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  1. #1
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    Mar. 20, 2010
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    Default DSLD

    What have been your experiences with it? If you have a horse that has DSLD, at what age did you first notice it? Have you found effective treatment to make your horse more comfortable? Is there anything that makes it worse? Is 24/7 Turnout better or stall rest?

    I have an older mare with dropped hind fetlocks and am considering getting her ultrasounded for DSLD. She is not in work. Any information would be helpful, including pictures.



  2. #2
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    Jun. 4, 2006
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    Default

    One of my friends horses had this and lameness specialist did platelet rich plasma. It did help.



  3. #3
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    Default

    Interesting! Thanks!



  4. #4
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    Look up Dr. Eleanore Kellon's new protocol for DSLD. I believe she is having a lot of success. She has been using AAKG (L-Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate, an amino acid) and Jiaogulan (chinese herb). I believe she may have a Yahoo group for DSLD?



  5. #5
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    Sep. 18, 2005
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    Default

    I've seen egg bars in the back help.



  6. #6
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    Default

    One of my friends horses looks like she has DSLD she is not diagnosed but her fetlocks are low to the ground hers was more conformational. She was only mildly lame but is apparently sound now with egg bars on her hind.



  7. #7
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    Feb. 18, 2006
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    east central Illinois and working north to the 'burbs
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  8. #8
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    Oct. 26, 2007
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    Boston MA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dwblover View Post
    Look up Dr. Eleanore Kellon's new protocol for DSLD. I believe she is having a lot of success. She has been using AAKG (L-Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate, an amino acid) and Jiaogulan (chinese herb). I believe she may have a Yahoo group for DSLD?
    Definitely join the Yahoo group and use the treatment above. I know 2 DSLD horses that have responded well to this regimen and bare feet, no eggbar shoes needed.



  9. #9
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    Sep. 25, 2005
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    Default

    My mare was diagnosed several months ago. It's a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE disease. My poor girl has been through hell. One day she can't walk, the next day she looks great and gaits around the pasture. I joined the DSLD yahoo group and started the AAKG/Jiagulon treatment Dr. Kellon recommends. It did help her considerably but there are still bad days. She was getting zero relief from even 4 grams of bute, but after 2 treatments of AAKG/J, she was gaiting around the pasture.

    Her deep flexors on both fronts are mushy and full of palpable nodules and thickenings. Suspensories are thickened and lumpy. Her left front "collapsed" for lack of a better term. The deep flexor went lax and she sunk on that limb. It's been a nightmare. That foot is wedged, the other is not. I'm using Eponas with sole packing but I imagine any kind of good supportive shoe would do the same job.

    Libbey is on a low sugar diet which is supposed to help DSLD. She's Cushings and Foundered, so of course that's appropriate for her anyway. She's on an extra 2,000 I.U. of Vitamin E, 1/2 lb. ground Flax, and Smart Vite Performance because it has extra Selenium (3 mg.), and a higher level of copper which is also recommended.

    I trim a few horses with DSLD but I have not seen one this bad. Apparently Paso Finos get a "worse" type of DSLD that affects all four limbs. We have no proof that my horse is a Paso Fino (I was told she was a pony cross), but she looks Paso, she's gaited, and she has developed the type of DSLD that is most common in Pasos. Some of them tend to contract upwards and get more upright, which is what happened to my horse. So........we're just going to assume she's Paso.

    Definitely join the DSLD group. They are a tremendous resource. And DEFINITELY try the AAKG/J protocol. It is $31 for a starter pack. A lady named Bunny on the list is who you get it from. She ships it priority and it came to me in 2 days. I was going to put my mare down (had already called the backhoe guy) when the people on the list convinced me to at least try it first. I'm glad I did because even though she is still lame, and still has very bad days, at least there are periods of relative soundness in there and she's happy, eating, and has a good attitude.



  10. #10
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    Jun. 7, 2008
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    Default

    I agree with all the good advice given. My dear departed mare first started showing symptoms, as seen in hindsight, about 5 years before her disease had progressed to the point that I had to euth her. Unfortunately, by the time there was an accurate diagnosis (mutliple local Vets had no clue), she was in too bad of a shape for the nutritional protocol mentioned to do much good (it had just been developed too, and apparently works better the sooner it is started). Concurrent with the onset of symptoms, Dr. K and the EC/IR list had helped me make some dietary changes as maresy was iron overloaded, per KSU iron panel and although a lean and rangy body type, was showing an IR type of cresty neck. She did become compensated IR over a 2 year period of nutritional management however.

