Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Rehab results...

- or -

"Is this open to any horse or are they going to pick horses with best prospects?"

After I posted the news about the scholarship, a number of kind people helped spread the word via various horsey forums and this comment was apparently made by someone on (I think) the Horse and Hound forum.  

It made me smile because, to be honest, horses with navicular/DDFT or collateral ligament injury diagnoses aren't normally described as having the "best prospects" :-)  The normal phrase used by vets is that they have a "guarded prognosis for a return to athletic function".  Sometimes they go further and say the prognosis is "poor" but I've never seen a horse described as having "good prospects" for resuming a ridden career. 
Dexter (above) was fairly typical - his owner was told he had only a 5% chance of being able to do more than light hacking.

I suppose what the poster meant was: are we going to try and pick the horse that will recover most quickly? But thats next to impossible to assess even with a horse in front of you, let alone via email.  

Mostly, the horses who come here all have a similar "umbrella" diagnosis, showing long term lameness blocking to the caudal hoof but even so, there is enormous variety in how they cope. 

Horses can have feet that look nice but be incredibly lame.  They can have feet that look horrible and be surprisingly sound.  They can have a high pain threshold and love being in work so much that they keep moving no matter what or they can have acute sensitivity to everything that is wrong and react not just to front limb problems but all the related hind limb, back and neck problems as well. 

So really, the first point is that there is no way of working out from an email or even from a vet's diagnosis how long a horse will take to recover, how fast it will progress or how sound it will become. 
The second point is that cherry picking isn't what the scholarship is about. Its purely and simply about giving a chance to a horse and their rider who wouldn't otherwise be able to access it.        

I was updating the Project Dexter results today - long overdue and its over 6 months since I last amended the page.  I've previously included a table of the results here on the blog, but that won't fit any more, because we have too many horses to include - I suppose thats a good thing :-)

The upshot is that anyone who would like a detailed breakdown of the results needs to email me (as always).  The short form of the results is here, and I will try and update that more regularly now its less complex.

For those who'd like a summary, since 2008 there have been 43 horses rehabbed at Rockley (diagnosed with DDFT/collateral ligament injuries on MRI or "navicular" issues via x-ray).  Of those, 35 have completed rehab, 8 are ongoing.

Of the 35 horses who've completed rehab, 30 are in full work (the same level of work or higher than before they went lame) - that's 85% (thanks to Andy for the maths!).

2 horses worked well following rehab but have had recurrent issues since returning home; 2 other horses improved but did not return to full work; 1 horse's rehab was interrupted by colic surgery  - he is in light work but has not yet returned to the same level of work as before he went lame.


Bikerchickone said...

I think those results are absolutely outstanding! I only wish there was a way to make them more widely available to people who don't use the online horse forums. Owners in general need to to know that options like Rockley are out there. Well done Nic, and your team! :)

cptrayes said...

It's a stunning success rate. Conventional treatment has only a 20% record of return to full work and the definition of some people's "full work" would not be mine. e.g. I don't jump when the ground is hard.

That's incredible enough, but most of Rockley's 85% have ALREADY been failed by the conventional treatment and are by definition therefore more difficult cases.

WHEN will the insurance companies, the rest of the vets and the remainder of the farriers NOTICE!!!!!


Nic Barker said...

Thanks C - your support as you know has been invaluable over the years :-)

I've posted the results as updated to Peter Clegg at Liverpool, as he and I have been trying to speak for a while but keep missing each other. I'm hoping he can help me take the results forward somehow...(!)

Neets Human said...

Congrats.. that is an excellent success rate.. I hope that the Veterinary profession wake up en masse to this soon..

amandap said...

Congrats from me too. Outstanding results by any standard imo.
Even those not in full work have improved...