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harr754
Apr. 27, 2006, 05:06 PM
I have a 9 year old OTTB. He did not have the following problems when I bought him a few years back.

He's not lame, but he's had this ongoing problem with his hind legs and back. I've had a massage therapist working on him, I used a laser for a week straight, I had a chiropractor out and I had the blacksmith change the angles on his hind feet. He has ongoing back pain, particularly on the left side, and he has trouble when my farrier tries to shoe his hind feet. At one point he wouldn't even lift his left hind. I've had to start giving him banamine so the farrier can do his hind feet. He doesn't seem to mind bringing his hind feet under him, he just doesn't want them lifted out behind him. He even stands with his hind feet under him. When you get his hind foot out and behind him, he literally starts to tremble. When you watch him move, he looks normal. He just doesn't want to stretch his hind legs up and out behind him. I had a Lyme test run and it was negative.

I'm not sure if I should have a vet look at him, he's not lame, and the chiropractor and massage therapist don't think the vet will be of much help. We don't really have any good local vets so I would have to ship him to Brendon Furlong's clinic or maybe Mid-Atlantic. But I'm not sure what they could really do.

Has anybody ever had a horse with this kind of problem?

atr
Apr. 27, 2006, 05:56 PM
Random thought here, but have you had his spine checked? Degenerating disks can cause problems like this.

Giselle
Apr. 27, 2006, 06:29 PM
I have a 9 year old OTTB. He did not have the following problems when I bought him a few years back.

He's not lame, but he's had this ongoing problem with his hind legs and back. I've had a massage therapist working on him, I used a laser for a week straight, I had a chiropractor out and I had the blacksmith change the angles on his hind feet. He has ongoing back pain, particularly on the left side, and he has trouble when my farrier tries to shoe his hind feet. At one point he wouldn't even lift his left hind. I've had to start giving him banamine so the farrier can do his hind feet. He doesn't seem to mind bringing his hind feet under him, he just doesn't want them lifted out behind him. He even stands with his hind feet under him. When you get his hind foot out and behind him, he literally starts to tremble. When you watch him move, he looks normal. He just doesn't want to stretch his hind legs up and out behind him. I had a Lyme test run and it was negative.

I'm not sure if I should have a vet look at him, he's not lame, and the chiropractor and massage therapist don't think the vet will be of much help. We don't really have any good local vets so I would have to ship him to Brendon Furlong's clinic or maybe Mid-Atlantic. But I'm not sure what they could really do.

Has anybody ever had a horse with this kind of problem?

Mid Atlantic has a great neurologist, with very good diagnostic equipment.

harr754
Apr. 27, 2006, 06:56 PM
atr - who would diagnose a spine problem?

JB
Apr. 27, 2006, 08:27 PM
Read this article and study the horse:

http://www.thehorsemechanic.com/hoofcare.html

When I had this problem with my WB, his hind end would shake rattle and roll when I had a foot up to do his feet. As soon as I recognized the problem and fixed it, that went away instantly.

shawneeAcres
Apr. 27, 2006, 08:32 PM
I would really be suspecting EPM in this horse, you did not mention if you had a vet look at him for this. He could also have "shivers" which is a condition soemtimes tied to EPSM:

Study description:
Shivers is a devastating disorder in draft and warmblood horses whereby horses develop muscle tremors and hyperflexion – flexion beyond normal limits – of the rear limbs during shoeing, after standing still or when backing up. Many affected horses also show concurrent tail tremors. In some horses, shivers never progresses, while in others it leads to weakness, muscle atrophy and an inability to get up that may require euthanasia. The investigators are examining whether shivers is caused by another painful muscle disorder, equine polysaccharide storage myopathy (EPSM), or whether EPSM and shivers are common but separate disorders that can coexist in the same horse.

shawneeAcres
Apr. 27, 2006, 08:32 PM
I would really be suspecting EPM in this horse, you did not mention if you had a vet look at him for this. He could also have "shivers" which is a condition soemtimes tied to EPSM:

Study description:
Shivers is a devastating disorder in draft and warmblood horses whereby horses develop muscle tremors and hyperflexion – flexion beyond normal limits – of the rear limbs during shoeing, after standing still or when backing up. Many affected horses also show concurrent tail tremors. In some horses, shivers never progresses, while in others it leads to weakness, muscle atrophy and an inability to get up that may require euthanasia. The investigators are examining whether shivers is caused by another painful muscle disorder, equine polysaccharide storage myopathy (EPSM), or whether EPSM and shivers are common but separate disorders that can coexist in the same horse.

harr754
Apr. 27, 2006, 09:03 PM
JB - I saw that article last year, printed it out and showed it to my farrier. The horse was barefoot behind from October through March and he ended up wearing away his heels. He now has degree pads on behind because of his lack of heel.