    Anyway, the symptoms, that seemed unrelated at first, included, a puffy hind fetlock, some stiffness, stumbling that was only partially helped by short and rolled toe trims. It did not help her any that my at the time 15 year old and disobedient, willful Stepdaughter who did not live with her Dad and me, decided to ride her without my permission. The ride, per boarders' report later, was much longer than the mare was fit for and in deep sand without leg support. Said SD also weighed at least 230 lbs at the time (I hover around 100), and was/is an extremely unbalanced rider, so that was a doubly hard workout for the mare, poorly balanced weight above and bad shifting footing below. The way I found out about this the next day, God bless fellow boarders, was to hear from a few of them about her unscheduled visit and ride. Kallie also had what appeared to be, and I treated as, a suspensory strain in a front leg, surely related to that wild ride. She had to have some stall rest, standing wraps and handwalking and gradual return to work. Considering the overall systemic breakdown in connective tissue, even though she apparently returned to soundness, I strongly believe that overwork episode hastened the progression of her disorder, or at least the disorder resulted in continued weakness of the structures in that leg.

    That disorder progressed, or declined, into her standing with hind legs over a period of years becoming increasingly placed farther under her body until she eventually became quite postlegged, becoming progressively over at the knee in front, more puffiness in hinds and one then the other hind fetlock began sinking. By the time one of hinds was showing signs of falling fetlock, she began doing a 'bunny hop' of both hind legs together cantering loose or on the longe, or having her hind leg or legs seem to slip out from under her, one of those times resulting in a scary fall for us both. She began lying down less, and having more trouble getting up. She had trouble holding any of her legs up long enough for hoof trims, farrier fortunately was very patient with her and let her rest as needed.

    About a year after she had started stumbling, she also was showing signs of 'shivers' in which one hind leg would be held up, haunch quiver and after a few minutes she'd put the leg down. Oddly enough, she only had that symptom for just over a year then it spontaneously stopped. By the time I euth'd her, which was probably a little later than I should have waited, she was not able to bend hind legs much at all, had become really post legged behind and over at the knee in front. Throughout this ordeal she remained cheerful, interactive, affectionate, and bright eyed, until the day she was no longer bright eyed and I sent her over the Bridge. She was a grand mare, truly my heart horse, and I miss her daily.
    Jeanie
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.



  11. #11
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    Aug. 22, 2009
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    Indiana
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    Lightbulb

    Upon reading this a few questions popped into my mind--

    What breed is your horse? Is your horse straight in behind / post legged? And is there anything else that makes you think DSLD (lameness, swelling, heat, etc.) or is it just the dropped fetlocks?

    My horse was diagnosed with severe suspensory problems (both hind legs) later last year and the vet noticed that his fetlocks appeared a little low. My horse, however, is a 9 year old Thoroughbred so it's not thought to be DSLD / genetic in his case (DSLS has been diagnosed in Arabians, American Saddlebreds, National Show Horses, Paso Finos, Peruvian Pasos, and Quarter Horses).

    24/7 turnout is thought to be the best for horses with DSLD as it allows them to keep moving. Shoes to help offer support (eggbars, straight bars) can be helpful though as others have mentioned, some horses seem to do ok without.

    You'll find this site to be very helpful- http://www.angelfire.com/bc/curlygait/diagnose.html

    Best of luck with your horse and I hope you'll update if you get her checked.



  12. #12
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    Jun. 17, 2007
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    stevensville ont canada
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  13. #13
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    Jun. 10, 2001
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    nj
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    Default before you panic consult with a vet as to whether there indeed is a problem

    my mare's conformation is such that her fetlocks always looked low. she has had 2 suspensory injuries in the last 2 years and i thought for sure they were a sign of DSLD (they actually call it ESPA now). however, the vet assures me that there is nothing in her U/S that would indicate her suspensory injuries are a result of DSLD.

    so take a deep breath, get an U/S if you can and speak to a vet before you go spending your time and $ on DSLD treatments she may not even need.

    best of luck!
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



  14. #14
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    Mar. 20, 2010
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dressage.For.Life. View Post
    Upon reading this a few questions popped into my mind--

    What breed is your horse? Is your horse straight in behind / post legged? And is there anything else that makes you think DSLD (lameness, swelling, heat, etc.) or is it just the dropped fetlocks?

    My horse was diagnosed with severe suspensory problems (both hind legs) later last year and the vet noticed that his fetlocks appeared a little low. My horse, however, is a 9 year old Thoroughbred so it's not thought to be DSLD / genetic in his case (DSLS has been diagnosed in Arabians, American Saddlebreds, National Show Horses, Paso Finos, Peruvian Pasos, and Quarter Horses).

    24/7 turnout is thought to be the best for horses with DSLD as it allows them to keep moving. Shoes to help offer support (eggbars, straight bars) can be helpful though as others have mentioned, some horses seem to do ok without.

    You'll find this site to be very helpful- http://www.angelfire.com/bc/curlygait/diagnose.html

    Best of luck with your horse and I hope you'll update if you get her checked.
    She is a Hanoverian, does have very straight hocks, and her fetlocks are slightly dropped. When she had her 09 filly is when I noticed that they dropped. She is lightly off, but she's been that way. She was a career broodmare when I got her. All of her foals have nice hind ends except her 09 filly--she was bred to a stallion before I owned her who also has straight hocks. The resulting filly has straight hocks and dropped pasterns. I'm wondering if it is conformation. She is not bred right now. I wanted to get a diagnosis on what exactly it is, and it looks a little like DSLD, so I wanted to get some info on it.



