Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Verdict

Although I have not gotten to the vet clinic to view Beretta's x-rays for myself...

The vet called and sometime in Beretta's young life she fractured her inside sesmoid bone on her right hind leg. In this pic it is the black leg...
You can see the bit of thickening to the outside of the fetlock joint. Some of that is the scar tissue from that damn poke last fall. However, the change in her leg runs the entire length of the outside of her cannon bone. The vet believes that is the bone compensating for the additional pressure to the outside of her leg. It is something that we can feel moreso than see.

The problem is, the fracture happened so long ago (probably within the first 3-4 months of her life), that the tendon has migrated over to the inside of the fetlock. According to this vet, there is nothing that can be done as the sesmoid bone has already fused.

Here you can see that bit of thickening on the top of her pastern...


According to this vet, the chance of Beretta ever becoming the barrel horse I had hoped she would be is gone. If carefully maintained over the next few years (and probably the rest of her life), she will be sound for riding, but he said he would be very worried about trying to compete on her. If that tendon ever blows...It would most likely mean euthanasia.

At this point, the vet said the only thing I can do is keep her trimmed and keep her weight in check.

You know...I need to see those x-rays for myself (and hopefully get copies of them), but I don't know if I am going to accept that as the final say for Beretta's future. Now that I know exactly what is going on and the fact that Beretta is so young and still growing...there is still the chance that this can be corrected to some extent. That tendon is firmly attached and was not damaged, it just moved. I may not be able to get it to move back over, but over time and aggressively working on keeping Beretta's heels balanced...I think there is still a chance she will grow up and be fine.

If I can get copies of the x-rays, I will probably take them to another vet that I heard was an equine guru and see what he has to say.

Long story short - There is no sure way to determine how well Beretta will or won't do in the next couple of years. The only thing I won't be able to do with her is take her home and turn her out at the ranch. She needs vigilant care to optimize her chances. Good thing for her that I like her. ;-) Hopefully now that she is back on turnout, she comes out of that snarly attitude she developed.

18 comments:

Rising Rainbow said...

Shucks! That's not what we wanted to hear. It really sucks. The only good part is that you know for sure it's not genetic.

Specifically which tendon are you talking about migrating?

EveryoneThinksThey'reGoodDrivers said...

Sorry to hear about this. That really sucks.

I have experienced a blown tendon where the sesmoid bone comes crashing down.

It is really awful and I hope I never see anything like that again. It happened on an otherwise healthy and sound 9 year old gelding under an SMB. He was euthanized immediately.

Breathe said...

Oh no! Glad you'll be getting a second opinion.

Reluctant Cowboy said...

That really is sad I sometimes wonder that even raising them in padded paddocks won't stop some of the things young horses do to themself.

I wish you luck in the raising process of Beretta

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in2paints said...

I'm glad you're going to get a second opinion and haven't given up on her yet. I tend to agree with you that there's definite hope for her because she's so young.

I'm sorry to hear about this vet's diagnosis though. I wish you much luck with her!

Crystal said...

Oh No! thats not good news, I hope you can find out something to help her. A second opinion is always a good idea.

Shirley said...

Not the best news; but a second opinion may give you other treatment options.

oregonsunshine said...

You're describing exactly what I've been feeling/seeing on Molly. Mol's sound enough for the bit of light riding the kids will do, although her stride is a bit choppy. She still canters and gallops around the pasture. I just decided that at 18, it's ok for her to live a mostly retired life. We won't be showing like I'd hoped. And that's OK. It has been recommended I boot her hind legs when I do work her. So, I will try that.

I'm sorry your hopes for Beretta have been somewhat dashed. Poor girl! Give her smoochies from me!

fernvalley01 said...

Nuts! But it seems like you still have some options and good ideas. I like your attitude .Good Luck!

cdncowgirl said...

Crap! BUT another thing to keep in mind is that she's young and otherwise in good health. Seeing as she's been okay'd for riding but not competing you can still start her when it's time... and then you never know what kind of advances will be made in the future.

Maybe the other vet will see things differently and give you some more options.

Worst come to worst, seeing as its not genetic you could breed her (if you want to breed) as long as that wouldn't cause damage/stress to the leg.

Mrs Mom said...

Damn. Keep us posted on what the 2nd opinion says. You know we are thinking of you guys!

xoxo

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

MiKael-I believe that would be both the deep and superficial flexor tendons.

If you click on that first pic it will get bigger. It's easier to see then. Beretta's leg is facing straight forward. If you visualize a straight line from the center of the hock to the ground, you can really see then how much the tendons have moved, from just above the pastern joint and over the pastern joint.

It's definitely disappointing news. I'm really waffling between the feelings of, 'I will make this work' and 'Aw crap, here I go again'.

Funder said...

Oh, I'm so sorry! I hope the vet is wrong and you can work around this.

oregonsunshine said...

Yep. Molly was confirmed with the same diagnosis this morning. Same leg too. She is now officially retired to toting Dude and Doodle around and Kitty on the rare occasion she might want to ride. At least she'll be a pretty, blonde pasture puff, right?

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

OS-do you have any idea how long Molly has lived with that injury?

Since Molly is 18, that gives me hope that Beretta could have a somewhat useful life and if I like how she rides, potential as a momma.

Oregon Sunshine said...

Molly's been injured somewhere in the last 5 years from what I can tell. Her previous owner didn't know anything about it. But, Molly's been a pasture puff since she was 12, mostly turned out with minimal care. I noticed something off about her last August, after we got her. She'd drag that rear toe occasionally. Then when it became cold this winter, something being off became more noticeable. We didn't notice before as Kitty was at her dad's and not here to ride and potentially "bounce" in my place if Molly decided to bronc.

Please remember, Molly only came to us to be Casey's companion. The fact she was younger than most and rode was a bonus, but not the end all, be all for us. After all, she was given to us because we were the right home. I have a contract saying I can send Molly back at any time I choose. The difference is, I know if I do, Molly will be put down, a decision I both respect and that causes me grief (except when she's busy destroying my fence!).

I'm sad that I will never ride her.
And that I'll probably not get the chance to ride together with my kids any time soon. But, Casey is happier with her than without. And my heart isn't ready to say goodbye to her just yet.

PS Blogger not liking me, hence the alternate identity.

Rising Rainbow said...

Geez, same as we are dealing with Tango although his hasn't done any migrating but it is enlarged and has fluid. We're on a wait and see basis here. Scary stuff for youngsters.

Stephanie said...

Crappy verdict. Sorry I had hoped for better for you. :-( I know you'll find her a good life if its not with you...

Could she show maybe?