Today, Dr. Bob came out to work on the horses that were scheduled for Thursday. He is an awesome vet -- he went to Cornell, does chiro and accupuncture, and is so good with his patients. I really appreciate how he explains everything, tells you what your options are, and goes over the costs of each. And he definitely made the last six weeks of Mac's life much more comfortable. At our barn, we are not afraid of showing our affection for our fave vet --
Yep, we're a bunch of 12-year old girls. :-)
(Please also note that Salem is a member of "The BFF Club," of course.
That was written/drawn by Sage, an actual 11-year old girl.)
OK, so...on to the bad news. Dr. Bob started adjusting Salem and, at first, everything was great. He adjusted Salem's head and neck with no problems. Then he moved on to his back and everything went downhill. Salem's lumbar area is incredibly sore -- he started bucking like crazy and pinning his ears when Dr. Bob applied pressure to it. Even after he was sedated, he was cranky and bucking. It wasn't until the last ten or fifteen minutes of the adjustmnet that Salem actually started to relax.
So, what does this mean? I, of course, told Dr. Bob about our recent saddle-fititng debacle and how he had a week off, a professional massage, and is now ridden in a saddle that fits him and a Thinline pad. However, the good news is that the pain in his lumbar spine has nothing to do with saddle fit, because it is far behind where the saddle sits. Dr. Bob assured me that nothing I did/didn't do caused this. His exact words were, "He has major underlying back issues that are completely unrelated to saddle fit. He's had this for a while. And I'm not just saying that because you made me baked Brie." :-)
He can't diagnose what it is without taking X-rays. It could be arthritis, it could be kissing spines, it could be issues in his sacro-iliac joints. It could be a combination of things. Salem could need lots of chiro, accupuncture, injections, etc. Dr. Bob was not impressed that this was not picked up on Salem's pre-purchase exam, as it has most likely been there for a while.
Oh, and all that was just Bad News #1. Let's move on to #2, shall we? Dr. Bob did some flexion tests on Salem to see if hind-leg lameness could be contributing to his back issues. And, guess what? He classified him as a 2 on a lameness scale of 1-5 on the right hind. He said it could be hock or stifle issues. Again, not impressed that this wasn't caught on the PPE. I do realize that flexion tests are a highly-debated issue, so I'm not sure how I feel about this. But it does mean that his right hind might need to be carefully scrutinized.
Last but not least -- Dr. Bob looked at Salem's teeth to make sure they're okay. And he said, "How old did you say this horse is?" I told him that Salem was sold as a 5-year old in October, so he's either 6 or coming-6. He told me, "Well, his teeth are telling me that he's at least 7, possibly 8." Oooooh, my goodness.