Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Guess who's coming home today!

That's right, River is!!  I'm leaving work a little early and going to get him..  I probably won't get there until 7ish, so we won't get home until after 10pm.... and after I drop him off, I have to go another 20 minutes to return the truck and trailer and get my car, then drive half an hour home.  Yuck.

He's on stall rest for at least a month.  He's on an antibiotic for at least a month.  Three times a day for at least a month.  Three.  That's going to be a nightmare.  Sigh.

Naturally, he's on an antibiotic that is horribly expensive and has a ton of warnings for the human giving it...  Wear gloves, wear a mask, wear an apron or something you can take off immediately if you get any on it, use in a well-ventilated area...  You'd think he'd been prescribed anthrax or something.  Normally I would more or less ignore the warnings, but since there's no one to take care of him if I get sick from the medication.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Tentative good news!

They took xrays this morning and it looks like he has a bone cyst.  It might be due to infection, trauma, or a tumor.  Most likely cause would be infection.  They're going to get a sample of the fluid and do some tests.  If it seems to be infection, he'll be started on antibiotics and he can come home.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Bone scan result

He has a hot spot on his shoulder.  Doing xrays tomorrow to figure out what and where exactly it is.  Best case would be nondisplaced healing fracture.  Pretty much anything else would require surgery, which is unfortunately out of the question.

Scan is being done

I called the hospital because I hadn't heard anything... he's having the bone scan done now, should have results by 2.

At this point, I kind of feel like the universe owes me something good.  A month of worrying, a week of real stress, 5 days of hard-core gut-churning torment, 5 days of crying at the drop of a hat...  Please please please let him be okay.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

How do you prepare?

River's vet at Cornell called today.  He's more lame and his shoulder is more swollen.  She wanted to do xrays, and I gave the okay.  Nothing showed up, which is good.  Basically anything that would show up on an xray would mean euthanasia.  Bone scan tomorrow morning.

I really hadn't given much thought to the idea that he might not get better, that whatever is wrong with him might not be treatable.  Now it's hitting me...  He might not get better.  He might need to be put down.  How am I supposed to prepare for that, to deal with it?  He's only 14.  Our 3 year anniversary is on Thanksgiving.  What will there to be thankful about if I lose him?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

So special...

Oh, River...

Tech and supervising vet examined him.  Supervising vet has been a professor at Cornell for 38 years.  He's never seen something like this and does not know what is wrong.

The only palpation/manipulation that got any response was when they pressed on his shoulder with one hand and pulled his withers with the other. Then he said "wtf, dude, that hurts, stop it!"  Neither vet had seen a horse who reacted only to that.  (Not sure if he's the only horse who had reacted to that, period, but definitely the only one who practically napped through having his leg pushed and pulled and twisted and flexed, and then reacted definitely to the shoulder-wither push-pull thing.)

They blocked his foot, just in case, and as expected there was no difference.

Generally, the next thing would be to block up the leg to pinpoint where it hurts, but because of how lame he is (4/5), there's the definite possibility of a hairline fracture, and we don't want to risk a hairline fracture turning catastrophic because he couldn't feel it to be careful.

So they recommended a bone scan.  I said okay, let's do it.  But wait, we can't do it today!  Or tomorrow!  Or the next day!  Or the next day!  They have to request the radioactive stuff 24 hours in advance, and it can't be done on a Friday because the specially trained/licensed people have to check him the next day to be sure he's no longer radioactive.  The one vet did actually check to see if there was any way to get it done sooner, but unfortunately no.  Monday would be the first available.

Talked to my vet.... well, I had the Cornell vet call her and discuss it with her first because I was having a mini breakdown.  Talked it over with my vet, and decided to leave him at Cornell until they can do the scan.  As much as I hate to pay $100 a day for board (!!!!!!), I couldn't live with myself if I decided to take him home and bring him back, and he suffered a catastrophic fracture on the trailer or at home.

So River is spending a long weekend at college, living in the dorms.  He very quickly won over his team, all of whom think he's a very sweet, cool, handsome horse who is very tolerant of all the poking and prodding him.

Before I left, they asked if there was anything they should know about him..  I told them he loves peppermints and cuddles.

They'll call me every day to let me know how he's doing.  They'll do the bone scan on Monday, starting with his shoulder and elbow and working their way up and down his leg until they find something.  If all goes well, I can bring him home on Tuesday.  If the bone scan doesn't show anything, the next step would be to start blocking up the leg.

