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Third bad pre-purchase exam. Should I give up or keep going???

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  • Here's a short article that explains what IRAP is:

    http://www.goldcoastequineclinic.com...d=77&Itemid=75

    A short segment of the article:

    IRAP is a system that has been developed to stimulate white blood cells to produce anti-inflammatory mediators and enzymes to reduce the inflammatory phase of joint disease. Blood is taken from the jugular vein and incubated for 24 hours in special syringes which induce the blood cells to produce and secrete therapeutic proteins during the incubation period. After 24 hours the blood is centrifuged and all blood cells are removed. This leaves a protein rich serum which is then split into 3ml doses ready for injection into the diseased joint.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by vineyridge View Post
      According to an article I read, HA is contraindicated for soft tissue injuries. If you're going to treat an undiagnosed lameness, IRAP might well be the better choice.
      That seems like a discussion she should be having with the vet, considering that there are about a hundred different ways to treat stifle "issues" depending on what the vet thinks the issue actually is.

      Injecting Legend (aka hyaluronic acid or HA) and a steroid into the stifle joint is pretty standard treatment for suspected joint issues (i.e. arthritic changes); been there, done that, made a HUGE difference for one particular horse.

      IRAP is very expensive compared to conventional joint injections (~$200 for a single HA injection, vs IRAP at ~$1500) and doesn't always produce the consistent results that HA/steroid does. IRAP is a very pricey route to use as an experiment for something other than a clear-cut issue where it has a proven benefit.

      Comment


      • From what I read, the problem with HA is that it actually does something to retard cell growth. Great for diagnosed arthritis, but it hinders repairs of soft tissue. That's why diagnosis is important before treatment.

        Originally posted by wanderlust View Post
        That seems like a discussion she should be having with the vet, considering that there are about a hundred different ways to treat stifle "issues" depending on what the vet thinks the issue actually is.

        Injecting Legend (aka hyaluronic acid or HA) and a steroid into the stifle joint is pretty standard treatment for suspected joint issues (i.e. arthritic changes) been there, done that, made a HUGE difference for one particular horse.

        IRAP is very expensive compared to conventional joint injections (~$200 for a single HA injection, vs IRAP at ~$1500) and doesn't always produce the consistent results that HA/steroid does. IRAP is a very pricey route to use as an experiment for something other than a clear-cut issue where it has a proven benefit.
        "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
        Thread killer Extraordinaire

        Comment


        • Why not just try Pentosan w/Cosequin? It really does work!
          www.sauconycreeksporthorses.com
          Dedicated to breeding Friesian Sporthorses
          with world class pedigrees and sport suitability

          Comment


          • Interesting thread. OP, I haven't been following your journey, but it sounds like you've had quite a rough time.

            What I find interesting is how the responses figure that "gambling" has something to do with it. All of Life is a Gamble. You never know how things are going to turn out. And that is about as much of a guarantee as you will ever find.

            I'm with the camp that never did a PPE. "Back in the Day" they weren't as common -- people just looked at the horse, rode it, and said "yea or nay".

            So I can't give you the answer, but here are some thoughts:

            1. If you keep him, you will be responsible for him. I'm sure you know that, but it's important to see if you can bear that burden for as long as it takes. It doesn't sound like he's got a great deal waiting for him at home, so there is that aspect to consider.

            2. Are you using the same vet for all these horses? Because of the risk of law suits, vets usually find SOMETHING wrong with a horse...any horse.

            3. One poster said you can get enough rads to tell the story for under $300 -- I agree. I don't know his age, but if he's OTTB over the age of 6 I would expect to find some arthritis here & there -- those horses start young and are worked pretty hard. But arthritis is treatable and just about every horse will develop it somewhere at sometime. But (to me) this mostly falls under the heading of "maintenance issues."

            4. If you decide to send him back, you need to change your methods from now on. Like others have suggested, stay away from OTTBs or become more lenient in your standards. Learn from your vet the proper steps for a flexion test (they aren't brain surgery...just flex for 30 secs and move the horse forward immediately at a brisk trot). While it takes an educated eye to spot the more subtle cues, I would think everyone would see a 3/5. And ALWAYS watch a horse go towards you, away from you and in a circle both ways. ALWAYS use a firm surface and (if possible) a deep surface. But a firm surface for sure.

            In other words learn how to do this stuff yourself; it's part of being a real horsemen/woman. I think that's why so many of us "oldies" didn't do alot of PPEs...you are perfectly capable of feeling legs, checking hoofs, looking at eyes, taking a temp, looking at teeth. If you are still fairly new to horses, surround yourself with non-paying horse people who can do it for you and teach you.. But you need to be able to recognize lameness yourself, especially when it's 3/5.

            Unless the horse is drugged, you shouldn't need a bunch of rads to see if a horse is sound or not, and think how much $$$ you will save!

