There are worse things than being presented with three options for fixing your horse. So I listened as Dr. B went down the list.
#1 - Back the training program up to where I was two months ago for 30 days. During that time apply Surpass (anti-inflammatory cream) daily to the left front inside splint bone. If Kaswyn is not back where he was before this this new injury after 30 days, call Dr. B back out.
#2 - Shock Wave Therapy. We had such success the first time, there is no reason to believe that another round wouldn't help tremendously.
#3 - Pin Fire the leg.
WHAT? HELL to the NO.
When he said that and saw the look on my face he just laughed and said, "I told you you wouldn't do it! But honestly if I pin fire that leg it will set it up for good and you'll never have another problem."
Pin firing is putting a hot, thin metal probe into the injury site, which basically burns a little tunnel into the skin, connective tissue, and bone. The idea behind it is to create an acute inflammatory response, which the body will react to in a different and better way than it does to a long term lingering injury. Usually the pin firing will require many sticks with the probe, and usually results in little pin scars. The horse is sedated and the site blocked, so they don't feel it. Most people think pin firing is terrible and wouldn't consider it.
Here is an article from horse.com about pin firing.
I told him that I wouldn't be able to do it, and he said "Let me tell you, I've never had a horse that I've pin fired come back with the same injury. It's always worked for me. I hate to do it because it's so labor intensive, but I'll tell you it works. However, in your case I think we can get by with one of the other two options, so trust me I'm not pushing it."
We talked about why this injury happened again. He said that when I took my horse to the next level of training I stressed the site enough to cause some new injury. At first the injury was at the top of the splint bone, but now it's farther down. The splint bone is only so long, and eventually he might have injured and healed the whole length of the bone. The stress of training is setting up and continuing the process of healing on the previously injured parts, so laying my horse up at this point would eliminate the stimulus and thus dramatically slow any healing.
Our plan right now is Option #1 - back off the training and use Surpass. In 30 days if he's not as good as he was in the beginning of October, Dr. B will come out for another evaluation. And maybe more shock wave therapy.
But pin firing? I just don't think I could do it. Then again, I never thought I'd nerve my horse either....
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