Tuesday, February 11th, 2014 | Filed under Mama Tess


After Tess’ refusal to load, where she danced backwards into a zillion puddles with the foot that was supposed to stay dry, and then reared several times – landing on that foot… (Oy.)

I was worried she had damaged her foot more than just being sore from whatever balance/weight/stress issues arose from wearing the hospital plate.

Surgeon Dr. Errico came to the hospital on his day off – while hosting a barbeque – in a horrible storm, to tend to Mama Tess.  He was afraid for her, too.

Immediately, he removed the hospital plate and tested her foot.  Tess’ sole, coronet band, hoofwall, pastern and fetlock were all sensitive to touch/testers.



However, Monday morning Dr. Errico reported that she seemed more comfortable without the hospital plate and she was free of the previous night’s headbob.

I visited Tess this morning (Tuesday) and although she wouldn’t talk to me (angry with me…), she was moving much better and seemed to be willing to fully weight the left foot again.

Tonight I received a call from Dr. Errico saying that she seemed ‘even better’ with ‘less Bute’ and he felt that even after all of her shananygins regarding loading, there had been no damage to the surgical site.

Also, Dr. Errico has decided to enlarge the hole on the top of her hoofwall (not a resection) to allow more air in to dry up that area.  He feels this is the only spot that could encourage reinfection and he wants that to never, ever happen.

This was MT this morning... she wouldn't speak to me, but she was more comfortable.

This was MT this morning… she wouldn’t speak to me, but she was much more comfortable.



There was disagreement on applying the hospital plate.  One vet thought it was the best choice possible for post-op support and for my ability to change the bandage at home.

The other vet disagreed and wanted Tess to stay in the ball bandage until the foot had healed enough to go bare – several weeks of a ball bandage.

I was stuck in the middle – sort of.

I didn’t want the hospital plate.  My entire being felt that Tess had never done well with corrective shoes and this hospital plate would be a very bad thing.

Yet, I’m no expert.  Besides, what is a hunch?  Is it really a hunch or just my preference?

I couldn’t get the other vet to tell me a hospital plate WOULD be bad.  Instead, I think I received the politically correct answer.  So, I asked another vet and he said that the hospital plate was the normal procedure post op for coffin bone surgery…

So, I went against my better judgement and agreed to the hospital plate.

And look what happened…

But, how am I to process this?  The vets know waaay more than I will ever know about foot anatomy and post surgery care.

Am I to go against the vet responsible for Tess due to a hunch that isn’t verifiable?

Truthfully, right now, after seeing Tess go through 4 days of pain and being heartsick  – I say to ONLY go with your gut for these monumental decisions.

I say, that if you can trust that your inner voice is pure, then listen.

Listen, Listen, Listen.

– No matter who says you are wrong, the ultimate burden will be forever on your mind and no one else’s


If anyone would like to help with MT’s surgery, limb perfusion and previous fees, please click here (and thank you…).

Our February Bucket Fund Foal is Bella, a sweet, orphaned baby mini donk got frostbite and lost her rear leg... but she is a fighter and ready for her prosthetic.  Read about Bella here!

Our February Bucket Fund Foal is Bella, a sweet, orphaned baby mini donk got frostbite and lost her rear leg… but she is a fighter and ready for her prosthetic. Read about Bella here!

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

6 comments have been posted...

  1. Stephanie Hobson

    Did she get the “room with a view” this time? Hopefully she did and that will improve her feelings toward you. She can’t hold a grudge forever! lol
    Sounds to me like you had an intuitive feeling based on your previous experiences with Tess. That’s something the vet doesn’t have, much like a mom with her kids, and that is something I would trust. Nobody knows her like you do.

  2. Nicole Birkholzer

    I understand what you’re going through. My mare Kaylaa had foundered and the farrier wanted heart-bar shoes, the vet wanted wedges. Both were applied and the next day Kaylaa was way worse. She held her foot up to me asking me to change something,. I knew then that she knew more than we did,
    I called the farrier to take it all off. From then on I always asked for Kaylaa’s input. I would either put the shoe/wedge/foam under her hoof and then let her show me if it feels good (she either pulled her foot away quickly, or left it in place), I would hold it up to her, let her sniff it and then see if she turned her head away or if she sniffed and licked and chewed in agreement. I did muscle testing with meds/herbs and she guided me each time.
    Kaylaa ended up being barefoot, it’s her preferred way. And, today she canters through the pastures.
    I am keeping my fingers crossed for you and Mama Tess.
    Tess is here to teach the vets too, and you are her spokesperson, trust your gut. :-)
    Love, Nicole

  3. dawndi Post author

    They don’t say much. The Founder Warrior vet, of course, loves the maggots. She advised to use them! And, she cannot deny the sole growth which we both attribute
    to the Theraplate. But all the other vets simply listen but have not commented one way or the other.

  4. Deb

    What do the vets think about Tess’ maggot friends and the theraplate? Is there a plan to continue usiing both post surgery?

  5. ally loneagle

    When I was a RN in ICU, many many times I had to present a family with education so they could make very tough decisions. The choices were usually limited, their previous experience even more so and it was a loved one hanging in the wind. . .once they made a choice, I always tried to get the following through to them: In the future when you look back and second guess this, please try to remember you aren’t remembering everything that was going on right now – and remind yourself that you made the best decision possible right now.
    Virtual hugs and prayers for all of you and yours.

Post a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *