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  1. #1
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    Default Laminitis and slowly beggining work again.

    So my Mare was diagnosed with Laminits last week and had the X-rays done and thankfully there was no rotation! I have modified her diet and working on losing some weight. We put a 2 degree pad on the heel and rounded the toe and she has been on Bute for the past week. There has been no heat for a few days.

    She has a chiropractic appointment today to help with her sore back and we will see how she does off the Bute. I was told that after she is sound for a week with no Bute to give it 30 days before I put her back into work.

    I was wondering how slowly I should go. I was think during the 30 days of no riding I could work with her in the arena with ground stuff (follow the leader) and teaching her some tricks (shaking head yes and no). The footing is soft and she doesn't have to walk on any rocks to get there and she is currently out in the pasture during the day and seems comfortable.

    Would this still be rushing things? I do plan on watching her very closely before during and after for any pain or heat and just working in small amounts of time at first on the ground 5-10 min and increasing the time over the 30 days. My vet seems to think it will be ok to incorporate some jumping (small 2ft) back into her program in 8 weeks from the time she is sound. I only want the best for my girl and I am trying to think in months instead of weeks lol.


    What is the COTH opinion?
    The Love for a Horse is just as Complicated as the Love for another Human being, If you have never Loved a Horse you will Never Understand!!!



  2. #2
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    You have already been given a recovery Rx:
    after she is sound for a week with no Bute to give it 30 days before I put her back into work.
    Is there some part of that that you don't understand?


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  3. #3
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    If your asking is it ok while on bute to play with her in the ring I'd say yes. I would not trot her but working on ground manners, tricks probably be ok. I could with my guy. Bringing him back to work I started with 15min walk only rides 2 to 3 times a week for 3 weeks then added a little trot down the long side twice and up to 20 min. Now we are at 20 min with a little more trot, the whole ring once each way and a twice on the long side the est walk.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole



  4. #4
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    Thanks Rabicon! Hope your guys progresses well

    Yes, I was thinking I could use this non-riding time to work on ground manners, but only once she is sound with no Bute. No trotting just walking and following me type games with no tight circles or turns. And maybe some other tricks that don't include her feet like shaking head yes and no. I am trying to make this as positive as possible and work on bonding.
    The Love for a Horse is just as Complicated as the Love for another Human being, If you have never Loved a Horse you will Never Understand!!!



  5. #5
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    No offense, but how old are you and how long have you had horses?


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Burten View Post
    You have already been given a recovery Rx:

    Is there some part of that that you don't understand?
    I don't think the Rx is all that clear from what is posted. IF a horse is on stall rest for 30 days, then I say that teaching tricks in the stall is fine, but ground work is not.

    IF a horse can be turned out, but not ridden, then yes, I think ground work is fine. No riding, no trotting, but walking in hand and other ground manners mini-sessions would be fine. If the horse is allowed to be out of its stall, then standing with a halter on is no worse, and certainly not in good footing.

    ETA: sorry, I missed that the horse IS allowed to be turned out. So yes, I think ground work is fine. Not sure why Rick is so adamant against it. Please elaborate.


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  7. #7
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    Well, while I'm not a mind-reader, the only thing I can think of that Rick might also be thinking (since he is farrier yes/no?) is recovery from laminitis is truly only demonstrated once the hoof proves it is actually growing again - growth/repair = healing. I would rely more on your farrier to determine when healing is complete rather than a vet's anticipated timeline. You can paint a line of bright nail polish along your horse's coronet band - this helps show you how the hoof is growing and how evenly the hoof wall is growing. A normal hoof should grow 1/4-1/2 inch per month, but acute laminitis can initially halt growth, and then later on, when healing, growth can be very rapid and uneven.

    The damage is only fully repaired once it grows out! This takes months, depending on how severe. For example, my broodmare is a retired jumper and has been in acute phase severe laminitis for 2 months already (caused by a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine). She has had no growth at all, not even 1 cm. Her recovery, if at all, is anticipated to be 1-3 years and she will never be ridden or even bred again. We're hoping, if all goes well, she will wear shoes for the next 2 years and, maybe, in the 3rd year she might be happy barefoot again. She will direct this phase of treatment. Your horse appears to have only a minor case, still it is wise to be conservative in these matters. I would advise you wait and see how much growth occurs in the next 30-60 days and trust your farrier who knows horse feet inside-out, backwards, and upside down.

