Thursday, July 12, 2012

A visit from the veterinarian

Enjoying a scratch under the chin:

Now that I am down to one suitable garment for Suki to wear I am even more paranoid than usual about the bandage covering the graft. The fly sheet is more loose fitting than the specialized garments, and it does not contain a pocket for the hard protective insert. I honestly don't know what to do with the shell, but the way it is right now Suki gets it all shifted and twisted. I am going to play with it a bit this weekend to see what I can do with it. The Wunderwear is out for repairs (well, I am still waiting for it to be picked up)and I will use a foam insert for the pocket when I get it back. I am going to add my own pocket to another fly sheet to see how that works. The warm temperatures really make it necessary to have the least amount of clothing as possible.....So far (knock on wood) the bandage is staying in place under the fly sheet, and when I changed it last night the graft looked fine.

A few weeks ago Suki showed the weird right front lameness that I saw only once last year. It was gone the next day, but I have observed the lameness again several times over the last few weeks. Each time I saw it I tried to correlate it with some event; high humidity, so more stocking up behind, in for extended periods, such as a stormy night, etc. Nothing. I was unable to find any consistency or factors that appeared to cause the lameness. So I decided to consult with my veterinarian, who was just as baffled last year as I was!

Today, Suki walked out of her stall sound, for Dr. X (of course). But that's okay. He saw it last year and knew what I was referring to. We took her out to the ring to do some flexion tests (during which last year Suki showed nothing except one slightly stiff hock that worked out in a few strides). When I first lunged her she looked slightly stiff, then fine. So Dr. X flexed the right front first. She trotted off slightly lame then worked out of it. To the left she also showed a response but it was not as obvious. In both directions it looks more like slight stiffness rather than obvious lameness. Dr. X said that because of the transient nature all of the usual suspicions are likely ruled out. We are going to run a Lyme titer and if that is negative we will do some xrays. He aslo suggested that with the hard ground she could be foot sore (she tested sensitive in both front feet with hoof testers), so we may have to go with front shoes, or possibly boots or sneakers.

Suki hates needles. This is not due to her extensive treatments at New Bolton, although I am sure that added to her anxiety! Several years ago a veterinarian who was vaccinating her was absolutely terrified because of her size. Suki picked up on that of course, and became very nervous. Needless to say it became quite the battle, and Suki has been difficult about injections ever since. For IM injections we scratch her withers and give the injections in the great. Drawing blood and IV injections, of course are a bit more difficult. The past few times have been much improved, and today she was a star! I suspect she was caught off guard because of having her feet and legs checked, but she went with it anyway.

I anticipate having the xrays done, just to rule out boney issues. But as I watched her trot across the field sound......well, who knows?

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