Friday, December 3, 2010
Welcome Home Cody!
Dr. Caron called me this morning about 10:00 am and said she looked great and could go home any time! So we headed over to get her about 12:30 and brought her home.
She looked much better when I got there today. Much more alert and bright eyed. She's actually walking better than I thought she would too. Her limp isn't any worse now than it was before she went in (and will slowly improve over time as the bones heal). Though she does have a pretty substantial bandage on her leg.
So she's home and in her stall and on stall rest until Tuesday. Then she can start going outside in an individual turnout, unless she's being a wild woman or it's too icie or rough. But hopefully she'll behave herself when she gets to go back out. She tends to have issues with stocking up pretty bad in her back legs if she's on stall rest for too long, hence the reason for the standing wraps. I guess I better dig out my bigger quilts tomorrow. Those new quilts were great for Wayne's back legs, but they're a little short for Cody! Oh well, they will work for tonight!
The bandage on her knee has to stay on till Monday or Tuesday, unless she destroys it in which case I'll have to rebandage it myself, but she's usually pretty good, so hopefully she's all set. My horses have helped me become a pro at bandaging over the years with all their booboos and accidents, so I don't really need the extra practice! But after that bandage comes off, it's up to me whether I want to continue to bandage it or not. So we'll see how it goes. Though I might need to keep something over it till her hair grows back some, since it is winter here and she's shaved pretty bald! But we'll see. I guess there's two small incisions in her knee, and they're stitched with dissolving stitches, so I don't even have to worry about that too much.
Now we just wait three months for her to heal, and see what we've got!
So what exactly did she have done? Arthrodesis of the left carpal metacarpal joint. That's a mouthful! But basically, they surgically destroyed the cartilage in that joint using a small drill. The body then thinks the joint is a "broken bone", and the top and bottom bones of the joint heal together, fusing the two bones into one, and relieving the pain in the joint that the arthritis was causing. But it's a three month healing process for the bones to finish fusing themselves (much like the healing time of a broken bone). And since the joint that was effected on Cody is the bottom joint of her knee that moves very little, fusing the joint shouldn't effect her gait much, and she should be rideable once she's healed.
From what I've read, it looks like Arthrodesis is a little more common in hocks (which Lady would be a good candidate for), than it is in knees. And it's often done with alcohol injections in the hocks, instead of surgical drilling. Dr. Caron said Cody is only the fourth one of the knee that he has done personally, but the previous three all recovered pretty much 100% and returned to work. And he also trained for this specific surgery under the vet in Canada that basically developed this surgical drilling procedure for the knee joint and has done several of them over the past 25 years. So Dr. Caron said he'll be setting a reminder on his calender for 3 months from today, and pestering me with phone calls until he gets ahold of me to see how Cody's doing.
I've already got March 2, 2011 marked on my calendar too! I will be counting down the days and hopefully I'll be back in the saddle on Cody this spring!