Since I spent much of last night in tears, figuring that Wally was doomed due to his current bout of sore-footedness, it seemed only fitting that I'd awake bleary-eyed, just in time to greet my vet, Jennifer. She brought along her assistant, Mark. He positioned Wally's leg while I held Wally... and the camera. After all, I wanted to document how quickly several hundred dollars can disappear when you're in love with a horse.
Once the x-rays were taken and Wally was sent back to his stall (minus his front shoes), Jennifer went to the back of her truck and tallied up my bill. Hmmm... Why is she smiling?
Within 10 minutes of Jennifer driving away, my farrier Ed arrived. That coincided with a fortuitous phone call from Jennifer, who had already viewed and inspected the x-rays. (More on that later). She gave Ed some instructions, which resulted in Wally being shod with special "no vibration" pads and thick aluminum shoes. Then silicone was injected underneath the pads for even more shock absorbing capabilities. The duct tape was a mere bonus to keep the silicone in place until it dried. Ain't it pretty? It should be, for what I paid. *sigh*
Here Ed writes up my bill. Notice how intent he appears. Hey, don't forget to add the silicone to the bill! That's an extra few bucks. Maybe Wally can get a credit account at Home Depot and buy his own silicone before the next visit from Ed. And that would be in six weeks. Why? Because I have a horse who grows his feet at a remarkable rate, and it's mostly all toe growth. Not a good thing... Unless you're independently wealthy. And I am not.
So much for the bad news. My checking account and my wallet will survive. Now for the good news: the x-rays Jennifer took were fine! I began to be optimistic when he demonstrated hardly any response to the hoof testers. Usually a horse with raging navicular issues will flinch to the application of the hoof testers. Wally did not. The films revealed no signs of ringbone or sidebone. There wasn't any founder; his coffin bone hadn't rotated (which I feared, given the crummy conformation of his feet), so those shots were clean, too. As for the navicular area? I asked Jennifer over the phone, "Are you seeing holes and frilly edges?" She replied, "I am not looking at Swiss cheese. I don't see anything remarkable at all. However," she added, "Wally has very thin soles. That's why he's ouchy on hard ground or over any kind of rocks or pebbles. So no more of that. And have Ed put on those pads with the silicone we talked about." As you now know, that's precisely what I did. Oh. And while Ed was paring out Wally's right front foot-- the sore one-- he discovered a significant bruise on the sole. Voila! Mystery solved! I'd put on a party dress and do The Happy Dance, but right now I'm too poor to buy a party dress.
I'm sure that Wally will still be a little sore for a while, because it'll take some time for his soles to adjust and for that bruise to heal. But now I know he's not facing a certain downhill slide to an early demise. I feel so much better, even if it did cost me a little over $400. Do you know how many bales of hay that is? I do. But when it comes to realizing that my horse will be with me for a long time yet to come, that my friends, is priceless.
Thanks for all of your good wishes on Wally! If you have any other comments or thoughts, please click on "comments" below or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org