Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Good News Bad News Again

Vet Visit

Dr. Klayman came back out today to evaluate Chance after his Osphos injection.  As you may recall, Chance was heel sore and limping. X-rays showed possible navicular changes. Osphos is a newly released drug in the US and Chance was the first horse my vet injected with his sample dose.

Well, as I noted a week or so ago when Chance was sound despite missing one front shoe, lo and behold, on the hard ground--freezing temps again--he looked really good on both front feet. It's the best I've seen him going since his Lyme disease treatments.

So much for the good. I was wondering why Dr.Klayman keep us lunging once it was clear there was no limp in front. The reason? A slight lameness in the right hind.

OK, Ever since I first adopted Chance, that right hind has been a bit problematic. Despite several soundness exams, we've never quite found anything, although at one point I did have his hock injected.

Well, today, there was some fluid in his stifle joint. Mind you, all along, Scott, my farrier has been convinced there was something wrong in that leg "higher up," and he suggested stifle. But up until today there were no specific symptoms.

This time we X-rayed Chance's stifle and sure enough, he has OCD.  Part of his tibia never fully developed leaving a gap in the bone/joint area.  Where the bone is supposed to be rounded, it's flat.

So? He will probably never be quite sound there without radical treatment--surgery. We so suspect it's essentially inherited rather than due to an injury and he's been living with it all his life.

For now, we elected to do nothing. Until we see how the front end maintains soundness, there's no reason to take dramatic efforts to do much with the hind end. Since he's actually quite happy as he is when the weather gets better, I can trail ride him and see how things progress.

All I really want to do is trail ride anyhow. I seem to have lost the competitive gene, so just doing a big of schooling now and then and meandering around on the trails is just fine. For serious arena work, I do have Tucker when the training mood strikes,  of course. And I can still ride Toby as well, so I'm certainly not lacking horsepower.

It just means that any plans to really do serious training with Chance are kind of on hold.  There are injections that can help, as well as  painkillers rather than resorting to surgery. My research on such surgeries suggests mixed results anyhow, so we might want to just wait and see rather than doing too much all at once.

So, not entirely a good result. The sad part is that Chance is really the sweetest, most level headed, well behaved horse I've ever had. He is truly a joy to ride.  I just want him to be happy when he's under saddle.  I think if we stick to the trails, he will be.


  1. Tried to leave a comment but I think it went missing . . .

    Not wonderful news, but if what you want to do is trail riding and he enjoys it, that may work out just fine for both of you.

  2. Not great news but if he's comfortable and likes trail riding then I guess that will be his job for a while. Like you say you have Toby and Tucker to ride and train also. I prefer trail riding now too and Chance sounds like the best level headed sweet horse for the job.

  3. Well, you can comfort yourself with the fact that he has always had that bone formation. Sometimes a limp is just a compensatory way of going (dare I say that in a blog of an English teacher and writer?) and doesn't indicate pain. I think the front end news is really, really excellent news! Trail riding is fun and good for everyone involved. However I do understand your disappointment - horses have a way of forcing us to accept life's hard lessons.

  4. Chance will make a wonderful trail horse and, you never know, with proper training and time he may even shine in the arena. It will take him a little longer, but there's no reason he can't do just about all the lower level stuff. When people are injured, they send us to physical therapy, I can't think of any better physical therapy for a horse than dressage.