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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2005
    Location
    Tacoma, Washington
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    88

    Default Bring arthritic horse back to shape -suggestions please!

    Here is the back story.
    13 year OTTB with old knee injury from track was rested/rehabbed and retrained as a successful lower level dressage horse for many years. No other injury or health issue

    Jan '08 -knee pain came back and she was diagnosed with arthritis in the knee, vet said chances of riding her again were slim to none, but should be pasture sound and ok to breed. (i was planning on breeding prior to the knee injury). Vet said even with being retired chances of her being able to stand at all on that knee in 3 years was slim...yes that was a sad day.

    March '09 - has been in stall/turn out for entire pregnancy, mild controlled exercise (lunging/hand walking) to stay fit during pregnancy, but not much muscle loss during pregnancy. Her Knee got a bit swollen and sore the last 3 weeks of pregnancy...delivered perfect filly

    May '09 received knee injection as precaution so I could show her in-hand with filly

    June '09 - Feb '10 - been out in smaller pastures with 1-2 older horses.

    Feb '10 - knee swelled up again for the first time since she was pregnant. I figured the arthritis had gone acute again and/or the injection had worn out. Called out new vet, a leg specialist, to examine and do new injections. While waiting for him i stalled her/wrapped her/butted her/hand walked her for 5 days. By the time the vet came out the swelling was gone. After exam he noted that there was only mild arthritic growth in the knee and the swelling was gone in the joint. In flexion test she shows full range of motion (WOW!) He gave me the OK to start riding her lightly again. Said our shows days are probably gone but doesn't see why I can't pleasure ride her while maintaining the knee well. He recommended doing a Adequan shot monthly and see where that goes.....he is hopefull that things will go well.

    now to my question....

    She is thin from being out of work (typical for her: no work = no fat) Not animal planet thin, but i would like to see some more on her. She has NO muscle at all.

    I do not want to stress her out and I am fine taking it slow. I am looking for suggestions of some good exercises for her. I am thinking for the next few weeks just keeping it to lunging on a big circle as to no put too much strain on her knee. I know i am going to be walking on glass with this knee till i feel comfortable it can handle the work.
    Should I start with just lunge, or should I add tack to that ( i usually use vienna reins), what about poles?
    Anyone had a training plan that has worked well for them in the past?
    oh...trails are not a option at this point as i only ride at night on weekdays and its still really wet here to chance it on weekends.

    Let me just add, if it was not obvious. Getting the news that your horse is sound (to a point) after hearing that her days were numbered 2 years ago is so exciting!!!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2006
    Posts
    2,581

    Default

    You may want to consider a round of IRAP, in conjunction with a seven series of adequan. Then if she is comfortable condition her slow and steady. Conditionning will help might want to stick to level ground.

    Good Luck!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
    Posts
    18,472

    Default

    I would inject that knee w/Adequan IA. That is exactly what it was made for and you will probably be thrilled w/the results. Less than $200.00, at least here. Then do the loading dose therapy and continue after that once a month.

    Then I would walk. Walk, walk, walk. No longeing. Keep her on a moderately high dose of MSM (20,000 a day versus 10,000) and watch her trim - don't let her toes get long/heels get underrun/breakover get slow. Lots of turnout of course. I would be wanting to figure out, if I could, how she irritated it in February. If I missed that I apologize, but again, I'd be very careful w/her feet.

    Good luck, it sounds like a great prognosis, aren't you lucky?!!!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    23,299

    Default

    No longeing. Too much strain on the joints. If you can long line, that would be great. Otherwise, I would say lots of walking. Turnout with hills would be wonderful.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2005
    Location
    Tacoma, Washington
    Posts
    88

    Default longlining!

    long lining is a great idea. I can do that...she is great at it...totally fun too!

    I keep thinking that lunging is not the best idea. My vet and i discussed iwrap and unfortunately it is out of my price range and insurance wont cover it since its a pre-existing injury.
    I also thought of doing the loading dose of adequan and i may still consider that. I am going to try the one shot and see how that works, its always easy to add more. She had responded really well to the once a month shot with that.
    I have also heard about doing the adequan IA before. This one vet doesn't like to do it for risk of infection is higher he says, but my other leg vet feels comfortable doing it with a chaser of antibiotics.

