Almost all clear

My temper got the better of me. We've been more than pleased with treatment we've got at Hyvinkää equine hospital but this time I felt beaten.

I tried to book a follow up for Venda few times. Every time the new receptionist kept asking questions I had no answers to. I was supposed to know what was to be done. How, when even the doctors or the hospital farrier cannot answer that question before seeing the foal? I asked the hospital farrier to call me back, to help me out but the call never came. Well, not in time. It took him over a week to reply.

Ok. If I insisted enough I could have booked an appointment. It could have been wrong kind though. But since I lost it, I took Venda to another clinic. Not ideal, but at least I got a specialist to look at her legs.

Her legs have been nice and straight but every now and then she's had rotative steps. Sometimes she steps under her belly. We've had corrective "shoeing" done few times. First it got much worse (after dallmer laterall glue shoe), then better and worse again. The farriers or the doctors weren't able to give me answers on what was wrong.

This picture shows the problem quite well © Anu Immonen

We didn't get much more answers from Tampere equine clinic's specialist but he was one to take a closer look. I was thankful and appreciative, Vipsu not so much. I shook doctor's hand, Vipsu showed him her buttocks and a close up of her hoof. Little one followed the example. They both got sedated.

All the legs, not just the problem one, got x-rayed from top to bottom. Results were presented as a lecture of foal leg deformities. First we were told what the usual problems are, how to examine and treat them and how will it affect the foals future. After every deformity described we were told we're glad not to have it in this case.

Like riding a ghost train and a roller coaster at the same time.

Her left stifle was mildly swollen. Hard to say if it's part of the original problem or something to do with what was done to fix the original problem. It's quite common for laterall shoeing to cause pain in upper leg. We were also glad to find out no cysts or heritable deformities were found.

But we're never lucky enough. Pastern joint on her left hind leg had thickened. It felt like the world came to its end. The doctor comforted us not to panic. We should keep her of the pasture for a while. She shouldn't run around practising her reining on her own, or at all.

Not sure how to explain this to a young foal whose joy and life is all about running around, jumping on and off things and mom.

I'm glad she's mare. If she breaks her legs, I always have the chance to foal her one day.

It was also noted that her both front feet are turning into club feet. Situation isn't bad yet and it's most likely due to her growing up fast. I hope this won't turn into a problem. I asked if the hindleg situation would affect her front feet. I was told it's like ice cream and drowning. During summertime both increase but they don't affect each other. So I guess it's a no then?

Farrier will visit her on weekly basis making sure both her front and back stay in shape hoofwise. Exercise will be as controlled as we're able to keep it. Few weeks and a follow up. That's about it. At the moment nothing seems to prevent her being a racehorse one day.

- J

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Thanks for your toughts!