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Discussion on Broken neck

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ANN COLLIER (Dres)
Posted on Monday, Sep 24, 2001 - 2:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

5 days ago my mare was fine... i went out to feed and notice that she was standing funny, long story short..

she has been in the vet hospital now for 5 days with what we believe to be a broken neck...no i have no x-rays, as it is in the thicker part of the neck that won't photo well, we have localized it through a slight swelling that just occured on day 3, and also from the heat in the area and the sweating on that one side...

she is somewhat paralyzed on the right side, she has no control of her right hind leg and only drags it around her, her front leg seems to be better controlled but not by much, as she knocks it into the other front foot, or almost crosses it over...

she has not laid down thus far, (good thing), she is in good spirits, eats, drinks and poops... well of course i believe she is not pooping as much as she normally does and i notice it takes her awhile to let go...

she has been treated for a traumatic neck injury and seems stablized as in not any worse...steriods and anti-inflammatories...

i feel awful as i don't know what to do... i would be happy for her to recover enough to be a pasture pet, but then that would require her to recover enough to be able to run from dogs or what ever out there....

has anyone ever been through something like this?
Dr. O have you treated any horses similar to this..?

what is the long term prognosis?

thank you for any info at all on this subject as i need to be educated..

ann.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Monday, Sep 24, 2001 - 6:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ann,
the problem here is no sure diagnosis and if there is a traumatic problem we do not know the severity of the lesion. There is very little that can be accurately said about prognosis and treatment until this information is obtained. Until then you are just taking it a day at a time and sometimes that is the best you can do. Restricted exercise, NSAID's, and steroids would be the basis of treatment for trauma to the CNS.

I do need to ask with an acute onset of assymetrical paresis is are you sure you do not have EPM?
DrO
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ANN COLLIER (Dres)
Posted on Monday, Sep 24, 2001 - 10:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O.. thank you for the quick reply as i have been 'spinning' daily on any decission i make..

NO we have not ruled out EPM, the blood tests will be in on tues. but i don't hold much stock in that result...

we started treating her for EPM yesterday, after the last of the IV steriods... just to cover the bases...

thank you for confirming that TIME is the answer, the clinic said this as well... as she is not stable enough to get her to UCD for thorough x-rays at this point and the cost would be out of the ball park...


we have more or less localized the affected area by a swelling that came up on day 3, and the heat in that area ONLY... not to mention she does not want it touched...

TIME.. at this point she is not stable enough to bring home either.. how long do i wait, at the costs of huge vet bills to see if she will ever be able to have more control of the legs.?

i know a tough question... one that is pleging me as each day goes by with no change

thank you
ann
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2001 - 6:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

If the evidence for the trauma is great I am not sure I would be treating for EPM...and other than relatively inexpensive antiinflammatories I am not sure what else you should be spending money on.

However to answer your question on how long do you wait? You certainly wait for as long as improvement is continuing, 6 months is considered a reasonable time for trauma to the nerves, but not written in stone. Some neurological injuries to peripherial nerves in horses have been know to take a year or more to repair. In these cases complete regrowth of the nerve from where the trauma occurred to the innervated structure is conjectured.
DrO
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ANN COLLIER (Dres)
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2001 - 10:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dresden made the choice..

she had a rough nite, this morning was loosing more of the little control she had, elevated heart rate, depressed.

i had her put down..

again thank you for all your input, as i really just needed to hear others thoughts too

dres/ann
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Mary E Adams (Ntucket)
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2001 - 1:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ann

I had a similar loss: sudden onset, week in hospital, final decision. This horse and I had a real emotional connection and I will never get over the memory of the roller-coaster week from hell and its end result. I feel so badly for you and feel particularly bad that this happened to you duing these days of worldwide tragedy.

The non-horse world can never understand what you've been through, but the people on this site can and do understand. Dresden will always be with you in spirit and memories. Best of luck in your healing. We are all thinking of you.
Mary
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Sherri L. Hueser (Tangoh)
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2001 - 5:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My condolences Ann. Been there, done that. It's a rough decision, but sometimes the only right one.
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Kim Fotter (Fpony)
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2001 - 5:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ann,

My sympathy goes to you in having to had made that hard choice.I'm sure Dresden is grateful you had the strength to help her leave our world.
Kim
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Elizabeth Donahue (Paul303)
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 25, 2001 - 7:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I too, have presided over the last difficult days of equine friends. To many of us, the time to release them is eminently clear - and tremendously excruciating for us all. But I have also had the bad luck to be called for moral support in cases where friends or aquaintences wanted an opinion. Or rather, they wanted their own opinion reinforced. Against all advice, medical and heartfelt, they insist on pulling out all the stops. You accepted the inevitable and climbed above your emotions to fulfill your greatest obligation to your wonderful friend.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 26, 2001 - 4:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ann, I am so sorry, my deepest condolences.
DrO
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ANN COLLIER (Dres)
Posted on Thursday, Sep 27, 2001 - 2:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

THANK YOU ALL.. for your kind words of support, some how it just makes it a 'little' better to read kind thoughts at this time of sorrow...

ann
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