…And all the kings horses couldn’t put it back together again
|June 29, 2017||Posted by Melinda under Equine Endurance|
….So we had to have surgery.
The Adhere patch was placed on Tuesday, and by Friday it had failed and the hoof flap had further destabilized.
After much angsting and debating and scheming I faced the facts.
- I could stabilize the flap inside of a glue on boot and probably do the 50 mile ride next weekend.
- If I lost that boot during the ride (and no matter how good the fit, experienced the person gluing, etc there is ALWAYS a chance) I was screwed. I wouldn’t be able to use a strap on, and if I tried to walk back to ride camp from the middle of a loop, there was a chance that the flap could catch and rip off the foot and then I would be SCREWED.
I’m running out of time on Farley. I don’t want to unnecessarily skip rides. I also don’t want to take foolish chances.
Do the 50 this weekend, maybe succeed, take care of the flap surgically and still ride a 100 in September? Or have catastrophic failure and be out for the rest of the season, possibly longer.
Or, give up the idea of a 100 this season (if I don’t do the 50 now, I don’t have enough time to get ready for the 100), fix the flap now, likely do a 50 miler before the end of the season and stay on track for decade team.
In the end, I withdrew my entry from Gold Country and messaged my friend at the vet clinic. I have a couple of seasons left on Farley. I don’t have the luxury of time to recover from costly mistakes by taking big risks. The flap was destabilizing more every day despite my best efforts.
Due to the surgeon’s schedule and the nature of the flap the surgery had to be done ASAP. I was already on my way to Western states 100 to crew (and pace!) on Saturday when I got the phone call to bring her in, so instead we arranged to drop off Sunday afternoon for an early morning Monday surgery.
On Saturday morning I put a couple wraps of duct tape around the hoof and ironically, it held the flap in place for 36 hours WAY BETTER than anything I had tried to date.
I had a picture of this miraculous occurrence, but the pictures are on my now dead iphone (what an eventful weekend….)
Monday morning they removed the flap above the cornet band under a local block and standing sedation. It’s always fun to hear the large quantity of drugs needed to sedate Farley for procedures. Everyone is fooled by how quiet and compliant she is. She gets drugs, and remains quiet, but isn’t actually sedated. Heheehehe. She’s not naughty in any way, just not…..sedate.
They placed a very nice bell bandage and told me to replace it on Wednesday (two days later).
I hate doing traditional bell bandages. I’m going to admit it. I’m incompetent. I can do an excellent standing wrap, hock wrap, robert jones…..but the bell bandage is the bane of my wrapping skills.
I gave it a good go.
But when Farley looked at me in disgust because my ill-wrapped bell was making it impossible for her to walk normally I made an executive decision.
A light wrap is fine.
I’m a passable vet.
I’m a terrible client.
She last had a gram of bute on Tuesday morning. Tuesday afternoon when I picked her up and turned her out in her paddock she trotted off sound (in the bandage). Today (Wednesday) she apparently was DONE with me and my fiddling around, mucking with her rest, and generally being a nuisance and BUCKED and cantered away from me in the paddock.
If I had a time I would look up a GIF of me twitching like a caffeinated cat at that particular move.
Here’s the plan moving forward.
- Three week of sugardine wraps until the site cornifies (hardens with new hoof growth).
- Then, back to work.
- Hind shoes as soon as I can schedule an appointment with my clinic’s farrier. A shoe on the hinds will keep the hoof stable enough with no movement with the goal of the new regrowth adhering firmly to the existing normal hoof. Shoes are likely be needed until the hoof grows out, about 6 months. I’ll just keep shoes on the back and likely pull them as soon as I can (~6 months) due to logistics. I have to haul out in order to get decent farrier work done in this area, which is one reason I keep her barefoot, but I can handle it for a couple of months.
There’s potentially another surgery that could be done that would minimize the scar in the hoof wall. To do that now would have been more involved and require longer rehab. After some discussion the vets and I decided it was in Farley’s best interest to do this simpler surgery. Everyone is fairly confident that this repair will be sufficient to get through a couple seasons of endurance, which is likely what she has left. The best way to keep an older horse going is to keep them going. The procedure we did this week allows us to get back to endurance this season (as opposed to next season). If she surprises us and goes longer, or if she needs the surgery in order to stay sound and comfortable in retirement we will do it.
In case you are a New Reader to the blog, I need to reiterate that Farley is a horse that earned her forever home with me some time ago. No matter what the outcome, she has a safe retirement home for as long as she needs one. Regardless of whether we wanted to continue in endurance she needed to have surgery. There’s no guarantees on the outcome of either surgery (even the one that *should* minimize the scar), so we chose the procedure that overall had the best risk/benefit. I’m excited that it means we might still be able to do endurance, but that isn’t the only thing that matters.