October 03, 2012

Pre-Purchase Exam

Monday was the day for the pre-purchase exam. I was a little nervous and worried that something horrible would turn up on the mare. Laura greeted me warmly and invited me in to look over some paperwork. We both signed the sales contract and then we spent some time in one of her empty bedrooms that their canary and finches had been moved into for the winter. The canary sang such a pretty song! Someday I would love to have a greenhouse like they do with little birds flying about!

The veterinarian showed up, Doc, and went into the stable with us as Laura went to get the mare. She was wearing a cute little green sheet to keep her clean since the day before Laura’s daughter had cleaned her up nicely getting ready for this exam. So sweet!

The vet began checking her over, listening to heart, lungs and intestines. He looked at her eyes and ears, did a whole once over. The mare’s ears followed him as he moved about her. She kept searching in the vet techs pockets and the doctors as well for cookies of some sort. Doc mentioned a bump on the inside of her left hock. He said it was a bone spavin and could indicate arthritis.

We took her outside and the tech trotted her back and forth for the vet to watch her movement. He liked what he saw and moved onto the flexion tests. Each leg was flexed for a minute and a half then she was asked to trot off again to see if there was any effect to her gait. Three legs checked out fine. The last one was the leg of question, her left hind. After the flex there was only a slight change in her gait for the first couple of steps, barely noticeable and was what the vet described as a “slight positive”. He said it seemed like it was minor and he could do an x-ray but it most likely wouldn’t tell us anything more about the joint.

I discussed with him her intended use and how this could affect her in the future. He said in 5-7 years she might begin having some noticeable issues but at this time it really doesn’t seem to be affecting her. I’m not planning on jumping her and endurance riding wouldn’t really be a good option but as I’ve said on here I don’t think I really have the time and commitment level to get a horse into condition for that anyway. I really just want to work on arena work and trail riding. In a few years we’ll get a second horse and either this mare will become more of Steve’s mount if I decide I want to get into a more athletic sport or I’ll just keep riding her myself. Either way she’s 13 and has a minor flaw…not too surprised really. I think she has so many positive points to her that this issue, that isn’t even affecting her now, is very insignificant.

I’ve done research and with a couple thousand dollars there is a surgery that can fuse the bones if the issue gets worse and that usually makes the horse pain free after recovery and sound.  There are also less expensive and less invasive ways to work this issue. The bones also may fuse on their own eventually and I might just have to work with a vet in the future on pain killers as that process occurs. All that I have read, based on the two bones where this arthritis is (two bones below the hock that don’t really need to move, hence the fusing option) sounds like it’s manageable if it gets worse.  It also states in every place I've been that keeping the horse under work is best for them. The doctor doesn’t even feel like it will get to the point of needing surgery with what I plan to do on her. I think the purchase is still a go but I have an idea of what to look for in the coming years as she ages, and if we think about her age now we are looking at age 20+, I'd expect some issues to pop up anyways at that age!

Now we just need the negative coggins results and the brand inspection, then I can take her to the boarding facility!  Next post coming up will be about naming....I have some ideas and would love to hear some others!


Reddunappy said...

Congrats that she passed! LOL

At 13 if thats the only issue she has, she will give you many many wonderful years!!


Camryn said...

Sounds like a postive inspection. You now know for sure she has no Vetting issues as far as "OOOH NOOOO the Vet" :) Postive thoughts for her Coggins

lilyrose said...

Sounds like she was a good girl for the vet! That's a BIG positive in my book. I agree that at age 13 if that rear hock is the only issue-you should have many years of wonderful rides together. I've never had a positive coggins-so good thoughts to you there. I kinda like the name Maggie-but if you want to change it-go for it! Can't wait to hear your ideas for a new name. :)

lilyrose said...

Btw-am I the only one having trouble with the word verification? ack!

Mare(+Missy) said...

Yay!!! I'm so happy for you!