Sunday, October 4, 2009

Now the bad news...

Home and soooo tired!
The not-so-good news...

Whoops. Um, not sure if anyone noticed I forgot to publish the good news!!! Sorry! I hurt my ankle this afternoon and am totally preoccupied with my throbbing appendage. The good news post is ready to go and I'll post it tomorrow. And it is nice, happy news.

Well, you know it can't be all good, or he'd be out in a field playing with his buddies and working under saddle. New Bolton staff briefly stated their opinion on the surgical procedure Riley went through in August. They felt that problems inherent in a surgical removal of the hoof sole outweigh the benefits, and their feeling is that when you open up the bottom of the hoof that way, there simply will be infection, not to mention slow healing and intensive maintenance. They sure got that right.

New Bolton's view on Riley

They don't feel we'll know for sure what is happening with Riley for at least another month. The main indicator for another procedure would be evidence of a keratoma, or continuing lameness. I'm okay with waiting. Here are a few other issues that I wish were not true for Riley...
  • There is more bone loss at the tip of the pedal bone -- that is, radiographically visible bone loss since the June 9 radiographs. The vet's best guess is that the loss is caused by pressure from the scar tissue. Maybe the bone was taken in the surgery. The surgeon told me he did not take any bone but it took me a week to get ahold of him for a post-surgery briefing (don't get me started), and I wonder if he really remembered. At any rate it's basically unexplained. A friend did point out that this is the thinnest, most porous area of the coffin bone so the loss does not amount to a ton of actual bone...

  • With all of the scar tissue in the hoof, and there is no way to tell if he has/had a keratoma. If present, the keratoma will continue growing. We'll just have to wait.
  • Lameness was assessed as 2 on a scale of 5, on a straight line. On Sept. 9 I do not think Riley was lame on a straight line, only on a circle.

Here is another view of Riley's foot -- the angle looks a little different and the bone loss looks worse. I do think it is a difference in the angle of the view. Anyone else have an opinion?

Riley weighs in...


  1. I am not good enough at reading Xrays to comment. Regardless, it is frustrating.

    But as I said before, ask several vets and you'll get several different opinions as to how to proceed in any course of treatment.

    As long as you have the patience to wait for a further assessment and can manage Riley's care as needed, then time is you best ally.

    And Riley is right. Worrying doesn't accomplish much...easy for him to say. He does look tired.

  2. It's hard not to worry but you've seen the best people there are out there. Now we just have to keep our fingers crossed for Riley's healing to kick in.

  3. Get another vets opinion for sure.

  4. Hi Sydney, Welcome, you must be new to this saga. Riley's on roughly his fourth opinion at this point. Due diligence I think. Thanks for weighing in though, you're just confirming I'm doing the right thing in seeking answers...

  5. This is my completely uneducated non-medical opinion, but I like your suggestion that it could be the angle of our view of the last xray. It looks like the upper part is wider, so that makes me thing his foot was turned more. But anyway, sorry about your ankle. Perhaps you and Riley can sit on barker lounges together and sip margaritas? :)

  6. Oh heart goes out to you both.

    The bad news: you're both lame. The good news (questionable): you're lame at the same time, so at least one of you is not missing out on the other for riding time. (okay it's a terrible joke, but well meant.)

    You're taking such good care of him, and holding on through an intense roller coaster of information, feelings, needs, and have-to diligence.

    When things are rough, dedication shines out most brightly. You are one bright star.

  7. This has got to be so worrying and frustrating, but I think time is needed (like Jean said). And the angle of that last new x-ray looks definitely different as you can tell by comparing the bone joins above the foot. But I'm certainly no expert.


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