The horse has no problems backing which from what I read about shivers, would be a problem. He only trembles when I pull his hind feet out and up. No other trembles, also has a big overstep at the walk. Runs around with no problems in the field, does not look like a horse in pain or discomfort.

Shawnee acres - EPM or EPSM? Which of those should I obsess about?

Kikki
Apr. 27, 2006, 09:16 PM
I know a shivers horse that is a top equitation horse, so it can back up all day long. So, that is a possiblity.

I too would think EPM with this horse. I would have a neurological exam done. I would not be likely to do a spinal tap because it is extremely hard to get a good clean tap. The neuro exam is just a physical exam - they do things like cross the hind legs and see how long they stay crossed, lead them blindfolded, try to pull them off balance walking up and down hill, etc. The best thing to do is diagnose and treat quickly - the quicker you treat it, the better chance you have of full recovery.

There are other issues that could be the case - degenerative spinal disease, pinched nerves or nerve damage, soft tissue injury, internal tumors, ESPM, and other neurological problems. You should definitely have this horse looked at. Most things are treatable, but the faster the better!

shawneeAcres
Apr. 27, 2006, 09:40 PM
EPM and EPSM! EPSM can contribute to shivers which sounds a lot like what this horse is doing. However, EPM can mimic a variety of issue,s as it is neurological and depending on what portion of the spinal cord is affected the symptoms will vary., But hind end weakness and loss of coordination is a sign of EPM.

BornToRide
Apr. 27, 2006, 10:40 PM
Yes, I'm also thinking could be EPSM. Hindleg handling intolerance can be one of the major symptoms. I'd think he's show more neurological symptoms with EPM. Get him chgecked out or modify his diet and see if you get an improvement.

researchers at the OR State University found a 28 % prevalence of EPSM even in TBs. More often TBs tend to suffer from Tying up, AKA exertional rhabdomyolysis or azoturia, which is a slighly different form from EPSM. Also make sure the horse has adequate selenium and vitamin e levels.

fergie
Apr. 27, 2006, 11:51 PM
Go to Brendan's - he's a good vet, he'll know. Don't mess around with angles and diet, just go to Brendan.

amdfarm
Apr. 28, 2006, 01:28 AM
Is he aware of where his feet are? If you moved a hind foot forward, back or crossed w/ the other, will he quickly correct himself? Does he move normally, no stumbling or tripping behind or trouble getting up from laying down? If he doesn't do any of this, I'd think less of it being neurologic, EPM or Wobblers.

It wouldn't hurt to start adding fat and taking away sugar/starch from his diet until your vet is able to rule in/out shivers and/or EPSM.

harr754
Apr. 28, 2006, 08:05 AM
"Is he aware of where his feet are? If you moved a hind foot forward, back or crossed w/ the other, will he quickly correct himself? Does he move normally, no stumbling or tripping behind or trouble getting up from laying down?"

No stumbling or tripping, I watched him roll this morning - jumped up and ran around with no problem. Has no problems turning around in aisle or backing up or moving his legs. I lunged him yesterday and he looked great.

I am going to call Furlong's practice today and set up an appointment. I was told by a friend to ask for either Brendon or Meg Mullin.

The horse gets ultium and I recently started giving him some TC complete and BOSS. He can't have any oil because he had his flapper lasered off at the track. Not a big hay eater. I hope it's not EPSM, this horse is so picky about what he eats.

One more question, if it was neurologic would he respond to banamine? (which he does)

Kikki
Apr. 28, 2006, 09:22 AM
I have seen EPM do all sorts of things - some horses who have responded remarkably well to EPM meds were not overtly neurological. Of course, this could be a whole host of things, which only can be determined by someone who can actually see the horse and this behavior.

The banamine could help an EPM horse, not because it relieves the neurological symptoms, but because it relieves the great pain they can experience with it. EPM is a painful disease, so any relief can make a difference. Then of course, it could be that the ban is decreasing the inflamation in the spinal column some, which can help. At any rate, have the horse looked at, and keep us updated!

harr754
Apr. 28, 2006, 09:33 AM
I just made an appointment for May 9th with Brendon Furlong. Thanks for all the input. I'll post again after the appointment.

RiverBendPol
Apr. 28, 2006, 10:46 AM
EPSM. Go to www.ruralheritage.com, scroll down to "virtual vets are in" and spend the next week reading.
Shivers is NOT a "devastating disease" and it is NOT seen only in Warmbloods and Drafts. I have 1 TB with Shivers and 1 TB with EPSM. Both are extremely manageable conditions, through diet and exercise. Both of mine are in work and happy. (See Chronicle 11/4/05 if you want to read about Mike)
I'll be surprised if Brendan helps. Good luck.

harr754
Apr. 28, 2006, 11:07 AM
RiverBendPol - do horses with EPSM typically not want to go forward? My horse has no problem with that - he's very forward and runs around the pasture all the time. What symptoms did your horses have? What kind of diets are they on now? My horse cannot have oil which would make the EPSM diet even more difficult.

