The lamer on turnout issue is what bothers me, too.
I took video of her tonight. It's dark, I am trying to lighten it. If anyone who has responded is interested in seeing it, I will PM it to you.
When you pull on her tail she doesn't totally fall over but she doesn't resist in quite the manner I'd anticipate. If you ask her to yield her hindquarters, she will cross over one direction but the other direction she only wants to sort of sidestep. She can back up, dunno about the hill work as we live in The Land of Flat.
At times she will just lose her hind end, on the longe, at liberty, and under saddle. I have been reluctant to do much with her at all the last few months because of that. I'm often of the notion that there are things you can work/condition through but something about this has made me nervous.... gut instinct, I guess.
She looked a little funky when my friend leased her last year, but I chalked it up to her being off the track with little to no conditioning/retraining, poor feed, etc. I thought with muscle and time she'd come around which is why I took a chance on her.
On the scale of her lameness, today was "good" day, and yet when I play the vid back... I cringe. Sigh. I see her every day, and see the varying degrees of lameness, it is hard you almost get blase because you see it *so* much. She has been like this since she came to me, though it has gotten progressively worse IMO.
FG, that is concerning about the simple neuro tests. Are you in an EPM area? Is that a possibility?
I think that you are well versed in what I went through with Blush. Something that experience really underscored for me is neuro stuff is far more common than some people (vets!) believe and some vets are just not very good at evaluating a horse from a neurological perspective. Blush is not really sound to ride as she does not swing evenly behind--due to neuro impairment--but most vets would NOT classify her as neuro based on the traditional tests. It takes someone with a very good eye to see and understand her impairment.
Progressively worse potential neurological impairment is quite concerning (stating the obvious!) and I would want someone SKILLED to evaluate her soon.
If she is neuro, supplementing Vitamin E can aid, and I do think it has helped Blush. I buy the Puritan's Pride stuff--you want the all natural Vit E, 1000 IUs. I give all of mine 2000 IU/day, but with possible worsening neuro problems, you may want to give more. Were I in your shoes, I may start with 5000 IU/day.
Is she overly sensitive or reactive to touch at all? Unreasonably upset about grooming? Back sore? If yes, then gabapentin may be VERY useful.
I would look at the video, if you would like to PM me the link. (Or send me a PM for my email :))
That sounds a lot like the way my neuro horse was in the beginning. He was eventually diagnosed with neck arthritis. He really just appeared lame on the RH for a very long time though.
Early on, the vets were unsure and so we started with 3 months of stall rest. He returned to soundness, but as soon as he was back on turnout, he began going downhill.
I hope you can get some answers for your mare!
There have been moments when I've thought she was neuro, I have not allowed myself to say it out loud. I've literally now allowed myself it consider it an option. Isn't that stupid? Maybe because deep down I do worry that she is.
She is almost "stabby" with the RH, if that makes any sense, and short on the LH.
She likes to be groomed, is quite pleasant and sweet, doesn't fuss much about anything. Almost too withdrawn, sometimes. Example she's been in a stall all week... I could barely get her moving on the longe, though, clearly she is sore and not wanting to move.
Is she okay when the farrier does her hind feet? Mine had a hard time holding them up as time went on.
He had what looked to be a "hitch" in the RH, mostly at the trot. Everyone's initial thoughts were that he had stifle issues. One of the first big clues was that he lost some range of motion in his neck...he could no longer reach around and scratch the side of his belly like a normal horse does.
It is NOT stupid that you do not want to think about that being a possibility! It is a devastating diagnosis to get. But for her sake and the safety of those handling her, it is something that should be explored.
Ugh, carly, it has gotten harder and harder for her to handle her hind feet being trimmed/shod. I give her dorm gel now at the request of the farrier. She doesn't get nasty, she just doesn't seem to want to hold them up.
I feel stupid, because from the first day I met her I had a feeling something was NQR, which is why I passed on buying her the first time she was offered to me. The second time around I took her... I liked her, wanted to believe she was ok, or that I could get her "ok" enough. :(
FG, Blush got hard to trim behind about six months ago. She was previously totally easy.
What has made ALL the difference with her is Vit E daily and banamine prior to the trim. Now she is back to normal. Perhaps it is something for you to try as well.
You've got to get her worked up, and I would say sooner rather than later.
Thanks Simkie.... I had a mare with EPM when I was a teen and I remember we had to do high doses of Vit E.
Yeah I agree about the work-up. I am frustrated at this point..... I know my vet likes to eliminate the obvious things first, and I appreciate that, but this has been ongoing and just worsening now....
FG, I would look at her neck first, just to make sure. Horses can be dangerous to be around if they have something severe going on in their neck.
