Good SE PA lameness vet?
I can trailer or have the vet come to me.
Horse is a 14 yr old QH, been on and off stiff/short strided with a little head bobbing here and there at the trot. Worse down hill and around turns. He's had hoof problems in the past so I'm thinking navicular but I want a really thorough work up to make sure that is going on and get a good plan of action to get him/keep him comfortable. I don't care if he ends up being a horse I can only ride bareback in the field once in a while, I just want to get him comfortable again.
He's barefoot, has been for years. I have a specialized trimmer/farrier (shoes in plastics only) that trims his feet but she has been less than helpful as far as trying to help me figure this out.
If I'm trailering out I would prefer to stay within an hour of SE Pa but obviously for a really good vet I'd go father. I thought about going to Blauner as he is a half hour away (if that) but I just want to make sure I get the absolute best care for him.
Also, my regular vet is one of the Quakertown vets, so if there is a good lameness vet there that is definitely an option.
I would absolutely go to Dr. Blauner.
Dr. Blauner is terrific. Dr. Keane is a god among men ;) Driving distance to NBC. You have plenty of good choices in the area.
Dr. Arbittier who is now with New Bolton but was with Dr. Blauner for ages (she is sadly missed :( ).
Dr Blauner is very good. So is Dr. Arbittier. She helped with my old TB to find out what was making him uncomfortable.
Originally Posted by skyy
Since a number of people have mentioned Dr. Blauner I will be the oddball out on him. My experience with Dr Blauner was less than stellar. I personally think he misdiagnosed the full source of Sonny's lameness and I feel it cost me a lot of time and money. I also feel that due to that misdiagnosis he might have contributed to Sonny never coming up sound again.
I eventually took Sonny to Patricia Doyle at Mid Atlantic and really liked her.
My trainer loves him for lameness.
I have liked Dr Tyra Crowley out of Complete Equine Services in Coatesville, PA. That is Dr Jimenez's practice. I don't necessarily care for him.
Sort of opposite experience w Dr. Crowley. Super nice, goid for basic stuff but no help on a "mystery lameness" issue. This was years ago though.
Doc Riddle, Jr. at Cecil Veterinary Clinic 410-658-4356 is who to go to for any kind of lameness issue diagnosis and treatment!
I second and third Dr. Keane, Sport Medicine Associates. They moved last year to just down the road from Philip Dutton’s on the right. I have used some of the others mentioned but Kevin is always my go to sports vet. Along with a gazillion others. He and his partners have never nickeled and dimed us. Disclaimer, Kevin is also a friend.
We use New Bolton field services and for just about all of our surgery needs. I only took one horse there once for lameness, a mystery lameness we had been battling for months. Unfortunately the vet that came highly recommended by one of their head surgeons I work with was not available. The horse was evaluated by a Dr. Martin. I found him condescending and a bit arrogant. His diagnoses and suggested treatment wasn’t worth my time and certainly not my money. I have no problem, other then the cost, when dealing with a mystery lameness of using several vets. I don’t tell them what the other vets said until after they render their opinion. Then we will discuss what others had to say. None have ever taken issue and by now pretty much know that is what I may do.
Op: Before you spend an arm and a leg on a lameness check at a vet clinic, be sure you are not dealing with thrush deep in the sulcus of the frog. I see it missed all the time it is just overlooked. Post some pictures of the balance if you have them.
I can post some pictures, but probably not until Friday/Saturday. It's not thrush, I wish it was that simple.
Lately I've noticed his frogs seem a bit contracted and his foot just looks a bit "different" than it used to. I'm hoping whatever this I can get it under control.
Thanks for all the vet suggestions, keep them coming! I actually used Dr. Riddle before...I think. I should've thought of him, he did a great job with my horse as far as getting a good diagnosis. I couldn't actually be there for the process but he fixed him once! :)
If possible I'm looking for a vet that "likes" barefoot. I am not anti shoe by any means but I would like to keep him barefoot if at all possible.
