I can’t really say exactly what has made me so sad with the outcome of this vet visit. Maybe just a final acknowledgement that working with a horse with arthritis in his spine is never going to be easy and Stampede will most likely never be able to do all the things I wanted us to be able to do together. Maybe this rehab plan just feel likes a last chance.
I figure the easiest way to explain Stampede’s further diagnosis and rehab plan is just to put in the discharge notes. Cliff notes version below that.
The cliff notes version is that he has kissing spines because of arthritis on the left side of his spine. As with any arthritis, it gets better with movement, so we are trying to make him comfortable enough to use his back and gain some correct movement and muscling by giving him Previcox and lunging him walk/trot daily. Since he has quite a bit of inflammation, he is also being iced daily.
I purchased a Coldflex back blanket in preparation before the vet visit since I knew I would need to ice him after workouts. I decided to try this option since it doesn’t require me to tote ice packs around. I’m not really happy with it because of several reasons: 1) I can’t put him in his stall because it isn’t held in place at all 2) You can’t cover it or it doesn’t work so he has to stand in the cold with nothing on at all 3) It is really slimy and slippery for me to handle 4) It only lasts so many uses, they say up to 25. The main upside is that it does get really cold! It is cold to the touch after just sitting in my tack box and Stampede starts steaming after a minute.
So I’m planning to buy an Ice Horse back blanket, but I can’t find any sales so far! Boo!
So we will hope for some luck here. The vet said he could guarantee him 100% return to flat work (particularly if we end up injecting, but he wanted to try without first since it didn’t look as bad as expected) but his return to jumping is unknown. And of course he will probably have on and off set backs regardless of his level of workload.
I just need to keep in mind that the worst case scenario is Stampede living at my house and me being poor and with even less time but with a third horse. Not the best situation but I will make it work if I have to because the boys are family forever.
So for now I’m the one annoying everyone in the indoor every night after lessons by lunging my horse.