2015 has not been a great year for Lola so far. She’s been lame on and off in front since the beginning of January, and although we’ve tried several shoeing changes and she’s been examined by our veterinarians multiple times, we still haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause of her lameness. 

Lola was seen by Dr Divine this week. She was examined a few weeks prior to this visit and the predominant lameness was in the right front and it was blocked to her heel. Radiographs of the right front were obtained and there were no significant findings. We decided to try some shoeing changes first to see if that would improve her lameness before doing anything more invasive. However, the shoeing changes (bring breakover back and a 2–3 degree wedge) did not improve her lameness.

A lameness exam showed Lola to be off in both fronts, but there were three possible joints that could be the source of the problem. The best way to diagnose her lameness would be to do an MRI, but the cost is prohibitively expensive. The next best thing to do is temporarily block the nerves to the joints in question and see when the lameness disappears…but that’s not a great solution for Lola because she’s pretty bad about needles. So Dr Divine advised us to take a leap of faith and go ahead and inject the coffin joint and see if that improved her lameness. The coffin joints seemed like a good guess since there was visible inflammation in that area.

So Lola was sedated and both front coffin joints were injected an anti-inflammatory medication. Dr Divine was encourage to see that there was a large volume of very thin and watery joint fluid in both of her coffin joints because that was an indication that she’s made the right guess and that the inflammation in those joints were the source of Lola’s discomfort. Lola was given 10 days off work, and we’re hoping to see signs of improvement very soon.