  15. #15
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    Default

    Not nearly as bad.



  16. #16
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    Aug. 19, 2005
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    NE PA & FL gulf
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    I have a 20 yo QH gelding diagnosed over 2 years ago with DSLD. His fetlocks have severely dropped and his suspensories are deformed. I have lightly followed Dr. Kellon's treatment with jiaogulan and AAKG. I can't say for sure if it helped, but I know it didn't hurt. My gelding is out 24/7 and still gets around really good. The biggest change I saw in him happened around 3 or 4 months ago. Assuming the end was near, I took him OFF his senior supplement (Smartpak's Smartsenior) and changed feed to Blue Seal's Sentinel Lifetime (with added glucosamine and chondroitin). He's been galloping in his field and bucking in spurts of happiness since this change. I know it's not the best thing to allow a D/E horse this kind of robust exercise, but as long as he feels this good, I'm happy. He'll let me know when it's time, but for now he's still going strong.



  17. #17
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    Sep. 25, 2005
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    Default

    A note on the turnout - 24/7 seems to be the best for my horse as well. We had thunderstorms and heavy downpouring rain so the horses were in the barn all day then all night as well. When I put them out this morning, my poor Libbey could barely put one foot in front of the other. It took a long time to walk her the 30 feet outside to her paddock.

    But I know that when I get home tonight, she'll be walking significantly better.

    My horse really does need the 24/7 turnout, and any time at all in a stall is now detrimental to her. It didn't used to be that way but her condition is progressing at an alarming rate.

    And to address marta's concerns - I agree that ultrasounds are very important but I was informed by one vet, and some members of the list that many vets don't know how to read ultrasounds correctly and say that nothing is wrong, when there is something wrong. Many vets are not knowledgeable about DSLD at ALL.

    I've had 2 vets out to look at my mare. The first vet diagnosed it almost immediately (and my mare did NOT have the dropped fetlocks or posty legged stance.) She told me about a case she had worked on where multiple vets and multiple ultrasounds yielded "just a suspensory tear" but this vet recognized it as DSLD. Over a short period of time the horse progressed rapidly until he/she (can't remember??) was euthanized. This vet said that DSLD (ESPA) is one of those things that a lot of vets just don't have experience with.

    So I'm not saying your vet is wrong. Just telling you my experience with this and what others on the list have told me.



  18. #18
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    Jun. 10, 2001
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    Cool

    well it's just amazing, as usual, how among all these ignorant vets in the world, A2 found the rare one that knows what DSLD looks like...
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique



  19. #19
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    Oct. 8, 2003
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    Default

    I had a mare with DSLD and my "home vet" just thought it was suspensory issues (first one hind leg then multiple tears in both hind legs). It wasn't until she was standing with her back legs really underneath her (no drop in the fetlocks at this point) that she was shipped to a vet clinic where she was diagnosed. She was put down three days later since she was unable to stand, was laminitic on 4 bute per day. "Worse case they had ever seen!"

    From initial tear to Rainbow Bridge was 3 months and she was a 13 year old TB (tatooed).

    My insurance company said they are seeing more and more cases in Warmbloods and TBs.



  20. #20
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    Oct. 2, 2008
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Auventera Two View Post
    And to address marta's concerns - I agree that ultrasounds are very important but I was informed by one vet, and some members of the list that many vets don't know how to read ultrasounds correctly and say that nothing is wrong, when there is something wrong. Many vets are not knowledgeable about DSLD at ALL.


    I have a horse who is not confirmed DSLD, but it is very, very likely that he has it. When the horse first came in (he is a 16 yo retired Hanoverian who has been turned out for 2 years), I called the vet out and asked if she thought it was DSLD from looking at it. Vet said, "what's DSLD?" Then she told me it might be a good idea to keep him stalled more rather than not. She is rather new to being a vet and not the head vet at the clinic I use, but still. It does seem like many vets are not yet super knowledgeable about things like this that still may be under research (this has gone for me and PSSM, too). Sometimes it makes more sense to send them to a larger clinic to get confirmation on something like this.

    I have not sent my horse in to get confirmation because I don't feel I need it and have gone straight to treatment. I have not tried the AAKG/Jiagulon, but I may give that a go. My farrier has dealt with many DSLD horses and recommended putting him on a Vitamin A supplement. He said he has tried egg bars with mixed results, and didn't think that my horse would benefit from it. He gets as much turnout as possible. My boy has the classic dropped fetlocks behind and post-legged stance, but so far he certainly seems sound and comfortable enough to be a pasture puff--just saw him running happily in the field the other day with no discomfort afterward.

    If I were to send my horse to get ultrasounded, he would go to the larger clinic. I had to get a horse ultrasounded this winter, and my vet outright admitted that it would be better if he went to the clinic (which this horse did, and it was worth every penny) as most vets, even some of the better ones out there (and the vet who said this has definitely been around), don't know how to read everything on an ultrasound. At a clinic, you will have many vets who specialize in different areas who will be able to give you a better reading.



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