Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News

Saturday, July 16, 2011

On Monday, Dr. Cowley came out to see Lilly. You can see here the man is quite a character. Quick-witted, friendly, knowledgeable, funny. No, that is not a beer in his hand, but it was so hot when he arrived, I'm sure he probably wanted one.

I realized that I had been thinking the vet wouldn't be able to make any solid diagnosis when he arrived. I thought maybe Lilly's symptoms were too vague, too complex to be understood. I guess I thought my horse was SO SPECIAL, so extra-ordinary, that no one would be able to figure her out! I thought: if Bill and I couldn't do it, who could? Lesson Number One: Have a little faith in a doctor who has years of schooling and vet experience behind him. Dr. Cowley got into Lilly mode immediately. I began to feel better as soon as he came in the barn. He clearly was a pro.

Dr Cowley took some x-rays. My brumby was very good and still, even though (of all days) this was the day the town of Conway decided to grade and level out Bill's road. So there was all this noise of earth moving equipment on the road. Sill, Lilly was very statue-like.

It was so hot that day. The temp was soaring into the 90s. The vet looked at Lilly walking, looked at her feet carefully, poked at them with his hoof tester. The problem is in her front feet, and in the toes, just as we had concluded. Dr. Cowley set up a little "office" in the barn. This meant he could take an x-ray, and then we cold peer at it.

Dr. Cowley has a very cool program where you can take the x-ray, mark certain points on it, and the program will do all kinds of measurements to see where problems exists. It can even turn the x-ray into a 3-D image. It was verrrry cool. Luckily, the x-ray didn't show anything so serious that I wanted to die. No navicular, nothing patholgical. She has some upright angles, but nothing tragic.

One of the things Dr. Cowley said that would help Lilly was to wear a shoe like this. She also needs to let her hooves grow out--another thing we had suspected...since she lost so much of it as her abscess grew out, her hoof wall had crumbled. He advised us to get shoes on her asap. And he gave her a prescription of daily bute for her discomfort, along with a another bute-with-something-else paste mixture for the day before, day of, and day after shoeing.

And he also took some blood just to check for a recurrence of Lyme disease. The next day, Bill put shoes on Lilly. Her ouchiness was slightly better, but still there. We just need to wait for the hoof to grow. Bill says: Dr. Time.

And at the very end, I myself got something: the bill. Ouch! But worth every dollar. Four days later Dr. Cowley's assistant called to tell me that Lilly's bloodwork came back very positive for Lyme. At least with Lyme you know exactly what to do. Lilly is now on a 2 month course of anti-biotics. In 7-10 days she should feel remarkably better. Oh Lilly, why do the lyme ticks love you so much!? Interestingly, none of Bill's other horses have Lyme. Also interestingly, Dr. Cowley is working on a study to create a Lyme vaccine for horses with Cornell University. Lilly has been asked to participate.

While I have been fretting about my brumby, Brandon's mushroom show must go on. Here is a collection of mushrooms he gathered with Getty in the D.A.R. national forest up the road.

Did you know that if you are having trouble identifying a mushroom, that if you do a "spore print" it will help you figure it out? All you do is lay the cap of a mushroom on a piece of paper overnight. (This one is just on our countertop since it was sitting there all night). In the morning you will see an image on the paper that will provide you with loads of info that will help you figure out its identity, step by step.

Thursday night after work it was so gorgeous that I went to see Lilly and to climb on Bella. Who I also like to call Donut, since she is so round and wonderful.

And Whitney came too and rode Glitter! I wish Whitney would lease one of Bill's horses. That way I'd get to see her all the time! But also because when Whitney rides, I hear her laughing over and over like she is in love.

Bella was very good for me. Sometimes she doesn't like to go off into a canter so I have to use the crop. She;s one of those horses who is happier and more curious on the trail, but she did everything I asked her to, including a side pass at a walk which was beautiful. She is so fun to ride, the little munchkin.

Here is Bill teaching Bella to walk so slowly and quietly that you could sneak up on someone if you needed to.

Glitter was so good for Whitney. Although, Whitney is not one to get worried on a fast-moving horse. Maybe she should try Cody!

Here you see how Getty watches every move I make!

This week I am going to the seashore so I will be doing a lot of blog reading and catching up with all my favorite bloggers! Don't think I have forgotten about you all!

And don't forget to see "Buck" in the theatres!! You will love it and never want it to end.


Anonymous said...

Glad Lily will be OK with time and rest - and glad they tested for Lyme and that she's being treated for it.

And enjoy your seaside time - that sounds really nice on these hot days!

Paint Girl said...

Poor Lilly. I hope she is feeling better soon.
I learn so many interesting things about mushrooms from you.
Have a great getaway!!

lmel said...

Sound like Dr. Cowley got to the bottom of the situation. Hope Lilly is on the mend and sound soon. Love the mushroom info. I've done the spore prints before--pretty cool!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Sounds like I am going to have to wait until Buck comes out in DVD. I can;t find it playing anywhere around here. :(

Sorry about the bad news. That's a lot of money and a lot of discomfort for your poor girl. Too bad she needs shoes, too. My vet refuses to shoe my mare, believing that she is healthier without them. But we have hard, rock covered ground here...not wet, hoof-softening ground, so hooves do seem to do better barefoot and get stronger when allowed to acclimate to the challenging, rugged terrain.
Love your vet. He reminds me of mine...lots of unique character. I guess you have to be that way when you're dealing with animals and humans?

Such an interesting variety of mushrooms. I've only seen mushrooms above 9,000 ft elevation here in New Mexico. We're just too dry for them to grow.

Bella reminds me of my mare. She prefers the trails and she needs lots of encouragement to move up into a trot and canter. But she's fun...and round. lol!

Enjoy your time by the sea :)


Michelle said...

Sounds like your vet has some really interesting technology! I hope that Lilly gets to feeling better really soon - too many sore horses in blogland these days!
And I LOVE the spore print! I want to go make one tonight! I've never heard of such a thing.

Amber said...

I adore your writing because you have the most wonderful way of stating things. I absolutely loved reading "I hear her laughing over and over like she is in love." That's poetry!

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