Thursday, March 27, 2014

Silver Lining

A truly impressive equine hospital that I hope never to visit again, the folks at Texas A&M University (TAMU) large animal clinic were amazing during Rijkens' recent visit there.

The silver lining is that he will make a full recovery from the bone bruise in his front right hoof.  It may take up to 90 days of time, but he will return to 100 percent.

Similar to what Adrienne Lyle's olympic horse Wizard went through last year (see the full story here and here) Rijkens was a bit off so we decided to have a lameness evaluation with our veterinarian Dr. Bill Stone who suggested an MRI based on his findings.  We now know exactly what we're dealing with, and as Adrienne Lyle expressed so well in an interview last year:

"He [Wizard] sustained a bruise to his coffin bone.  We went and got that MRIed, and they said he should have two to four months off.  We ended up giving him more than four months because we wanted to make sure he was 110 percent.  We didn't want to start him back, find out it was still there and then have to give him more time off.  He was tack walking the whole time, but it just takes a long time for a bone bruise to heal.  It's something that heals 100 percent-- you don't have to worry about it later-- but you have to give it the time."

So time is what we're giving to Rijkens.  He is definitely a horse worth waiting for.

My first visit there, TAMU campus was interesting in its own right:
TAMU large animal clinic, Rijkens in foreground:
The place was amazing.  The doors below that look like mouse holes were for people.  All the other doors were 10 feet tall and opened wide enough for a carriage to drive through:
A TAMU large animal veterinary ambulatory vehicle from the 1950s:

The appendage of interest.  They scrubbed his feet so clean they were almost white.  Dr. Chad Marsh MRIed both front limbs from the bottom of the hoof through the cannon bone:
When your babies are down, even for a short time and a very good reason, it ages you:
Don't you just hate those hospital gowns that tie in the front?  Rijkens waking up healthy, if hungover, in his hospital attire:

The detail an MRI shows is amazing:
Why yes, I believe that IS the emblem for SuperHorse:

Prescribed treatment for Rijkens is: put regular steel shoes on to support the coffin bone, NSAIDs for fourteen days, and up to 90 days rest from work.

As Adrienne Lyle so aptly put it when this same scenario happened to her own horse last year:
"It just needs a little bit of time," said Lyle.  "He'd been schooling so well before, so it's disappointing.  But that's horses.  There's never a good time for an injury."

The plan is for Rijkens to continue to be turned out at our home base of Twinwood Equestrian Center, and we can start tack walking next week.