Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Second First Opinion?

As I mentioned before, my usual vet was at the barn today adjusting a boarder's horse. Without obviously trying to avoid her, I made sure I stayed on my side of the barn so I didn't have to answer questions about Lilly. I didn't want to tell her I got a second opinion. I'm a wimp, but that's what I decided.

My plan went to crap when she asked the BO if she could use one of the stalls on my side because the horse also needed his teeth floated and she saw me... She said she was glad I was there and wanted to know if I had time for her to look at Lilly's leg because she was anxious to see how it looked. I told her I could wait, and when she finished with Lenny she came over to Lilly's stall.

She asked a lot of questions, like whether I had started riding, how long the swelling hung around, and if she was still on her regular routine. She said she thought her leg looked "great", and looked the best she's seen it. (Maybe on the outside...) Then we started talking about why the leg swelled and went over a bit of history from the past 13 months. She was telling me about a conference she went to and how rehab for injured tendons and ligaments will most likely be changing within the equine community soon. The consensus is that it's better not to rest them, but rather allow them to continue moving around and even exercise them during rehab.

That's counter-intuitive to me, especially since Lilly seems to end up lame when I ride, but she said that's what the research shows with humans. I think the big difference between humans and horses, though, is that people can talk. A human can tell a doctor what's going on and how they feel, whereas a horse is limited in his/her communication. Plus, if you have a very stoic horse, I can see the potential to do more harm than good.

After our conversation was over, she said she thinks I should keep up the pasture rest through the first of the year, and then I'd probably have to ride her at the walk only for the first few months of the year. Maybe even just trail ride her rather than riding her in the ring. I kept asking why the swelling and why the rest if the ligament looks ok. She really didn't have an answer for me.

I never told her about the second opinion from the other vet. There didn't seem to be a right time and I didn't want to interject and say, "hey, by the way..." I feel really good about where Lilly and I are headed with Dr T and hope to make some real progress. Her first appointment is Monday, so I'm anxious to see how it goes. We'll be done with the treatment by the middle of January, but I don't know what the plan will be from there.

I got my amateur renewal form in the mail today from APHA. Last year I filled out and signed up for all the usual stuff with gusto trying to stay very optimistic, but this year I think I'll wait. :(


  1. Well, at least that awkward conversation is over. It sounds like you handled it very well, even if though didn't tell her about the 2nd opinion.

    So often I wish horses had a "talk" button that we were in control of. I wish they could tell us what was wrong when we want them to, but keep their opinions to themselves when we don't. Though I assume Junior would just ramble on with made-up nonsense words and tell bad jokes....

  2. I think you handled that very well! I'm sure it was hard to do though. I probably would have handled it the same way ;).

    I hope that Lily feels better soon - I'm sorry that you're still dealing with all of this :(.

  3. Hard part is over, now just comes the recovery :)

  4. Thanks, Terry. I'll pass some of those on to Lilly too.

    LOL, SillyPony! Junior would tell dirty jokes? I wonder what Lilly would talk about? :)

    Thanks, JJ. I guess I didn't see a need to tell her at the time. For some reason, though, I would feel better about telling her now that she's seen her again and suggested so much rest. I have no idea why.

    Justaplainsam, I sure hope so! We've been trying to recover for 13 months. LOL