An Otis Update

I haven’t updated my avid readers for a while about Otis, so here goes. 

About three weeks ago he was suddenly lame again in trot, so I rested him and rang a vet who had been recommended to me to get a second opinion. I was hoping for a more supportive and proactive approach.

If I’ve learnt one thing with Otis’s lameness it’s the sad fact that if you self-insure like I do, vets just aren’t interested in helping you. They think you don’t want to spend the money on diagnostic techniques, or that you haven’t got the money. They try and dissuade you from investigating causes, even if you adamantly say you want a test run. 

Thankfully, this second vet I saw was totally supportive of the idea that I have X amount in a savings account for Otis’s vet fees and I wanted to get to the root of the problem. 

The verdict on his assessment was that Otis was 1/10ths lame on the right rein and 2/10ths lame on the left rein on a soft surface and a bit lamer on hard ground. All of which points still to the sidebone being the problem, particularly noticeable when his left forefoot hits the floor left side first, as in on a left turn. 

Otis was booked in for an MRI last Monday, which all went smoothly and the hospital, or horse-pital, were very good with him.

Then I had an agonising wait to speak to my vet a couple of days later.

Basically the MRI showed that there is no damage to the connective tissue. Which is good. The best of a few bad options. But the vet thinks that the sidebone settled down after the fracture and Otis came sound – end of October time – and I was told to bring him back into work slowly. But this aggravated the sidebone which is why is went slightly off. Then was sound at Christmas, then the walk work in January aggravated it so he was off in February and then why he has off days and sound days. His recommendation is that I turn Otis away for a few months to allow the sidebone to completely chill out and settle down. 

Whilst he was very pleased with my farrier’s work on Otis, he did suggest egg bar shoes to provide greater heel support, so after putting my farrier in touch with him, Otis was shod yesterday and then I got out some over reach boots for him to wear.

I’m currently trying to work out what the best solution is for Otis, for me, for everyone, and putting plans into place. I’ll update you when they’re fixed but until then I’d appreciate it if anyone who wants to talk about him comes armed with chocolate because with everything else going on (that’s another blog post) I’m a bit of an emotional wreck about the horses!

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