Two weeks ago I was marvelling at a new device our vet had just acquired. It was a new x-ray machine that did a really nice job of showing an almost three dimensional view of the bones. We had a horse, Aladdin, who had been diagnosed with OCD(osteochondrosis dessicans) in both rear hocks. The new machine showed a really nice view of the chips. Our vet recommended that we take the horse down to Rood and Riddle for arthroscopic surgery to remove the chips. This seemed like a no-brainer. We had people interested in buying the horse. Although the operation was going to cost us $2700, the last hurdle to selling the horse would be removed. The horse was going to be better than he had ever been since he was born. I had great hopes for him being a great riding horse for someone.
Well, things did not work out as planned. A week after the surgery, infection flared up. We knew we had a serious situation. Our vet flushed the joint with a bottle of Betadine solution and a bottle of saline solution. He administered antibiotics. Our vet gave us the decision to either take the horse back to Rood and Riddle or he could flush the joint out daily. The treatment would be approximately the same in both locations so we opted to use our vet to administer the treatment. Initially the treatment seemed to be working and the horse seemed to have stabilized. Yesterday, things got dramatically worse. He was infected in both hocks. Our only option was to take him down to Rood and Riddle but the prognosis was not good! The treatment at Rood and Riddle would be very expensive and the chances of a recovery were slim. We decided to put him down. It was a right decision even though it was painful to make. I seem to make personal relationships with each horse we have. So this decision was like watching a friend die. I have other things I must do so I have compartmentalized this decision and the second guessing for another day.