Moving Forward

Alright. Now that I’ve had a bit of a breather with Amber being home from surgery, it’s time to move forward. She’s doing just fine; I take her out of her stall to groom her and love on her, and unfortunately that’s all we can do for right now. She’s pretty bored but what can we do, right? lol I’m at least trying to give her plenty of attention. Plus, the Lick It that I put in her stall for her to start playing with has some score marks in it so I’m hugely crossing my fingers that now she’s actually starting to play with it because she’s bored. She’s not really a stall-toy or always-keep-my-brain-busy horse, but I also don’t want her to get destructive. So if this helps, we do it lol.

She likes to make sure she can see Whisper lol

As for moving forward, we obvi have to wait for everything to heal, but I have a few options. To recap on her knee, the bone chip wasn’t able to be removed because it was enclosed in the joint capsule, and Doc would’ve had to go through her old scar tissue as well as through the synovial fluid to reach it, and it would’ve caused a lot more damage than if he’d just left it. And from what he could see, where it is isn’t bothering her movement any, so he thought it best to leave it. I’m in agreement with him – her knee definitely isn’t the healthiest joint, but as of right now I’d prefer a horse that’s 80% sound versus 40% sound if he’d had to tear up all that soft tissue. So he backed out of the knee. Interestingly enough though, the swelling around her knee has actually gone down (that spot in the tendon just above her knee) and even the usual puffiness around her knee has gone down, too. So whatever he did I think her knee is feeling better as well which I’m of course pleased with.

Is this too much bubble wrap? I think not lol

Her stifle is more positive, but also a little more muddled. She had some bad cartilage in the joint and some rough points of bone, so he cleaned that up. Her cartilage was a little soft for a horse that had so much time off not doing a lot, but I’m wondering if that’s because she’s had the issue for 6 months (so inflammation could have been more damaging) instead of 2 since we weren’t able to schedule surgery until her abscess was completely healed. He feels that it’s got a pretty good chance of good recovery, but what exactly caused it…? We’re not really sure. There’s just some general degeneration of the joint, so while it’s positive, it’s also a bit of a toss-up. Still, not bad news lol.

But I do have a few options. I’ve heard some pretty good things about the laser therapy, and liked it when I’d had the other vet come by and do acupuncture as well as laser therapy for Amber. At that time the problem was chronic, so I don’t think it helped as much as it could have. But I can do laser treatments on her stifle and knee and see if that helps any more. I still want to inject her knee; she responded really well to that the first time we did so, so I think that’s another good step for helping her knee feel better. We could also do IRAP, which is what the Doc recommended.

All we did was walk 5 steps to the cross ties and she was happy lol

Which, I do want to try IRAP but it’s also….expensive. And it’s a recommended treatment every other week for 4-5 weeks so my eyes already feel overrun with dollar bill signs lol. The IRAP could also potentially really help her knee as well so I just have to figure out what I want to do and how it’ll all come out. But I have a few weeks to decide whether or not to pursue the 2 options. I want to see how she’s doing after a week or so of hand walking which will be in about 3 to 4 weeks. So it’ll take some time, but poor thing has been stuck with needles so much recently lol.

She’s been laying down and sleeping even though she has mats in her stall, so I’ve hurried to really bed down the stall nicely so she has a soft spot to be. As much as I worry that laying down might hurt her, I’m glad she’s comfortable enough to lay down and sleep! I’m sure that bit of sleep helps her heal even better. I took her left hind leg wrap off Tuesday, and thankfully the swelling had gone down a lot. It was still slightly puffy in places, and the spot on her hock I think she hit the worst was still a little swollen, but at least the lower leg looks better. She was super itchy on that leg, so after some good scratches and medicine, I bandaged it up again – this time with the combi wrap and a polo and not with too much pressure. I didn’t want the leg to balloon again, but I also didn’t think she needed it very tight anymore. Thankfully when I checked her Wednesday the hock swelling was down even more, and I felt comfortable putting that left hock boot on for sleeping. I still wrapped her hind leg (though lightly) with a polo since that leg is so cut up that I don’t want her to reopen those cuts or cut it more because of the mats.

Also, I finally got my plaque that Amber and I won at the 2017 year end awards banquet ❤

Since her sutures are relatively easy to get to (at least they look like it; let’s hope so lol), I’m going to try taking them out. I wasn’t able to get an appointment soon enough with the Doc to take them out until next week, and she’s a really fast healer. Unfortunately, because she heals really quickly, she also scars very easily. While having a few more scars won’t be bad, I know from past experience with her and sutures (her knee, the back of her elbow, and above her right eye) she starts getting annoyed at them and trying to scratch them or pick at them herself so I’m going to take them out either today or over the weekend.

As much as she’s being a funny girl and pushing her door open to get out of the stall, she seems content to rest. The surgery was stressful, and she’s definitely been calmer here than at the clinic.  While she finally seems content to rest, I think she is starting to feel better. Not only has she been less destructive, but she’s just seemed a little happier as well. I’ve noticed that she’s still careful bringing forward that right hind leg after standing for a while, but I’ve been really trying to be observant of her facial expressions and I think that stifle is feeling better. It’s difficult to explain, but her expressions when she’s doing just the little bit of walking around her stall look happier. She’s even started to “reach” a little more! (as in she doesn’t short that leg walking over the bar out of her stall which granted she’s only done once lol small victories right?) I’ve added some U-Guard pellets to her grain as well, thinking why not because my mom had them, and I think that’s been making a big difference in her feeling better as well. Thanks everyone for crossing their crossables and keeping us in your thoughts! She’s been much happier I think, and I’m hopeful that we’ll come back well from this.

When you’re itchy but your mother is tired of you taking your fly mask off so she attaches it to the neck cover LOL

I finally got to put another ride on Whisper, and she was her usual stellar self lol. I was excited to use the Equilab for this ride since it was going to be crazy, but was a wee bit disappointed.

I also don’t know why it shows we went to the front of the house (we didn’t) and I’m not sure what that black/white thing is either…..

We actually probably cantered for at least 7 of those 11 minutes spent walking. Perhaps Whisper’s canter is just too slow? lol Either way, she was a good girl and really started to get the hang of what I was doing (which was a cloverleaf pattern around 4 poles lol).

But I’d like your guys’ input as well on this! I’d like to see what I can do to make her strict stall-rest time happy, so I’d love to know what you guys have done for your injured ponies. I’m also new to IRAP so if anyone has any experience I’d love to hear it! Have you had any experience with Laser therapy as well for things like this? How has your horse responded to it? Or have you gone the route of traditional injections? How has that worked for you? I’d love to know your thoughts!

10 Comments on “Moving Forward

  1. Glad to hear Amber is on the mend. Lots of carrot stretches will help her maintain her topline/flexibility while on stall rest and you could try teaching her some tricks to keep her brain stimulated (a gal at my barn taught her gelding to “smile” – so cute!)


  2. oh man, Amber has seriously been through the wringer lately. seems like you’ve got a solid plan tho for helping her continue to feel her best through recovery. fingers crossed it all goes smoothly!!!


  3. I’m glad she’s doing better! Would a empty milk jug with rocks occupy her brain? or spook her? (it would spook the hell out of Dante lol)


    • No it wouldn’t spook her but that’s a great idea thank you! I may have to find like a jug that can dispense treats, but I have a feeling she’ll think it’s too hard to get the treat and give up LOL.


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