Saturday, February 23, 2013

Welcome Back, Vincent Van Versa

A year ago I started this blog to track the progress of my goofy gelding and his injury. At first we thought he had contracted EPM, a neurological disease that can prove fatal. But after test and a trip to Auburn University Large Animal Hospital, it was discovered he actually had terrible injuries to both suspensory tendons in his back left leg and lesions were beginning to develop in the right leg as well.

After PRP injections to both legs, we decided to let Vince be a lazy horse for a least one year. The problem with tendon injuries is that you cannot just sonogram the legs. Since the damage is internal, it takes a high powered machine to see inside the tendon bundles. When Vince had his last checkup at Auburn in May of 2012, they said he might never be sound again, and their suggestion was to cut the nerves to the tendon, since what he was experiencing was phantom pain.

I don't agree with cutting nerve to solve a problem not knowing if that action may itself cause bigger problems. So since last year, my goofball has been eating and lazing about tearing about stall walls with his cribbing and enjoying treats and hand walking with me every weekend.

He lost some weight in December, but we replaced his feed bag with a pan and changed his feed to a higher fat content and he has plumped back up. The muscles are flabby, but a few weeks of good, steady riding with help them tone back up. Most important, his attitude has improved.

When I got to the barn our trainer said to me, "I hope you are going to play with your boy, because he's been a real turd this week lunging at people." When I got to his stall, I knew he was angry with me for missing two weeks in a row because all he would show me was his butt! However, when I pulled the giant carrot from my pocket I suddenly became his best friend.

On the wet walk up to the main barn, he stayed right at my side instead of wandering off to eat the grass. All the way to the barn he stayed with me. Placing his Iconoclast Rehab Boots on, we took him to the arena, intending to put him on the line and see what happened.

Oh. My. God. He was all get up and haul ass! Vince tore up the arena with his prancing and leaping and bucking for at least fifteen minutes. Then his lack of conditioning caught up with him, and the sides started heaving and he sauntered over to my side with a "how was that Mom?" look on his gorgeous face.

My boy is healthy, and I intend to keep him that way for a long time!

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