            Lastly VIDEO TAPE the exam -- the gaiting part. EVERYONE has camcorders one their phone these days -- get video of the horse moving. You can replay it in slo-mo or show it to some of your more experienced horse friends before you make up your mind for sure. Sometimes it's really tough to spot things the first time the horse gaits. And if you get a profound result (like 3/5), ALWAYS repeat after letting the horse be for 5-10 mins.

            It seems to be more common these days to look for an "expert" (trainer, vet,) to guarantee a horse will be a certain way...but that just isn't correct. I've gotten plenty of wrong advice from pros. Not BAD -- just wrong! As in, the future did not turn out the way they predicted it would.

            As many posters have pointed out, there are a million and one ways for a horse to go bad, and chances are great you will have to deal with them. Again, I have to tell you that by shopping from a group of young, heavily used horses, you are raising the chance of certain conditions (like arthritis) existing. But having arthritis and being lame are not always together.

            Again, I can't tell you what to do with this horse now...I wish you the best of luck with him.

            But if he DOES go back and you decide to soldier on, change your horse shopping tactics and use the $$ on the HORSE, not on the vet .

            Comment


            • Very well said and some good points brought up, Kyzteke .

              Comment


              • Based on the video clips, it looks like it could be a mild stifle problem. That being said, that's not career ending or necessarily even limiting. My off the track horse moves similarly behind, and went through Prelim eventing and Third Level dressage. I think you've gotten some good advice here from what I've read; if he's just coming back into work, definitely give him some time to develop the right muscles, which will really help the stifle. I think offering the current owner a free lease option is a very reasonable and realistic offer; it gives you time to see what a couple months of work gives you and gives you an out if it turns out he's not going to do what you want. He looks like a nice horse, so I think it would be worth it to give him a chance.

                Comment


                • [QUOTE=KellyS;6904665]Have you considered buying a young horse (versus an OTTB) that you bring along with the help of a professional?

                  When I went to replace my heart horse who had died, I struggled between getting an OTTB (because I'd ridden many, loved them, and my heart horse had been one) and getting a youngster.

                  I thought I was crazy when I bought a weanling!


                  This isn't THAT crazy an idea. As a breeder, I can tell you that youngsters are very cheap right now. And many of them are of excellent quality. I can say this because she is gone now, but I just sold a registered, inspected WB/TB yearling filly, who won her foal inspection, finished third in the NATION for her registry, is by an approved TB stallion and o/o a Weltmeyer daughter -- AND she was a palomino (Well, she still IS a palomino...but you know what I'm saying...)and for not much more than the OP's original horse-buying budget...AND turns out she is in the next state over!

                  Of course, as I said before, there are no guarantees anywhere. That perfect sound yearling or 2 yr old can put it's foot in a hole and break a leg tomorrow. The risk is ALWAYS going to be there -- period.

                  But in terms of getting a bigger bang for your buck, these days buying a youngster is usually a good deal.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
                    None of us trotted him up on hard ground or analyzed from behind the way the vet did.
                    Keep looking, and do this with horses BEFORE you pay to have the vet out.

                    When I go look at horses I'll video them trotting out and back and show the video to my trainer. She's also caught some lameness issues on horses' sales videos that I missed, and showed me things to look for. And I listened to the vet as she evaluated the first horse I had fail vet check last summer, and made notes to self of things to notice when going to look at horses.

                    Hind end lameness can be difficult to see with an uneducated eye. I had a horse a few years back that injured a hip and watching him move has taught me a lot about what to look for. There is much more to lameness than head-bobbing.

                    I had two horses fail vet in the last year, one of the exams was $1,300 because I really really liked that horse and wanted to be very sure before walking away, and the first couple of issues we found were minor but we kept finding more, it ended up being more than I was comfortable with for a horse that age.

                    Horse shopping is tough. Just remember the initial purchase price is the least expensive part of horse ownership and if you don't have property to turn a horse out if it doesn't hold up then you are stuck with vet bills and worst case paying board on a lame horse and not able to ride unless you can afford another board bill.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by hb View Post
                      Keep looking, and do this with horses BEFORE you pay to have the vet out.

                      When I go look at horses I'll video them trotting out and back and show the video to my trainer. She's also caught some lameness issues on horses' sales videos that I missed, and showed me things to look for. And I listened to the vet as she evaluated the first horse I had fail vet check last summer, and made notes to self of things to notice when going to look at horses.

                      Hind end lameness can be difficult to see with an uneducated eye. I had a horse a few years back that injured a hip and watching him move has taught me a lot about what to look for. There is much more to lameness than head-bobbing.

                      I had two horses fail vet in the last year, one of the exams was $1,300 because I really really liked that horse and wanted to be very sure before walking away, and the first couple of issues we found were minor but we kept finding more, it ended up being more than I was comfortable with for a horse that age.

                      Horse shopping is tough. Just remember the initial purchase price is the least expensive part of horse ownership and if you don't have property to turn a horse out if it doesn't hold up then you are stuck with vet bills and worst case paying board on a lame horse and not able to ride unless you can afford another board bill.
                      ^^^This!!
                      I did 8 pre purchase exams. I didn't purchase any of these horses. I can't count the number of videos we watched and as much as I liked the horse I was told no, walk away. I wasn't looking for perfection but at least something I could work with and that would meet my riding goals. Good Luck.