My neuro mare GG got much, much better with turnout, but we think she has a EMD component. Horses with neck issues tend to get worse with turnout and work. My mare was called sound by a top equine surgeon weeks before her diagnosis. Another horse at my barn won the 2nd level CDS junior championships as well as was high scoring horse for CDS months before he was euthanized for severe neck issues. I don't say this to scare you, but to say that I would want to really rule it out with someone who knows what they are looking at.
I am sorry you are going through so much heartache, but look at it this way...she might have ended up in a much worse place had you not taken her. You are doing everything you can for her and a lot of people would have given up and just passed the buck to someone else. Whatever happens to her, she will be treated with kindness and respect. There are a lot worse fates for horses out there.
Originally Posted by FlashGordon
Go to Cornell
It seems that it would be money well spent!
I don't know exactly where you're located FG, but I have a pretty good idea from your previous postings. Try Dr. Higgenbothum(sp) in Batavia. He is a goD among lameness vets. He would be closer to Cornell and when I used him, he was very reasonable pricewise, but you do have to go to his clinic.
A previous trainer used him for her PSG mare and I've used him on my first horse. Great guy, just knows his stuff. Spotted the issue with the horse just walking in the clinic both times! Then he backed it up with diagnostics/imaging.
Good luck, Fancy sure is lucky to have you!
I can't comment on her losing the hind end part occasionally, but a horse with a SI injury will not react quite normally to a tail pull. They're just too sore and that makes them weaker. They may also be reluctant to back up.
When my gelding's pelvis was a mess he was extremely stabby with his LH. He almost moved it in an upright oval motion. Very odd to watch. I used to say that he wasn't "lame," as in he wasn't moving that way because he hurt, it was just the mechanical motion that he had adapted since horses are such masters of compensation. Obviously not the same as your mare since it sounds like she's very sore, but very much in the ball park of "SI injury/soreness."
Originally Posted by FlashGordon
I don't disagree about having the horse worked up, but I will say that I can almost guarantee that there are several vets around here who would have said "neuro!" on my gelding without looking into it far enough.
And on a related note, my mare just tweaked something out in the pasture yesterday morning and came in extremely sore in her hind end. Stuck her on the lunge to get a look and she was short on her LH and stabby and short on her RH. Switched directions and she was dead lame on her RH. Thought it was an abscess, wrapped her foot, and then it occurred to me that she's got an area of spine in the SI area where she obviously suffered some serious trauma (it's her "dinosaur vertebrae" and was the focus of much of our work over the years). I started pushing around on it and I think she basically did what I did to myself when my back went "out" once. I'm really looking forward to taking a video of her before chiro and after because I'm 99% sure that her soreness will be alleviated completely with the chiro (it's not the first time she's done this...it seems to happen once every few years).
So by all means involve the vet and take the horse in to be looked at if you can do it and can afford it. But I'll reiterate that my approach in this scenario (even more after reading recent posts) would be to start with the chiro....as long as I could find a really good one.
Yes actually Batavia is really close. I only know of him because I heard his farm is for sale, but I think he is still practicing.... good to know you had such a great experience with him. I will for sure look into that.
Originally Posted by Heliodoro
I know there is Dr. Trachtenberg at Ledgewood and Genesee Valley Equine too. I know people who have used both but (knock on wood) I've never had a lameness to this degree so have no firsthand experience with either.
I also got the name of a chiro..... PNW what you are describing is very much how my mare is. I have long suspected it is pelvic/SI related but not sure how to go about diagnosing that nor how to handle treatment. My vet has been giving her left hind the googly eye for awhile, because there is an old scar there and she occasionally has issues with filling/heat, but I still think the more pressing issue is up higher. Maybe it is chicken/egg, I don't know.
Anyway thanks guys for all the advice, recommendations and support. It's been a long road the last 9 months, doubly exhausting because at times it looks like we are making progress and then she takes 3 steps back. A lot of false hope, I guess.
She is a sweet mare, I'm glad I can at least give her a shot... I just hope there is enough that I can do, to at least get her comfortable.
Not to derail (I don't have any specific suggestions for Fancy but hope you can get to the bottom of things) but "dorm gel." What is that?
Dormosedan Gel. A very potent tranq that is given sub-lingually.
Originally Posted by vxf111
I personally find the injectible easier to use, but not very many vets are comfortable dispensing it to clients.
Honestly, to me, it sounds like she broke her pelvis at some point... or did some other significant injury to her hind end when she was on the track.
Did you look into her race history? Could be very telling as to any injuries or long periods of layoff that could signal an injury.
KTBs, she came off in 2010 at the age of 5. Only had 6 starts, 1 win, 1 place. Not sure what that means except it doesn't seem like many. (By comparison, my old TB gelding who raced till 5 had 32 starts, and was still jumping 3' at 22.)
Just got her race record.... she ran 6 sprints, 2 in 2008 and 4 in 2009. She won the first one in 2008. The notes in 2009 all said "sluggish, tired, stopped."
Not sure any of that tells me anything for real, though!