Well, that sucks

Olivia   August 3, 2017   48 Comments on Well, that sucks

My vet cleared Nilla to return to work after her joint capsule tear, but she still seemed slightly off to me. It was so subtle, you really had to be looking for it to even notice something was wrong. But I knew. So last week I made an appointment at the expensive vet hospital and hauled Nilla over.

Once again, flexion tests and palpation revealed nothing, but he could see the slight hesitation too. Off to do ultrasounds.

First, Nilla got some drugs and was shaved. Then it was time for the ultrasound.

I’m going to use this very professionally edited image to explain my thought process during the exam.

This was all in my head though; I don’t bother professionals with my inane ramblings (that’s what this blog is for). I was pretty resigned to it being a suspensory. It’s actually what I guessed was wrong with her from the beginning. The torn joint capsule just confused things.

Medial suspensory branch on the left, distal (injured) suspensory branch on the right.

Sigh. The good news is it’s a very tiny tear and it’s only in one branch and not near the origin. Provided nothing goes wrong during rehab, her prognosis is for a full return to work. But when’s the last time “nothing went wrong” when it comes to equines? I showed my non horsey friend the ultrasounds and she asked why I don’t just buy a horse that’s not always injured all the time. Good question.

suspensory at A, tear at B

Thankfully, Nilla isn’t confined to stall rest. The vet said stall rest is generally not great unless the horse is used to it because otherwise they just spin and move around in the stall and aggravate it, plus they’re more likely to re-injure as soon as they’re released. And Nilla was not an enjoyable stall rest patient when she broke her leg so I’m very happy not to have to do that again.

Nilla is also supposed to go on a 15-30 minute hand walk each day to help the ligament heal correctly. I got a super expensive tube of Surpass (so excited that stuff is back on the market, but why is it so freaking expensive) to apply daily on a 5 days on, 2 days off schedule. And I’ve rented an UltraOZ ultrasound therapy system as well. Has anyone ever used one of these? The vet highly recommended it and it seems like a pretty cool idea.

Nilla goes back for another exam in 60 days which is just long enough to avoid all of the fun activities I had planned for this year. Thanks mule. Now Levi is really going to have to step it up.

48 thoughts on “Well, that sucks

  1. julesatthebarn

    Poor Nilla. Hope she heals soon, and takes it easy on the wallet also. But she’s a mule, so she’s tough.

    1. Olivia Post author

      I was told all this mules are tough thing too and this mule has seriously spent more time injured than my other horses combined. Nilla just has to be different.

  2. Liz

    Well fuck. That edited image is basically my reaction to Q’s suspensory diagnosis, too. Here’s hoping time passes quickly, easily, and without complication!

  3. SarahO

    Sorry to hear that, that sucks. It would have at least been better if you could have known the full diagnosis from the start instead of having false hope that she’d heal up quickly. Sending positive vibes for a good recovery

  4. sarahczspots

    Ugh Nilla. I’m sorry. At least you do have extra equines to utilize in these instances? Levi will get lots of wet saddle pads, which will be great for him!

  5. Megan

    “I showed my non horsey friend the ultrasounds and she asked why I don’t just buy a horse that’s not always injured all the time.”

    that kind of horse doesn’t exist. they are suicidal injury machines.

    ooo post more about the ultrasound machine!! im curious.

  6. emma

    aw man, i’m sorry 🙁 that’s never the news anyone wants to hear. c’mon Nilla, we need more helmet cam videos from between your awesome ears!!! heal quickly!!!

  7. Appydoesdressage

    Never the news we want to hear, but it isn’t the worst news. TWH came back from a suspensory issue and is going Novice level right now. She’ll heal fast 🙂

  8. Shauna

    Ugh. Not the news you wanted to hear. Kudos to you for knowing Nilla wasn’t 100% and pursuing further diagnostics. You probably prevented much more damage.

    Can I ask – do you have horse insurance? I may look into this for my next horse.

  9. Stacie Seidman

    Ugh, so sorry! As a self proclaimed suspensory injury expert (not really, but also thanks Rio for the education) the branch is the best place for that if it has to happen. Fingers crossed for an uneventful recovery.
    I haven’t personally used the ultra sound thingy but I have a friend who did and it was actually pretty amazing how much more quickly it healed than it would have traditionally.

  10. Fig

    You can join the support group we’ve got going with tequila and chocolate. Oh dear. I sympathize so, so much right now. May our crazy equines heal uneventfully.

  11. martidoll123

    late to the party but love the Friend’s images 🙂 HA i also love when they peer at the stones like it is a baby 🙂 But anyway…healing thoughts to Nilla and yay more Levi photos. She is awful cute though. 🙂 Hope she bounces back fast!! (without actually bouncing on you!) HA

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