Saturday, September 13, 2008

End of summer clinic trip

I went to work on Wednesday and waited for a call from the clinic. They called to say that Dr. R would be late getting there so he might not even see Kaswyn until 2:00 or so. This would be an issue because Trailer Man had to be back at his place at 3:00. I told them that I would call Trailer Man and tell him just to drop Kaswyn off there and if Kaswyn didn't need surgery that he'd come back and get him later. When I told Trailer Man the plan he said that would work for him.

Then I waited for another call, but never got one. I left work as soon as possible and ran over to the clinic. I went to the front office and they said that they didn't think Kaswyn had been looked at yet. They showed me to his stall, and he looked pretty miserable because they had put a muzzle on him. They didn't want him eating anything if they had to do surgery. Poor boy!

Dr. B was ultrasounding a horse's leg when I got there, and he had one more horse to look at before he could see Kaswyn. Also Dr. R was currently in surgery so we'd have to wait for him to finish up. I hung around in Kaswyn's stall for a bit, but then he started to push me around and pester me so I left. I know he was hungry and bored but he got really obnoxious by shoving me with his head (which didn't feel good because it was covered by a plastic muzzle) and almost stepping on me that I just had to leave him alone.

It seemed like forever but finally both Dr. B and Dr. R were free and they went to look at the images. Then Dr. R went with me to the stall to examine Kaswyn. He looked in his mouth with a flashlight for a bit, asking questions about how this all started and what was the current situation. When he was done he said "Okay, I don't think this horse has a cracked tooth or a tooth infection. I don't see any evidence of that on the radiographs, and the physical examination only shows one tooth with a little discoloration, but that would not be causing him not to eat. We won't be doing surgery today."

I was surprised. Since I was told he had a cracked tooth and an infection I had assumed that he would confirm these findings. I asked if he was sure that the images showed him everything he needed to see, thinking that the images might not be that great and they could take more right there on the spot, but he said he could see everything clearly. Dr. B thought he saw something on the suspected cracked tooth (upper right 4th cheek tooth) in the images, and coincidently that's the tooth that has the discolored spot on it. Dr. R was pretty sure that there was nothing physically wrong with the tooth, but asked Dr. B to send the images to a specific radiologist at OSU just to be sure.

Just to see what would happen, they took the muzzle off of Kaswyn and threw him a flake of hay. He went to town, eating like there was no problem. I said "Oh that's great. Look at him make a liar out of me!" Dr. R said "Well, he's probably hungry and would eat even if he was uncomfortable. He doesn't look like he's being that cautious though, and doesn't look like a horse with a tooth problem. I'm guessing that he might have had a little gum infection or sore in his mouth that the doxycycline helped to clear up, and the banamine made feel better. This just cements in my mind that this is not a surgical case, so no surgery for him today." Then they called Dr. R into his next surgery and off he went.

Dr. B stayed behind and we talked about the plan. Since Dr. B doesn't look at head x-rays all that often, he trusts that Dr. R knows what he's looking at, and if Dr. R says no crack or infection that there is probably no crack or infection. As far as pulling the tooth Dr. B is against it unless it is extremely bad. So he said to finish out the doxycycline and just watch him. And if he does anything weird while eating, stops eating, or loses weight, then I'm supposed to call him.

I've decided that if I need to call Dr. B that I'm calling his cell phone and not the office. The cost for those two other vets to come out, scope him, x-ray him, and misdiagnose him was $600. The emergency farm call alone was $125!! I already had a balance from Kaswyn's little splinter episode, so I just paid the whole thing off before I left the clinic. Thankfully, they didn't charge me at all for my trip and exam at the clinic that day.

Not that the trip was free. Trailer Man came back and picked Kaswyn up and when we got to the barn and unloaded him, I asked "So, how much for today?" He smiled a little and said "One hundred dollars." I thought he was kidding, so I said "A hundred dollars? Ha!" and then he said "Okay, well how about seventy-five?" and I said "Oh, um, err. Okay.", suddenly realizing that he wasn't kidding feeling like a real jerk. He explained that it was 120 miles for him, round trip, with the trailer - a trip that he made twice. I had no idea that it would be that much, but he has a diesel and it's going for like $4.50 a gallon or something stupid like that. Like I'm made of money!

The next day I lunged Kaswyn and he looked great. Lots of energy, nice stride, no sign of any lameness or shortness of stride. And it looked like he had been eating his hay, so that's a good sign. I was going to ride him today, but I had to stay home with Pink-eye Macey. The little girl and I had a great day, so I don't mind. I'll get out there tomorrow morning and we'll have a nice little ride. Susan says he's been eating fine since he got home, so that makes me happy. Maybe it was just a mouth sore or gum infection. Still no word from the OSU radiologist, but I'm not as concerned as I was before.

So, let this be the last little bump in our road to Nationals 2009! Woo!


Rising Rainbow said...

I'm glad that there was no need for surgery.

You've reminded me that I need to check Vee's tooth. She had a red spot that looked like a splinter. Sure hope it's healed or I may be following your lead.

I'm with you on the quest for Nationals 2009. Too bad we won't be heading to the same location.

Katee said...

I hope your daughter feels better soon and that Kaswyn keeps munching happily.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, expect to pay $50 each way. I learned that the hard way, too. When I asked my friends about it, they said that $50 one way was a deal. Crazy times!

Anonymous said...

Bummer about the high trailer ticket, but that's probably what it would have cost in gas alone- especially if he technically had to make two trips. I get about 7 mpg hauling. (It would have taken me about 34 gallons of gas- times that by $4 agallon- $134) Totally sucks the big one.

Glad you called Dr. G and got referred to a Doc that knew what he was looking at. Hopefully everything will be fine from here out. Time some good things start coming your way!

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