UPDATED: Lameness gurus and enthusiasts: The lameness-less but injured fetlock
**UPDATE** Aug 12th:
New radiographs can be seen at http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/z...tlock/Fetlock/ The x-rays from today are titled Aug 12th.
Vet discussed possible combination of additional joint injections, IRAP, and use of daily Equimax - all in attempt to keep horse sound for a lesson once a week. Vet does not anticipate horse could be shown, as the drugs would test (obviously) and horse would unlikely be sound without daily pharmaceuticals. Regular riding would need to be strictly limited.
Because of the significant degeneration that has occurred over the past 11 months - plus the poor bone quality, new bone spurs, chips, avulsions, etc etc I have decided to put him down. This horse is not happy when not ridden regularly and would not be safe nor sound for just trail rides other than on idyllic footing.
Thank you to all who took the time to share their thoughts, opinions, and advice.
Horse presents with negative behaviors only to the right only at the canter. Horse’s training history and general work attitude do not point towards sourness/training issue. Scintigraphy, examination, and x-rays show the following:
-Right front fetlock: moderate to marked update over joint and sesamoid area.
-Jogs evenly on hand on firm surface – in other words, horse never presents ‘lame’
-Synovial cyst on lateral aspect of fetlock (thought to be unrelated to lameness and not harmful)
-Positive flexion of right front limb
X-rays can be found at: http://s813.photobucket.com/albums/z...tlock/Fetlock/
Examination Conclusions: Degenerative changes in joint. Smooth round chip off proximal rim of P1. Another chip off palmar aspect of P1 with bony changes in sesamoid bones. Surgery to remove chips is not recommended due to degeneration within joint.
Horse’s fetlock is injected first time. Returns to work and does so well that vet recommends return to jumping. Comes up with negative behaviors again after jumping is reintroduced. Injected again. Behaviors are non-existent but horse is not being worked consistently. Horse is sold to different owner with expectations to be used for flatwork only.
Horse starts negative behaviors again- only at canter to the right. Still sound. Fetlock is injected. Joint flare episode renders horse slightly off for four days following injection. Horse starts back into work a week later. New symptoms and attitude points towards ulcers. Horse is treated for ulcers, new symptoms disappear. Three days back into consistent work (4 weeks post injection) horse displays negative behaviors at right lead canter, again.
-Inject joint again?
-X-ray again to see if chips have changed location? Last x-rays taken 11 months ago.
-Try something like Adequan?
The big difficulty here is that the horse does not come up lame. Which, I believe, makes it difficult or rather impossible/pointless to block. I’m not sure I’d want to ride a blocked horse either – especially since pain is demonstrated through progressively acrobatic negative behavior.
I am at a loss as to what the 'next step' is and would welcome any and all suggestions.