The past few months have caused a bit of frustration for Nala and her friends here at SAFE, as we have been dealing with some lameness issues with no real conclusions. Her new shoes in May helped solve problems related to conformation, but a new lameness appeared. First in the right front, then the left front. Dr. Devine from Pilchuck came out to see her and suggested trying her with wedges in her shoes first before pursuing further diagnostics. Unfortunately the shoes this time were not a fix. Dr. Devine took x‑rays of her front hooves and all looked good. We had to do several blocks narrowing out that the pain was not just coming from her heel. She became sound with a block to the coffin joint and we felt like we had finally found the culprit of her pain or at least an area that we could treat. With this information we elected to have her coffin joints injected.
Nala seemed to feel much better after the joint injections. For about 20 days after the injections she looked to be more comfortable both at the walk and trot. So much better, in fact, that she attended the SAFE benefit show! She still seemed a touch off so we took it easy with her, but overall she did great. There was still that little lingering nag, though, that something else was going on. We consulted with Dr. Devine again and she is worried there is soft tissue damage or a collateral ligament tear. The best diagnostic tool available for this kind of injury is an MRI, and unfortunately that financially isn’t an option for us. We currently have a tentative diagnosis of a soft tissue injury to the right front foot and a prescription for 30–60 days of stall rest and hand walking.
Once she gets the OK to go back to work, there is a special shoe we can try her in to provide collateral ligament support. We will cross that bridge when we get there. For now, we have to convince her that stall rest is a good thing—she’s not taking our word for it, but we’ll get there!