Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Returning to life after WEG

It's been challenging coming back to work after having ten days filled with horses. I missed my family and my own horse, of course, but I could do without having to work. I like my job, but playing with horses and horse people is much more fun.

I have made some progress on the Kaswyn front. I asked Susan to put him on the lunge line while I was at WEG to do a lameness check and she said he looked weird to her. So on Monday I went out and lunged him and I could see it. He's not lame, but he's being careful with that left front. This was something he wasn't doing when he had the sarapin injection a few weeks ago. I think this kind of stride is what throws him off and eventually leads to him screwing up his hocks and back and everything else.

So I called Dr. G and he suggested I call this vet at Ohio State who is doing the study that involves injecting the nerve with a cocktail that will chemically deactivate the nerve without cutting it. It's sometimes called a chemical neurectomy, because the nerve signal is stopped by a chemical instead of severing it. I was able to get her on the phone today and I explained Kaswyn's history and she agreed that she thinks it's neuroma irritation that is causing his "lameness".

Her study is set to launch it's first big group of test subjects the week of October 25th. Kaswyn wouldn't be part of the study, as they are using a very tightly controlled group of horses. What she does is a surgery, much like a neurectomy, where the nerve is visualized and the cocktail injected directly into the nerve sheath. She said she has done four horses in a pilot study so far, and those horses were extremely lame before the surgery and were totally fine after. She offered to do the surgery on Kaswyn now or in late November once she had done the study horses and had three weeks of recovery data.

She really feels that this will work. The only thing is there is no data yet on how permanent this is. Still, her four previous horses have had no complications, and before Kaswyn has the surgery there will be ten (maybe twelve, I can't remember the number she said) more horses that will have had the procedure. The good thing is that it's a simple surgery, the incision is small, and there will be no new neuroma formation because the nerve won't be cut. It sounds like a good deal to me.

I spoke with Dr. G and he feels it's a good thing to do. So I'll bring Kaswyn down to Ohio State on a Sunday in November and drop him off, drive home, then come back Tuesday evening to pick him up. That way he'll get constant supervision after the surgery for 24 hours in case of complications.

I'm also going to repeat the sarapin injection in late October just to make sure that I see the same result the second time. I have a feeling that I will.

It's all very exicitng that this could potentially be the thing that takes the pain away from my horse. Since we're going to be working with a nerve that is already cut, I can't see how this could cause more problems. I know it's possible, but this vet at OSU thinks it's doubtful. And I'm going to wait for her to do her first group of test subjects and gather three weeks of recovery data before she does my horse.

Oh, and Albert is a mud wallowing pig. It's been raining here and that horse can't stay out of the mud. I'm going to get really sick of scraping the crust off of that boy. But we have to get back to work. I've got plans for Arabian Sport Horse Nationals in 2011, and he is part of that!


Kelly said...

It was great meeting up at WEG! hope to see you at SHN!

Dressage Mom said...

I agree, I loved meeting up with you! It was too short though. We'll have to make more time for SHN! ;)

kay said...

I have a horse that has been diagnosed with navicular bursitis and have done several injections which were short lived. After reading yor post I'm wondering if this might be something I might try with my horse. Could you give me the info for contacting the vet at Ohio State. I'd love to discuss this with the vet. Thanks.KP

Rising Rainbow said...

Sounds like maybe a good plan for Kaswyn, I hope it works out for him.

Dressage Mom said...


If you shoot me an email at dressagemomblog{at}yahoo{dot}com I'll give you the contact info for the OSU vet. :)

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