Imagine a Mantis Shrimp

Do you know about the mantis shrimp?

The technicolor crustacean has bulletproof boxing gloves for hands and delivers a staggering 60mph punch to its unsuspecting prey, either dismembering them or sending shockwaves through the water that kill fish instantly. They are fantastic little murder machines. 

Now imagine you have turned a mantis shrimp into a handheld device that delivers thousands of tiny, powerful punches to your horse's suspensory ligament in a matter of minutes. 

This is the shockwave machine. As I understand it (I'm not a vet, I just work with some really great ones), shockwave treatment acts as a sort of counter-irritant to soft tissue injuries, calling the body's attention to them and sending more resources for healing. It's a really great tool for healing things like Dino's PSL injury, so of course we're punching the heck out of it, mantis-shrimp style. 

Wonder Pony Himself!

Dino had his first treatment about a week or so ago, and as far as I can tell it went great! Some horses need to be sedated for shockwave, as the machine is pretty loud and it can be painful to have your injuries punched 3,000 times. But of course he stood like a champ, no tranq needed, and even seemed to enjoy it a little. He licked and chewed and yawned during the treatment, so I'm choosing to believe that means it felt good and the numbing effects of the machine were working. 

He'll get two more treatments while he's hanging out living his best retired pony life, and in a few more weeks we'll re-check with the ultrasound and see how he's healing. Best case scenario we'll see improvement in his soundness and the site of the lesion, and he'll be able to start doing a little light work! If not, that likely means stall rest is needed, and I'll have to figure out that solution, but at this point I'm still optimistic that he'll heal enough to stay living in the field like normal. 


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