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  1. #1
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    Exclamation experience with stifle arthritis?

    I have a 14yr old appendix gelding who has evented through training level. I have a feeling that he has stifle arthritis on his right hind because he doesnt step all the way through like he does with his left hind. and sometimes he doesnt like the left side and left lead because the first step in the left lead is with that right hind... he is currently getting cosequin to help but does anyone have experience with stifle injections? I know that i will have to get a vet out and x-rays possibly to make it a 100% diagnosis.



  2. #2
    biochemist Guest

    Default stifle arthritis

    Since the stifle is not a true joint, such as a ball and socket, arthritis as we understand it, does not normally occur. The kind of movement problems you are seeing is more related to leaky gut syndrome, especially when it affects the right hind. That is where the cecum is, with the thinnest walls of the GI tract and most susceptible area for leaky gut to begin. This problems is often incorrectly Dx'd as EPM, although leaky gut often precludes true EPM infections.

    I have been doing extensive research on this syndrome for the past 20 yrs. You can read more about this environmentally induced illness on my web site
    vitaroyal.com.

    If you would like more help with your horse, just fill out the case history and send to me and I will call you for a chat. I do not charge for consults.

    Linsey McLean
    Biochemist
    Last edited by biochemist; Jan. 3, 2009 at 10:26 PM. Reason: spelling errors



  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by biochemist View Post
    Since the stifle is not a true joint, such as a ball and socket, arthritis as we understand it, does not normally occur. The kind of movement problems you are seeing is more related to leaky gut syndrome, especially when it affects the right hind. That is where the cecum is, with the thinnest walls of the GI tract and most susceptible area for leaky gut to begin. This problems is often incorrectly Dx'd as EPM, although leaky gut often precludes true EPM infections.

    What?! Leaky gut syndrome for a horse who is short strided on the right hind? I'm sorry, but what a crock. The stifle IS a joint, and arthritis, OCD, and other joint issues are fairly common.

    To the OP, I responded on your other thread in eventing, but wanted to also say to make sure you have a good diagnostic vet to figure out exactly what part of the RH is bothering your horse. Problems with the right hock or SI joint could also cause your symptoms.



  4. #4
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    Default

    Music was diagnosed with stifle arhritis a couple of years ago, and injected. It made a big difference. She is probably due for it again.

    My vet did not need to do Xrays, he was able to diagnose it by watching her move, and by manual manipulation.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lstevenson View Post
    What?! Leaky gut syndrome for a horse who is short strided on the right hind? I'm sorry, but what a crock. The stifle IS a joint, and arthritis, OCD, and other joint issues are fairly common.

    To the OP, I responded on your other thread in eventing, but wanted to also say to make sure you have a good diagnostic vet to figure out exactly what part of the RH is bothering your horse. Problems with the right hock or SI joint could also cause your symptoms.
    Oh come on now, you had to know it was either this or the horse was IR. To the OP, get the vet out, it could be the stifle or something else entirely. Depending on what it is exactly, your treatment possibilities are endless. Once you have a diagnosis that you agree with, restart your thread and I'm guessing we can be more helpful then. Best wishes for you and your horse.



  6. #6
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    Nov. 18, 2008
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    Default

    There are may different things that may cause the horse to shorten its stride on one hind leg - and the starting point should always be the hoof unless there is compelling reason to locate the problem elsewhere.

    It is possible that a change in the stride is being caused by gut disorders but frankly I'd be wanting to eliminate some common muscular - skeletal or hoof related issues.

    Just for information : there are lots of different types of joints in the horse aside from ball and socket type joints.

    All joints are affected by the strength of the muscles that surround it - the stifle joint in particular. It is not a typical condylar joint as it both hinges and glides like a plane joint - and its function (and longterm health) is affected if either of these types of movement is inhibited. If the meniscal cartilage that surrounds the femoral articular surfaces is unable to provide adequate lubrication to the joint - the bony surfaces may touch -> arthrosis.

    There are also important cruciate ligaments inside the joint which ensure the femur is not displaced too far forward or backward of the tibia - if the muscles around the stifle are weak - these ligaments can be strained and the joint is then not able to be kept taut.

    Unless you can pinpoint the originating problem to the stifle joint (remembering that hock and stifle actions are linked so one may affect the other) my advice would be to start with the feet - eliminate imbalances, pain there first.



  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Janet View Post
    Music was diagnosed with stifle arhritis a couple of years ago, and injected. It made a big difference. She is probably due for it again.

    .

    Just out of curiousity, how much did this cost you? If you don't mind sharing...

    My horse has a slight stiffness in his left stifle. My massage/chiro guy was the one to actually notice it so far, but once he pointed it out I can see it. It is almost like a very slight hitch, doesn't affect his gait or stride though. I believe this is because my horse was kicked in that same area of the stifle a few years back.

