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Discussion on Profound pain in both hind legs

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Marnie B. Finan
Member
Username: Mfinan

Post Number: 25
Registered: 7-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 12, 2006 - 2:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My Arabian mare suffered severe lacerations to both hind legs in April. The extensor tendon was severed on her right leg. Flexor tendons are thought to be intact. Both legs had exposed bone. Subsequent xrays have shown that the bone looks healthy. The wounds are healing nicely and we thought we were on our way. Two weeks ago she suddenly would not put her left foot down. The other leg took the weight and too became sore. Within days she started laying down for 12 to 18 hours a day. She does not have any heat in either hoof, the pulse is not remarkable and she was negative to the hoof testers. She is eating well and her manure and urine are normal. When she gets up to eat and potty she is in profound pain at first. She is very stoic and deals with it, staying up for an hour or so each time. She does not like to put her heel down, specifically on the left. Her right leg bears weight more often than the left. We have tried banamine (10cc) and Bute (up to 2 grams bid) to relieve her pain. All to no avail and obviously we cannot keep this regimen up. She does show some positive signs. When she is laying down or sitting up she is very bright and social. As long as I keep the other horses close she seems content. Tomorrow I have an appointment with a lameness specialist in Boerne TX, almost 2 hours from my home. Getting there and back agin will be interesting. I did not make this decision lightly. My vet and I chose this clinic because there is a partner there that also uses acupuncture. We are all stumped. If anything I have said here rings any bells, please let me know. Thanks.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 1532
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Thursday, Jul 13, 2006 - 12:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh, Marnie, your poor mare! What happened to her? Please let us know what you learn at the specialist's. Hope you make the trip o.k. Poor dear!
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 16142
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jul 13, 2006 - 6:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Marnie,
Acute onset of severe pain suggests you have infection somewhere in the leg Marnie. Before appropriate focused treatment can be started the source of the infection should be localized. Even without heat, if pain does not localize elsewhere in the leg, particularly around the wound, I would be very suspicious of a hoof abscess.
DrO
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Marnie B. Finan
Member
Username: Mfinan

Post Number: 26
Registered: 7-2000
Posted on Friday, Jul 14, 2006 - 2:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you both for your comments. The trip was long and way too hot, even for Texas. If I had it to do over again, I would not have put her through the trailer ride. God bless her she withstood the 5 hour round trip and chose not to lay down even though she had plenty of bedding and room. What a trooper she is.
The diagnosis is an infected tendon sheath (Synovial Sepsis). The vet injected her with a dye to allow the infection to be identified. Sorry, too tired to remember all the correct terminology. The surgeon's prognosis was poor short of doing a very aggressive and very expensive ($8,000 to $10,000) procedure. He had a second less aggressive and involved treatment but I got the 'impression' that he thought euthanasia should be my choice because she is not a super valuable horse. Value is an objective thing and to my daughter and the rest of our family she is worth solid gold. My local vet's vet tech accompanied me on the trip and has known my horse through this whole ordeal. We both adamantly agree that Pepsi is not at that stage. She eats and drinks with gusto, shows great interest in her surroundings and gets up for bodily functions. If I felt for a moment that my mare had shown signs of giving up by not eating, drinking or total depression I would consider that. My ultimate end is what is best for her. I have done some research and discussed an article I read last night on an indwelling tube used after levage of the sheath. The tube is used to aggressively apply antibiotics to the area. We are regrouping and looking at our 'homegrown' options. My vet also feels that it is not time to throw in the towel. Anyone have any experience with this type of treatment for Synovial Sepsis? For DR O: What antibiotics are used and there success rates? Should DMSO be part of what they use to flush the wound?
Sara, in answer to your question on how this happened... We had a severe storm the night before and it took down the Electrobraid we have up to keep her back from a communal fence we share with our neighbor. Evidently she took exception to something and kicked at the goatwire fence. She became enmeshed, sat down and rolled to the other side. I know this because there was an imprint of her side in the grass on the other side. As wounded as she was, she walked the quarter mile plus around the pasture and stood by the gate waiting for us. She has displayed such heart, how could we not do all we can!
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Sherri L. Hueser
Member
Username: Tangoh