                      Comment


                      • OP - if it makes you feel any better, I have bought three TBs, and all of them had issues when I bought them, and they all turned out fine. Your guy sounds super, so I hope all turns out well for you!

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                          In other words learn how to do this stuff yourself; it's part of being a real horsemen/woman. I think that's why so many of us "oldies" didn't do alot of PPEs...you are perfectly capable of feeling legs, checking hoofs, looking at eyes, taking a temp, looking at teeth. If you are still fairly new to horses, surround yourself with non-paying horse people who can do it for you and teach you.. But you need to be able to recognize lameness yourself, especially when it's 3/5.
                          Thanks for the advice, although I have a couple points of contention. First off, he is not a heavily used horse. He raced twice, never placed, and retired sound due to the financial issues of the seller. He has been sitting around for two years doing nothing but the euro-cizer. I thought this was a fairly low-risk vetting.

                          Also, I do feel legs, check hooves, look at eyes, feel teeth, ride, lounge on hard ground, analyze video, send it to all my horsey friends, etc. Only then do I progress to a vetting.

                          The first horse had moderate arthritis. I expected some arthritis, but the vet felt it made him unsuitable for jumping. I don't know how you can see arthritis when the horse currently moves sound unless you do radiographs? I agree, though, that I should learn to flex. I would have flexed him, though, seen an issue, and then wanted rads to confirm what kind of issue we were dealing with anyways. I think I would have wound up in the same place. The second horse had pedal ostitis. There is no way to see that without rads either. I know that I am shopping in a higher risk category (due to my budget constraints that's simply what's available in my area), but I really think I'm going about it sensibly. It's not like I see one pic of a pretty OTTB online and shell out hundreds for a vetting. I am doing as much homework as possible beforehand.

                          Comment


                          • Isn't your vet appt today? Crossing my fingers for you!
                            If thou hast a sorrow, tell it not to the arrow, tell it to thy saddlebow, and ride on, singing. -- King Alfred the Great

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              Did a comprehensive lameness exam at our equine hospital and found "severe/chronic sacroiliac pain." It has lead to muscle atrophy and attendant dropped hip. Vet said this was an "unacceptable risk" in a potential purchase and that the likelihood of recovery when caught in the acute phase is good, but that his injury has been left untreated for so long that he thinks there is now less a 25% chance of future soundness and that we wouldn't even know that until six months from now (I pay board) and injections, which may or may not work. Awesome.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
                                Did a comprehensive lameness exam at our equine hospital and found "severe/chronic sacroiliac pain." It has lead to muscle atrophy and attendant dropped hip. Vet said this was an "unacceptable risk" in a potential purchase and that the likelihood of recovery when caught in the acute phase is good, but that his injury has been left untreated for so long that he thinks there is now less a 25% chance of future soundness and that we wouldn't even know that until six months from now (I pay board) and injections, which may or may not work. Awesome.
                                DAMN I am so sorry. He must be an amazingly big hearted horse to be doing as well as he's doing with that going on. I wonder how much a good chiro, body worker, and injections could do for him??? Poor OP. I wish you did not have to pay board - that really makes a difference.
                                Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by blame_the_champagne View Post
                                  Did a comprehensive lameness exam at our equine hospital and found "severe/chronic sacroiliac pain." It has lead to muscle atrophy and attendant dropped hip. Vet said this was an "unacceptable risk" in a potential purchase and that the likelihood of recovery when caught in the acute phase is good, but that his injury has been left untreated for so long that he thinks there is now less a 25% chance of future soundness and that we wouldn't even know that until six months from now (I pay board) and injections, which may or may not work. Awesome.
                                  I am so sorry OP. I've been following your thread hoping that things would turn out well. It's tough when you don't have your own place to take on the additional rehab expenses especially when you don't know if the treatment is going to work.

                                  Maybe take a step back from actively looking for a new horse. You never know what can pop up.

                                  Comment


                                  • I am so sorry.
                                    Originally posted by HuntrJumpr
                                    No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.

                                    Comment


                                    • Oh no, so sorry it didn't work out.
                                      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                      Comment


                                      • Well, I wouldn't blame you if you gave up, but I wonder if a course of Legend and some chiro would be worth your time and money? My guy had SI pain that took a while to diagnose (18 months or more) so it had reached the "chronic" stage, but chiro and an SI injection have him doing really, really well. One thing that led me to trying the SI injection was that he really showed remarkable improvement for a few days after a Legend injection (like, different horse improvement). Might tell you whether it would be worth hanging in there with this guy.

                                        Comment


                                        • Oh, dear. I'm sorry. Back to the drawing board... have you thought about looking for a lease or part-lease, maybe? Something you could just go out and compete on this season while you build a little bit of a budget cushion?

                                          Comment

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