I LOVE Bucks County Equine. They have caught so many mystery lameness issues on both my boys. They are awesome.
I have had AWFUL experiences with Blauners practice. I will never use them. Ever.
FYI- I now use Quakertown as well since Bucks County Equine won't come to my new barn and I don't have a trailer, Very sad! But so far at QTV I have liked both Dr Jess and Dr Reagan. ( Can't remember their last names!!)
Kathy Anderson is fantastic. She's at Fair Hill.
Reagan is actually my regular vet from Quakertown. Bonus is that she knows the trimming/farrier practice I'm working with.
I thought about just having her out as a starting point because I know her and trust her. Then if she can't figure out whats going on I could go to Mid-Atlantic or New Bolton.
It's frustrating, I don't want to make the wrong choice and spend money I don't have.
I've always been leery of Blauner because of friends experiences but I know he has a good over all rep around me so I thought I'd ask.
The best "in the field" vet is the one who will refer. Our vet is a repro specialist (she is great) and an excellent internist. She can handle mundane lamenesses without an issue but she is the first to say "Ship him/her" She has working relationships with New Bolton, Mid-Atlantic and Dr. Furlong's clinic. Her supportive care and referral to Dr. Furlong's neonatal care saved a colt for us over ten years ago. That's really what you need - there are some things that have to be diagnosed and treated in a clinic situation.
Originally Posted by SAcres
We've used Dr. Blauner and have never had an issue. I find him knowledgeable with good diagnostic skills.
I don't know where you are exactly but Dr. Amy Worrell is super. She's near Reading, PA.
I would probably just take him to New Bolton. It's always good to have more than one pair of eyes.
I'm in a different part of the area than you are, so mileage may be a factor.
But if it were me, I'd head straight for Dr. Riddle. I think he does very well with fairly straight-forward issues, he doesn't waste your time or money, and he's proactive. Chances are good that you'll come out of there with a small bill and a sound(er) horse.
Plan B would be a bigger place with more diagnostics, such as Mid Atlantic, VEI, or Dr. Furlongs. By the time I'm hauling to a clinic and paying $1000+ for an entire half-day of nerve blocks, etc. - I wouldn't even bother with a place that doesn't also offer nuclear scintigraphy or anything else that might crop up.
Good luck with your horse. Let us know how it turns out.
FWIW, I have had the exact opposite experience. I have used Dr. Blauner's practice for 10 years and they have never let me down. I ended up using Bucks County Equine in an emergency, and I would never let them near one of my horses again, ever.
Originally Posted by superD
I think Dr. Riddle is excellent for diagnostics and fairly reasonably priced. He will also not give you a hard time if you need to pricecheck and say no at some point, We've had mixed luck over the years with New Bolton, but given the number of vets involved and the variety of issues that is probably not surprising.
Just wanted to update. I ended up having my regular vet out. I trust her judgement and that she will admit if someone is out of her experience level/ability. She also works somewhat regularly with my farrier so since I figured it was a hoof issues it would be good to have a direct line between farrier and vet.
We did nerve blocks and x-rays. He definitely has heel pain (blocked out somewhat but not 100%) and some changes to his navicular bone. Nothing alarming but definitely not "good" either. The other big thing we noted though was that he had a good bit of toe he doesn't really need.
The extra toe was a big red flag to me. The first time I had a lameness problem with this horse it was because of long toes/underrun heels. The horse was so lame he could barely walk when I got on him. He is and has always been sensitive to incorrect trims. It kind gave me hope that this could be fixable. But I don't want to get too excited.
Game plan for now is to fix the trim and do some bute for a while along with no forced work and boots when turned out. Then take another look in a little bit.
We talked about injecting the coffin joint and/or the navicular bursa but I would really prefer not to do that, especially the bursa injections. The cost and the risk are a little unnerving.
So it could've been worse, could've been better, but the vet basically confirmed what I was already thinking.