Last week Kaswyn's right lead canter felt a little off. This is odd because usually it's the left lead canter that feels much worse than the right. But it was certainly the right lead that felt off, so I rode lightly and gave him bute and a day off. He felt the same way the next time I rode, so I gave him bute and called the vet for an appointment. He didn't feel lame, but he certainly didn't feel like he has been feeling.
Of course this shows up after the day I did all those flying changes on him, and I started to feel like I broke my horse by doing it. But it's not like I haven't done ANY changes with him in the past few months - just not so many in a row. It's hard not to blame myself for everything that happens to him, but in this case I'm not convinced that he wasn't already heading down the road to soreness.
Anyway, Dr. C came out today and examined Kaswyn's back. He said Kaswyn was a bit sore across the left side of his back, and down around the back of his haunches. Then he did a traditional lameness exam, complete with observing Kaswyn while being lunged and flex tests. He asked when his hocks and stifles had been injected last, so I pulled out my calendar (I'm SO glad I write everything down!) and told gave him dates and specifics. He said the Kaswyn was presenting as hock pain, and that if he didn't know this horse better he'd suggest injecting the hocks. But knowing the history, and the fact that the previous three hock injections haven't solved Kaswyn's problems, he suggested another round of mesotherapy instead. Check out this link for a nice explanation of the therapy.
We discussed how I'd been riding and what could have caused this, and I told him that I hadn't given Kaswyn a Polyglycan shot since December. I asked if that could have contributed to the problem and he said "Yes, if the Polyglycan helps his hocks and he gets a bit hock sore, then the work could be making him compensate and making his muscles sore." So the moral of the story is I have to not be so lazy about the Polyglycan and make sure he gets it once a month!
Still, Dr. C was very happy with how Kaswyn looked. He said for his age he thinks he looks great, and that he's not nearly as sore as he was last time. He also thinks he's put on more muscle over his back, which makes me feel great! And he was happy that it had been eight months since his last treatment. Me too, since every treatment means a little time off for Kaswyn (well, only one or two days) and a medium sized vet bill. I actually hadn't had a vet bill in months! I'm not looking forward to getting them again.
Here is a video of my horse getting mesotherapy.
In it you can see Dr. C injecting Kaswyn just under the skin with the treatment solution (a combination of a steroid, a pain reliever, and another anti-inflammatory) using a big syringe attached to a manifold that contains five small needles. I don't remember posting this video before, but it's from Kaswyn's treatment in July of 2009, not from today. I'm a big fan of the treatment, at least for my horse, because he seems to respond so well to it. It's also pretty non-invasive, and is much less risky than joint injections.
So the plan is to give Kaswyn off until Monday, and then I'll ride him lightly and see how he feels. Then Dr. C will come back on Wednesday and evaluate his back to see if another treatment is needed. He's optimistic that one treatment might do it, since I have caught the soreness early this time. This is good news for me!
But poor Kaswyn didn't have such a great day - he got mesotherapy, his spring shots, and a dose of Polyglycan. He got lots of pokey needles in him today. Of course he handled it like a champ. Yes, I do think my horse is awesome.
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