Cholla’s Saga Continued

As a post-script to Cholla’s rescue, I would like to add:

She laid down and couldn’t get up, two more times this week. We have a system now. Paula calls me, then calls Dave, Dave calls his clients to rearrange his day then goes out to Cholla. Paula or Dave calls the vet. In fact, it’s become so common for Cholla to get stuck, that Paula doesn’t even call before 9am, anymore.

One day, when Cholla was laying in the rain, in a mud puddle, soaking wet and shaking, Dr. Heather Baker, DVM and Danielle were actually discussing the possibility of putting her down. As in, end of the road. Fin du Cholla. And at that moment, she decided she could in fact get up, if Dave would just hold up her back end. Picture Atlas, holding up the world. That’s pretty much what Dave did for Cholla (in more ways than one.) Dr. Heather was filling in for me, and yelling at Dave to “get out from underneath that horse.” I thank her for I am not equipped to continue building our ranch, alone at this time. I repeat for you honey, not at this time.

On Sunday, the fourth vet visit of the week and the only one that was planned, Cholla got her hocks injected. If you are involved in the world of sport horses you know what this means. All sport horses of a certain age, get their hocks injected. I’m not going to debate the merits of it, you may or may not be a fan but this is not the time or place to discuss it. This is about Cholla’s hocks. If you are not into sport horses, I will explain what happens. Injecting the hocks involves injecting high-powered anti-inflamatories and hyaluronic acid into the spaces between the joints in the horses back legs. Joint injections pretty effectively break down the cartilage inside the joint but by the time one comes to the decision to inject the joints, the horse has become so uncomfortable that the further breaking down of the tissues is an acceptable side effect. Clearly, this was the case with Cholla. Hopefully, injecting her joints makes her comfortable enough that when she lays down, she can get right back up again, with no pain or stiffness. So here we go, the photos from the event. Don’t worry, there is no blood or guts, no needles and no trauma. This is a G rated post.

First Cholla gets heavily sedated and twitched. The twitch offers a level of control in case she decided the drugs weren’t good enough and she started thrashing around with the vet under her. It would be very bad for everyone involved if that happened.

Then she get the hair clipped at the injection site:

Out comes the betadine scrub. The worst thing that could happen would be to introduce bacteria into the center of the joint. That’s a very hard place to treat for infection.

Then scrub, scrub again. The good doctor is big on making sure the site is clean. I like that:

This is the part where the needles happen. I think there were four of them. I don’t like needles so, there are no photographs. All you’re going to see is the procedure magically finished! If you want to see the injection part, you have to get your own arthritic horse.

Again, that’s not blood, that’s just betadine.

Hopefully, this was all the boost Cholla needed and we don’t have to hear anything about her, anytime soon. The other horses are jealous and would like to be mentioned on the blog. They say Cholla is stealing the spotlight.I’m concerned they are going to make up their own severe medical problems just to get attention.

We have more people to thank:

Paula and family, again. Dr. Heather Baker, DVM, again. (Hopefully this blog will come up if people search for her and they will read nice things about her work.) Heather’s husband, Rob, who is very entertaining when he’s assisting. We would like to thank the sales staff at whatever store Danielle goes to for retail therapy after these events. Dave would really like to thank the clients who were so understanding as to why he couldn’t be there for their horses. Mayellen, one of my loyal blog readers, was one of those clients. She rescues horses herself, so I think she understands. I should thank my boss for saying I could leave on Wednesday, if I had to. I didn’t but it’s nice that he was OK with it. Of course he took the whole day off last month to put his kids’ rat to sleep so he should really not have a problem for me leaving to deal with a horse. And to anyone else who has put up with the sniveling of any of us involved in this ordeal. We thank you for your understanding and assistance.


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