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  • Writer's pictureLisa Marshall

A day to remember.... or not!!! #HRHEquestrian@ #Liphook #Vet #Tomhughesisamazing

Today is a day I have been dreading since we booked the appointment... Today, we head over to Liphook with HRH Chuki. Chuki has Ataxia which has been caused by Arthritis in the base of his neck. When he was first diagnosed the only thing my then vet was asking me... was if I had motility insurance? (Not something I wanted to hear or was interested in hearing).... Chuki then had his first visit to Liphook where he was seen by the vet Tom Hughes.He gave Chuki numerous X-rays and clarified that he had arthritis in his lower neck and that this is something that they would usually treat and would more than often pts. Luckily my beautiful boy had impressed Tom. He said he hadn't met such a big horse with such a wonderful nature and so impeccably behaved. He said that due to this and the sheer fact he knew that I wouldn't let him throw in the towel just yet. So from here, Chuki had a cortisone injection in his neck and off we went..... He fared well with this until we noticed him struggling in the wet ground and finding it more difficult to maneuvre himself in small spaces. So we head over, I'm struggling to hold it together, but have to as I'm driving.(Have you ever had to cry whilst forcefully keeping your eyes open? It's not easy, let me tell you). We arrive at Liphook and we get out of the truck to go and sign in and Chuki calls to us out of the window...OH CRAP!!! I am an absolute mess. I am blubbing to the point that I cannot breathe, I've got snot and everything.... Paul (hubby) I think is in a shock, but heads over to console me... well, this act of kindness just makes me worse and I'm now struggling to catch my breathe and believe it or not, I got even messier.

We unload Chuki and head over to the assessment area, Tom joins us says 'Hi', well, it all starts again...poor Tom. He quickly gets us moving and thinking about other things as I'm having to walk and trot Chuki up. Well, what can I say... there were a lot of horses out being assessed and Chuki now thinks he's stallion king pin (he is actually a gelding but not in his head right now))... We go for the trot... well, it's the most beautiful elevated hopes are now improving. we do all of the other tests, then comes the tail test, which is the one I hate the most as it really shows his weakness. So I just look ahead and walk on. I try and feel for his movement, but struggle to...

Tests over and Tom is starting to talk, I hear nothing, just me sobbing. I pull myself together as he asks me 'What spurred me to bring him here today?' I try and speak so he can understand through the blubbing.... I say I just want to know that he is comfortable and able to have a quality life.... The verdict comes....... Since our first visit, Chuki has IMPROVED!!!!!!!!!!!He is now much maneuverable and he is actually resisting on the left tail pull, although the right is still weak. With all of this taken on board, I'm about to beg for him to inject him again, but on both sides and before I can speak, Tom has already made the suggestion. Yep... You guessed it water works yet again...

We go to the treatment room, my boy is prepped and sterile and in comes the machine... There's a bit of faffing with the probe as Tom then announced that the machine hadn't been used since Chuki's last visit (this proves how little the procedure is done). Chuki isn't massively affected by the first sedation so in goes a second lot.. well this nearly knocks hom off his feet. Chin rest comes out and there is is sleepy nan nights and procedure done. He then has a full MOT and a suspicious thing (that's all I can describe it as) was cut away from his lip and saved for biopsy if necessary and we are done..... He goes to a stable to wake up and homeward bound we are....... Chuki has to have a week of rest and relaxation and then to be brought slowly back into work. Don't get me wrong, he will never be a world beater, but what he will be is HAPPY, COMFORTABLE and ALIVE!!!! I cannot tell you the relief and absolute ecstasy I have been feeling since we left.... what i do know is I LOVE MY BOY and will always do whats right for him!!! Happy days!!!............

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