Dr. Tolley started off by having me first walk and then trot Izzy out and back in a straight line - your standard trot out. After that, he lunged Izzy to the left and right. I have to interject here that I was over-the-moon happy with how calm Izzy was during the whole exam. He trotted around light and easy on the line and never pulled or got sassy.
- Hopefully your vet has already done some kind of lameness exam (see above) or taken radiographs.
- The horse is then pretty heavily tranquilized as injecting the joint requires precision, and any movement makes the procedure quite challenging and potentially dangerous for your vet.
- The injection site is thoroughly cleaned with a surgical scrub and sometimes shaved.
- The vet will probably administer a local anesthetic because the needle for the injection is really thick.
- When the vet injects the joint, it means that he slides the needle in the gap between the bones that form the joint. In Izzy's case, the needle went in at the inter-tarsal joint (where the three arrows are - see below). Dr. Tolley did two injections per hock, one in the front of the joint, and a second at the back.
All of us, including my vet, trainer, and chiropractor, suspect that at least some of Izzy's resistance to softening and relaxing might have been due to discomfort. If so, the hope is that I get a much happier pony in the next week or so.
I'll let you know how it goes!