Three weeks into Fritz's mysterious lameness, I still have a horse that can barely hobble and no clue why. Lots of clues why not, though.
We eliminated more possibilities today when Dr. DeWitt injected the coffin joint (just above the coronary band of the hoof, a place you wouldn't normally recognize as a joint.) The idea was to see if the pain originated in the deep flexor tendon by blocking (numbing) the area.
At the same time she also injected a steroid to act as an anti-inflammatory and pain killer. If this area was the cause of the lameness, we would have seen an improvement in 10-15 minutes.
We are now at the point technically known as shit-out-of-luck. Outside of a one-hour trailer ride (with a horse that can barely stand on 4 feet) to the vet college at Michigan State University for a $2,000 MRI, we are out of options. My bank tells me this is not a real option.
Tomorrow my farrier will trim Fritz's hoof to help shift weight to the back rather than the toe, relieving as much pressure and pain as we can. We will also see what he thinks about that bruised-looking area that may or may not indicate a deep abscess. Vets have a lot of respect for a good farrier, who sees nothing but horses' hooves and knows a lot about their problems.
Meanwhile, Fritz eats less, and has been lying down more often to relieve the constant pain. For a horse who usually lies down no more than 5 minutes at a time, it's alarming to see him down for one to one-and-a-half hours at a time. My poor baby.
Through all this, I am re-writing the last chapter of my book, which is due by the end of this week. That would be the Happily Ever After part, where all the nail-biting issues that kept the hero and heroine apart are neatly resolved, and we know that everything will work out for them from here on out. Because life is like that - or so we like to think.
I can be a fatalist if pushed into it, but I prefer to be an optimist. I am living for the HEA.