27 March 2009

Into the Abyss

On Monday Wanda and I went to the veterinary hospital and had a gastroscopy done. By which I mean that I stood and watched while Wanda (who behaved like a model citizen-at least she behaves in public!) had a scope shoved up her nose and down her throat. We all peered at her stomach lining. Did you know the stomach actually changes color when the tissue that produces acid begins? It does. It's all very pale pink and then WHAM!, bright scarlet tissue begins. Now of all the tests we've had done, this was the one I was doing merely as a formality. So that when I went to sell her I could say with authority that we had done everything possible. You can therefore imagine my surprise when the vet pointed to several small spots and said, "Well, she's got ulcers."! Really?! I was glad I was leaning on the wall because I might have fallen over otherwise. She scored a 2 out of 4. The vet said she couldn't tell how much this might be affecting her back but that we would know in 2-3 weeks of treatment. We're now on day 3 of treatment and I'm more than a little curious to know if this has the been the problem. I doubt it but stranger things have happened.

We ran some blood work last week and she does not have myositis or lyme disease for those of you keeping score. The rest of her blood panel was normal as well.

And there you are Internet-ulcers. Who knew? If this does in fact clear up her back pain you may have to call the paramedics to pick me up from where I've fallen down in disbelief. We have another appointment with the vet clinic to go and get her abscessed tooth pulled next week. If all goes well she can come home that evening-if not, then she'll have to stay overnight and have surgery the following day.

On the bright side, my insurance has just sent us our first reimbursement check for the nuclear scan! So we're feeling a bit more positively about money. And, all this hauling back and forth to the vet clinic is really helping Wanda become accustomed to trailers and travelling. She may not stand still reliably at home but at the vet's office she's been a peach!

10 March 2009

More Tests

Well, my vet had a chance to confer with other vets and we have a few ideas for more tests. One vet suggested Lyme disesase as a possible culprit. It's fairly uncommon out here (but very, VERY common where I'm from) which is why it hadn't occurred to her to test for it. We're also going to test for myositis in her muscles. Another vet suggested it might be ulcers radiating pain upward. So now I have to contact my insurance adjuster and see if we can have her scoped or if we need to treat and see what happens. I figure it's worth a shot. I've decided to try and postpone the dental surgery. I have to call the dentist this afternoon to discuss this with him but if it's at all possible I'd like to postpone it for a bit while we're running these tests. I'll have to see if he wants to continue the antibiotics in the meantime or what. But at least there was a ray of hope in my day. Also, all the vets have said they don't see any reason she couldn't be a broodmare so that opens up her options considerably again. I'll keep you posted.

06 March 2009

Pondering the Imponderables

I've been doing lots and lots of thinking this week about what is the best thing for Wanda.

I'm still waiting for my vet, the orthopedic specialist, to go over the results with me so please understand I'm still debating options at this point without all the information...

Points factoring into my upcoming decision are:

How much pain is Wanda in? Can we manage that pain effectively? What would that management entail? Can I trust someone else to know when that pain is too much? If she is in pain now, what kind of pain will she have in two years? five? ten? Can I find someone to give her a good home for the rest of her life (remember she's eight)? Is it fair to put her in a position where someone may try to ride her at some point? Can I find a good situation for her in this market? How do you weigh her quality of life vs. quantity of life? Is it fair to have her live the rest of her life in pain just so that I feel better? Would it be fair to breed her? Can she be someone's broodmare? What am I willing to do for her? How much time am I willing to invest in a horse I cannot ride, long-term? Ultimately, what is the best possible decision I can make for Wanda and for myself that I can live with?

02 March 2009

Finding a New Home

Well, we got x-rays today and, unless my vet has some drastically different interpretation of them, it looks as though I'll be rehoming Wanda. It will depend a great deal upon what my vet has to say. She *may* still be able to be used as a broodmare which will increase her options but she will most likely never be truly sound for riding.

One of the major factors in my decision will be determining how much pain she is in. If she is going to be in a great deal of pain everyday then I don't believe in putting her through that. But, if she is in a manageable amount of pain, and right now that appears to be the case, then I'll try to find her a good home.

I know some of you will disagree with my decision not to keep her and that's ok. I've discovered over the last few weeks that I don't particularly enjoy having a horse I cannot ride. If I retained ownership of her I would feel terribly guilty about not seeing her as often as I "should". And that is not a good situation for me. So, I'm going to do my best to find her a responsible home where someone else can lavish love and attention on her. That having been said, does anyone know of anyone looking for a really sweet broodmare or pasture pet? If so please contact me.

ya'll come back now, ya hear?