Post Number: 754
Registered: 3-2000
Posted on Friday, Jul 14, 2006 - 3:15 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Such a tragic story Marnie. Sounds like you're doing all that you can for her. Here's hoping you can save her. She sounds like a real fighter. Good luck.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 16169
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Jul 15, 2006 - 7:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Typically both systemic and local antibiotics are used Marnie. Until culture results return I would suggest a combination of gentamycin and penicillin. For the systemic pen I would use procaine pen but for flushing the sheath I think I would use ampicillin. With the flushing it is an much about volume as it is antibiotic: flush it real good. I would not be using DMSO. The prognosis for return to 100% soundness after such an infection with a 5 day delay before treatment would probably be guarded to poor, I have no better way to judge than what the examining vet has already told you, but for pasture sound I think you have a good chance.
DrO
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 1543
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Sunday, Jul 16, 2006 - 12:37 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hang in there, Marnie. With these horses you just never know. Given her heart and your love, the odds can be beaten. If the time to "put her down" does come, you will know it when it comes; your mare will tell you. Until then, all you can do is care for her the best you are able given the limitations you have (we all have) physically, emotionally, and financially.
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Marnie B. Finan
Member
Username: Mfinan

Post Number: 27
Registered: 7-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006 - 9:36 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Pepsi was put down yesterday afternoon. She had declined rapidly in the past two days and the pain was extraordinary for her. Even though she still managed to look her bright self at times, I knew I had to call the ball for her. She leaves such a hole in our hearts. She was fire and ice all wrapped up in a very sweet and loving package. I am lucky to have a 3 yr old half bred son of hers. We will be able to catch glimpses of her through him. My daughter is understandably devastated. This was more than a horse, she was a friend who always listened and made you laugh when you were down. We comfort ourselves by imagining Pepsi free from pain and doing her usual snort and tail flip before she explodes off across the pastures of heaven.
Thanks for your support all. So many people have been so kind through out this journey. Too many to list.
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Debbie Green
Member
Username: Green007

Post Number: 232
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006 - 9:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am so sorry to hear that Marnie. My thoughts are with you.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 1559
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006 - 10:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Marnie, I'm so sorry. Please tell your daughter that Pepsi has some wonderful company and I'm sure she's happy to be relieved from her pain. It's a tough choice you had to make, but much better than letting her suffer because you were unable to make a hard decision. I'm glad you have her son.
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Cheryl Kallenbach
Member
Username: Cheryl

Post Number: 112
Registered: 2-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006 - 12:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Fortunately for Pepsi, she belonged to someone with the courage and love to stop her pain. You and your daughter stepped up to the plate for Pepsi. There is no greater gift you could have given her. How very fortunate that you have one of her foals.
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 287
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006 - 1:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Marnie, You have my deepest sympathy. How sad to have thought you had overcome the worst of the original injury and have it turn out this way. But you did the right things for her and gave her loving care.
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Sue G
Member
Username: Warwick

Post Number: 417
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006 - 1:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

That is such sad news, Marnie. You have my deepest sympathies.

Sue
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LL
Member
Username: Frances

Post Number: 266
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006 - 2:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am so sad to hear this, Marnie. My thoughts are with you.
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Sherri L. Hueser
Member
Username: Tangoh

Post Number: 756
Registered: 3-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006 - 3:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

You did your best, that's all anyone can do. So sorry.
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Aileen
Member
Username: Sunny66

Post Number: 1292
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006 - 3:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My sympathies to both you and your daughter, and cyber (((hugs)))
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Debra Dove
Member
Username: 9193

Post Number: 181
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Jul 18, 2006 - 8:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Marnie,

My daughter and I send you, your daughter and family our deepest condolences..Our horse would not be labeled as "valuable" to anyone, but he is the world to my daughter.. I hope that it brings some comfort to you and your daughter that so many people that you may never meet, care and understand so well the grief and loss that you are feeling at this time.

