Well, Jessie finally had her day at Purdue University Large Vet School/Hospital for her lameness exam. It was a long day to say the least! When I made the appointment for 10am - I completely forgot (or didn't realize - take your pick) that West Lafayette Indiana is an hour ahead of us (east coast time) - uggh.. So, up at 3:30am..
She was a champ. The Vet school is top notch in my book. They take their time, evaluate everything, explain things to you explicitly and you can tell they like what they do.
We have a DVM, a DVM Resident, (2) 4th year vet students and a tech all assigned to us - We were there for no less than 8 hours.
They poked and prodded and watched and poked and prodded and watched some more, did ultrasounds and xrays and and and - it was amazing and thru it all Jess was a Champ. Oh my goodness, was she a champ - she even earned more brownie points and rose higher in my mind than I thought possible about how good, smart, willing and just lovable she is.
The bottom line is... her right front lameness issue was not navicular (very good news) but, an unbalance in her hoof / shoeing - and the farrier who works with the vet school re-shoed her and set her foot back, lowered her heel, squared her off in the toe and it was nothing short of amazing how much better she walked in front. Wow.
The left hind issue which all sorts of horse people had varying opinions on - turned out to be something no one had suspected - she has a minor (level 1 of 5) lesion in her suspensory ligament (main ligament that runs up the back of her lower leg). Here's a picture of the ultrasound - the upper left hand shot shows it outlined -
Ultrasounds reflect light - that's the light gray coloring you see in the picture - if there is not tissue there - then the ultrasound doesn't reflect and the signal / pulse goes thru - thus making a 'black' color on the screen. If you look inside the outlined circle-ish area - it is a darker gray than the surrounding area which shows not a complete hole in the ligament but, more like thinning - like fabric gets when it is really worn. You can see where fluid or joint spaces are by the black areas.
The top right picture is a view of the tissue from a different angle - the tissue striations are showing left to right - horizontally - except in the area of the thinned ligament - they call that 'disruption of the tissue' -
As this heals, unfortunately, tissue unlike bone does not heal as naturally as it was originally, it usually heals with scar tissue (just like cuts on humans can leave a scar). Being a level 1, and how I do and will be riding her - it should not affect her in the future..
So, she is on stall rest for 4 weeks with being hand walked 2x a day for 10 minutes. Poor thing - it is amazing she is not nuts when she does get out of her stall for those 10 minutes. But, again, she is a champ and being so good!
We will be taking another trip back to Purdue at the end of September for an update on the healing progress. If things look like they are healing correctly and timewise as to where they think the healing should be after 4 weeks, then I'm guessing they'll step her up to maybe 20 min of small turnout (in a round pen) or something like that. It will take a few more months I'm sure before she is allowed back into work again.
This is the type of injury that can be "nagging" and if not healed well, can cause future issues. So, better to be safe and take the long route (in the short term) then be dealing with this again and again and again..
I'm glad this is something fixable as I just think she is a good one!