I am not really sure where to start with this post. It isn’t a secret that recently I have been having issues with Annie undersaddle. I have ridden with various trainers and I have consulted with multiple vets… We decided to move forward with thinking that it was a training and strength issue. I am not writing that off as at least a part of the issue but I couldn’t dismiss the nagging feeling that that wasn’t exclusively the problem. I kept it in the back of my head that maybe something was bothering her physically.
Watching her go though she really looked sound. She never showed any local signs of lasting back soreness. I had chiropractic work done on her – at the clinic with a lameness eval. We had her teeth checked. She has gotten regular massages. All of these things seemed to keep her happy as long as I never broached even the idea of collection. When she started getting a bit sour over fences though I got more concerned. If this horse truly loves anything it is jumping.
I reached my breaking point this past week. A horse that is as sweet as Annie can be just doesn’t keep waffling between great and horrible. Or that is what I kept internally debating. Last week when the vet was out to check Annie’s cough I mentioned my lingering concerns. We agreed that it would be good to do a full eval at the clinic and so yesterday I brought her in for back x-rays.
We started with watching her go on the lunge line, then did flexions/ palpations. Naturally you bring a horse in for one thing and they will now all the sudden look off from something else. A couple testers and needle pricks later and we determined that she needs some changes in her shoeing and moved on to x-rays of her feet, back, and neck. Literally x-raying alllll of the things.
Most of us aren’t a stranger to the phrase “kissing spine”. I think that even if you haven’t been personally affected we all might know someone that has had a horse with it – plenty of bloggers even. As we worked our way down Annie’s back through the images there were two specific spots of concern. You can see the reduced space between the vertebrae below where circled. The question is where do we go from here. The first step is a bone scan. I actually ended up leaving Annie at the clinic yesterday. Hopefully the scan will be performed today or tomorrow. From there we will have a better idea of if she is a candidate for surgery or what other treatments we can look into. First and foremost I want to make sure that Annie is not in pain anymore. We want to treat the cause of her pain not just the pain itself.I cried yesterday. Today I am determined to find out everything I can about kissing spine and the various surgical and medical options. I feel really horrible that we didn’t discover this sooner and I am determined to find a solution. How many of you have personal experience with kissing spine? Has anyone recently had surgery done with success? Apparently there is a new procedure that is minimally invasive that has a lot of success…