BornToRide
Apr. 28, 2006, 11:13 AM
List of signs: http://www.ruralheritage.com/vet_clinic/epsmsigns.htm
Being a picky eater, has he ever been checked for ulcers?

Janet
Apr. 28, 2006, 11:47 AM
I'd definitely call a vet, there are LOTS of posibilities beyond muscle (massage) and bone (chiro).

Appassionato
Apr. 28, 2006, 11:52 AM
I'll give you my experience with my personal horse, a 17 hand OTTB. When EPM was all the rage, we at the barn were just SURE he had it. My personal vet and the University all but shooed me away. This horse could cross his legs, but quickly undo them as well. Now, if we crossed the legs then asked for a quick turn, he stumbled. Well, no shit, try it on your feet! :lol: Spinal tap came back negative. Anyway, that was about 8 years ago.

he has always been obnoxious about a farrier pulling the hindleg high out to the side. ALWAYS. They can pull it forward or backward, but not to the side. Auburn University summed it up that basically, my horse doesn't want the darn leg jacked to the side. All x rays came up with nothing wrong.

I competed him intermediate eventing, and the horse had fantastic and to die for lateral work. He can be forward, he can get stuck, he backs because I asked him, he won't when he wants to be grouchy with me. Basically over the years, we summed it up that my horse is just himself. Now, that all said, I can tell when my horse needs hill work to build up his back and his back end. It's possible your guy lacks strength there. Taking him to the vets is my first advice, and after that, try different feeds and different training methods. Just because my horse could clear an intermediate fence did NOT mean he was fit. Nor did whether or not he's sweating clear, or when he starts sweating during exercise. Pick up a 50 lb feed bag, not that hard, huh? Pick up several. Again, not so bad. Then work at a feed store for a few days. Big diff, huh?

Best of luck with your guy!!!!

harr754
Apr. 28, 2006, 01:38 PM
BornToRide - I checked out the list, the only symptom he has is: Reluctance to pick up feet for shoeing. That is the only time the trembling occurs.

He is more than willing to go forward, has no trouble turning around or backing.

I suspected uclers in the past, so I did a full course of gastrogard the December before last. Since then I give him papaya puree and when he shows or travels I give him some ulcergard. I also give him ulcergard if he just doesn't seem "right".

This is a very willing, sweet horse. In the past he has never given the farrier any trouble - he's just not that kind of horse. I have another horse that is obnoxious and if he was acting the same way I'd give him a crack and he'd stop. Unfortunately, there is more to this one, and I believe it is tied in with the chronic back pain.

flashykatt
Apr. 28, 2006, 09:45 PM
I found out when we suspected my mare had EPM (on top of her broken leg), that you can have the vet do a blood test for this first. It is not very expensive. The reason the vets don't do it too often if because there are a lot of false positives. Apparently in some areas, as many as 90% of the horses will show some antibodies to EPM, meaning that they were exposed to it but did not come down with it.

But, there are no false negatives. So if you do the blood work and he comes back negative, bingo, no EPM. Move on to the next thing.

And, if he comes back positive, having the spinal tap done to confirm the EPM diagnose, costs as much or more than the EPM medicine (which is a minimum of $650 a month I think for Marquis, the most common treatment). So my plan was to just treat my horse for EPM if she came back positive with the blood test.

She ended up coming back negative, it turned out to be something totally unrelated. But I would have been upset if we'd put poor Arielle through a frickin' spinal tap for nothing!

And, FYI, the other, newer EPM medicine is Navigator. It runs about $1200 a month. And it has a lot of serious side effects including major weight loss and founder. You have to take their temperature for several days before using it for a baseline, and daily while they are on the med. and check their feet for heat or pulses, etc. It also smells horrible and the horses say it doesn't taste any better than it smells!

My barn has a lot of retirees and we've had 3 or 4 different horses here that were retired because of EPM. So I've had to do a LOOOOOOTTTTT of EPM medicating. :)

EqTrainer
Apr. 28, 2006, 10:09 PM
I would definately have the vet check him out, will be very interested to hear what they say.

Having said that, I think I would be looking up much higher - like his SI, hips or pelvis in general. The description of the way he stands makes me think he is standing with his pelvis tucked under? Which I would imagine would pull on all the tendons/ligaments/muscles in his rear end. If so, putting a hind leg out behind him would be no fun at all.

I have had horses that were tight behind, to bring a leg back, who were having issues with their pelvis. Just a thought. Sure it could be neurological, but it doesn't quite sound right for that.

harr754
Apr. 29, 2006, 08:42 AM
EqTrainer - what you say makes sense. He doesn't seem neurologic to me.

