I was asked about how Kaswyn was doing last night by someone who has been keeping track of his progress here. Which made me realize that I haven't written about the shock wave therapy experience.
First let me say that when this all started over a year ago I didn't have very much experience with lame horses at all. Kaswyn is only my second horse, and Tyler never took a lame step when I had him. Kaswyn had some issues in the past that I now attribute to him being imbalanced with his shoeing moreso than any real lameness. Any of the horses I worked with in California weren't mine, so I wasn't intimately involved if they were lame - I just saw it and let Blair or the owner know and they dealt with it. Sure, sometimes I was involved in walking or bandage changing or whatever, but I was just given orders which I followed.
So anyway, all of this was pretty new to me a year ago. Taking my horse to see one vet, having another come out to watch him work, and watching the diagnosis form, and evaluating any progress - it's all been a learning experience. By now I have also gotten quite an education on the latest technologies and treatments, mostly because I have access at work to all sorts of scientific journals and research papers. I'm sure I'm a pain in the ass to the vets because I read up on all of this stuff (which gives me just enough information to be dangerous) and then I have a ton of questions.
Which leads me to shock wave therapy. I read great things about it, and I have already said that I thought Kaswyn would be getting it done eventually. This hunch became a reality last Friday when Dr. B. came out. Kaswyn got a little tranquilizer because apparently there can be a little tingling or stinging sensation during the treatment. His knee needed to be hit with about 2000 pulses and if he kept moving around it would have taken forever. Since Kaswyn is a good patient anyway, and an excellent patient when doped up, it only took about five minutes.
Dr. B said that when he first started using shock wave he thought it was complete crap. His take on it was that you held this expensive probe up to the horse and the machine made lots of noise and that was it. Then he saw the proof of injuries healing in much shorter times, and he's now a true believer in the treatment. I had read the research and the physiological effects it has, so I was cautiously hopeful that it would do the trick.
The next day Kaswyn's leg was totally normal. No heat, no swelling, no thickness in the area at all. It was the same the next day, and the next. I don't know for sure what's going on in there, but reduction in inflammation is a good sign. He'll get two more treatments spaced two weeks apart, and then we'll x-ray the knee again.
Here's hoping that the machine does more than just cost a lot and make noise.