It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but that’s not for lack of news. On Monday of this week, Derby had tie-forward surgery to correct persistent displacement of his soft palate (DDSP) and his tendency to aspirate food into his airway.  It was big surgery, requiring general anesthesia, which freaked me out, and a short stay at the vet clinic afterward.



Scoping. No twitch needed when you have Xylazine on board!

Monday morning, I went over to the clinic for the pre-surgery scoping and ultrasound.  They didn’t find anything to stop them from going forward, so I kissed Derbs goodbye (on the butt since they immediately started clipping and scrubbing the incision site, under his jaw) and headed home.  I wrung my hands for a few hours, and then got the call with the news that I wanted to hear – that Derby was awake, recovered from the GA and back in his stall, munching hay.   I got to go visit that day, and while he was still a bit woozy, he looked great.

Derby in his stall at the clinic. You can see his shaved face and throatlatch.

He came back home yesterday afternoon.  We’ve had to remodel his stall, to keep him from lowering his head as much as possible.  He’s eating out of a raised tub, and we’re feeding hay in a net above the tub.  It’s working fairly well.  He also has a new mint-flavored Lick-it but he’s not shown too much interest in that yet.

He’s on stall rest for the next thirty days.  In mid-December, we’ll be able to get back to light work.  In the meantime, I’ve lined up a few other horses to ride, so I don’t get too rusty.


Surgery day

Looking around ...

Today’s the day of Derby’s surgery.  He was a bit surprised to see me at the barn this morning, but wasn’t bothered when I interrupted his breakfast with a grooming  However, it was funny, as soon as I put his halter on – which was newly festooned with fleece, he knew something was up.  And when the shipping boots went on, the jig was up.

Derby loaded like a star, standing quietly while I fumbled with the bull-nose clip.  Liz’s friend Christine, who operates Teener Thoroughbreds, hauled him to Merritt Equine for me, and she reported that he was nice and quiet during the ride.

...and around.

Once at Merritt, Derby was greeted by a thermometer wielding vet tech before he got off the trailer.  She had to wait a few minutes for him to un-clamp his tail (he’s a modest fellow) but within short order he was allowed off the trailer.

We checked in, and Derby was shown to a stall. He settled in nicely.  He’ll be there overnight, and we’ll bring him home tomorrow at lunchtime.

Despite the fact that this is a relatively minor procedure that is fairly common, I’m still on pins and needles today.  The surgery is scheduled for early afternoon, and the surgeon will give me a call with a report once it’s over.  Until then, I’ll be keeping my fingers corssed that Derby’s day continues to proceed smoothly and uneventfully. 🙂