Still Downhearted

Still Downhearted

I had the vet out today, and the short story is that I still don’t have a firm answer and what I have is not excellent news.

First we lunged Simon in the round pen, and he looked sound both directions.  Didn’t show any of the dropping behavior I described to her at the walk, trot or canter.

Next they flexed his hock/stifle/suspensory.  He jogged out pretty well with the left, and slightly worse to the right but still not awful.  She palpated his suspensory, which he was sensitive.  Since nothing huge was showing up, I tacked up so I could show her the behavior under saddle.

One lap at the trot to the right and she immediately saw what I was feeling.  I felt extremely validated that I wasn’t a crazy person making up problems for my horse.  I trotted to the left, and then trot/cantered to the right again.  When I was done, we discussed next steps.

Overall, the current diagnosis is upper hind suspensory.  Most likely on the right, but potentially on both hind legs.  We want to ultrasound obviously, but they didn’t have a portable machine so he will have to go to the clinic on Friday afternoon for that.  She said it was a big red flag to her that he improved pretty drastically after his hock injections (though short term), because when you inject the hock the suspensory also gets some of that “good juice.”

Also, he is very sore in an area of his back.  It’s behind the saddle, and almost looks a bit like a hunter’s bump.  She was concerned about kissing spines, and wants to take some views of his back as well on Friday.

Right now I’m trying to keep myself together, but I am very worried.  I’m quite aware that a suspensory, especially an upper one, can be a career ending injury.  I can patiently wait through time off, but I don’t want him to be done.  Not yet.

47 thoughts on “Still Downhearted

  1. Sending lots of positive vibes your way! Suspensories can be rehabbed if done correctly – I could imagine his back is probably compensation from the pain. I doubt you would have had such success already if he had kissing spine. Best of luck at you next appointment. *hugs*

  2. Sending you all the positive vibes I’ve got! Hopefully your worries are just that, and it’s nothing that can’t be fixed with a vet visit and a little time 🙂

  3. Sending you and Simon good vibes and thoughts. Take it one step at a time and try not to go to the worse case right away (easier said than done, I kn0w). Suspensories can be rehabbed. We have many of them come through our OTTB program that, yes, need some time off, but do go on to various careers including jumping.

  4. Sending hugs your way! It’s so hard to wait for something so important 🙁 Hoping it’s just a little vacation time for Mr. Simon!

  5. Aw oh no!!! These kinds of things always seem to happen right when you’re getting everything together and progressing 🙁 poor simon, best woshes your way!

  6. At least you’re getting somewhere now. I hope everything turns out well. Sending lots of good vibes in your direction!

  7. Oh god, it’s not good news, is it. Harks back to something I said on my blog a while back (the time Flurry colicked) “If the owner feels something is wrong, THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG.” You know him better than anyone, so you felt it even when he was only a little bit ‘off’
    I sincerely hope that Simon has something treatable. Fingers crossed for you.

  8. Very big sigh … It must be a relief though that the vet saw what you felt. It’s far worse to be the only one who can see or feel something. At least you’re on your way to an answer.

    Not that it helps, but an Arab gelding I had a few years ago was doing something similar – nothing definitive, but I knew it was there. I took him to one of the premier clinics in the state because I needed to KNOW what I was dealing with. Once I knew what it was, it was easier to make decisions and go forward. Not knowing is the hardest.

    Sending positive vibes (and hugs) your way.

  9. Hugs and jingles!! Sore hocks/suspensories and sore backs tend to go hand in hand so here’s hoping the back radiographs don’t show anything too exciting! And kudos to you for catching it early – that can make all the difference!

  10. I was thinking about you and Simon today, hoping for good news. The perk is that now you know you weren’t imagining things and you are on track for a full diagnosis, which means you are one step closer to being able to fix the problem. Suspensory problems can be a b*tch, but they can be rehabbed. Don’t despair yet! As to his back pain, it is VERY common for them to have lumbar back pain (behind the saddle) from having to compensate for hind leg injuries. Lily had to live on Robaxin during her annular ligament rehab because her back got so sore. My vet said she sees this with pretty much every hind leg injury she diagnoses. The soreness decreased and eventually disappeared once her injury healed. I will have a candle lit for you and Simon on Friday. *Big hug*

  11. I worried it would be that, but with time he could come back. The back issue could stem from the sore leg. Fingers crossed for you both.

  12. Sorry to hear this. I know it is easy to immediately imagine the worst but try to take it one step at a time. Good vibes/thoughts/prayers/etc your and Simon’s way.

  13. Oh boy. I was so hoping it was a simple conditioning issue. I don’t know much about suspensory issues, not having been through it (yet), but my thoughts are with you. It doesn’t sound like it has to be a deal-breaker, so that is good! Here’s hoping that you get some definitive answers that will help direct your course.

  14. Awh man 🙁 Sending happy thoughts, virtual hugs and prayers!! I hope you find out what’s going on and it’s as easy of a fix as possible. Lame horses are no fun and it’s the worst, not knowing! ♥

  15. I’m so sorry it wasn’t better news, but I’m glad you’re finally getting somewhere with figuring out the problem!! Like someone else said, try not to think worst case scenario. All it will do is stress you out. I know it’s hard… I live almost daily in that anxious worst case scenario state of mind, so I can relate. Even if the injury is career ending at least it isn’t life ending. That’s another way to look at it (I’m still learning to find the positives, but it does help!). I’m still hopeful it won’t even be career ending though. I’ll continue to think happy, healing thoughts for your boy. 🙂

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