I recently took my unbroken 4yr old to a lovely old chiro guy who has treated and worked with horses all his life. He checked my boy out and told me that he had a pinched nerve at the top inside of his foreleg. When I just ran my finger lightly across the area (reaching from behind, I ran my finger lightly from the front of his chest to the back of his elbow), he reacted quite markedly. He told me to stretch his foreleg out in front of him every day. I've been doing this. He also said it can be quite a difficult thing to treat. Has anyone had this or can anyone in the chiro/osteo/massage field give me anymore advice please? I'll keep doing the excercise but anything anyone has to add might be helpful. Thanks!
Did he say which nerve? How he suspected it was trapped?? That's the area of the brachial plexus; you have 6-7 large, very important nerves right there in the armpit.
I'm hesitant to go right to a pinched nerve; if there was really nerve damage, there would be associated mobility & sensory issues further distal down the limb, depending on what nerve was damaged. And I'm trying to figure out what nerve could even get trapped, or where it would get trapped... the paths of the nerves coming out of that area are rather direct & unimpeded by bones, unlike spinal nerves coming out between vertebrae.
You might try giving him homeopathic Hypericum Perforatum 30c, which is a common remedy for nerve pain. Purchase in a blue tube made by Boiron at most health food stores. I've had great luck with it, both with a horse and also me (sciatica). I use the 30c potency and usually give it 3x/day for 3 days and see if there's any improvement. It's harmless at any rate. I keep it on hand always.
Thank you for that. I don't know either whether it really IS a pinched nerve... He said it was but hmmm He had an op on a club foot (check Lig) when he was 16months and the vet put hobbles on his legs and moved him hanging like a dead cow with front end loader!! He has always held his leg out a bit since then. I nearly died - was horrified! I have had him checked thoroughly many times - lots of body work done and this seems like, hopefully, the last thing that is niggling. Must have pulled something... Who would be best to treat something in this area? Osteopath? Don't think a vet would be much help... There doesn't seem to be any impedement of movement. Moves very well and has never been lame. Just holds it out slightly when resting. Does seem to get a bit sore after hooning around for a long time but only when you touch the area - doesn't make him favour the leg.
Are you saying that he points that leg/foot in front of himself every time he halts?
If so my first suspicion would be heel pain. But it is true that a horse with radial nerve damage may point the foot. Also possible shoulder sling issues. You'll need a good vet to figure that one out.
"Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
--- The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.
No he doesn't point it. Just holds the leg to the side slightly. He's not ticklish. It hurts him when you run your finger very lightly across the area. I'd never noticed it and it wasn't till the chiro pointed it out that the lights came on. Will get a good osteo on the job. I just took him because I was taking the other horse and thought he could do with a check up. That's the only thing he picked up on so at least that is something!!
Hmm I can't see any atrophy anywhere. I would never have known if this old guy hadn't run his hand under there as part of his check up. I gave him a gentle rub under there last night (horse not old guy ) and he stamped his foot a couple of times so I have to be very gentle. Something isn't right... But it's not obvious. He looks the picture of health.
I had a newborn colt who developed a radial nerve paralysis. He never seemed sensitive to touch anywhere and showed no evidence of pain at all. The leg just didn't work. He held it with the toe back, just resting on the ground. Flopped it all around when he walked, thankfully only for a very short time, with immediate and permanent improvement within days. Whew!