Wednesday was P's vet appointment to see if she might possibly be developing shivers or not. I hadn't seen Dr. H in almost a year, and he couldn't believe it when I told him that the anniversary of Gogo's death is exactly one week away from today. (Can you believe it either? I can't. I don't even know what to think, really. Mostly I think that I am going to be a complete mess next week.) I introduced him to P, since they hadn't met before, and started discussing her many, many problems.
"Let's see," I started. "Trashed front feet, nasty hock arthritis, old left stifle trauma, horrible skin issues... where do we begin?" We did a basic lameness, and her usual of starting out slow on the left hind was there, like it always is. It did what it always does, and resolved within a short amount of time. We did some passes at the walk and trot, some tight circles, and some backing. She did show a fair amount of symptoms, which we discussed. We decided in the end that shivers is a diagnosis you back into by process of elimination, and that we ought to see via radiographs what exactly what was going on in her feet, hocks, and stifles, and that we'd go from there. P was a superstar for the entire process, even standing like a rock for the rads despite the fact that she remained quite awake through her (heavy) sedation. Seriously, I don't even think the drugs ever hit her.
I was somewhat pleasantly surprised to see the rads of her hind feet. We've obviously come a very long way from the total mess we had when I first got her - her angles were perfect, the joints were sparkling, and amazingly she had a solid 1cm of sole uniformly all the way around. (Acceptable sole depth is between 1cm and 3cms, so it's on the thin end of acceptable limits, but it is technically now out of the pathologically thin range... yay!) Her sole perfectly matched the arch of P3. Even the resident journeyman farrier came by to look at her feet to see whether or not he thought shoeing would help her (like I was considering that anyway!), and he agreed that there was nothing more to be done there to help her. Sweet.
As for her hocks and stifles, she amazingly has quite a lot of joint space there despite the degenerative changes present. The changes aren't bad, honestly... in fact, I thought they'd be a lot worse. Despite that, she still was showing issues with her stifles, so we decided to be proactive and go ahead and inject them to give her some relief. It was something I figured that we needed to either way, so we cleaned up her legs and got ready to poke her.
And she FREAKED. Literally lost it trying to kick the needle out (which she succeeded in, numerous times). Even through a second HEAVY dose of Dorm and Torb, a twitch, a helper holding a leg, and squashed up against the wall, she STILL kicked violently through the entire thing. Dr. H is THE go-to guy for these kinds of things though, and he got it done somehow. I apologized profusedly... I had no idea she'd be so bad! They almost had to lay her butt down out on the grass to get it done! It obviously was very painful though... horses don't usually react like that to stifle injections. Poor girl...
She is doing quite well two days out from the injections, and is cruising around her field comfortable in all aspects. Every vet's protocol is different for post-injection therapy, but we decided to leave her in her paddock to move around and just cold hose. (Some say turn them out, some leave them in on stall rest, some do cold therapy, some do Banamine... so long as their temps are normal I say kick 'em out and let them walk around! No frantic running, of course, and no work, but it is good to let them move.)
We'll see how she feels in a few days!
Oh, and she also had her tear ducts flushed by a client (who was a vet tech) since being in dusty, dry Texas has clogged them all up... she was NOT amused: