I hate uncertainty!

And of course the one thing is now I'm second guessing...he was a little reluctant heading out Monday, but sometimes he just is like that because he is leaving friends/food/barn. He moved out just fine our whole ride, nothing seemed off. I would hope I know my horse enough to feel that...but I also worry that he will just perform through pain because he loves to go, loves the trail. Did I aggravate the injury? Just another thing to consider/worry about. 

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