    If your horse is sound in a couple weeks off bute, the first step is turnout where the horse can modify it's own exercise regimen depending on how his feet feel. In structured work, you have no way of knowing when the horse is first starting to feel the first twinges of pain. They're very stoic animals and they're very giving - they'll keep trying to do your bidding even when it hurts. You will only notice something is wrong when he starts limping and by then significant damage may have been sustained. In natural turnout, the horse will slow down and get quieter at first sign of discomfort and the general stop-and-go exercise in a pasture is totally different than sustained work on the lunge or in the round pen, or especially under saddle.
    Last edited by rodawn; Mar. 13, 2013 at 05:12 PM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by S1969 View Post
    I don't think the Rx is all that clear from what is posted.
    Really? Thus speaketh a horse owner...... What part of "after she is sound for a week with no Bute to give it 30 days before I put her back into work." is unclear?

    And, don't you think that rather than coming to an internet forum for advice/interpretation of veterinary instructions, the OP should discuss this with the attending vet if she is unclear about the instructions?

    Regardless, the owner seems to equate "work" with 'riding" eg:
    I was think during the 30 days of no riding
    Now the question becomes, "did the vet say 'no work' or 'no riding'? No work means exactly that. NO WORK. Which includes ground games, hand walking, teaching tricks, playing follow the leader, etc., ad naseum.
    IF a horse can be turned out, but not ridden, then yes, I think ground work is fine. No riding, no trotting, but walking in hand and other ground manners mini-sessions would be fine.
    Do you personally know this horse and its human connection? If the answer is "No", what qualifies you to give such advice. Actually your advice is more like 'permission' and that is precisely what this owner is looking for. Otherwise, she would have asked her vet first and wouldn't have had to come here seeking permission and approval. Another typical horse owner.
    If the horse is allowed to be out of its stall, then standing with a halter on is no worse, and certainly not in good footing.
    Really, what about the possibility of the horse becoming mentally stressed? Do you know what or how much might set this horse off? Ever consider what that might do to a recovering metabolic system? I thought not. Typical horse owner.

    ETA: sorry, I missed that the horse IS allowed to be turned out. So yes, I think ground work is fine. Not sure why Rick is so adamant against it. Please elaborate.
    Asked and answered.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Burten View Post
    Do you personally know this horse and its human connection? If the answer is "No", what qualifies you to give such advice. Actually your advice is more like 'permission' and that is precisely what this owner is looking for. Otherwise, she would have asked her vet first and wouldn't have had to come here seeking permission and approval. Another typical horse owner.

    Really, what about the possibility of the horse becoming mentally stressed? Ever conisder what that might do to a recovering metabolic system? I thought not. Typical horse owner.

    Asked and answered.
    [edit]

    I think that a horse that is cleared by the vet to be turned out is in little danger from walking on a halter v. walking at liberty, or it would not be cleared for turnout at all. But, you are right - I don't know the OP, her horse, or her vet. Nor am I a vet, so perhaps the OP should ask her vet this question.

    If her horse is running around in turnout, then 10 minutes of groundwork in the arena is unlikely to do anything worse. But clearly, if her horse is not interested in walking and is sore, then I would wait. If the horse is not interested in walking and is sore, however, it might be better in a deeply bedded stall.
    Last edited by Moderator 3; Mar. 14, 2013 at 07:13 AM. Reason: to remove personal attack


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  10. #10
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    My advice would be to take it slow and back off if the horse looks uncomfortable. I have a pony that had mild rotation 18 months ago, and had laminitis (but no rotation) again last spring. I started her rehab with 5 minutes of handwalking and bumped up in small increments until I felt comfortable riding her at a walk (she was being handwalked 30-60 minutes a day by then).

    Personally I'd walk the horse rather than doing any other kind of groundwork. I started walking the pony when she was sound on a straight line (although she still found tight turns uncomfortable at the time and so was still getting a gram of bute daily) and the walking seemed to really help her.



  11. #11
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    Thank you for the KIND responses. I come to this forum seeking others experiences on many different horse related issues. I feel that there is a great wealth of knowledge & experience on this message board. It is a great place to learn about others experiences and beliefs and opinions and take them ALL into consideration when you are dealing with an issue you have never dealt with before. I also realize that anything I may read here needs to be approved by a licensed vet!

    Now that that is out of the Way............