    As for her feet...they are great. I LOVE my farrier, he does a great job and even in her out to pasture condition, her feet stayed in great shape. I keep shoes on the front while she was in pasture, as her backs do great w/o shoes
    Proud owner of Vienna Cuvee
    Versache x Queen of De Nile
    www.towerlanefarm.net



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
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    18,472

    Default

    I have also heard about doing the adequan IA before. This one vet doesn't like to do it for risk of infection is higher he says, but my other leg vet feels comfortable doing it with a chaser of antibiotics.

    There is a higher risk of flare. Infection is related to technique and bad luck. Antiobiotics are usually used in any IA injection.. I'd be going w/vet #2.

    I recently had a horse have a chip pulled out of his knee. The surgeon told me that if I wanted a good outcome that we should absolutely inject that knee w/Adequan and continue to do so over the life time of the horse.. his experience was in racing standardbreds and his words were "we do it all the time; it's what Adequan was made for and it is highly underutilized in the field". And it's true, the knee is what it was tested on. It is also true that vets are afraid of it, as clients tend to go whacko when a horse has a flare after IA injection.

    Prior to that I had a clients horse who was a 3/5 lame on a knee.. injected it w/Adequan and she was a 1 on bad days, sound on good days.. for over a year. I thought that was impressive.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2009
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    1,294

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    No longeing. Too much strain on the joints. If you can long line, that would be great. Otherwise, I would say lots of walking. Turnout with hills would be wonderful.
    Exactly what I would say. I'd hesitate for fear of the pressure any kind of circle (longe lines are only so long) might put on the knee. Pity the trails aren't an option, long and low walking, esp. on mild hills, would be perfect. As they're not, I second the long lining.
    Is she on a daily joint supplement? I've given the Adequan in addition to a daily glucosamine/HA supplement for my old guy with arthritic hocks and liked the results. Congrats on your yearling and on having your riding buddy back!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2010
    Posts
    25

    Default

    To keep her topline in good shape I would do light exercise over ground poles. A good arthritis supplement that is inexpensive that I have found is Cosequin HA+ASU



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2006
    Location
    Middle of Nowhere, take a right, FL
    Posts
    4,470

    Default

    You want to avoid stalling as much as possible with arthritis. A turnout with run in would be better (or access to the stall from a pasture). Light riding would put muscle on her faster if she can take it.
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 31, 2007
    Posts
    16,386

    Default Off topic and On Topic

    Yes, lots of walking-- preferably some on hills and/or kind of in a frame. The walking is for building up bone density and ligaments. The "frame" is about using the right muscles, even a little, while you are at it anyway.

    I brought back a mildly arthritic one who looked like caca after a winter off. When he looked rough or stiff, I ignored it and kept going in my slow way. It took a long time (4 months-- hate to say it!), but he was then back to show-ring fit and sound.

    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post

    ... we should absolutely inject that knee w/Adequan and continue to do so over the life time of the horse.. his experience was in racing standardbreds and his words were "we do it all the time; it's what Adequan was made for and it is highly underutilized in the field". And it's true, the knee is what it was tested on. It is also true that vets are afraid of it, as clients tend to go whacko when a horse has a flare after IA injection.

    Prior to that I had a clients horse who was a 3/5 lame on a knee.. injected it w/Adequan and she was a 1 on bad days, sound on good days.. for over a year. I thought that was impressive.
    Really? And how often did you go into the joint? I assume it was much less frequently than we would do with IM injections.
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  11. #11
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mvp View Post

    Really? And how often did you go into the joint? I assume it was much less frequently than we would do with IM injections.
    Oh yes. Once a year is what was recommended for a horse in hard work, which is the same frequency that most people are injecting w/corticosteroids when they are doing it.

    It is a wonderful drug and effective of course IM.. but much more effective when directed to the joint you are trying to influence.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2003
    Posts
    5,800

    Default

    Not wishing to hijack, but have you ever used Adequan IA in the stifle, EqTrainer?



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by atr View Post
    Not wishing to hijack, but have you ever used Adequan IA in the stifle, EqTrainer?
    Nope. If you have it done let me know how it goes!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
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    14,495

    Default

    what everyone else said. walk walk walk and then low pole work- for a long time, then slightly higher. if your cavalletti have three settings, spend 3 or more weeks on one seating before moving her up. And setting them down the road at different heights is another idea.

    Turn out and hills.

    I wouldn't longe her. If you have a good un to pony her off of, that's a way to get two horses walked



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