Glitter99
Apr. 29, 2006, 01:37 PM
Here's my two cents worth. Is he sore in his stifle area? Since I assume he is a trotting horse, stifle problems may not show up except in the hind extension. With this problem they usually don't like a farrier pulling the leg back because it is painful. One test can be to pick up the hind leg, and instead of going back with it, bend it up under the body. Hold it for a minute or so. When you release, it will sorta stick and they will gingerly put it down. They may not show as lame in any other respect because most trotting horses don't put that much weight on their hind legs. A reining horse and a gaited horse will be easier to diagnose with this. Good luck! Hate to think he is in pain.

amdfarm
Apr. 29, 2006, 02:08 PM
I don't feel it's neurologic either, because he doesn't have the usual signs. If it was joint/pelvis problem, the chiro would have picked up on that, so I'm leaning towards EPSM and the diet of Ultium and so forth is a good choice. Low sugar and starch, plus high in fat.

Good luck and let us know how the appointment goes.

L.

BornToRide
Apr. 29, 2006, 02:15 PM
Yeah, keep in mind that not all horse present in the same way, even when sick. It can be very individual. I know of a horse who had a choke and was scoped. the owner and vet were stunned to find that he was riddled with ulcers. He never showed any of the other typical ulcer symptoms. Only in hindsight the owner thought that he may have been perhaps less forward, but not much.

harr754
Apr. 29, 2006, 03:55 PM
I had wondered about his stifles. The massage therapist and the chiro didn't think he seemed sore in that area, but I will try lifting and holding his leg up against his body and see what he does.

He's supposed to be a hunter, I actually took him to a couple of little shows last year and he did pretty well in the hacks. Lately he's just a big money pit, it's amazing how much money I have put into my $2,000 horse!

I hope it's not EPSM, I don't know how I can get more fat into him!

Everybody has been great with their opinions and ideas, thank you.

BornToRide
Apr. 29, 2006, 10:57 PM
Feel them first - if safe to do, stand behind him and reach for both stifles. Note if you feel any difference in temperature and tissue.

harr754
May. 9, 2006, 03:43 PM
He watched Jack move and did some flexion tests. Then he had the techs ultrasound his stifles but found nothing. He wanted to do Nuclear Scintigraphy (bone scan) to try and pinpoint the back pain. He feels the shaking of the hind legs when extended is brought on by pain. The bone scan would be $1,000, that's just to diagnose the problem, not treat it. He felt that Jack may have a kissing spine. I did not have the bone scan done, but had him treated as if it was kissing spine. They took the ultrasound and moved it along Jack's back until they found the places to inject. They did 8 injections along the spine. Then Brendon did a few over the top of his rump closer to the tail.

gabz
May. 9, 2006, 06:11 PM
Have you ever had his selenium & vit E levels checked?

harr754
May. 9, 2006, 06:32 PM
no gabz, I have not had his levels check. He's on ultium and I also give him some megasel (vit e and sel).

Do you think he's getting too much or too little? I believe the area I live in is supposed to be deficient, that's why I give him the megasel.

Today when Brendon checked his back, his reaction to it was pretty strong.

Groom&Taxi
May. 10, 2006, 01:01 AM
They did 8 injections along the spine. Then Brendon did a few over the top of his rump closer to the tail.

Just curious - do you know what they injected? And if you don't mind sharing, how much did the treatment cost?

T&G

goeslikestink
May. 10, 2006, 10:00 AM
bog spavins and bone spavins can react in the same way and give false impression of bad back when actual fact its te hocks --

gabz
May. 10, 2006, 01:05 PM
Harr - It is a relatively cheap test (or tests I should say)...two tubes are drawn, one for the SE and one for the E. It's always adviseable to test once a year when you are supplementing.
I am thinking low or deficient which causes hind end tightness and pain. Insufficient Se and E is the source of far more problems than realized.

here's one article. THere used to be one called E is for Ease, but I can not find it. It's no longer at the redwings website.

http://www.horses-and-horse-information.com/articles/0696vit_e.shtml

It's always a process of elimination. Begin with the cheapest / easiest tests and work up from there. If his Se & E levels are okay, then try 2 weeks of Ulcergard ($30 a tube, 1 tube a day. Be sure to check around for best online price) (Gastrogard if a prescription).

It's all hindsight in my case, but my horse had several different problems ... it's taken several years to sort it all out. First was getting rid of a wolf tooth at age 11 (I got him at 10 1/2 years old); then getting a left front shoulder adjusted to fix a right hind issue. Now working on the ulcers that made him begin to crib at age 14 ... and being told he was cold-backed and girthy. And, his reluctance to do certain things was caused by low minerals - including low Se.

