Friday, August 21, 2009

More tough news

Having felt we had made really good progress with Patty's problem hoof, we were so disappointed when her limp came back worse than ever last week. We finally decided to bring her in to the vet to see if they could help us figure out why she was still having so much trouble.

It wasn't her hoof.

Patty has -- in another "totally-random-aliment-that-we-could-not-have-anticipated-or-prevented" moment -- pretty severe and irreversible arthritis.

Just to be clear, Patty does not have CAE, a systemic, virus-borne disease that manifests with arthritis symptoms, but is actually a much more serious - and preventable - disease. No, Patty just has plain-old, debilitating, painful, chronic arthritis in her right knee. The knee above the hoof that we treated (successfully, as it turns out) for a minor crack.

The diagnosis has left us facing the reality that we can do our best to manage her pain, but must be prepared to put her down if we are not successful.

Interestingly enough, it seems like - as with many people - Patty's knee can predict rain. We have had a little weather, and the last two days have been shockingly hard on her.

So, here we are. I am off to get joint supplements today and we are beginning a regular regimen of massaging a balm into her knee. After a particularly stiff morning that actually made me cry, I noticed an almost miraculous, instantaneous improvement simply from helping her get the joint moving with massage. It didn't make her normal, but it made her able to walk. I am trying to remain positive and hopeful that this is something we can help her live with, but am also fully prepared to act if the worst case develops. The way I figure it, that's probably all that Patty could want from us.

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