Friday, August 29, 2008

Baby's first steps

For almost a week, I tried to get hold of Snoopy's surgeon, Dr. Fischer, to find out what he thought of Snoopy's x-rays, and what we should do next. Finally, darling Dr. Bridget Murphy came to my rescue. She printed out the x-rays, took them to the Chino Valley Equine Hospital, chased Dr. Fischer down and shoved the pix into his hands, then stood and waited for him to review them and give his recommendation.

I owe that woman a fruit basket. A chocolate-dipped fruit basket.

On a very humid, drippy, hotter than hell afternoon, Snoopy took his first hand-walk around the ranch grounds. That's Niki, one of my trainers, doing the honors. We made certain that there wasn't anything to distract him, like other horses, the tractor or its accessories, odd things lying in odd places, etc. The surgeon said we could walk him for 15 minutes, but Niki planned to just walk him a few times around the interior of the ranch. Nothing near the road, where trucks and other horses could startle him. Nothing near the neighbors, where the dogs or goats might make him jump. If we could have lined the path with mattresses, we would have.

I had joked with the staff at my dog's vet that Niki and I might look like the balloon walkers at the Macy's Parade, with Snoopy floating in the air like a helium version of himself. In actuality, he stayed quite grounded. For standing in his stall four months, he was a very good boy. There was no bucking, no rearing, no prancing, no dancing. Of course, some of you might notice that he was wearing a lip chain, but he was still good.

We gave him a dose of Ace about a half hour before this, but it didn't seem to work. He was still trying to nibble on the chain, the line, the halter, me... Niki wants to up the dose slightly tomorrow. She'd like to get him to a place where he's tranquil enough to be walked without needing the lip chain.

So the directions from Dr. Fischer were to walk him 15 minutes every day for 30 days, then take more x-rays. Aye-aye, Dr. Fischer.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Aren't I lucky?

Snoopy has now been standing in his stall for another 30 days (90 days total), trying to be good, but bored silly. I put a toy in his stall to try to amuse him, but mostly he wants company. He loves it when I go in and brush him, or take a wet cloth and a bucket and give him a sponge bath.

We do get him out of his stall to change his wrap, and he is using the leg very well now, putting his full weight on it and using his heel when he walks.

Last Friday, Dr. Pollard came and took x-rays of the leg. As he showed me how straight the plate is, that the screw heads are still flush against it and the screws are all unbroken, I realized what could have happened while we were waiting for things to heal.

I'm anxious to get Snoopy out of his stall for some hand walking, but the surgeon, Dr. Fischer, has to review the x-rays before he gives his okay, and he's on vacation FOR A MONTH. Yes, we should all be so lucky - must have been that surgery I paid for...

Dr. Murphy (aka my friend, Bridget) said that it's best for Snoop to stay in his stall and ensure the fracture is fully repaired before trying to walk him around. Which is fine, since Niki (the trainer) is not looking forward to trying to hand walk him. We think we'll need Ace, a stud chain, and two people, one on each side of him. It'll be Tina and Niki, since I'll be holding the video camera... ;-)

I'll try to post some pictures.