Gracie's Stifle Story

Keep the Prayers Coming For Gracie

Earlier this week I asked all of you to pray for Gracie and today I’m asking that you keep sending them up for her. Last night was another bad night and she had another episode like she did Tuesday night. I called another Vet out and got a second opinion and this vet’s diagnosis is very different from the first vet but still no definite answer.

Here’s what was happening with her. She has been on stall rest so when I got to the farm I took her out of her stall and went ahead and put a magnetic blanket on her. Since she hasn’t had much grass and she was walking fine and seemingly fine, I put her out in the pasture alone so she could eat. Well she was only out 5 minutes and my son called me saying Gracie was laying down. I stopped what I was doing and ran out to the pasture to check on her. Sure enough she was laying flat out and I knew something still wasn’t right. My first thought was maybe colic since she’s had a big change in her schedule so I made her get up. After she got up I realized she was really drawn up in her back again and her back muscles were quivering slightly. She also didn’t want to walk like before but when I did get her to come back into the barn her hind end wasn’t as short strided. However, you could tell she was in pain just by looking at her.

Here’s a video I shot last night. Not the best since I did it on my phone but shows you what’s happening.

Since the first vet was out I’ve been calling places about getting x-rays but the diagnosis he gave just didn’t seem right with me. Well this vet looked Gracie over a lot better and did lots of different physical tests on her and she truly believes she’s lame in her hind end. However, like with the first vet, we won’t know how bad with out x-rays. ┬áThe only thing we can say is that she is slightly more short strided in her right leg then her back but the lameness doesn’t stand out. You really have to be looking for it.┬áSince it’s her hip/stifle area she would need to go somewhere with a high power machine, which typically means going to NC State Vet School. That in itself is EXTREMELY costly. So to keep costs down and just to see if she will get better on her own, the vet said to keep her on stall rest with bute for the next 7 days. Each day hand walk her and see if she gets better. If she does it probably was just a muscle. If she doesn’t then it could be worse like a torn ligament, hip fracture, etc.

*Sigh* I try not to automatically think the worse but it’s been hard. To see her in as much pain brings tears to my eyes. I just want to take it all away and have her back to her normal self. It’s really hard not knowing what it is too. A big part of me just wants to load her up and take her to NC State to get x-rays but it will cost so much and I just can’t afford to do it right now.

All this is definitely taking a toll on me mentally too. My emotions are running crazy and I’m just a basket case. I can’t stop worrying and stressing yet I know I need to put on the happy face and do the fun holiday things with Braxton. It’s times like this that make me wish I had a money tree in my backyard so I could take her and not worry about the cost.

Have you ever seen a horse act like what I’ve described with Gracie?

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  • Reply
    Weekend Cowgirl
    December 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Has the vet ruled out any kidney disease?

    • Reply
      Ashley Agee
      December 26, 2012 at 9:06 am

      No the vet didn’t do any blood work. Which was shocking because I called the 2nd vet to get a 2nd opinion and the one I spoke to said Blood work could turn up something not seen but the vet that actually came wasn’t the one I talked to and she said she was 95% positive it was a hind end lameness. How severe she wasn’t sure without x-rays but it’s been 5 days since her last “episode” and she’s walking with no problems now and seems to be ok. I’ve been handwalking her trying to build up her muscles again, so we’ll see how she does. If she continues to improve then I won’t do xrays but if she goes lame again then I’ll do xrays and see if that turns up anything.

  • Reply
    December 26, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Yeesh girl, I’ve been behind on my reading with the holidays. I’m glad that Gracie is doing better now but I can believe how horrifying this must have been. Especially with her being a new horse. How is her balance? Does she flinch if you touch her spine?
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