    The Vet advised that after she is sound (off of Bute) for one full week to allow 30 days before I get on her back and ride her again. He actually never said start slow and just walk ( glad that I am doing my own research as well or I might would of been jumping around doing 3 ft courses with her! ) I originally had her on stall rest for 2 days until the vet could come out ( she had no heat at this time but was "walking on egg shells"). After the vets evaluation the Vet thought it was best to have her out as long as she seemed comfortable and was not running in the pasture, his thought was it was best for her to be out in a mostly dirt lot on private turn out. (had soft footing and mud that could help keep her feet cool.) Her normal schedule is: In from 4pm-9am Out from 9am - 4pm. She never presented with any swelling and had heat in her front feet for on 2 separate days. She has been on Bute since Monday March 4th. Today was her first day off of the Bute and she was walking sound today with no short strideness. When I walked her into the barn today I even tried to make sure she was walking on the grass and she choose to walk on the gravel with no issues.

    Rowan: I like your suggestion about the finger nail polish to see how quickly her feet are growing. From what i have read it can take 8-12 months for a new hoof to grow out. So this would be a great indicator! Although I have read that the lamina actually never regrows and will always be weaker due to the laminitis ( something I will discuss with my farrier)

    Grayarabpony: was your pony stall bound due to the last laminitis episode? just wondering if that is why you were hand walking her. And since you mentioned the turning tight my barn owner did mention that the only time she took an "off" step today was turning tight to go into the pasture. So I will have to be on the look out for that as well. But she seemed great today on a straight line.
    The Love for a Horse is just as Complicated as the Love for another Human being, If you have never Loved a Horse you will Never Understand!!!



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by S1969 View Post
    Honestly, why are you always such an ass?
    'Always' is, demonstrably, a non-starter.
    I think that a horse that is cleared by the vet to be turned out is in little danger from walking on a halter v. walking at liberty, or it would not be cleared for turnout at all. But, you are right - I don't know the OP, her horse, or her vet. Nor am I a vet, so perhaps the OP should ask her vet this question.
    You think.....? Are you going to pay any and all vet bills that the OP incurs if she follows your advice and the horse comes lame?
    [edit]
    Last edited by Moderator 3; Mar. 14, 2013 at 07:12 AM. Reason: to remove personal attack


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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy4aOTTB View Post
    The Vet advised that after she is sound (off of Bute) for one full week to allow 30 days before I get on her back and ride her again. He actually never said start slow and just walk ( glad that I am doing my own research as well or I might would of been jumping around doing 3 ft courses with her! ) I originally had her on stall rest for 2 days until the vet could come out ( she had no heat at this time but was "walking on egg shells"). After the vets evaluation the Vet thought it was best to have her out as long as she seemed comfortable and was not running in the pasture, his thought was it was best for her to be out in a mostly dirt lot on private turn out. (had soft footing and mud that could help keep her feet cool.) Her normal schedule is: In from 4pm-9am Out from 9am - 4pm. She never presented with any swelling and had heat in her front feet for on 2 separate days. She has been on Bute since Monday March 4th. Today was her first day off of the Bute and she was walking sound today with no short strideness. When I walked her into the barn today I even tried to make sure she was walking on the grass and she choose to walk on the gravel with no issues.
    Did it ever occur to you to give the full story/case history when you first posted?
    Regardless, it will take a few days for the bute to clear her system, so how she acts a few days from now is more relevant than how she acted today. And do your horse and yourself a favor and keep her off the gravel. At least for the time being.
    I have read that the lamina actually never regrows and will always be weaker due to the laminitis ( something I will discuss with my farrier)
    Laminae constantly grow and all things being equal, will not be weaker. Wherever you read that, throw that reference away.
    the only time she took an "off" step today was turning tight to go into the pasture.
    Why do you suppose that happened? If you don't know, it's time you did your due diligence and found out. Perhaps, absent Bro Bloomer and myself, one of the numerous "experts on the hoof " will step up and clue you in. That is, if they have a clue themselves........."course, after hearing from said experts, you'll more than likely want to double check what they've said..........Triple checking might even be a better choice.....
    Last edited by Rick Burten; Mar. 13, 2013 at 10:43 PM.


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  14. #14
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    [edit]

    To the OP: vets and farriers are great, and I love that I trust mine. But your observations are also important. Most definitely keep your eye on your horse and judge their behavior - we know our horses best, and can use that information to help the vet and farrier give us guidance. Good luck!
    Last edited by Moderator 3; Mar. 14, 2013 at 07:11 AM. Reason: to remove personal attack


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  15. #15
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    OP no, my pony was never stall bound. The first time she had laminitis she was in a small paddock with another horse finishing recuperating from an ankle injury and so needed to be handwalked in addition to the bit of strolling around she was doing on her own. The vet actually told me to leave her out when I asked him about stall rest. The weather was so hot he thought she'd be better off being able to go in and out of the shelter. (In fact she actually avoided going into the deeply bedded stalls and preferred to stand just outside, under the overhang.) I started handwalking her as soon as she was fine walking in a straight line.

