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Commiseration, jingles, or advice welcomed... my heart horse is lame. Again.

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  • Commiseration, jingles, or advice welcomed... my heart horse is lame. Again.

    So I've had my horse for six years. I had him six months before he went lame the first time. Since then he has been in a cycle where he will come sound after a little bit of rest, work fine for six months, then one day suddenly turn up lame in the middle of a ride (always in the same leg). The lameness is related to navicular in the one foot.

    *Sigh*. My vet is now saying we need to nerve him (do a neurectomy in the hoof). He is extremely social and loves people so retiring him to a field somewhere at the age of fourteen is not an option, and I live far away at school so I can't get to the barn often, which means I rely on being able to half-lease him while I am away. I love this horse and he will be with me forever but this is killing me. He's so young to have these chronic lameness problems and I can't help thinking of all his potential and heart that's limited by this one stupid foot.

    Anything you've got would be appreciated... I'm really down about it all.
    The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~ Arabian Proverb

  • #2
    I hope you have a good outcome for your boy Ongoing lameness is really frustrating.

    Have you tried injecting the coffin joint and/or the navicular bursa in that foot? How about Adequan/Legend/Polyglycan? Tildren may be useful as well, it has some good results for navicular horses (when the lameness is associated with bone changes and not deep digital flexor tendon issues).

    Jingles!

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    • #3
      Ask your vet about Tildren. My mare doesn't have navicular syndrome but she does have some hoof issues in her RF, as well as arthritis. IV Tildren did wonders for her. For navicular, they usually perfuse it directly into the affected hoof.
      You have to have experiences to gain experience.

      1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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      • #4
        Jingles! Foot problems stink.
        Unrepentant carb eater

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thank you all so much for your support! Haha I guess I did forget to mention the two doses of Tildren, multiple coffin and navicular injections, and the daily Previcox. Don't you just wish we could do replacements like they do with people? Just pop in a titanium navicular bone and you're good to go!
          The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~ Arabian Proverb

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          • #6
            What a shame. I don't know much about nerving but isn't it very successful with the more recent procedures?

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            • #7
              Oh well that's a bummer. As a last resort you might look in to a serious sport horse farrier, maybe one that works with a vet? I have a 20yo Australian TB, former advanced horse. He's got some ringbone in his LF and he's off and on sound. The thing that helps him the most is an excellent farrier.

              If you've tried that too, then you have my sympathy!

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              • #8
                Very sorry If he's a good candidate for nerving it can be a good thing. From what we were told it depends a lot on how strong the tissues are since your horse won't feel when a little damage is done thus a lot of damage could occur if the structures aren't strong enough to hold up without him protecting it. The mare we did ended up completely tearing something (forgot what) but the vet told us up front she might because she was already so broken down. I'm still glad she was able to enjoy some pain free time though

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                • #9
                  There is a horse at my one barn that I like very much who is about 17 and she was recently nerved. She spent about a month on stall rest and is back to work and loving it. She is only ridden on the flat, but she is able to w/t/c without any issues.

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                  • #10
                    I'm so sorry! Is there any possibility you could get an MRI? That will tell you a lot-- whether it's soft tissue or bony changes.
                    SportHorseRiders.com
                    Taco Blog
                    *T3DE 2010 Pact*

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                    • #11
                      I hope this makes you feel better.....

                      One of my all time favorite horses began a similar cycle when he was about 8 years old, all related to navicular type issues (he also had crap luck, because one of his many layups wasn't related to his feet at all, but to his smashed jaw!). With his owner, we ran the gambit of every type of navicular treatment out there. We finally got to the point where it was retirement in a field or bilateral neurectomy.

                      Like your horse, this horse thrived on work and was not ready to be retired. We opted to do the neurectomy. That was in the spring of 2008. He came back great (and even managed to come back from a bad stifle injury a couple of years later) and is still out and about doing stuff. I actually saw him a week or so ago, and he looks great. We were told that best case scenario, he would get two useful years out of the procedure. He's at the 5 year mark. Good shoeing and good maintenance of his hind end helps. It's also really tough to keep a surly, cantankerous horse down for too long (man, do I miss that horse!).

                      Feel free to PM if you have any questions. I may be a bit foggy on details, but I'l try my best to answer any questions you might have.
                      Amanda

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                      • #12
                        A friend of mine had a horse who was nerved and came back to give her five years of competing, through prelim. Another had her novice packer nerved and had about the same amount of time at that level.

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                        • #13
                          I agree with the others in working with a really food farrier. Whether you do a nurectemy or not (but it sounds like you're already on the last chance train...), a good farrier is worth their weight in GOLD. This is especially true of farriers that work with veterinarians in lameness cases. My personal farrier works just over the boarder in Alabama at a vet clinic. He and the veterinarian both specialize in sport horses and lameness.

                          Go to www.americanfarriers.org/find-a-farrier and look for a farrier in your area (if you don't already have one the specializes in lameness, even better if it's lameness in sport horses).

                          Good luck in your decision. I hate having to make decisions like that.
                          Steppin Not Dragon "Bella"
                          Top Shelf "Charlie"
                          Check out the Military + Horses fb page!

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