So today Picasso started the hydrohorse treadmill portion of his rehab. We were graciously ferried over to Circle Oak by Leslie Walker. Thank you Leslie! We got there, and Picasso was prepped for the treadmill with a warm bath. He went right in without hesitation. Once he got to the bottom and over the treadmill, it was turned on, and he got started! Pica’s back was nice and round, and he was moving! He is starting out with 5 minutes on the treadmill. I was again very proud of Picasso for being such a pleasant citizen!
After another hose down, I put a warm cooler on him and back in the trailer he went! We go back again on Thursday.
In preparation for starting the hydrohorse treadmill therapy, I contacted the makers of the treadmill for information on what schedule would be best for Picasso’s condition. They referred me to a couple of vets who have long term experience with using the hydrohorse for rehabilitation cases. One of these vets was Dr Van Snow. I spoke with Dr Snow over the holidays. He said he primarily uses stem cells on tendon and ligament damage. He then uses the treadmill with those cases. Dr Snow said he rarely works with bone cyst cases because they tend not to come back. We discussed how he uses the treadmill and a good schedule for Picasso to follow.
After talking with Dr Snow, I met with my own vet, Tere. She and I discussed Dr Snow’s recommendations, and she said they sounded reasonable. I was frustrated with the fact that no one seemed to know what to do in this case! After some discussion, I started to understand that what we are doing really hasn’t been done much before. Tere told me bone cyst cases are mostly considered “dead end” cases. Rarely do horses with bone cysts get “experimented” with, so no one really used stem cells to repair the cysts. I mean, there are people who have used stem cells in bone cysts. But few have been successful, and I have yet to speak to any vet that has repeatedly used stem cells in combination with the hydrohorse treadmill as a rehab program for a horse with bone cysts. It may have occured occasionally, but not enough to be able to detect best practices. So basically, we’re contributing to a bit of history here. If Picasso is able to make major repairs to his cysts, we might be one of the very few successes! Fingers crossed!
I knew the odds going in. Bone cysts are really complex. Basically, the bone structure is degraded in and around the area of the cyst. And Picasso has them in a very sensitive place, right at the ends of his femoral condyles. right smack dab in the middle of the weight bearing portion of the joint.
Picasso is an incredibly special horse. He will be 7 yrs old at the end of January. That means I will have had him for 6 years! He is one of the most intelligent horses I have had the privilege of knowing. He also is a pretty talented guy, very aware of his body and loves to use it! Recently, he went for a world record of the number of caprioles he could fit into 30 seconds. I’m sure he beat the previous record holder…… Picasso also has pizzazz! He thinks he is one hot biscuit. A horse like that deserves all the chances I can give him.