Sunday, 23 August 2020

Vet Visit - Phantom

 The old gray mare has been feeling a little creaky lately.

Phantom had her hocks injected last August. Her right hind felt like it had a spring installed. The left one just never seemed to take as well.

When winter hit, she decided she was an old lady and started moving as such. She always warmed out of it, but there was something consistently niggling there when tracking left. It felt like left front on a turn, and left hind on the straight lines.

It was so minor though, that I've just kept putting it off getting her looked at. She's been getting ridden once or twice a week for half an hour, mostly putzing around. Lameness was never obvious.

Until recently.

The Equisense agreed with what I felt.

Within the last month, I've noticed that she seems much heavier and stompier on her forehand when leading into the barn. Under saddle, she's also been a bit stumbly. It was finally time to deal with it.

Off we went to the vet clinic early last week. I picked what is likely to be the hottest day of the year to haul her over. Thankfully, she stayed nice and cool on my Boeckmann trailer.

Waiting (rather impatiently) to be able to unload at the vet clinic.

I told the vet what I'd been feeling and that I suspected my drama queen of a horse is either overloading her front end to get off her hocks, or she was lame in all four legs.

At first, it looked like the all four legs thing might be right. She trotted and he could see it on the left front, then the right front looked worse. We took her outside to a sand ring and she looked better on the soft ground.

We did flexion tests and Phantom looked far better than I anticipated. He said if he was doing a PPE he'd say she flexed like he would expect a 17 year old horse to flex. I'm okay with that!

He agreed that we should inject her hocks again and see if that would do the trick. He also gave me some Previcox to use as needed over the winter if she seems to be a bit creaky in the cold again. If I don't think she's feeling sounder after about a month then we might have to look more into her front feet.

I warned them that Phantom is not a cheap date when it comes to sedation, which meant she had a really good snooze after the procedure had been completed. Thankfully we were able to stay inside out of the very hot sun, but it also meant that she had many people laughing at her very loud snoring. 

Good thing there was a wall there.

I plan to hop on her today (Sunday) and see how she feels. Fingers crossed that she's feeling a bit better!


  1. I hope that the injections work! One question: is lyme disease a thing where you are? moving lameness is one sign in horses.

    1. I've not heard of Lyme in this area before, but we are seeing the odd tick which is kind of new. My guts are low risk as they live in a dry lot and seldom get into tall grass.

  2. Hope it makes a big difference!