So, when he was hurting, we thought it was attitude so we did things that stressed him. We cut his pelleted feed which meant he was not getting adequate nutrients / minerals (he did have loose minerals after a few months of reduced pellets). We rode him more and made him collect more -> more stress. All that coupled with insufficient turnout = ulcers -> cribbing. So then he cribs instead of eats since it hurts to eat and the saliva soothes his gut. What a viscous cycle.

Sorry... but, yes, try testing and then go from there.

Good Luck.

skrgirl
May. 10, 2006, 01:55 PM
If he doesnt want to stretch it back, it may be a stifle problem. Though you generally see soundness issues.

LAZ
May. 10, 2006, 02:02 PM
I thought of Shivers immediately, too. Sounds like Gus, one of our 2005 ** NAYRC team. He has Shivers and he can run around an Intermediate course and jump like none other. His has never progressed, as far as I know. JFS, who posts here owns him and her son Kyle rides him.

harr754
May. 10, 2006, 04:58 PM
Skrgirl - they did ultrasound his stifles and they looked okay

Brendon said he was thinking of shivers when I described the horse, but after examing him he didn't present like a horse with shivers. He really felt that the horse trembles from the pain when the hind leg is stretched out behind him.

Taxi&groom - I believe he injected the horse with a combo of steroids, pain killer and antibiotics. I don't know what the cost is yet... they didn't have the bill ready for me. I'm sure it won't be pretty. I'll let you know when I get it.

I asked about ulcers, told him how I treated the horse for ulcers the Christmas before last. But when I described the horses lifestyle he said he highly doubted the horse has ulcers now. Plus, I do feed him papaya puree and give him ulcergard during times of stress. (like yesterday)

HollBear
Jun. 13, 2006, 02:29 PM
Harr, how did you make out? Brendan treated my horse for Kissing Spine too. He was totally sound except he wouldn't hold the left lead under saddle. Flexions, hock xrays, stifle ultrasounds were all good. I did go for broke (quite literally) and get the bone scan done. He found two sites on the spine that he injected. I just got on him two days ago for the first time in 7 weeks. We are only walking around the fields now. I will take it slow.
Have you gone back to work? Have you gotten good results?
I'm curious as to the future outlook of horses like this.

LH
Jun. 13, 2006, 03:08 PM
harr754:

I went through a nightmare year last year with a horse who, it was eventually diagnosed, had a pinched sciatic nerve as a result of his sacrum being out of alignment and related problems. He had traumatic symptoms (involuntary spasms which were violent and dangerous), and other symptoms (one hip lower than the other and obvious sciatic nerve pain on this left side).

My horse had a spinal tap for EPM (tested "mild positive" so we did 2 months of Marquis, with no improvement), blood tests, he was never "neurologic," had a bone scan (on the SECOND trip to vet hospital), etc. Vets (and there were, eventually, about 20 of them) never diagnosed the problem.

I ended up having him treated very aggressively by a myotherapist, and then I sent him to her for 3 months for myotherapy, chiropractic (Dr. Pat Tersigni), accupuncture, accupressure, and probably a few seances with shakra stones thrown in for good measure. His diet was also radically changed to very low starch, high fat, with ORGANIC Vit. E and Selenium, plus probiotics. I never had a muscle biopsy for EPSM, but the horse tied up once before all of this started and I think it was a contributing factor. On the modified diet my horse is much quieter, happier, and looks incredible. He's a pretty hard keeper generally, but the 2 c. oil/day is doing the trick.

His recovery is, so far, miraculous. He went from having vets tell me to put him down, to now being back showing in the 3'6" hunter ring 10 months after his symptoms started. In fact, he was so good that he was Champion at an A show his first time back in the ring since last July.

Based on my experience, I would recommend that you consider the following:

1. radical diet change. If the horse has a metabolic (EPSM) disorder, it will affect his musculature, which will in turn interfere with the skeletal structure and affect subluxation/kissing spine issues.

2. try my myotherapist. She lives part of the time in Westfield PA, and will travel. If you PM me I'll give you her contact information. She was recommended to me, and I find that what she does is both fascinating and effective.


My horse may have had lumbar subluxations, and the problem for the vets is that if the bone scan is negative, they can't xray or MRI the back effectively behind the withers, so it's tough to diagnose.

The GOOD alternative practitioners will tell you to pursue traditional veterinary medicine modalities first for diagnostic purposes, which you have done, to rule out anything major before they will lay hands on them. And I know that some people totally doubt that the treatment that my horse received was 1) a good use of money, 2) effective, and/or 3) valid. I can only tell you that I am one of the most cynical people you will ever meet, and I am truly of the converted when it comes to the positive effects that a horse can receive from the RIGHT massage, chiropractic, etc.

