Monday this week was spent driving 2 1/2 hours to see a vet for what he kindly referred to as a “a paranoia check”…
Arun at Harradine and Associates (http://harradine.com.au/) is one of our regular endurance ride vets, has a special interest in lameness and is an all round nice guy (his routine sign off to me after a successful end of ride vet check is “good stuff doc” which always makes me smile). I had decided I couldn’t ignore Joe’s hind toe dragging any longer: if we’re going to actually ever tackle a 160km ride, I needed to know I wasn’t missing something back there.
It did feel a bit daft, a vet taking her horse to the vets, but I do cows and sheep, plus I can’t see straight when it is my own horse, and I don’t have a x ray machine.. so off we went. I successfully navigated my way through city traffic in Pete’s truck with a float on the back, and we were 10 minutes early for the appointment!
Arun did a VERY thorough check up, starting in the feet and working his way up. Nothing on flexion tests (phew), a slight effusion at the back of one pastern.. not much else to report. Arun ultrasounded the pastern, and x rayed both hocks.
JOE DOESN’T HAVE HOCK ARTHRITIS. Hooray. That was the one really playing on my mind. He does have some old, minor damage to his check ligament in the right hind, but it’s minor and apparently that ligament doesn’t do all that much in the back legs anyway. Arun reckoned it’s possible he had contracted tendons as a baby (rare in the back legs – good one Joe) and that may be where this damage stemmed from. He is still very upright in the back feet, and has quite straight back leg conformation. I have NO idea of his early life (pre 2 years old) so I can’t comment on this possibility, but I do suspect his early care was less than optimal.
It’s all manageable. Joe will continue to get regular visits from our favourite bodyworker Nancy (https://www.facebook.com/RESETeq) and when he comes back in from his summer break there will be more arena work to do to work that back end. We need to GRADUALLY lower his heels at the back, and Arun did suggest that if all that doesn’t sort things out we could put shoes on him… THAT may not happen, as although it looks bad when he wears his toes, it doesn’t make him sore and his hoof growth seems to keep up, so I can’t see why I’d have to shoe him… We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
So it’s all good. We are officially out of excuses for not doing a 100 miler! He’s not lame and the girth issue seems to have been sorted out with a Pressure Eze girth.
Then the kids and I got to go and have a nice lunch before we picked Joe up from the vet, and to admire the sea (contrary to popular belief, NOT ALL Australians live near the sea, and we don’t, so we make the most of it while we can!):
Unfortunately Madam Savannah tipped me off last week and I have a VERY sore coccyx (not broken apparently, but far out it HURTS) so no riding or even hoof trimming at the moment!
In other news, we have started using Frankincense oil on Angel’s melanoma:
The dear old girl has several of these under her tail, which don’t grow much and don’t seem to other her, but the one on her eyelid does worry me. Arun’s advice was only to remove it if it started to rub on her eye, which currently it doesn’t. Then he mentioned some work done using Frankincense oil… So we thought it was worth a try. She got her first application this morning – and was NOT impressed! I’ll keep you all posted.
We might try turmeric as well, if I can figure out a way to get her to eat it…