A couple weeks ago, I was riding a horse for a friend of mine. My two were tuned out in the pasture where I was riding and Katman was having a "Beyond Asshole" kind of day. He thought it was a good idea to charge the horse I was on, just about every time we came near him. Of course I scolded him and even used the horse I was on, to charge back at him with me waving my arms at him and yelling at him to "Knock IT OFF (insert random obscenities here...)!!"
When I brought them in Saturday afternoon, I looked down at my mares leg and noticed her knee was swollen. I brushed it off, thinking it was her 'bad' knee. I looked again and seen that BOTH knees were big. The right one because it just is and the left one was all puffy and swollen. Ahhh Crap!!!!
Of course as we all do, my mind raced to the worst case scenario. "OMG and Son of a B!TCH! Her good knee is f'ed up now too and I'm going to have to put her down. " Because if her good knee is f'ed up like her bad knee, No I will not hang onto her and put her thru hell for my own selfishness. Sunday both knees were swollen, the right one more than usual. Double Crap!
I started calling aound for a vet to do X-rays. One vet clinic sees horses, but they don't have the equipment to do radiographs. Another clinic- their vet had heart surgery not too long ago and he is "In and Out" so call back to see when he might be 'IN'. The next one was Gawd Awful expensive and then another one was waaayyy across town. Finally I got in touch with a clinic not far from the barn and was able to schedule an appointment.
The good news...
1) For one, my mare stood quietly and was a Rock Star the whole time and didn't need to be sedated or even twitched. This can be unlike her in new places and it saved me a few $$$ on the bill. Whew!
2) The rads? No fractures. My grey Arabian mare Mi Moneta, years before I got her had been kicked in the pasture and had 'spider web fractures' all over the bone in her right front leg. I feared this for my mare. Thankfully there was nothing of the sort. Double WHEW!
3) There are some changes in her knee, it looks like she has the starting of arthritis in the left knee. Not much but some and it is a relatively small area, so fairly minute.
4) The right knee, even with all of the calcification going on in the joint, the vet said that it wasn't as bad as he had likely expected. Overall, considering everything, he said her joints look really, really good for an 18 year old horse.
That was REALLY good to hear, but also not all that surprising either. She is not worked often and when she is, it isn't exactly strenuous.... Plus she gets plenty of turnout in pasture.
So there we have it. I was going to put her on a joint supplement anyways. Now I just have a more informed reason to do it. And it's not at all as bad as I was expecting. I won't be putting her down any time soon because of this. Hopefully there will be no more surprises like this for a while. A loooooooong while....