Monday, December 1, 2008

Up and Down

I'm on campus today, but David called to say that Raven is very stiff. She was quite lame this morning until she got going, and then she seemed more comfortable. Kerstin was emphatic that Raven should remain stable or continue to improve, and that anything otherwise would probably indicate damage done to the underlying bone. I did palpate the joint quite assertively last night, and there is no suggestion of continued infection -- it is smooth and dry, with just a little nub of tissue around the wound itself. My fear is that my not-so-tender ministrations aggravated a bone chip that is responsible for her continued pain. Hopefully Kerstin will be able to get some x-rays tomorrow.


Funder said...

Oh, so sorry to hear she's sore, dp. Do you think maybe she was stiff because you poked at her injury?

Hoping for the best!

dp said...

Yes, I think so. But I don't think that's a good sign. I am trying not to form any strong opinion before seeing the evidence. Sometimes it is hard being a scientist.

Funder said...

Yeah :( Just trying to think of a positive alternative explanation. :-/

Black Jack's Carol said...

So sorry, dp. I know you're very worried. I am the epitomy of unscientific, but have some thoughts. When Raven was injured, could some of the swelling been unrelated to the infection that was treated, but rather the result of something pulled or strained? Perhaps that would be difficult to see in an x-ray. If that were the case, maybe the injury needs more time to heal. Does that make any sense? Many injuries take up to six weeks, with gradual increase in activity, only after quite an extended rest period. I'm wondering if working with her as if in therapy, maybe only at the walk for several days or longer, might be the answer. Anyhow, with such completely uninformed input, what I do know I can do is send positive thoughts to you and Raven. A whole ton of them are coming your way.

dp said...

You're doing a great job for someone who's not scientific Carol. Because the joint was so swollen originally Kerstin thought there had been some trauma along with the injury. But the swelling subsided so quickly with the aggressive treatment that she changed her mind on day 3. If there had been trauma we would expect her to make a slow and gradual recovery.

My biggest concern right now is her on-again-off-again lameness. In my understanding this is typical of a bone chip because the chip is floating around sometimes causing pain and sometimes not. The only way to know for sure is to get the x-ray.

David report that she was standing with her leg right out to the side when he got home, which is weird. She was quite perky and cheerful when I got home, though taking pains to bend the joint as little as possible. No word from Kerstin yet, but I am hoping that she can make it out tomorrow.

Black Jack's Carol said...

Thanks for taking time to explain in such detail. I am learning a lot on this blog.

Hope Kerstin makes it, and that the news will be encouraging.

Are there some treatment options if it does turn out to be a bone chip?

dp said...

If it does turn out to be a bone chip...

Surgery is an option if the chip is removable, but it's not really an option on my budget. Despite loving Raven like crazy I still have to be pragmatic about my finances.

Some vets will prescribe short- and long-term joint injections with hyluronic acid and corticosteriods to to supplement the joint fluid and to minimize the pain.

If one is lucky the chip will settle some place innocuous, become surrounded by scar tissue, and never bother the horse again.

It's all moot until we have an x-ray that confirms my suspicions. No word from Kerstin yet, but it doesn't have to happen today. I'm just hoping that it can happen before David and I leave for Hawaii on Saturday.