Otis’s Rehab – Week 4


Week four of Otis’s rehab hasn’t been  very exciting.

I spoke to my farrier on Monday about hind shoes, and on Monday took Otis out for a walk, avoiding the gravel path. On Wednesday I did the same, and then on Thursday I rode Matt and led Otis, finishing with a hill.

Then on Friday Otis had his hinds fitted, and I’m pleased to say he felt much happier on Saturday. 

Now I can start to lengthen the roadwork because with hind shoes he won’t favour his front feet which should mean less pressure on his dodgy foot. Which also means I can put in more hillwork to build his hindquarters up to help stabilise his pelvis and also with better muscle tone and posture he won’t be so much on the forehand… again taking the pressure off his front feet.

I also emailed my vet last Sunday, and spoke to him on Friday about Otis. He agreed that hillwork and building some muscle up would help, so I’m to continue doing that. He suggested Devils Claw as an anti-inflammatory, which will be my next supplement to try if this one has no effect. He did say that turmeric is often more beneficial to joint issues, not soft tissue, which is a valid point.

In terms of getting my vet’s views on red light therapy, he hadn’t heard of it, but does have a laser machine that he uses. So I guess I’m on my own in that area. Incidentally someone suggested, in another conversation, a TENS machine, and therapeutic ultrasound, which are avenues to consider. 

There was no answer to what soft tissue was being affected, and no suggestion of an ultrasound or other diagnostic techniques.

My vet did seem to take away from the email that finding out what Otis is capable of doing was important to me, and he ended up saying that whilst eventing in July was highly unlikely, we could probably find activities to suit him. He suggested coming out to Otis again and doing a careful nerve block with the idea of performing a neuronectemy. As I’ve said before, I really don’t like this idea. Which leaves me with more unanswered questions. 

Where do I go from here? Do I get a second opinion? Do I find a less invasive treatment? Do I leave vets to themselves for a bit, build up some muscle in his hindquarters to sort out the pelvis issue, then reassess his level of soundness? Should I demand an ultrasound or MRI to see the extent of soft tissue damage, or to see what tissues will be affected? 

Who knows. If anyone is a vet then I’d value your opinion.

I’m beginning to think that because Otis isn’t insured by a company for vet bills, just by a stash of money I’ve saved for him over the years, that the vets are trying to minimise costs and effort, where in actual fact I’m probably a better customer than someone with an insurance company because I know exactly how much I can spend and can pay the bill tomorrow, yet no one has discussed budget with me when discussing Otis’s treatment. 

In the meantime, while I pontificate, here’s a video of Otis showing L’Oréal that he has the max factor!

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