Monday, April 20, 2015

When to Say Uncle

Today, my equine vet comes out again.
Today will mark 5 visits with her and my local vet, all for Bill.
Five visits that have ruled things out regarding his lameness.
Five visits that have yet to pin down the source of his pain.
Five visits that yet to relieve his pain.
It's play like this that aggravates whatever it is in that right, front leg.
However, he often initiates this play.

A trained, horsey person eye will notice that Bill is leaning on his left front leg here---and in every other picture I have of him.
Eventually, that leaning will cause problems in the left leg as well as whatever is going on the right leg.

I think today will be the end of the vet visits regarding this lameness. 
We will do more x-rays, lots of palpitations, odd movements of the joints,  and probably a nerve block or two.
Luckily, my vet is being driven mad by the lack of answers.  
She's also very down to earth about "at what cost?"
She knows that spending thousands of dollars is crazy.

It may be that Bill is forever lame in that leg.
I hate to think of him in pain all the time, but even pain killers/anti-inflammatories have done little to relieve whatever is causing his limp.

I have one last trick up my sleeve and that is to ask his former owner if he and Ted can come stay at her place for a month of extreme stall rest.  She has a barn with stalls where the donkeys can see one another.  In my stalls, they'd go crazy not being able to see one another.  It would be as though they were miles apart instead of just on the other side of a wall.
It may be that he has an injury that cannot heal because he is constantly in motion and constantly playing with Ted.

The Great Lameness Conundrum continues.
However, when do I say Uncle?  When is enough, enough?  When do I accept that Bill will be forever in some sort of pain?   More importantly, is that the right thing to accept?


Update: The Vet was here.
She did everything she said she would.
We found nothing.
No changes in any bones and no reaction to the final nerve blocks that were done.
More importantly, we had a long talk about what else could be done if money was no object.
At the end of the day, I could spend at the very least, $2,000 more for diagnostics at the big veterinarian university here in Texas.
She does not believe they would find anything that would be "fixable", or if they did it would be experimental at best.
If there were something wrong in the soft tissue, they would have begun to see a change in the bony areas that support (or don't support) that tissue---some breakdown of bone or cartilage. 
All his bones are beautiful and where they belong.

I am thinking about stall rest.
She said that stall rest is hard on donkeys.
They have a different mindset than horses and suffer more mentally.
"No more than a month and a couple hand walkings a day" was her advice.

She's not convinced it will matter.

We will keep him on long-term anti-inflammatories for now and reevaluate in 6 months.
As long as he is on 4 legs and doing happy donkey things, I will have to leave it at that.


  1. Poor Bill ! And how does a person know when enough is enough for someone you love. I guess as long as Bill is happy and doing what he loves maybe that is the best for now. Sending you a big hug.

  2. I think sometimes you just have to say enough is enough. I hope it heals by itself, sometimes things do.