Monday, April 18, 2011

Just The Facts...And How I Am Having A Hard Time With Them...

It has been 3 1/2 months.
I'm frustrated. I'm annoyed.  I feel like we have are about to hit another huge road block which will prevent Chester from being able to show AGAIN this summer.  Don't jump all over me and call me pessimistic and I am thinking the worst etc etc.  I am attempting to be rational and I don't think I am being unrealistic at all given the Facts. Hear me out.
I'm not going to lie. I am a little apprehensive about what we are about to do tomorrow with Chester.  It is REALLY hard to attempt to make the right decision, when the people who you need to help you make those right decisions are all telling you completely different things.
I have one person - DVME - who is sure that the problem is in his foot.  "Carrie, do you know how much can go wrong in there?"
I have another person - The Boss - who isn't convinced it is in his foot at all. "Why would it be in his FL foot if he is having difficulty around corners and in a small circle to the right, doesn't want to cross over his hind legs?"
I have another person - Farrier - who was convinced there was never anything wrong in his foot to begin with...especially after his clean rads.
I have another person - Dr. Cove - who cleared his entire body - shoulders included and has adjusted him twice.  His adjustments have held.
I have another person - yours truly - who really doesn't know WHAT to think anymore.  I know Chester doesn't feel right, I know he shuffles in front and I know that he sort of stabs the ground with his FL. His hind end is moving evenly with no resistance...the only place I see something out of whack, is in his FL, but, Boss isn't convinced, but DVME IS...ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh.
- December 30 - Chester spooks - to the left - 20 minutes into our ride and comes up head bobbing dead lame.  I give him a couple days, don't feel any heat/swelling and he is then on again/off again lame.
- DVME comes out as a favour for me, we watch him move - he of course moves perfectly when she is there - and she chalks it up to him being really stiff because of his stifles, it is winter, they don't move around as much, we know this horse does better with more movement...makes sense, but I am not 100% convinced.
- January 25 - I go get him from the field in the morning...and he walks back to the barn on 3 legs.
- January 26 - DVME comes out, hoof testers in hand. We trot him, lunge him, flex him...he comes up dead lame in his front left...after flexing his ankle. DVME says Abscess. Horse stays inside.
- The first 2 weeks of February - we poultice, wrap, horse stays inside and gets more and more depressed. Abscess bursts - I think - the first week of February.
- February 16 - x-rays...because he was still off and DVME said 'This has gone on long enough. His Rads are 100% clean.  DVME says - to be sure, poultice (using a new mix of bran, dmso and Listerine) for 10 days. Reassess at that time.
- February 25 - Farrier comes out with his abscess drill and hoof testers, tells me "Carrie, this horse does not have an abscess" Shoes go back on.
- February 28 - Boss and Kelly show up - I am lunging Chester, Boss says - get ON that horse, that is the only way you will know if he is better. Get on horse, it was a disaster. Shoes come back off.
- First couple days of March - Dr Cove comes out and gives Chester some adjusting...there was a lot wrong with him :-(
- March 6 - I listen to my gut - horse has to go back outside..he was NOT happy about being in his stall, it was doing NOTHING for him and he had turned hopelessly depressed. It broke my heart.
- March 7 - First day Chester has spent the entire day outside in 6 weeks.
- March 9 - Shoes went back on
- March 14 - I ride Chester for the first time again...while he feels stiff, he wasn't head bobbing dead lame.  Just stiff...
- March 15 - April 11 - I ride Chester with the hope that he will become stronger...exactly like what we went through with his UFP a year ago...and while he doesn't get worse, he doesn't necessarily work out of his stiffness as much as I would have hoped.
- April 7 - 11 - Chester pulls in FR shoe, twice in 5 days.
- April 11 - Takes a turn for the worse and he is head bobbing on the lunge
- April 12 - Present - Many conversations have happened about what the Eff is going on with this horse. I want to scratch my eyeballs out. 
Which brings us to today.  I haven't been out to the barn yet, but I am pretty sure I know what I will find when I get there.  A happy horse, with no heat, no swelling anywhere, but who, when on the lunge, will bob, and who, under saddle, will feel like his front legs are made of 2x4s. Sigh.  This is probably one of the most frustrating things I have EVER gone through. 
It has been 3 1/2 months.  And the people I trust most, are all telling me different things.  I am hoping that when we block his foot, he will come up fine...because at least that way we will know (hopefully) where the source of the problem is coming from. 
We will know soon enough, but, something tells me, I'm not going to be that lucky.
There is nothing I can do now, but wait until tomorrow and hopefully have a better idea of what the hell is going on inside my horse.


  1. Well, here is my two cents:

    I pay my vet because I want his opinion and I chose him because I trusted his record and I like the way he does business. If I decide I do not want and/or trust his opinion, then there is no point in paying him anymore. Of course, finding a GOOD vet is always a challenge.

    Farriers are all well and good, but they are NOT diagnosticians, that should be left to the vet.

    And of course, you, as the owner, know your horse best. You have to be an advocate for your horse and trust your instincts.

    So in the end, my advice to you: your farrier and your BO may be well meaning, but they are NOT VETS. Make a plan with your vet, see it through. Also, don't be afraid to seek the opinion of another vet.

  2. Very true. I have always believed in the people who I have around me and they have not steered me wrong. Yet.
    I DO trust DVME, without a doubt. She knows what she is doing and I believe her when she says things to me. A lot of the apprehension I am feeling right now is coming from my gut...THAT I don't like.
    In all honesty, a LOT of what I decide to do, will happen after tomorrow's appointment. For once, I would like something to sort of go as planned and have him block out at the foot. Another opinion has always always been in the back of my mind and I made the decision the other day that if I am not happy about what happens tomorrow, then I will get another opinion.
    Your two-cents, as always, is very much appreciated.