Redheaded Rehab: Update at 4 months

Recently the vet was out for a recheck since the initial diagnosis of his front superficial tendons in both legs.

But since I haven’t done an update since the initial diagnosis, I should probably catch you up on everything.

August 2017; Captains Log.

We spent the remainder of August and the majority of September on strict no-work duty. Fritz was also getting iced for 20ish minutes every day, was in standing wraps 24/7, and was getting surpass rubbed into the affected areas. Well, that is, until his legs got pissed and we had to stop everything and then I had to treat the skin issues.

September 2017, Captains Log.

September 14, 2017 Fritz got his stem cells injected. (If you don’t like blood, scroll past these photos quickly!!!) It was an interesting process to watch. And in true Fritz style, his legs didn’t want to cooperate! First, the tourniquet wouldn’t work on his right front as well as necessary. Once that got ironed out and the vets got creative with the tourniquet, the procedure went perfectly. Then the stem cells have to “marinate” for a little while. Again, Fritz’s leg decided it was not going to cooperate, so we had to give him some extra special bandaging on the right front to keep the stem cells where they belong and to keep Fritz’s leg from swelling up too badly. We are still on no-work duty at this stage.

The next day

Someone was proud of himself for leaving his bandages on, and begged for cookies (which he OF COURSE received). Also, photobomb of my dad! Hi dad!

Proud boy left his bandages on!

October/November 2017; Captains Log

This time consisted of more rest. Lots of eating (I now have a pregnant gelding – we are taking bets as to when he is due). And at some point we started handwalking. It was terrifying – have you ever had to use a rope halter AND stud chain? Ya, it was a first for me too. It seems 32,000lb kites are pretty hard to control when flailing everywhere (ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a LITTLE on his weight here).

December 2017; Captains Log

We had a recheck mid-month (about 4 months after initial diagnosis). Much of the lameness has calmed down, but there is still lameness. We took new ultrasounds to compare to the ones from initial diagnosis. Unfortunately didn’t have the old ones on hand to compare.

In an effort to keep me alive, my wonderful vet decided it was time to allow some MINOR walking under saddle. This was decided after she saw the improvements in lameness, saw his ultrasounds that they were eeming to trend in the right direction, and that Fritz would probably be better behaved under saddle. New directives were to walk only starting out at 10 minutes for 10 days. Then if that goes well, upping it by 5 minutes for another 10 days. And then by another 5 minutes for 10 days. Until we got to 30 minutes of walking under saddle. Then we would reevaluate things and potentially ad some new exercises under saddle (at the walk) to continue building up his strength and getting those tendons firing.

So we did, and it was glorious! There might have never been a happier pony on the face of the planet (or a happier horse mom).

Unfortunately, I just got a call from my vet today, after comparing the before/after ultrasounds; the tendons are still really fragile comparatively (not as much change as she would have hoped with 4 months of time off and stem cell injections). So we need to be uber cautious about moving forward with the rehab. So that means until February at the earliest we are still doing very minimal walking work and will not be adding in additional exercises or most likely bumping up the time increments of walking past what we are currently at (15 minutes a day). Not ideal, but at least we are steps ahead of initial diagnosis day.