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GottaBeQuiet
Apr. 25, 2012, 04:41 PM
If you would know me, you would know it's no secret I don't think much of the local vet. We are rural and don't have many choices unless we want to ship out or wait to get on the list.
My friend had their horse looked at today to get her spring shots. The horse is a 14 year old grade QH mare. She's chubby. She does not have fat pads. She does not have a cresty neck. She has no heat in her feet. She has no signs of lameness and never has since friend has owned for the past year. There are no lines on her hooves.
I found out today that when the vet came out he screamed laminitis. He's now got the horse pulled from pasture, not allowed any grass. Can have free choice hay as much as she wants. Bute 2 grams twice a day for three days then 1 gram once a day for three days. That's alot of bute for a horse showing no pain I think.
I agree the horse is too heavy but like I said no fat pads and no signs of lameness.
Am I missing something in his diagnosis?

SmartAlex
Apr. 25, 2012, 04:52 PM
That would be known as "subclinical laminitis" where there are structural changes in the hoof with no noticeable signs of lameness.

Better to catch it sooner than later. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

GottaBeQuiet
Apr. 25, 2012, 04:57 PM
He didn't do any xrays. He didn't check for pulse. He didn't even pick up the mares feet. ??
The horse shows none of those signs. Picks her feet up fine. Rides fine. NO hint of lameness. No standing funny-no shifting weight. There's nothing on her feet- no lines-no ridges-no nothing?
She's just borderline fat.

fordtraktor
Apr. 25, 2012, 05:51 PM
Is it possible he saw some lameness you might not? I know plenty of people who ride horses I would consider lame. Sometimes a fresh eye can spot what those who look at it everyday cannot.

buck22
Apr. 25, 2012, 05:54 PM
A good friend of mine had this happen 2 years ago. Her pony who was fat but otherwise fine, foundered. Nobody knows why. Apparently rotation and everything (I wasn't there for the vet or farrier), and never went lame. Kept giving lessons, never skipped a beat. Owner had no clue. Pony was *fine*. Farrier is the one that discovered something was seriously wrong, got vet out, and yep, founder.

Pony was much too fat, though no fat pads, etc. Since the founder was so mysteriously non-eventful, owner never changed anything in pony's diet, etc, kept over feeding.

Pony was put down 9 months later when he foundered a second time, again not *that* seriously, but enough that with his hurting hocks it did him in.

I would applaud a vet for being proactive frankly. Very possible he's seeing something the owner isn't. Even if its a false alarm, better a false alarm too early than a crisis too late. It might at the very least get the owner thinking about changing her management if the vet feels the horse is at risk.

Bute isn't for the pain irrc, its to help stave off the damage to the laminae, thins the blood or something like that.

I had a founder scare in my own herd a few years ago, warm feet and pulses. Vet prescribed bute and ice baths. Ponies, touch wood, were fine.

foggybok
Apr. 25, 2012, 06:30 PM
If you would know me, you would know it's no secret I don't think much of the local vet. We are rural and don't have many choices unless we want to ship out or wait to get on the list.
My friend had their horse looked at today to get her spring shots. The horse is a 14 year old grade QH mare. She's chubby. She does not have fat pads. She does not have a cresty neck. She has no heat in her feet. She has no signs of lameness and never has since friend has owned for the past year. There are no lines on her hooves.
I found out today that when the vet came out he screamed laminitis. He's now got the horse pulled from pasture, not allowed any grass. Can have free choice hay as much as she wants. Bute 2 grams twice a day for three days then 1 gram once a day for three days. That's alot of bute for a horse showing no pain I think.
I agree the horse is too heavy but like I said no fat pads and no signs of lameness.
Am I missing something in his diagnosis?

Were you there? The vet obviously saw something....

I can't tell you how many times I've gone out to look at a horse and the owners thought the horse was fine, or just a little stiff or just a little off and I walk out and see a horse that is screaming laminitis..... I say so and the owner says, "no heat or pulses it can't be laminitis"..... Well, they don't always feel hot and they don't always have bounding pulses...sometimes the changes are subtle......

I'd be curious as to what the vet saw, but I'd guess there was a way of going or stance that gave it away......

deltawave
Apr. 25, 2012, 06:30 PM
Inflammation without pain can be present in any body part.

A short course of bute is unlikely to hurt, and pulling the horse off grass seems like a no-brainer.

Katy Watts
Apr. 26, 2012, 10:40 PM
I think this webinar will be very helpful for you. It shows a pony with significant rotation and no visible symptoms. Very credible lecturer.

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_care/health/illnesses_injuries/webinar-laminitis-lessons-with-don-walsh-dvm/

LauraKY
Apr. 27, 2012, 09:44 AM
I just lost one to laminitis with no symptoms. By the the time the symptoms appeared it was too late. He foundered days later (after being pulled off grass, bute, magic cushion, deeply bedded stall, etc). He still didn't have a strong digital pulse even when he foundered. When we put him on stall rest, he had mild gas colic symptoms and was a touch lame on one foot...he had thrown a shoe the night before. He was a hard keeper too, but this was his second laminitis episode...the first was last fall after pushing down the fence to get into my neighbors bushes. That time he had symptoms.

The vet says he must have been a ticking time bomb. And, because of the extraordinarily warm, early weather (at least here) the vet is seeing a lot of laminitis...even in the hard keepers.

Get a grazing muzzle and use it.

farmgirl598
Apr. 27, 2012, 11:52 AM
If the horse is fat, it would do well to be taken off grain and grass anyhow, just as prevention if nothing else!

hank
Apr. 27, 2012, 01:29 PM
It sounds like less of a diagnosis and more of a prediction....and given the time of year and the fact that the horse is fat, I personally would follow the instructions.