Arthritic changes...what to do?
I bought an unknown aged small QH (bw 4 and 8 years old) over 10 years ago. We did the hunter A circuit, fox hunted, etc for many years without any lameness problems. I retired him for 3 years and bought myself another horse that I fit better on.
I brought him back to work my second year of college in fall of 2010 so I could have a horse to keep my leg strong. He was very sound and we started eventing in BN. March 2011 he had this odd mystery lameness, and we injected the hocks and it seemed to get better. Come around this fall, he was stiff, and sucked back behind the leg when you changed directions to the left from the right. Right to left lead change didn't work in the hind end. No heat or swelling anywhere, no lumps or bumps, etc.
Went back to the vet school, injected hocks, little change, injected fetlocks and tendons sheaths a could months later. Seemed to be a little better. Stifles flexed fine. He has been getting monthly (and now twice monthly) shots of Polyglycan since October of 2011.
Fast forward to now, funky again, another vet said arthritic changes, start him on cosequin, polyglycan doesn't work (Blahblah), and do loading dose of adequan. Give him 6 weeks off.
His radiographs of his hocks and fetlocks really show only minor arthritic changes that look very good for his age. No fusing joints or anything. We did a neuro test yesterday seeing if maybe he had EPM and thats why he was having some of his hind end problems, and the vet ended on the conclusion that no neuro problems but he was protecting and careful about hind end. We knew that.
I just have this fear that he won't ever be sound again. He is a forever pony and I will be okay with retiring him, but he is SO much happier in a program and working. He loves to jump. He loves to show and he loves the attention. He's not dead lame, just stiff. You can WTC and jump him around. He is happy jumping, but not completely comfortable.
Does anyone have any success stories or tips?
I was also considering pulling off his shoes, but we have pulled off the hinds before and he got a little foot sore. I dunno, I just thought if we were going to let him rest, might as well let his hooves rest too.
It just puts me in a sad mood :( I've had this little guy since I was 10, and I'm 21 now. I know he's going to last forever and if he does have to retire he can live on previcoxx if nothing works for him, but I just want him to be happy.