Good luck!

P.S. I will be very unpopular for saying this, but I am not a fan of the Ultium. I know a lot of folks on this BB have had tremendous success with it and their horses just flourish on it, but mine was not one of them. He was on a diet of Buckeye products (see below), then I switched to the Ultium -- he lost weight and got a little "hot" so I transitioned back on the Buckeye formula that was custom designed by one of their feed specialists. The diet that my horse is on is:

for each feeding:

2 c. Grow n Win
2 c. Ultimate Finish
1 c. Oil

My supplements (once/day) are:
organic Vit. E and Selenium
U-Guard
Equinime (probiotic)
Acculytes (has 2 effective probiotics -- the acidopholous AND the bifidus)
Recovery EQ (just for joint protection)

he gets hay 4-5 times a day, is now on night turnout, and gets NO treats/sugar, except for carrots.

HollBear
Jun. 14, 2006, 10:42 AM
Please keep this thread going. I love to hear these stories and need to hear results.
I've struggled with my horses issues for the last 6 months. I just put him back to work and I'm going through doubt in my head.
He eats Ultium. I'm not sure if I love it yet. I do think its making him a little hot.
He gets 1 scp Ultium, 1 scp Oil 3x a day plus smartpak (vit e/sel; cosequin; daily wormer)

There are a lot of people who tell me he's done. I just can't buy into that.

LH
Jun. 14, 2006, 01:32 PM
HollBear,

don't give up. I strongly believe that the right massage practitioner is key to the recovery for a horse with a non-specific, soft tissue injury or symptom. I met a couple of massage therapists who I only used once . . . and a so-called chiropractor who I would never recommend to anyone.

Where are you located?

harr754
Jul. 4, 2006, 04:41 PM
I don't know how I missed the posts in June!

Well, the spine injections did not help. Jack's back is still very sore. I still haven't ridden him. I put him on robaxin for 2 weeks and was lunging him and he was looking good, but he was still sensitive when I touched his back. I stopped lunging him because I was afraid I would be inflicting more pain upon him.

Yesterday I took him to get acupuncture. The vet's name is Kristin Edwards and she is in Dallas PA. Her husband also does chiropractic and massage. She feels he had an injury deep into the pelvic region. I'm taking him back in three weeks. She thinks I should go back to lunging him in the pessoa rig again.

If the acupuncture doesn't work, I will have thermography done to try and pinpoint the hot spots. I had that done in October for saddle fit and found it very interesting. The lady that does it is very nice and professional.

I don't think it's a vitamin deficiency because he has more pain on one side than the other.

Lookout
Jul. 4, 2006, 05:48 PM
I haven't heard anything about his feet. I used to have a horse with an extremely sensitive back that required regular chiro/acupuncture and everything else, until I got his feet fixed. His back is no longer sensitive at all. It sounds to me like the RF needs expert attention, and the hinds may have the problem described earlier by JB. Certainly this is the less expensive diagnostic to rule out before crazy bone scan charges.

harr754
Jul. 4, 2006, 05:55 PM
Lookout - what was wrong with your horses feet?

EqTrainer
Jul. 4, 2006, 06:01 PM
Harr754 - You may be interested to know I recently rehabbed a horse with basically the same symptoms - was diagnosed with SI disease - well, it was really that his back feet were horribly unbalanced. I also made basically the same diet changes the other poster noted; particularly the selenium - and this horse had been on Ultium also.

I sold him 6 months after I got him and he vetted 100% clean in every way :) He only needed to be chiro'd once after his feet were balanced. So... don't be surprised if you go round and round and round and someday, someone pinpoints something about his feet that are causing this.

harr754
Jul. 4, 2006, 06:08 PM
eqtrainer - how did you know his feet were unbalanced?

LH - very interesting. Sometimes it's nice to know that I am not alone! What is a myotherapist?

The diet change is tricky for my horse, he is very picky and cannot have oil. I tried ultimate finish a couple of years ago and he wouldn't touch it. I feed him the ultium because it's high in fat and he eats it. I fed him BOSS for a while, then he decided he didn't like them anymore, same thing with accel, decided he doesn't like it anymore.

EqTrainer
Jul. 4, 2006, 06:14 PM
How did I know his feet were unbalanced... well, his inside walls were about 3/4 inch higher than his outside. That was a big clue <LOL> seriously now, I know enough and do a lot of my own trimming (supervised, as I am not yet certified).

You could just start w/adding selenium/E to his diet. It is amazing how sore a horse can get if they are deficient in it. Most of them IME are. You can blood test for it but like most blood tests on horses, I don't think it is conclusive. People go on and on about the potential toxicity of it but I have yet to see one in that situation; we are on the Southeast coast. Would be different if we lived out west. Instead I would say about 85% of the horses I have dealt with benefitted from supplementation; some dramatically.

