So my Vet was called and an appointment was made. It all may sound very novice of us all but a rear lameness is pretty hard to detect the actual whereabouts especially when it was only just noticeable to the best of us.
After giving Ginge a good examination he suggested we sent him to Rainbow Equine Hospital in Malton North Yorkshire for a Gamma Scan and that would show us the exact whereabouts of the problem.
The results were; Radiographic examination of the tarsi revealed marked degenerative joint disease of the tarsometatarsal and distal intertarsal joints as evidenced by marked lysis and sclerosis of the central and third tarsal bones and osteophyte production of the proximal metatarsus Radiographic examination of the right tarsus revealed moderate evidence of osteoarthritis affecting the distal intertarsal and mild osteoarthritis affecting the tarsometatarsal joint. Radiographic examination of the left and right fore distal extremity revealed evidence of lysis and sclerosis of proximal dorsal P3 as well as osteophyte production on the distal aspect of P2. This is consistant with osteoarthritis of the coffin joint.
The conversation to follow that was that it would be kinder to have him PTS. This then was left in my hands as the owner said she hadn’t got the time for him. I told them to bring him home and we`d go from there. I couldn’t let this happen, he had given me a fabulous summer fun riding etc. Without any question of saying he didn’t want to do it because of the pain he was really in un known to us.
We sat down with our vet and discussed what could be done to help Ginge but help is all it would do, the intensity of his right fore coffin joint meant he would never get right again but we could try and make him comfortable, how long this would last no one knew. So, we started treatment with injections in both his hocks and both coffin joints at 6 month intervals then various treatment thereafter. Remedial shoeing by my fabulous blacksmith and Exercise every day, starting with 10 mins and building up from that.
The Vet came every week to assess his situation and give him his treatments via injection whilst I gave him his ongoing daily medication. He lapped up the attention and was the perfect patient. Since coming back from Rainbow his attitude to staying in had mellowed and he wasn’t as stress being left in. This is when the tongue sucking started, whenever I went to leave him he immediately started to suck his tongue. I saw this as a sign of stress and he`d found a way to comfort himself a bit like children when they have blankets or material rubs. He came back from Rainbow pain free, perhaps his stress problems were through pain, perhaps that’s why when I left him he would freak out and do the wall of death. It’s a bit like tooth ache when you`re busy you don’t notice it but when you stop it drums away at you so when I was with him his mind was occupied so didn’t think of his pain but when I went it came back.
Our Vet was pretty impressed with Ginges response and attitude to the treatment that he started calling him his ` miracle pony `, he never thought he would get past 12 months. He was that happy with him he said to try a little jumping, nothing massive or intense but see how he went and what he was like after. So, we did......to be continued