i don't think people really "get" the whole spritely thing...no we did not euthanize her on saturday and no she is not cured and even more importantly no she is not CURABLE. we just dodged another bullet for a week or two, a month, please god maybe even a year.
after more than 10 years of profound lymphoedema, her leg is totally, completely and irreversibly destroyed. the tissue itself has become what we call in human medicine "woody fibrosed." this means there is almost NO circulation left in the leg to nourish it with blood and oxygen...you could probably slice partly thru her lower leg with a knife and not even make her bleed. her skin, her muscle, all of her connective tissue is just a mass of this fibrous woody stuff that you can pick away at forever or even just rub off.
spritely has been seen by a total of 6 different vets, and many of those vets, many, many times..our regular farm vets, 2 different equine vets ( one from the island), a holistic vet who works with equines.... plus we consulted with the vet who specializes in the TB racehorses at hastings park. they all have said the same thing, there is no way to fix this, the damage is too deep, too long standing, and much too profound....so we keep her happy and pain free for as long as we can which is way longer than any of them thought.
while i do appreciate the suggestions to try this and that medicine, remedy, special wrap, this vet, that vet, this homeopathic consultant...please understand, that to date, over the past 3 years we have literally spent significantly more than $20,000 on spritely to keep her alive and well. we are not goofing around here, playing russian roulet with her life. we are actually doing a very good job of keeping her alive.
we cannot win this, we cannot make that leg brand new again...we cannot undo the damage of her disease and so we accept this and manage her. there are no miracle, cure all solutions to what is wrong with spritely's leg..it is not a matter that we just haven't found the right treatment or the right vet.
not all diseases can be cured, not all disabilities can be made to disappear, not all horses with severe, chronic, long term lymphoedema can be made completely well again.
it is a sad fact of life that most horses like spritely are killed long before they ever receive the kind of ongoing and continuing medical care that spritely receives from us. this is why she is still here...we take that roller coaster ride with her not only because we love her so much but because she loves and hangs onto her life so greatly.
the vets are right, she is a miracle horse...but only because she is so determined that she is not finished living yet.