Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A trip to the O.R.

Greetings from Elkhorn Creek Ranch near the epicenter of the Bakken oil formation.

I took a road trip to Bismarck in between logging 30 hours of saddle time over a 5 day period last week (and that would be 'butt in saddle' hours only).  We have starting gathering for pre-conditioning (administered 6 weeks prior to weaning) calf shots.  Another topic for another post.  Bottom line, lots of riding.

So, last Friday I loaded up the mare we call 'Gabby' and her 2012 filly, the only one of the colt crop this year.  She had been tentatively diagnosed with trauma to the cannon bone growth plate on the inside of her left hide leg, but we needed X-rays to verify this.  And if verified, a large animal surgery room and surgeon to perform the 'stapling' procedure would too be needed.

So it was off to Missouri Valley Vet Clinic on the east side of Bismarck. Several of the veterinarians at this clinic studied pre-vet at NDSU when I was there for my BS, Dr. Voight being one of them.

The two Veterinary Technicians that assisted Dr. Voight in capturing the x-rays of the filly's leg.  Janelle sporting leopard print and Jayme in the zebra print radiology apron.

Dr. Russ Voight confirming the field diagnosis - growth plate trauma / calcification.

After making the educated decision on a treatment plan with all the good information provided by the films and knowledge on growth rates and anatomy with respect to age, the decision was made to proceed with a surgery known as 'stapling'.  A 1 to 2 inch incision is made at the point of the growth plate on the side experiencing rapid growth in an attempt to slow the growth down on that side (in this case, the outside).  This gives the slow growing side (on this case, the inside) a chance to catch up..... helping the leg return to the straight position it was in prior to the trauma (suspected to be getting stepped on while sleeping in the pasture or being kicked by one of the other mares).

Prepping by Janelle, Dr. Voight's Vet Tech. - covering the hoof (a source of contamination) with a rubber glove and then begining to scrub the incision area.

Draping the incision area and blocking the leg for stability.
Making the incision and fitting the staple over the growth plate.

Inserting the staple over the growth plate.

Suturing the incision.
Staple placement confirmation.

The fully padded surgery room with a hydraulic table.
After returning home with this little patient, the treatment plan continued with pain management through medication and sanitary maintenance with every other day bandage replacements.  She also has one more dose of long acting antibiotics to keep possible infection at bay.  There is light at the end of the tunnel.  Now, lets hope for rapid growth in the third month of this filly's growth before her little growth plate closes.

I'll keep you posted on her progress!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! It is AMAZING what can be done! I hope the little gal's leg heals well!