Lookout
Jul. 4, 2006, 06:46 PM
My horse had navicular, was on 'corrective' shoeing for 3 years, then I was told to put him down. He was diagnosed when they saw changes and he was lame. He is sound now but still has cysts and lesions.
His feet remain the most deformed/damaged underneath the shoe that I have encountered since getting into trimming feet and encountering thousands of feet live and cadaver. For instance one part of the wall at the heel on his high-heeled foot was curled under onto where the sole should have been but that choked off any sole growth. They slapped a shoe on top of that. He had bar underneath the sole that no one ever trimmed. It started to come out between the frog and sole juncture once he started to be trimmed correctly. Also had bar wedged in between the sole/frog juncture on other feet. All his feet are contracted. He had high/low syndrome with badly underrun heels on the low foot. Basically a pathological mess.

harr754
Jul. 5, 2006, 10:50 AM
Hollbear - how is your horse?

Lieslot
Jul. 5, 2006, 11:46 AM
Please keep this thread going. Really interesting.
My warmblood doesn't want to pick up his hindfeet for the farrier either. I therefore have to have him sedated by IV every single shoeiing session. :(
I had him checked too and he gets acupuncture monthly and nothing to be found. So vet & farrier say it's a behavioural issue. But I am not convinced about that. He's a very, very sweet and cooperative horse, so that were to surprise me.
He used to spasm in his gaskins when picking up a hind, he doesn't anymore since I used a magnesium supplement and added Vit E & selenium to his diet.
He's got a bit of a drag on his hindtoes, so I wonder whether this could be coming from his pelvis. :confused: Painkillers make no difference to picking up his hinds.
Under the saddle he's a gem. And on the lunge apart from the occasional drag of his hindtoes, nothing to be seen either :( .
I can pick out his feet very well myself, but the instant he feels any force on his hinds, like pulling off a shoe or hammering in a nail, he'll just slam the foot down. :(

harr754
Jul. 5, 2006, 12:47 PM
Lieslot - how long have you had this horse? I was just wondering if, like mine, he used to be fine for the hind feet, but now he's not. Does your horse have any back pain? How are his hocks?

It is sometimes hard convincing the farrier that the horse is not being bad, but that he is in pain. It's interesting that your horse does not respond to pain killers. What have you tried? I have given mine 10 cc's of banamine and that seems to help. My horse is fine pulling the hind legs up and under him, just not out and behind him.

Do you jump your horse?

HollBear
Jul. 5, 2006, 03:09 PM
Hi, I'm back. Thanks for keeping this going.
So, I did get my horse's back injected at the 16th rib. He had basically 2 months off w/ turn out and hand grazing. I moved to a new barn. I think that the old barn (which I thought was a good choice = big trainer) basically starved him and shed him of his muscle ton which may have kick started this problem. So, now I'm at a new really great place. I started him back to work - 2 weeks of walking around the fields/mild hill work plus full over night turn out on a nice sloping field. He probably gained a good 200lbs. in the first month. Now I am trotting him around those same fields and doing some ring work - trotting, lots of extending, rails, etc. all at the trot. He looks/feels great! Still gaining weight. I feel like I have my show horse back.

The other day...after being ridden he started to act weird. I had noticed he had developed a small bump at the site of the injection. It got progressively worse over a week. So he started acting really weird. Then all of the sudden, he backed himself into the corner of his stall so hard and arched his back so much that it looked like he was squatting then all of the sudden his entire back cracked. No more lump.

Days later still no more lump. So the other day, I decided to try the canter. Cantered to the right (the orig. good direction) and he was fantastic. Tried the dreaded left - still hopped around like it was difficult. Now I have no idea if its training or pain. He NEVER shows signs of pain. No back soreness/ saddle fits him great. He moves like a million bucks.

I do have my myofacial guy coming tomorrow. I feel optimistic and yet totally defeated.

HollBear
Jul. 5, 2006, 03:16 PM
BTW - I forgot to add...my horse was dragging his hind toes too. In fact I had pulled his hind shoes over the winter since he was not doing anything. You can really notice the drag since they wear funny. I put shoes back on him last month.
I feel like I totally dismantled my horse over the winter thanks to this trainer. This was a horse that was competing on the A circuit now I feel like I'll be lucky to have him be my really fancy trail horse (which he's good at). I have a lot of regret, frustration, and guilt.

harr754
Jul. 5, 2006, 05:34 PM
HollBear - "I have a lot of regret, frustration, and guilt." I can totally relate to that statement. My horse is no where near recovered, people have asked me how it is that I don't just give up. We can only do the best that we can, we all make mistakes.

It sounds like your horse is really making progress. My horses' acupuncturist said it takes a while for a horse to let go of the memory of the pain, and maybe that is why one of your leads isn't as good yet?

