Beau went back for another evaluation today. I am seriously getting tired of all of this, and just getting there was an emotional struggle. We have spent (and by we I mean ME, as Bill "cut me off" thousands of dollars ago!) way more than I ever anticipated, and we still have no guarantee that he will be sound at the end of all of this. I have spent countless hours taking care of this leg. I have agonized and cried and worried myself sick. I am getting to the point where I am hopeless. Knowing all that- and watching the hock religiously- I knew he needed something... I needed a new plan, I needed to ask a few more questions... I needed to rule out a few other issues... I need him to get better.
He presented sound at the walk and mildly lame at the trot. He was very resistant to flexion of the joint, and they agreed that although we have made significant progress with soundness, the progress for the swelling is not going as we had hoped. The risk of that much pressure on the joint especially where it has been present for so long was weighing on me. All involved agreed that it needs to be addressed. We did x-rays to rule out any boney involvement. The hock looks structurally sound. We tapped the joint to get a fluid sample to test. A normal joint has levels of white blood cells below 200. Beau had 180. With no infection in the joint, it was safe to inject steroids to help with the inflammation. I also got a steroidal cream that I will begin to apply to the outside of the hock. I had a consultation with a physical therapist... Beau begins PT in the morning. It will be very labor intensive. It will require most of my time for the next few weeks. He will get a regime of massage to the joint, ice/cold hose therapy and hand walking 4-5 times daily. We will wean him off the support wraps, and hope to keep the swelling at bay with movement, anti inflammatory meds and cold therapy.
I still don't know if we will ride again. I still don't know how I'm ever going to pay this money back. But I do know, that for today anyhow, I have hope.