Recall Cricket.This chestnut mare came to play with me for a few months.She learned some things and got stronger and
braver.Then, she began to improve asymmetrically…Most notably, in the trot, the push from behind
stagnated on one side while it continued to improve on the other side.She began to drag her toes just a little
bit.She continued to struggle to hold
her canter leads on her own.But she
continued to be enthusiastic about jumping!
I talked with her owners, and we agreed the vet should do
a lameness evaluation.
The week after we took her through her first horse trial
(where she took 3rd place in Starter!), the initial diagnosis came
back most likely neurological, and blood was drawn to test for EPM.
The test for SAG 2,3,4 came back positive, and treatment
for EPM was recommended.As we delved
into our research, however, we found that the test for SAG 1,5,6 may turn up
more accurate results.So, the vet
humored us and drew blood to be sent off for the second test.Those results indicated low counts and
suggested that maybe we weren’t dealing with EPM, and there was a push for the
Before pulling spinal fluid, the owner decided to try a
course of Levamisole.As it was
explained to me, the drug is designed to boost the immune system…At the end of the 10 days, we didn’t really
see any difference.However, about a
week after that, we had one happy, forward-thinking horse!
Then, in the very next ride, as we were all trotting
around in 2-point, Cricket tripped and appeared to barely save herself from
literally falling on her face!!
At wits end, the owner finally dropped her off at the vet’s
office and said, “Keep her until you know what is wrong with her.”
They started all over from the top.They determined that she couldn’t hold her
canter and swapped behind in both directions.She bunny-hops in the canter.She
steps short behind, and sometimes drags her toes.Recommendation was a full lameness exam with nerve
blocks.So, they went blocking the
nerves, and suddenly, after blocking the stifle, she was much better!
After all of the diagnostics, Cricket received a stifle
injection and sent home to recuperate for a day then begin returning to work
over the rest of the week.