Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mystery lameness (August 2011)

Isn't amazing how horses can mystify us? Nikki throws a shoe every time I go away to attend a conference, including the one that I am attending now (Feb 1-4 2012). It's frustrating for sure. Jim from My Pet's Brace came out to the farm to make some adjustments on the special sheet. As I brought Suki out of the stall she was COMPLETELY lame! Right front, dead lame. No heat, no swelling, nothing obvious. Uggh! I was thinking abcess. So I called the vet, and he was going to come out the next day. When Tony arrived I led Suki out of her stall....totally lame. He scratched his head and started to examine her. He was thinking abcess also (I started to panic and think laminitis, leading to a sleepless night of course!) After examining her he still could not really find anything conclusive. "Let's jog her" requested Tony. "Okay", I replied, but I'm not sure that I can get her to trot!" "I know", said Tony, "But let's give it a try(yes she was THAT lame). So out the door we went and I jogged her across the driveway. TOTALLY SOUND!! At that point Christine (barn manager) was driving down the lane. She had not seen the very lame Suki, but she did see a very sound Suki trotting down the driveway. "Okay", said Tony. "Put her on the lunge line and let's see what she does." I lunged her at the trot, at the canter, tight circles, big circles. Nothing. All good. Tony proceeded to flex each leg and I trotted her away from him and toward him. Nothing. "If I didn't see her hobble out of her stall, I would never have believed you!" said Tony. I had to agree. In the end he pulled some blood and said that if it happened again over the next week to call him and he would run a Lyme titer. Needless to say that was not necessary! I think she was just messing with me! So during this time Suki's graft site continued to heal beautifully. This can be attributed to the custom sheet that she was wearing. Because the sheet is an abbreviated version of a fly sheet, Suki did not get overly hot even in the heat of the summer. During the day when she was indoors, a fan blew on her, and Suki was checked midday. Some days if she was a little sweaty (which other horses were too, it was not because of the sheet) Suki would get a shower to cool her off. But look how beautiful this is!
The right side of Suki's body was more severely burned than the left. That dark pigmented area is very healthy skin with some chestnut peach fuzz. The burn line was several inches below where the normal hair is. Everyone is amazed that the hair grew in chestnut and normal.
And another picture of the beautiful girl. I like to put her in this paddock to take pictures of her without a sheet on, since she never gets turned out completely unclothed!
February 2, 2012 Still at the conference in San Francisco. Friday night I will take the redeye home arriving back in Philadelphia at 6 AM. Deb is taking good care of Suki, and VMF is taking good care of Nikki. But yes, she did throw a shoe yesterday. Hopefully it was put back on today!


  1. Nikki is showing you...leaving her to gad about the country! ;) My (late lamented angel) Dieter (Dobie/shepherd X) would scream in agony & limp pathetically when he wanted attention. His little trick worked well for *over a year* until he forgot which leg was lame &, when my daughter asked him what hurt, he limped on the 'wrong' leg!

  2. Exactly! And I always love the limping on the wrong leg! Dieter sounds like was a character!