Monday, March 30, 2015

The Good The Bad And The Unknown


The vet finally came out to see Loki last Tuesday. And of course by the time the vet came out Loki was perfectly... sound! Horses! I jogged him back and forth and in a circle and he looked perfectly even the entire time. They just love to make liars out of us don't they? Luckily I saved the video from before on my phone so I did show the vet that I really wasn't making it up!

We did do some flexions and Loki was ever so positive on both front ankles and hocks. The vet said he wouldn't really even consider them 1s as it was so slight and he recovered so quickly. I decided to go ahead and get x-rays of his front ankles and his left hock. 

Based on the video we figured if we were to find anything it would be in Loki's front right or his left hind. You can see in the video that his head goes down every time he puts his left front down which would normally indicate that that is the sound leg. However, the vet pointed out that he doesn't really look lame in the video if you were to watch just his legs and not his head. There was something bothering him but it wasn't obvious what it was.
This is how I found Loki the other morning. I literally had to do a double take to make sure he wasn't dead! Silly horse!


For the most part x-rays were uneventful. Loki does show some slight signs of arthritis in hi left hock. Not really surprising considering he raced 27 times. It wasn't even enough for the vet to recommend supplements or injections. Just something to be aware of because it could change. 

The vet had a lot of trouble getting a good picture of Loki's left front ankle. He probably took four or five pictures before he got one he liked. Each time he took one he said something along the lines of I'm not seeing anything that worries me but the picture isn't quite lined up so I'm going to try again. Unfortunately on that very last picture we did find something. Loki has a chip! <insert sad/panic face here> The right ankle looks good and the left ankle actually looks really good all things considered. But there is a chip. 


There is a lot I don't know yet. My vet is sending the x-rays on to a surgeon at Rood & Riddle plus I sent copies to another vet that is a friend of a friend and she may or may not send them on to an orthopedic specialist at Purdue. So potentially I will have three to four different opinions. I don't think the chip is in the actual joint so there is that. My vet said the surgeons may look at it and say to just continue what we are doing. He is perfectly sound on it right now. Or, they may recommend arthroscopic surgery. If so it will mean at least 60 days of recovery and probably more mula than I want to think about right now. If they do recommend surgery my vet said they won't be able to tell me how extensive the damage is or isn't until they get inside and have a real look. 

So everything is up in the air right now. I'm afraid to make any kind of guesses as to what the future holds right now. I just know I want to do the best thing for Loki's long-term soundness but I am very afraid of what the cost might be. I have many worst-case scenarios running through my brain but at the same time I am hopeful for positive news.


  1. That is a lot of stress. Hope all is well and the chip isn't causing you problems.

  2. keeping my fingers crossed for you! :)

  3. Fingers crossed for you and Loki!!

    FWIW... Titan was diagnosed with a spur in the right hock and a chip in the same ankle last fall. Unfortunately his chip is inoperable... we went ahead with hock injections (on the premise that my vet is more comfortable with long term hock injections than ankle injections) and it's been smooth sailing. Keep us updated!

  4. Oh man!! At least you have some answers and a path to find more.

    Praying for a smooth process and healing!!

  5. *hugs*
    Keeping everything crossed for positives

  6. We dealt with a lot of arthroscopic surgeries on the track. They run from $1k-1.5k, and they're SUPER easy and noninvasive to do. Of course, hopefully you get the diagnosis where absolutely nothing needs to be done and you get to carry on!!

  7. Ugh, sorry to hear that. I hope it's nothing to worry about!

  8. Sending positive thoughts your way!

  9. not the best news, but many horses have chips for a long time before they ever become a problem. My guy had a HUGE one in his hock and didn't float into the joint until he was 19...he had 2 years off and was back eventing at 21. Fingers crossed for you both.