As some of you already know, I took Eddie to the vet yesterday. Dr Keeler is a different vet than the one who originally saw Eddie--he has diagnostic equipment so I rented a trailer and hauled Eddie in to see what exactly was going on with his leg.
He has been unable to extend it since the cellulitis occured. I had presumed that he had contracted tendons and was preparing myself to take him to surgery if neccessary.
We took x-rays and they showed no issues with his tendons, but his knee is bone-on-bone and the arthritis looked like mountain peaks....
What Dr Keeler believes (and it makes sense to me), is that the cellulitis was caused by the arthritis and now Eddie has nerve damage that makes him unable to extend his leg.
This isn't a surprise. I was told six years ago this would happen one day. It doesn't make the news easier, though.
Please, though, don't feel sorry for me. Don't feel sorry for Eddie. He had a much longer life than he ever should have, and I feel so incredibly blessed to have had him in my life.
I'm making plans for his final days, but he's doing ok for now. I am keeping him comfortable and happy until he says it's time. He's uncomfortable but not suffering. He seems to be enjoying life still (when he got out of the trailer yesterday he ran over to the girls and did his studly rear for them :) He comes hopping out for his grain with a big whinny and still pushes his bucket all over the place. He's got a deeply bedded stall he loves to nap in. He's doing ok--he just won't ever get any better. When those things stop, I'll know it's time.
When the time comes, Dr Keeler has generously offered to travel out here to euthanize him (he's over an hour away). He knows I want someone who knows how important Eddie is to make sure it's done right. Eddie will be buried under my newly planted pear trees, in a place of honor.
I don't know how I ever got so lucky to have Eddie in my life. He has been, and always will be, the greatest horse I've ever known.