Hugs and Caring,
Debra and Rachael
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 16189
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 19, 2006 - 7:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My deep condolences Marnie. When you get to where you are able and only if you would like to, I would like to explore the history of this horse to see if we can find out why this complication occurred. Perhaps there is information here that might help others.
DrO
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Marnie B. Finan
Member
Username: Mfinan

Post Number: 28
Registered: 7-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 19, 2006 - 8:57 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O: Pepsi's remains were hauled to A&M for post mortem on the legs and then cremation. I can let you know the outcome of the report. Give me an idea of what other information you would like to know. My memory isn't what it used to be but I will try.
All: Thank you so very much for your condolences.
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Lilo
Member
Username: Lilo

Post Number: 265
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 19, 2006 - 9:26 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

What a loss! My sincere condolences to you and your daughter. My daughter had to make the decision to put down her beloved gelding years ago. We know it was the right decision, but that horse has a special place in our heart and memories, just like Pepsi will have for you.
Lilo
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DJ
Member
Username: Djws

Post Number: 84
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 19, 2006 - 1:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Marnie-

I am so sorry for your loss. I know your pain, and appreciate your strength in your decision.

I was with my Beau, when he was put down last Friday, July 14th. Ironically, he also had the same problem as your Pepsi, (synovial sepsis).

Beau underwent two surgeries, and had aggressive antibiotic treatment. He was hospitalized for over a month. His deterioration was also sudden, and heartbreaking.

I am waiting for the final written autopsy report before I write to Dr. O. I am hopeful that he will be gracious enough to look at Beau's history as well. There were so many ups and downs with his illness. I have so many questions (as I'm sure you do).

I imagine that Beau, Pepsi, and so many of the HA member's passed horses, are all running and playing together. These visual images help me make it through the day. They are free of pain, and happy.

I posted a thread under Inspirational, Putting A Horse Down. It helped me to write what was in my heart. The wonderful people of HA have been so supportive. All are a blessing.

I will keep you, and your family, in my prayers. God bless you for loving your horse enough to help her go on to those greener pastures.

Beau was a handsome colt and quite the ladies man...maybe he has met your girl. THAT image even makes me smile (a little).
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DJ
Member
Username: Djws

Post Number: 85
Registered: 2-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Jul 19, 2006 - 1:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Marnie-

I am so sorry for your loss. I know your pain, and appreciate your strength in your decision.

I was with my Beau, when he was put down last Friday, July 14th. Ironically, he also had the same problem as your Pepsi, (synovial sepsis).

Beau underwent two surgeries, and had aggressive antibiotic treatment. He was hospitalized for over a month. His deterioration was also sudden, and heartbreaking.

I am waiting for the final written autopsy report before I write to Dr. O. I am hopeful that he will be gracious enough to look at Beau's history as well. There were so many ups and downs with his illness. I have so many questions (as I'm sure you do).

I imagine that Beau, Pepsi, and so many of the HA member's passed horses, are all running and playing together. These visual images help me make it through the day. They are free of pain, and happy.

I posted a thread under Inspiration, Art & Entertainment - Inspirational - Putting A Horse Down. It helped me to write what was in my heart. The wonderful people of HA have been so supportive. All are a blessing.

I will keep you, and your family, in my prayers. God bless you for loving your horse enough to let her go to those greener pastures.

Beau was a handsome colt and quite the ladies man...maybe he has met your girl. THAT image even makes me smile (a little).
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Lee
Member
Username: Paul303

Post Number: 686
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Jul 20, 2006 - 1:08 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It is so very important, to take time to recall all the moments of wonder, joy, contentment and satisfaction your equine companion brought you. The flashes of perfection, beauty and exquisite fulfillment that enchanted your days and made you whole....THIS is what your horse was....not the last short time of darkness. I think too many of us allow the anguish at the end to invade and intermingle with the astounding experience of sharing one's life with a horse. The end, was not your horse. The sorrow, although real, does not merit a space alongside any memories that you are entitled to cherish forever.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 16201
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jul 20, 2006 - 10:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

You give a very good history in your first post Marnie so the post findings should be all we need. Perhaps after reviewing them I will have more questions, thank you for wanting to help others in what is a very difficult time.
DrO
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