About 10 days ago Lena came into the bar with her rear left leg swollen all the way above the hock.
Since then with a vet visit, wrapping, antibiotics (SMZ) and bute, the swelling went down, but there was still mechanical lameness in her leg. She looked like she was skipping at the trot. Or perhaps like she had a peg leg. It didn't cause her pain but she couldn't get her leg under her.
Lena has a history of hock problems. In the past she has had a septic hock (something that usually does not heal) and had a miraculous recovery.
Needless to say I was worried. This morning I took her to Cornell University for an exam.
Early into the exam, the vet had determined issues between the hock and stifle. He was doing a hoof-test exam just to show students protocol to rule out hoof injuries and the below photo is what we saw.
There is no way a horses leg should move like that! There was only one answer: a torn peroneus tertius tendon!
The wonderful thing about tendons is that the ends magically seem to be able to find each other and mend all on their own.
So now Lena is on a little more Bute, 8 weeks stall rest with 2x a day walks to make sure the tendons don't stick to any other tissues and ensure smooth healing. We will return in 6 weeks and ultrasound to see if the tendon has started healing itself.
The best part is that for only a road trip to Cornell, 1 hour at the vet and $88 we have not only a diagnosis but a treatment plan and positive prognosis. Who said Cornell has exorbitant prices?