Prefer to listen to this post?
So you might have seen on our social media that Scottie had his trip to horsey hospital this week to have his MRI scan done. This wasn’t only a big deal as we would finally be getting to the bottom of his mystery lameness. But it would also be the first time where I would be driving the lorry myself!
The Journey There
I got to the yard nice and early Tuesday morning. Having already picked up the lorry the night before, I focused on loaded the lorry up with Scottie’s new Haygrazer Play, rug and Natural Horse Keep Calm essential oils. I also got a big scoop of grass nuts for bribing him onto the lorry.
Once the lorry was ready, I made sure the interior lights were on, making it nice and inviting, since it was still dark out. I then quickly got Scottie ready, so he didn’t have time to stress about getting on the lorry. This seemed to really work!
I walked him to the lorry and he slowly investigated the lorry, coming half on for some treats, but each time decided to back off again. However, as soon as someone stood behind him, he was on the lorry with no issues!
Traffic was an absolute nightmare! It took us over 2 hours to get there with the vast majority of this time spent sat in traffic jams. However, Scottie was an absolute dream on the lorry which made my first horse transportation experience much easier!
Sound Once Again!
Once we arrived, Scottie was settled into the stable and I had a chat with the vet who would be overseeing his treatment at the hospital. She had seen all the notes from my vets, so I just ran through when it first started and what we have done so far.
After the chat, we headed out to look at Scottie together, where he had a team of helpers surrounding him. She had a quick look and feel of his legs before he was led to the lameness examination area. He was trotted up on the hard and lunged on the hard and soft. He was so well behaved the vet even asked if one of the new staff could have a go at lunging him as he was so well behaved! Naturally I said yes.
But throughout this short examination, he was completely sound once again. As frustrating as this can be for me, the vet said it is very positive that he can be that sound with whatever issue he is having.
Pick Up Chaos
Wednesday morning I managed a bit of a lay in! Not having to get up early for Scottie or work was a bit of a novelty. But either way, I was still planning to leave 8.30am ish. So it wasn’t a huge lay in.
The traffic was not on my side again this time! But whereas the day before had just been standstill/slow moving traffic. This traffic really put my lorry driving skills to the test I had to weave in and out of parked cars and cars queuing to come the other way.
This was closely followed by numpties on the country lanes expecting me to climb up the banks to let them past… Needless to say it was a stressful start to the day! But a call from the vet saying they had the results and would talk to me when I arrived made it bearable.
The results of the MRI scan were both good an bad. It wasn’t navicular disease! So that’s a plus! Scottie has a small tear in one of the branches of his Deep Digital Flexor Tendon (DDFT) around the area of the navicular bursa. It is a very narrow tear, and only 2 cm long, but this is never a great diagnosis.
However, the vet seemed very positive. The fact that he is as sound as he is, is very good. Plus, one of the biggest issues with this type of injury is the damage it causes to the surrounded area, especially the navicular bursa. But Scottie’s scans so no sign of this having happened. In fact it looks as though the tear has been healing quite nicely so far.
The rest of the MRI was incredibly clean. The bad foot had a small hint of early signs of arthritis round the coffin joint, but there was absolutely nothing wrong in the left foot! So while Scottie’s foot conformation is far from perfect, his feet don’t seem to be suffering yet!
Since it seems to be healing quite nicely on it’s own, the vet wants to give Scottie another months rest. Her reason being that these sorts of injury typically take about 6 months to heal. Scottie is already 4-5 months on through the healing process and has been mostly resting during this time. She also feels like since he is doing so well, it would be silly to start trying invasive treatments without giving him one more month to see if it can heal by itself.
After this months rest, we will once again try bringing him back into work slowing. 2 weeks walking before slowly building in the trot work. If, during any of this process, Scottie continues to be on off lame or gets worse, our next step will be to inject the coffin joint. While this isn’t the area causing a problem, it is less invasive and has seemed to help issues around the navicular bursa in some horses. If this doesn’t work, then the next step will be to inject the navicular bursa. If after 6 months we still aren’t happy, we can look at having a second MRI scan.
However, until then, we will just carry on with the egg bar shoes, shorter toes and rest and see how we get on. I don’t really mind how long it takes to get back to riding. I am just relieved to now know what the issue is and have a good plan in place for helping Scottie get better.
I was in a bit of a rush to get home after the traffic really holding me up on the way there and needing to get the lorry back before 1! So I brought Scottie to the lorry to get him ready there. Non horsey Mum held the end of the rope from the safety of the lorry while I got his boots and tail guard on.
It was horrible, drizzly rain getting ready, so I think Scottie was happy to get out of it! As when I walked him towards the ramp he walked straight on and tucked into the scoop of grass nuts waiting for him!
He was quite happy in the lorry on the way home and we could see that he kept trying to dose off on the camera! Which would have been fine if it didn’t mean that he almost fell over every time we slightly changed speed or direction!