Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Good News, Bad News, Interesting News

I'm too worn out to think or breathe, but I have a diagnosis.

The good news: What Lex has is treatable. She should, in fact, be totally fine.

The bad news: What Lex has requires surgery.

The interesting news: What Lex has is not in her back.

Those of you who saw the hitch in her left leg (and I'm glad I taped that lunging because I could see it better on screen than I could in person) were right - she has osteochondritis in her left stifle. Arthoscopic surgery and stall rest should do the trick. She should return to full work within a few months. I haven't scheduled the surgery yet, but I'm going to call a few vets tomorrow and see who can do it soon.

I am trying not to freak out. This is actually good news, because we can do something about this. I can make more money. The vet school has a payment plan. Time passes. We'll be okay.

The vet I used today is amazing, I totally love her. She, like me, is not at all into acupuncture or chiropractics (you do you; I'm a skeptic and I like research). It also helps that she complimented Lex repeatedly for being beautiful and sweet and well put-together. Lex was a sassafras much of the time because she's not feeling good and doesn't want to be touched in ways that make her uncomfortable, and because she's a thoroughbred mare and is quite sensitive indeed. Anyway, the vet evaluated her on the cross-ties, on the lunge line, on the packed-dirt driveway, under saddle, with flexion. That hitch in her left leg got more apparent as we went on and she flexed positive only on that stifle. All the other joints were fine.

I'm dizzy with relief and concern. All day I've asked myself, if I had known she had this when I was thinking about buying her, would I have? Or would I have let her go? Finding OCD in a stifle is the very definition of failing a vet check, but every other time I've vetted a horse they weren't going to go to slaughter. Would I have let that happen over this?

I don't know, honestly, but I do know that I'm so glad I didn't have to make that call and that I have her now. In three months she'll be back up to speed, and in the meantime she will be spotlessly groomed, carrot-stretched, and when she's ready, hand-walked all over the place. A Lex with an ouchy stifle is far, far better than no Lex at all.

She takes my breath away.


  1. I said this when Libby mare maybe had OCD and I'll say it again. We had a pony, that we bought as a 2yo. Wonderful pony, perfectly sound, winner in the rateds. Pony went on lease, leasees wanted to buy, vet checked and boom, OCD. Pony was probably close to 10 at this time, we never had any lick of soundness issues in that pony. They ended up buying him and probably did the surgery and more than likely the pony was a-ok. Lex will be great, you'll be great. It'll be okay!

  2. "A Lex with an ouchy stifle is far, far better than no Lex at all." You said it all right there. =) Lex is lucky to have you in her life.

  3. Treatable! She's going to be A-okay. She's lucky to have a Mom like you, and I'm glad to hear that there's a diagnosis and a plan and a vet you like :)

  4. Glad she will be ok. Hope it isn't killer expensive.

  5. Greta to have an answer and even better to finds out that it is treatable.
    Lex is so lucky to have a mom like you!