Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Continuing Saga of the Big Leg

I haven't updated everyone for a while on Gailey's progress. She's been getting massage therapy on her big leg for about a month now. I've been riding her regularly. I even rode in a lesson on Thursday in the 95-degree heat. We both held up better than I thought we would.

I've been working with Wendy of The Well-Kneaded Horse. At first, I saw an inch difference in the size of her leg. Lately, it's remained consistently the same size, though my trainer believes she's much more comfortable. She says she looks more sound than she has in a few years. I understand these things take time. I just have no clue how much time.

Wendy is using massage and cold-stone therapy treatments. She's done lymphatic massage on people, but never horses before so we're both interested in seeing how this goes. Her lymph nodes are sore, which I guess might mean that they're not working properly. Also, with horses you're working against gravity. They can't put their feet up like people can with swelling issues.

Unfortunately, in this heat wave we've had this week, her leg has gotten bigger, which is no surprise. Heat doesn't help swelling, I guess. I've been hosing it, but it's not making much of a dent.

Gailey definitely enjoys her weekly massages (I could be so lucky). The things we do for our horses!

I've also toyed with trying acupuncture. My vet is skeptical, while others I've spoken to have raved about it. I'm always open to new options, but there's only so much money. Has anyone here had any experience with alternative therapies for horses?


FD said...

One small piece of anecdata for you.
None of the horses I've managed with cellulitis were given acupuncture. I did however, have a livery client whose horse had regular treatments for arthritis and it seemed to have a therapeutic affect for him. He was definitely less lame with the acupuncture than without, even if without included bute.
That IMO was a matter of pain relief rather than inflammation reduction (I know sometimes they're the same thing) so I don't know how it'd work with Gailey's problems.

Alison said...

Keep us posted, Jami, on the 'leg.' I'd love to find out if the swelling is ever resolved and how/why.