It takes about an hour to do the whole bit for now. I'm sure the new steps will add some time, but I am beginning to get quicker at getting him out and strapped into his boot. Once we get the hose going its pretty well 40 minutes. By the time I get him put away ( I like to pick his stall too) and the ice back into the freezer, I have about 2 hours until I start it all again. Today I also gave him some hand grazing time... so this part is really labor intensive. I knew that going in. The PT vet told me it would be, but in her experience the horses who have recovered from events like this were ones where the owners were able to do intensive rehab. So, I continue without complaint.
Today the hock looks like this from the front... clearly still some swelling, but getting better for sure. He is willing and forward when we walk- stall confinement has increased his energy levels. He is very alert and prone to spooks. He does not appear to be in any pain and walks with a clear gait. I will not push him to trot or anything until I get the go ahead- but he has winged around on me a few times, and shows no adverse affect.
We begin our sessions with 15 minutes cold hosing over his new hock boot. The boot has gel inserts that go into the freezer then fit into the lining of the wrap. He wears it as I cold hose for optimal cooling affect. We then do 10 minutes of hand walking, then back to the hose for 15 more minutes. He is so good; he stands tied nicely, and I don't have to worry about him being an idiot for the hose. Thank goodness for that!
Here is a shot of the original abscess. The booger that started this all has started to work its way down the back of Beau's heel. I'll be so glad once it has grown out and I don't have to look at it any more! His hind feet are long, but we didn't dare trim them when flexion is still so painful. Maybe one day soon?!
From the inside you can clearly see the progress we are making. The steroid shot into the hock was amazing. We have clear decrease in swelling from this side. I am so happy to see actual contour for the first time in weeks! He is going without a support wrap for the first time tonight, so I won't panic if some fluid fills this back in tonight, but I have documented the progress for sure!
And, as far as Beau is concerned- that magic juice they put into his leg is great! He'd love another shot of that thank you very much! He says he feels much better now! Yahooo. I have to e-mail the vets. He has rolled every day at least once, and he did it twice today. I'm not sure if I should be letting him! I'm also not sure how long we should keep with the simple hand walking. He is willing and forward, so I'm hoping we can jump ahead a bit in the process instead of sticking to the slow work. As I understood it, next in the progression was some hand flexion and poles on the ground. I did walk him on the trail to test him on the uneven ground... there was no swelling or sign of discomfort from that, so I am hopeful...