Lieslot
Jul. 5, 2006, 07:06 PM
Hi Harr754, I've had the horse little over a year. We had him fully vetted upon purchase, including spinal X-rays, hocks, etc and he was clear. He's been seen by an chiropractor/acupuncturist and they don't see why he would be having any backpain, nor does he show any other signs of back discomfort.
He's a dressage horse and has never been jumped to my knowledge.
The medical issues we know he has are: 1) hairline quartercracks on his frontfeet, that extend up almost to the coronet band. :cry: (could these cause him discomfort and therefore adding stress to his hindend muscles trying to compensate, dunno ??!) 2) He sometimes drags his hindtoes (lazyness or pain, dunno) and 3) I'd say from a conformation point of view he's slightly cowhocked and 4) he stocks up big time on his hinds when stalled for more then 8 hours.
I had flexion tests done on his fetlocks to rule out DSLD, but no matter how difficult it was to get him to pick up his feet, he was fine on the flexion tests.
I tried banamine (sachet at night, sachet morning prior) : no difference. Also tried one week of 1 gm of Bute/day prior to shoeing and 2gm Bute night before and 2gm of Bute morning before : no difference.

When we bought him he had hindshoes on and there was no issue with picking out his hinds. Then we had him shod and unfortunately a big backhoe came racing round the corner whilst doing his hinds. He got startled, hung himself at the end of the rope and literally sat on his hocks. We had to cut him loose and it was a bit of an audeal to finish the shoeing. Nevertheless he continued to be fine to pick out his hinds until the next shoeing session, which was impossible to do, so he went barefoot behind for 6 months.
I agree this sounds behavioural, however I never figured out what came first : a) spasm in gaskin, and therefore slamming his foot down or b) fear of what might happen, therefore tensing up soo much that he cramped his gaskins like rocks? Eventually he stopped tensing/cramping up almost immediately after I started the magnesium supplement and I had no more trouble picking out his hinds. Coincidental, again dunno?!

In all honesty, I previously said I'm fine picking out his hinds, well I was until this last saturday when he twisted a hindshoe. I had mega-trouble getting it off and since we are back to not being able to pick out his hinds :(.
At this rate I may even need an IV to simply pick out his feet say at least once a week :cry: . We have tried Domosedan IM, but to no avail, only 6/10 IV works and I don't feel comfortable doing IV's myself :sadsmile: .

harr754
Jul. 5, 2006, 08:36 PM
Wow, reading these stories makes me feel like I'm a member of some sort of al-anon support group, except instead of dealing with alcoholics we are dealing with horses hind leg issues. Reading these posts makes me feel like I am not all alone with these weird issues. I've had horses for over 30 years, I've been around them all my life, I've never heard of horses having such issues with getting shod behind. Aren't we the lucky ones?

EqTrainer
Jul. 5, 2006, 09:25 PM
It's a *symptom* of something. It is not just something unto itself.

For the person w/the horse w/the quarter cracks - yes they can cause pain and yes they can cause horses to not want to weight their front end. In general they are a sign of bad trimming and bad farriery; I might buy a horse w/a quarter crack to rehab but I expect it to be gone pretty quick (growing out and not painful). "Having" quarter cracks, as in an ongoing thing, is not ok.

harr754
Jul. 6, 2006, 07:26 PM
I got up the nerve to push around on his back today and he didn't seem nearly as sensitive as he usually does.... maybe the acupuncture helped?!? I don't want to get my hopes up, it only ever seems to end in disappointment.

Cherry
Jul. 7, 2006, 12:32 PM
you don't want to let your negative feelings blind you to the positive results you are seeing. As Tug McGraw once said--"Ya gotta believe!". Just do what you feel you must. Sometimes it just takes time to see the results.

I also second having someone else look at your horse's feet to see if they may be causing any of the problem. :yes:

harr754
Jul. 7, 2006, 04:51 PM
Thanks Cherry. When I take him back for acupuncture at the end of the month, I'll ask her what she thinks of his feet. She has horses and is also a vet. I think his feet look okay, he doesn't grow a lot of heel and right now he has wedges on his back feet. I've had the same farrier for years, my other horse is fine. My farrier does many of the horses in my area, and I don't hear any complaints about him.

EqTrainer
Jul. 7, 2006, 05:11 PM
Why does he have wedges behind?

CAn you post pics of his feet? If you can email them to me I will post them for you... PT me for my email address.

harr754
Jul. 7, 2006, 08:02 PM
He doesn't grow much of a heel, and over the winter I pulled his hind shoes and he wore his heels down even more. The wedges lift him up a bit and the angle looks better. He also has bar shoes on behind now too.

I don't have any pictures, but if I can manage to get some I'll email them to you, thank you for the offer.