Riv's definitely gone all out on this one.. even a vet who's been a professor for almost 4 decades doesn't know what's wrong.


Waiting on the vet... Riv is quite happy:

Lots to check out:


We're here!  Trip was uneventful, getting registered then we'll get him off the trailer. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

All set for Cornell tomorrow

Appointment is made.

Coggins is back.

Truck and trailer will be hooked up soon if they haven't already and I'll get the keys tonight.

A friend is coming along for company/help/moral support.  (Friend who was the first one to ride Riv after I got him, if you're keeping track.  She's a second year vet student, so she's looking forward to it.)

I asked my vet about a few bits and pieces (put him in a slant stall or leave it open?  keep him on bute?  blanket for the ride?  wrap for the ride?  Answers:  stall, no bute, put on a sheet but bring a blanket just in case, yes to wraps).

I got Care Credit, which I will hopefully not need (or at least not need to use a lot of).

I'm hitting up everyone who owes me money and begging for payment.

I typed up a timeline of the whole lameness saga so I'm not trying to guess at dates. 

I made a checklist of what I need to bring... there are three headings:  Things for River, Paperwork Stuff, and Stuff for Me.  The aforementioned timeline is under Paperwork Stuff.

My vet is aware that I'll be calling tomorrow, so she'll be available.  BTW, my vet is so freaking amazing.  There are no words for how grateful I am to her.

I warned another friend that if I call her tomorrow late morning/early afternoon it's probably because there's bad news and I'll be hysterical.

Going to be a long long day tomorrow.  I, um, didn't sleep last night.  At all.  So right now, I've been awake for about 34 hours straight.  I doubt I'll get to bed before 11 tonight, then I have to be up around 5:30AM to do chores before picking up the truck and trailer and my friend, and then loading River (who I'm really really hoping isn't hurting so much that he'll be difficult about loading) and driving about 3 hours to Cornell.  Maybe we'll get lucky and they'll do one test and have the answer and it'll be something simple.  Fingers crossed!

Monday, March 17, 2014

River is seeking higher education.

He's going to Cornell on Thursday.

Vet was out on Saturday.  We were going to take more xrays looking for a hairline fracture, but after examining him she thinks there's more going on than we initially thought.  We're thinking it's something with his shoulder, but absolutely no idea what, and he needs more diagnostics than my vet can do.  So we're off to Cornell.

Jingles, prayers, and good thoughts appreciated..  Hoping that:  1.  They can figure out what's wrong with him.  2.  It's nothing terrible.  3.  It's not too expensive.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Happy birthday, Mare!

(Okay, I'm a day late... I was distracted by the ridiculous snow yesterday and didn't get around to writing up this post, but I did wish her a happy birthday on the correct day, I'm just telling you about it late.)

Yesterday was my beautiful red mare's 20th birthday!  As you can see, she was very excited about it...

Yep.  Thrilled.

I rode her Monday night.  First time in about 7 months... I was kind of hoping she'd spend all night yelling at River (whose stall is right across from hers) about how she is NOT supposed to work for a living and he had darn well better get sound so she can go back to doing nothing in peace.  Sadly, it has not worked.

I got on her and was just going to start playing music on my phone when my vet called... so I rode her for like 15 minutes while talking to my vet.  Mare was fine with that..  When I *gasp* took up contact, she interpreted that as a sign to rush.  I actually rode her for all of 10 minutes, and she was a little sweaty.  From 10 minutes of walking-but-trying-to-take-off-and-arguing-and-making-faces.

Poor overworked mare..

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Fat ponies!

It's relatively warm today (around 40), so I pulled my horses' blankets for the day... they look so good!

River is the fattest he's ever been!  I can just feel his ribs.


The Mare.  She's so red.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Doing okay

Riv is doing okay.  Still lame, but bright and happy.  He's getting a little sick of stall rest.. the other day I was redoing his wraps and he grabbed the door of his stall and was pushing it out and letting it bang.  He also enjoys nibbling my head, which I probably shouldn't allow but I think it's cute..

I made pillow wraps!

They're a little too poofy...  1/2" foam + cotton batting = very hard to wrap over!  Lesson learned for next time..

And that's all there is to say for now.