    We do a ton of hillwork . He is also turned out on a hill. He is now 17 and I believe this has helped keep the muscles surrounding the area strong.

    That said, this winter I have noticed he has more difficulty cantering to the left, especially in the corners of a smaller ring. He doesn't want to use that side as much. I will probably have the vet out to assess the issue further and see if injections are neccessary.

    Alot of stifle issues CAN be improved by hillwork and cavalletti. Oftentimes strengthening the muscles around the stifle can help dramatically.



  8. #8
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    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by George Myers View Post
    There are may different things that may cause the horse to shorten its stride on one hind leg - and the starting point should always be the hoof unless there is compelling reason to locate the problem elsewhere.

    It is possible that a change in the stride is being caused by gut disorders but frankly I'd be wanting to eliminate some common muscular - skeletal or hoof related issues.

    Just for information : there are lots of different types of joints in the horse aside from ball and socket type joints.

    All joints are affected by the strength of the muscles that surround it - the stifle joint in particular. It is not a typical condylar joint as it both hinges and glides like a plane joint - and its function (and longterm health) is affected if either of these types of movement is inhibited. If the meniscal cartilage that surrounds the femoral articular surfaces is unable to provide adequate lubrication to the joint - the bony surfaces may touch -> arthrosis.

    There are also important cruciate ligaments inside the joint which ensure the femur is not displaced too far forward or backward of the tibia - if the muscles around the stifle are weak - these ligaments can be strained and the joint is then not able to be kept taut.

    Unless you can pinpoint the originating problem to the stifle joint (remembering that hock and stifle actions are linked so one may affect the other) my advice would be to start with the feet - eliminate imbalances, pain there first.

    When he was lame about a month ago we were doing flexion tests and he would not even let us flex the right hind and then about 5 days ago i flexed it again to look at it and see how he felt about us flexing it and he still did not like it. Then he got a bowen treatment(its basically massage therapy) and felt much better especially on that left lead. Im just still concerned because i dont want him to be uncompfortable. So im pretty positive it is the stifle due to the flexion tests.


    oh and i can still ride him, some days he feels better than others.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by LookinSouth View Post
    Just out of curiousity, how much did this cost you? If you don't mind sharing...
    I honestly don't remember, but probably around $200 including diagnosis- maybe $300. She was 20 at the time, and no longer had major medical, so it was "out of pocket" for me, and I don't remember it being a big financial decsion.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  10. #10
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    Default

    With regard to flexion tests, the stifle and hock joints on the horse are directly interconnected. So when you flex the hock you also flex the stifle, and vice versa. But direct palpation of the stifle got a reaction in Music, as well as watching her move.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  11. #11
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    Default

    Yep. Gus has MAJOR stifle issues. He routinely got his left stifle injected for the last 3 years or so, about every 6-8 months. Legend worked wonders (at the time) to prolong the time between injections.

    Last spring, Gus injured his right stifle, pretty bad. Torn CCL. Lovely. Still lame, months later, after rest and rehab. We're reinjecting both stifles next week and will start a strict rehab again, to see if we succeed this time. We'll see.

    Cost, roughly $200 for one side, one injection, by my rDVM. The specialist (whom I love, but it's expensive to trailer to because I don't own a trailer) costs ~ $400 for three injections (one in each joint "pocket"). So, probably around $800 to do all six areas (both sides).

    So, should be around $350-400 to have the "major" place done on both stifles next week, I'm guess. Still a LOT of money!

    ETA: Good rehab helped a ton before we had our lastest setback... hills and cavalletti really worked too.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog
    Photos



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by myhorsecouldeatyours View Post
    When he was lame about a month ago we were doing flexion tests and he would not even let us flex the right hind and then about 5 days ago i flexed it again to look at it and see how he felt about us flexing it and he still did not like it. Then he got a bowen treatment(its basically massage therapy) and felt much better especially on that left lead. Im just still concerned because i dont want him to be uncompfortable. So im pretty positive it is the stifle due to the flexion tests.
    Quote Originally Posted by Janet View Post
    With regard to flexion tests, the stifle and hock joints on the horse are directly interconnected. So when you flex the hock you also flex the stifle, and vice versa. But direct palpation of the stifle got a reaction in Music, as well as watching her move.


    What Janet said. There is no way to flex one without the other. So you need either a very experienced lameness vet who can tell by palpation and evaluating the way the horse moves, or you need to do nerve blocks starting at the foot and working your way up until the problem are becomes apparant.



  13. #13
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    Well, concerning biochemist's post: if you ask the Succeed people, they feel that the right dorsal section of the GI tract can be irritated and it can make itself known through a poor way of going -- stiffness, not tracking up as well in the right hind. RDC can come with ulcers -- right dorsal colitis. [I think it was the Succeed product person who told me this...] Are you seeing any other signs of ulcers?

    Also, not to make things worse, but would what you're seeing be, possibly, an SI problem?



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