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How do you make that dreaded decision? :(

8 replies

Bonkey · 21/10/2014 19:45

Dshetty has a soft tissue injury on his left hind. No idea what happened he just came in one morning hopping lame. Xrays have been done and came back clear - decided against a scan as he gets very upset being fussed around with and the vets said it wouldn't change the outcome only confirm what they think.

He is on danilon (sp? Still lame on it!) and half way through a 8 week spell of box rest.They have said that if he shows no improvement after the box rest then he may have to be put to sleep.

He is no better...not even slightly imo (although it goes up and down but never better than a toe walk) - am I expecting too much too soon? :(

I got him as a year old colt who was petrified of everything, he is now 10 1/2 and a lovely sociable pony who I adore to pieces, he has got me through some hard times.

Deep down I know I am probably going to let him do his 8 weeks and then make a decision based on what the vets say but there is a part of me that wonders if he is going to come through it at all and it may be kinder to stop dragging it out - not sure I could bring myself to do it 'early' though :(


Incidently the vets have said if he was bigger and carrying more weight then he wouldn't have made it this far ...he would have been pts asap. The fact that he is small is on his side.
They were also amazed at how well he is coping with it - he is happy in himself mostly but obviously not as happy and content as he could be obviously.

How do you make the decision?
Do you just know? :(

OP posts:
notquiteruralbliss · 21/10/2014 22:10

Um, I would give him time. 6 weeks is nothing. My 32 yo has done just about every tendon / ligament she can in a long and illustrious career as a serial self harmer and has had a really good life. I think she may be nearing the end now, but only because her teeth have worn out and we cannot keep weight on her.

frostyfingers · 22/10/2014 08:36

If you can afford to, and he's not doing his head in on box rest then leave it for as long as you can. As notquite says 8 weeks is a very short time, sometimes they are turned away for a year - I realise you can't box rest for that long, but I wouldn't give up yet.

Apart from box rest is anything else being done with it - cold hosing, bandaging, etc?

Zazzles007 · 22/10/2014 10:26

Exactly what was the soft tissue injury diagnosis? Others who may have experience with the sort of injury you are talking about may be able to share their experiences.

I've not been through this myself with a horse, but in all my reading, I agree with others who are saying that it is too early to tell. You are only half way through the first 8 weeks of stall rest - so 4 weeks worth, way too early.

Also, if he is still lame on the Danilon, have you spoken to the vet about upping the dose or changing medication?

sharanel · 22/10/2014 10:31

Crikey. We had a pony who had a tendon and soft tissue injury who was off for 5 months. And he was 15. No talk of putting him to sleep, it didn't even occur to us or the vet I don't think.

Bonkey · 22/10/2014 14:16

Ok, you have all just given me some hope!

I have done loads of research but it was starting to blow my brain so I stopped - some was positive some not.

The way the vets have been talking its like they are just giving him the box rest for me to get my head around him not being around any more :(

Zazzles Not 100% sure as they didn't do the scan but they think its right down the bottom near his fetlock - I have it written down somewhere..
He can't have any more Danilon - he is on half a sachet currently , the vet told me to try and get it down to a quarter daily due to his size but I don't think he could cope.

frosty I have tried bandaging which helped a little but its quite stressful for him and me when I put it on (he is very tetchy about his leg being touched understandably) so I'm not sure if it was doing more damage than good - The vets didn't mention doing it I tried off my own back to see how it went....no mention of cold hosing either.

Not that I can afford it but is another vet worth a talk too?
I'm usually a 'deal with it myself unless its horrendous' type of person but I have never dealt with this type of injury or known anyone who has so I only have my vets to go on.

OP posts:
mrslaughan · 22/10/2014 16:01

Could or would you sedate him so they can do a scan? I know that is expensive, but it would probably (hopefully) tell you exactly what it is and prognosis?

frostyfingers · 22/10/2014 17:29

I think another opinion would be helpful - it sounds a bit like they're not really trying.....obviously I don't know the situation but they don't seem that keen and if they really don't think he is going to recover then there's absolutely no point doing the box rest.

I only mentioned bandaging as when they are standing for a long time their legs tend to fill, and it's meant to keep the swelling down. Cold hosing or standing in a bucket of cold water or bandaging with an ice pack are all treatments I've used on leg injuries, although I've not had to deal with anything too major so may not be appropriate in your case. If I were you, and you are happy to pay for another visit (another practice even) I'd give it a go, if nothing to reassure you that what you are doing is correct.

It's very hard, but don't (unless he's in crippling pain) rush into anything just yet.

Zazzles007 · 23/10/2014 11:55

I don't mean to appear rude or something, but are these vets equine vets? Or are they small animals vets, who will sometimes see horses? Its just that what they have told you doesn't all match up and make sense. A soft tissue injury on a shetty may take a number of months to heal (not 8 weeks), depending on the actual diagnosis. And Frosty is right about the hosing and such of the leg. Talk of putting him down really doesn't gel with stuff I have read in others' cases. I think a second opinion is warranted here.

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