    I had to handwalk her with the second episode too because when she wears a very strict grazing muzzle (I had to tape the opening to make it even smaller when she got laminitis again) she didn't walk around as much as usual in the pasture.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Burten View Post
    A great idea. I'll do so immediately when all the nameless, faceless, charlatans, imposters, snake oil salesmen/women, advice giving non-horsemen/women and related dilettantes do the same. Then again, when that group of stalwarts takes their collective leave, I won't have to do so. Then I can let all the sweetness and light that is all bundled up inside me to burst forth and cast its mellifluence upon the world on the ephemeral wings of a butterfly and in the warble of the meadow lark and in songs of Kumbaya sung 'round campfires near and far. Sounds like a winner to me.
    Another perfect example.

    But for your wisdom, we'd all be lost.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy4aOTTB View Post
    So my Mare was diagnosed with Laminits last week and had the X-rays done and thankfully there was no rotation!
    In my experience with laminitis some horses do not have rotation following the acute stage. That does not mean that rotation or sinking will not occur sometime later.

    I have modified her diet and working on losing some weight. We put a 2 degree pad on the heel and rounded the toe and she has been on Bute for the past week. There has been no heat for a few days.
    So far so good. You have not indicated whether the horse was shod or barefoot prior to the laminitis.

    She has a chiropractic appointment today to help with her sore back and we will see how she does off the Bute. I was told that after she is sound for a week with no Bute to give it 30 days before I put her back into work.
    I'm having a problem reconciling the history as you have presented it.

    First you state the horse is overweight. Then you speak of putting the horse "back into work" as though the horse was previously in work when the laminitis occurred. How can a horse that is working be overweight?

    I was wondering how slowly I should go. I was think during the 30 days of no riding I could work with her in the arena with ground stuff (follow the leader) and teaching her some tricks (shaking head yes and no). The footing is soft and she doesn't have to walk on any rocks to get there and she is currently out in the pasture during the day and seems comfortable.
    I commend you new interest in horsemanship. However, if you want to be a real horseman, it will be the horse teaching you, not you teaching the horse. Part of that involves you learning to interpret the horses behavior in regards to its comfort - both physical and mental. Your horse already knows how to speak horse. You need to listen to what the horse is saying, especially when the horse says yes and no.

    Would this still be rushing things?
    This is a very good question. What is your horse's answer?

    I do plan on watching her very closely before during and after for any pain or heat and just working in small amounts of time at first on the ground 5-10 min and increasing the time over the 30 days.
    You should discuss this plan in detail with your horse. Best to break it down into very small discreet steps rather than reveal the whole plan.

    My vet seems to think it will be ok to incorporate some jumping (small 2ft) back into her program in 8 weeks from the time she is sound. I only want the best for my girl and I am trying to think in months instead of weeks lol.
    Seems you are very impatient and want to get back to riding and jumping. Perhaps you could borrow somebody else's horse to quench your thirst for this activity until you've learned to quantify your horse's opinion on its recovery.

    What is the COTH opinion?
    Does your horse give a damn what COTH thinks?


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  18. #18
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    I wouldn't jump your horse within 8 weeks. I would at the end of the 30 days have her xrayed again to make sure there are no changes. When i went through this my guy was out for 12 weeks of riding and xrays each 6 weeks when the farrier came. The vet xrayed went back and contacted my farrier about the xrays so the farrier could make the decisions on how he should be shoed. the when i started light riding at the walk for 2 weeks in The arena sand only the added that trot down the long side twice per ride we xrayed again in 4 weeks. Now we are back to starting him in normal work but I'm still at only 20 min rides and trotting like I said above. Next week we are going to up to 25 min rides and so on. He will probably be xrayed one more time for just my piece of mind as well. Things can change very quickly with lamnitis and yu have to keep a good watch on it for awhile to make sure. Jumping in 8 weeks is a risk to me because you have to remember you are putting all that weight on the hoof at risk when they land. I'd give at least 5 months before I though about a jump but I'm always on the safe side because this is a risk that if that bone rotates you may have a horse that's a pasture puff or needs to be out down. Take it slow and easy.
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy4aOTTB View Post
    she is currently out in the pasture during the day.
    Have you considered this might be your whole issue?


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by S1969 View Post
    Another perfect example.

    But for your wisdom, we'd all be lost.
    Actually Rick needs to go ahead and get lost. There are no charlatans or snake oil salesmen or women posting on the hoof care threads at this time.


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