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Cherokee update

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Beccy

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Just to update those who were following the story of our filly who is dragging her legs, we had her down to the London Equine Hospital last week for surgery, and as soon as the surgeon examined her he felt it was not the patellas that are causing the problem. He had not had the benefit of seeing her in person at that point, so only had to go on what Guelph had said after seeing x rays and photographs. The patellas are definitely not where they should be, but he said because of the rigidity of the muscles in her entire hind end, that it was likely not caused by the patellas. He said he would try cutting the ligament on one to see, as he felt there was nothing else they could try, but that he did not think it would correct the problem. It didn't, so he did not do the other leg. They feel it has to be neurological, or something like a disease attacking the spinal cord. The x rays showed nothing, but his wife is a neurologist and came in to see Cherokee, and she said there are things which would not show up on x ray. All they could suggest unfortunately, is a wait and see approach for a few weeks, although they did warn that even if she regains the use of her hind legs, the muscle scarring, which is irreversible, may be severe, and the bones may not be right as she has not been standing or walking normally.

Cherokee is still walking dragging her hind legs, and still nursing and eating normally, and everyone is in agreement that she does not seem to be in any discomfort at all. So we are massaging her back and legs and gently attempting to flex her little legs every day. We have a tiny bit of movement in her legs, and she does appear to be bringing one foot forward more than the other each step now when she walks, so there is a tiny ray of hope.

It turns out that my vet who felt it was possibly neurological, and not the patellas was right at the start of this whole thing. He has only just returned from vacation, so I have not had a chance to talk to him about what the surgeon said last week, but will talk to him on Monday. As long as there is a bit of progress, and she is not in any pain, we will keep trying and pray for the best. Thanks to those who emailed to ask about her!


I do have to say that in a heartbeat I would recommend London Equine Hospital in Ilderton to anyone in Ontario who requires surgery on a horse, they were absolutely super. Wee Cherokee got the very same care as the expensive thoroughbreds and standardbreds in the other stalls, and the entire staff there spent loads of time with her and us.
 
K

kaykay

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well shoot i dont know if thats good news or not?? I feel so bad for her and you for everything the two have you have been thru. And i applaud you for being so lovign and caring and trying everything you can to get her help
Saying prayers for her

Kay
 

tifflunn

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Thanks for the update - I have been wondering- will keep Cherokee in our prayers- Thanks for the info about London will keep that in mind if in need.
 

Mona

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Although it may not be real "uplifting" news, at least now you know for sure where you stand with this. I sure hope the little one continues to show improvement, no matter how slow it may be. GOOD LUCK with her, and thanks for the update!
 

lyn_j

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[SIZE=14pt]Sorry the answer wasnt a simple one.... hope she continues to improve.[/SIZE]

Lyn
 

hairicane

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Aww geez, I was hoping you would have a good outcome on your little girl. Hope she does improve for u!!!!
 

luvmymini2

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where there is hope there is chance...don't give up....keeping you and Cherokee in my prayers....
 

Beccy

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Thanks everyone, at least we still have a little bit of hope to cling to for the time being. The night we arrived in London I was truly depressed, because we had arrived there certain that she would be fixed and coming home able to walk, and after he had examined her I was so certain that if the surgery did not help he would suggest putting her down then and there. So the Wednesday evening Randy tried to cheer me up, and we went out to eat and to see War of the Worlds, but I enjoyed neither because I was now convinced we were going to come home wth a dead baby. I felt doubly bad, because Pocahontas absolutely adores babies, and always tries to steal someone elses baby when she does not have one of her own. I dread having to take Cherokee away from her. The fact that the surgeon felt there is enough of a glimmer of hope to "wait and see" if whatever is interrupting the messages to her muscles resolves, kept me going.

We were gently flexing Cherokee's hind legs today and thought perhaps we were imagining things, but they semed to be bending a slight bit more than they have been. Even if the imrovement is slight, it is encouraging, although I am not willing to be optimistic yet, as we are too used to losing an animal after getting hopeful.

Thanks for the prayers, which are added to our own, will keep you updated.

Rebecca
 

Minimor

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That's too bad that there couldn't be surgery to fix her up. I'd been hoping she'd be all better very soon! That's just such an odd thing. I can't remember what was said about a chiropractor earlier--is there any chance one of those might be able to help her, at least a little bit?

Hopefully you're right, and the massage & "physio" is helping her. Best of luck, and all our prayers are with you!
 

Beccy

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Hi Holly, yes that is what everyone says, so strange, never seen anything like this in a foal so young. Trust us to be original!


We discussed all sorts of different possibilities for tests etc, but both the surgeon and his wife who is a neurologist felt that it would be a lot to put the filly through with very little liklihood of changing the outcome. He did not mention a chiropractor, but I will email him and ask. If there is any possibility that she pinched something in one of her episodes of rolling and getting stuck under the gate, or if it is involving the spinal cord, then i don't think an adjustment with a chiropractor would help, might even do further harm? The spine itself looked good on x rays, there is no problem with the spacing, or the vertebrae themselves, so the problem is inside the spinal cord it seems. Something is preventing the messages being delivered to the muscles.
 
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