About this Blog

Meet my very 1st horse, Lazarus.
I couldn't wait for Santa anymore or ask one more time for a pony for my bday (after age 30 it got embarrassing). I took matters in my own hands and I finally decided to pick a pony that needed a new home. Laz found me as I contemplated with this idea. He was sweet yet very sassy, fresh off the track, Thoroughbred (OTTB).
Join us for our re-training, rehabbing from laminitis and testing all parts of mixed up horsemanship and partnership, and luck...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mason, the Athlete

(Mild warning, this post is all about Mason-no horsie stuff)
Oh Masie...
Well, we thought Mason only 'hurt' or sprained his knee but indeed he had a full blown out ACL.
Last Thursday (April 19th) he ran out to the backyard and came back on three legs. I felt around and could feel the instability.
It was a bit of a process, but after calling some trusted friends/professionals, etc we had our consultation at a top referral clinic with an orthopedic surgeon for Wednesday (April 25th, Laz's bday)
On our way to our appointment...Mason was thrilled to be in the car!
He really hates being a couch potato and we had to restrict his activity
On our way in...you can see Mason's RH, toe down. He won't put weight on it because it feels unstable to him. In three days he became quite the three legged athlete despite us trying to slow him down. But, obviously, we can't leave him that way...
In the waiting room, Mason was VERY social
We tried to just LOVE LOVE LOVE up on him (easy) and tell him he was going to a fun sleepover camp (not easy)
"Yea Daycare!!!!" (ahem, surgery too but YAY tooooys!!)
In the waiting room, waiting for our consult to go over options and pricing
The hospital was insanely immaculate, high tech, beautiful and better than any human hospital I've been to.  24/7 care and you can call in on your pet 24/7. For us, that felt great
They even had beds and toys in the waiting rooms
Mason preferred to just STARE at the closed door anticipating his next 'visitor'
 I just LOVED this print in the waiting room.
Any Lab owners can attest to how great this photo is!
The Vet came in and we talked about options of surgery. The fishing line band vs the TPLO (tibial plateau osteotomy) where they actually change the degree of the tibia and then it's immediately stablized by a metal plate and screws.  The success rate (after 8 week rehab) is for dogs over 40 lbs (Mason is a svelte 90..oops!) to return to normal active activity.  She felt he could return to the barn (slowly) to enjoy his time out there again! YAY!!
Then came the interesting part.
That surgery is expensive.
Like OUCH.
She mentioned we also had a choice. To participate in a double blind study. Where the secret European Pharma pain medicine company would pay for Mason's surgery. 
I immediately was like "YES!!" Save thousands!? SIGN ME UP! A great new European drug..YES YES YES, I love Europe!
However, thankfully my super smart and level headed Husband was there. He asked, some amazing questions, which lead us to actually turn it down.
A couple reasons we turned it down. One, being Mason was on Rimadyl, he would have to wait 2 weeks for the Study surgery to purge that out of his system. 
Two, and the MAIN reason we said "Oh hellls no!!" was it's a double blind study MEANING, 50% of the trial dogs GET the pain medicine out of surgery, and 50% get a placebo.
Say what?! 
So, I could elect to have my sweet Mason have BONE surgery and there would be a 50% chance he wouldn't have ANY pain meds after surgery???
Um, no. 
Now, I can see how it would be OK for some people. It's a HUGE cost savings to help your animal out. There is a 50% change they do get this amazing medicine and the staff was in love with the medicine because it had no kidney, liver or ulcer issues and went directly to pained source. And, out of surgery, your pet is checked and at 90 minutes after, if they feel your pet was in pain, they 'rescue' it from study and put them immediately on pain meds.  
The Vet was very honest and said, it does take 6-12 hours for pain meds to kick in at that point and our goal is always to keep pain at bay or level and never to peak, but in that situation, it would have peaked. The surgeons don't know which animal got which medicine or placebo inf your pet is participating in the study.  
In the end, we just decided to not risk it, and to pay outright so he would be pain free as much as possible, before, during and after surgery.

His surgery was Thursday (April 26th) and obviously had to stay the night again. 
The Vet was pleased at his surgery-everything she wanted to do, was done, said he showed very little osteoarthritis in the leg she operated on, and commented she thought at almost 9 yrs old, he was quite the strong athlete.

I picked him up Friday
The Vet told me she couldn't release him until he peed.
He was holding it so I offered to walk him out and see if he would with me.
THANKFULLY, he did...so he got to come home with a catheter added to our bill
Good boy
My sheared lamb!
Back home, he was T.I.R.E.D and a bit confused.
I brought him in my home office, kept it quiet and hoped he slept.
He fell asleep almost instantly, and a few times jolted awake crying and confused for a few seconds. I would just crawl down with him and love on him, and he would whimper, sigh and fall back asleep. I 'felt' like he would wake up thinking he was still at the hospital.
 Pudgie did a great job keeping his brother warm and company
 Surgery leg, you can see some of his fatty non cancerous tumors.
 Fast asleep...
He wanted the floor vs his bed much to my dislike, but I wanted him to SLEEP so I just allowed it.
 Later on, sleeping while I made dinner...if I didn't drag his bed near me, he would just plop on floor, so this was a win/win.
 Later that night...He slept SO great that first day/night only to wake to eat, take pain meds and  for me to walk him out to go to the bathroom.
Pudgie of course, would sleep 23.58 hours of the day by choice.
 Here you can see where Mason had his epidural, and where his 1 of 3 pain medications are, patch in between shoulders that comes off in a few days.
 Feeling more like himself by day #2..growling at the mail man.
It's a long rehab for him, about 4 months before he'll get approved to do all things at a normal activity, but he's being a great patient and should be feeling better each day.
Lots of icing, love and pampering will get our little Chocolate athlete back in action when he's ready.


  1. Awww...Poor Mason. I am such a high strung pet owner that I literally started to cry just seeing him with the scars of surgery! He looks great though and I love the picture of him and Pudgy sleeping! Tell Mason I hope he feels better soon and I hope that you give the poor patient some steak and chicken to make up for the trauma!

  2. Bless Mason's ♡!

    I couldn't bear the chance of no pain medication either - even for substantial savings. You're fortunate to have such a nice veterinary facility. :) The patient looks very well, considering.

    Great pictures. (Btw - I got that photo app that you recommended. So cool. Thanks for the tip.)

  3. Poor naked puppy. You're such a great mom! Get better soon, Mason!!!

  4. Aww, Pudgie and Mason are so cute in the bed together. Glad you were able to do the surgery. I can't imagine doing the free option and him not getting pain medication! That would be awful. Heal fast Mason!

  5. Poor Mason!! Fingers crossed for a fast recovery.

  6. Oh, Mason looks great! Keep up the great nurse care:) Which you will, I know!!

  7. What great pictures, and what a great mama you are! I hope sweet Mason is up and running at the barn with you and Laz very soon (but not too soon!). Your dogs have way too much cute between the two of them:)

  8. Love to Mason and you all. Good thoughts for speedy healing. So great that the surgery went well. Those photos of he and Pudgie sleeping are the best ever. Talk about gut-wrenching puppy friendship. So sweet and special that bond.

  9. Oh my god, that photo of Pudgie as little spoon with his tongue out KILLED me. so cute.

    best healing thoughts to Mason! He has a great nurse :)

  10. It has been quite the jouney for the little guy. Thank goodness he has such fantabulous humans taking care of him. Sheered lamb is right! Oh how cute.