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Kacey has side bone/ after six months of stall rest update post 68!!!

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  • Kacey has side bone/ after six months of stall rest update post 68!!!

    I originally posted this on the horse care forums, but have had very little response, so I am going to post it here so that my fellow eventers can help me.

    Well, I took my dearest Kacey to the vet yesterday after he freaked out on Sunday when he rolled and unbuckled his sheet, he swears it attacked him and he had to run for dear life. He ran up on the concrete by my barn and fell and slid into the corner of the barn leaving a nice big dent and several abraisons on all 4 legs.

    I had been thinking of taking him in since he just hasn't felt quite right in the front for months now. And I would have sooner, only after every bad spell, an abscess would pop up on the right front hoove and I would relay the abscess to the not quite right movement.
    So, the crash and burn into the barn incident sealed the deal for him.

    The vet found soreness in his pelvis and shoulder and his right hind and also on his front feet. Esp. the left fore. The feet thing surprised me since I have owned and raised Kacey from birth and have never known him to have any issues at all. So, we x-rayed him. And they found the most severe case of side bone the vet has ever seen. Caused by continual concussion on hard ground.

    As I said, Kacey has been mine from birth. I have done all of his training and care since day one. As of now, he is an eventer at training level. He is five, a 16.3 hand Irish sport horse. I pushed him fairly hard this past year to get him ready for YEH and we qualified at both novice and the YEH 5 year old division. He tries his heart out for me over fences and we are working on the dressage. At several shows, he felt not quite right, but was never lame, just a bit short in front and not using himself well. But, we came home, and days later, an abscess would pop out on his right fore.

    The farrier came out today and put pads on him. They are called "horse trax." and are a full pad. My arena will be put in in about two weeks and I will NOT work him on the hard ground of my place anymore. We have been here right at a year. I was supposed to get an arena for Christmas last year... and then last March... and well, it will finally be in this month. However, the vet said that this condition did not happen in a year, but that it has been coming on for several years, more than likely. So, it was nothing that I did riding him here at home. He did grow up on hard soil though and played/plays really hard on his own.

    I guess what I want to know is... how have you delt with side bone? Were you able to continue to ride and compete as normal? At what level? I know that probably most of the horses at the top levels have some sort of issues that they are dealing with so, perhaps it is possible.

    Kacey is my forever dream horse. My chance to finally get above training level... do we still have a chance? I love him like crazy and he loves to event and tries his heart out for me over every fence.

    That being said, I think we need a few jingles here too so that the shoing and other methods of "healing" that we try will be successful and that my good boy feels better soon.


    Here are the pictures of his feet that I took tonight. Sorry, I know that the angle is not that great. He has awesome feet, size 2, great shape, and excellent condition. Never flakey or poor.

    Here is the NEW Link


    Here are a few pics of us.
    1st one is at the CO HP where he scored an 80 on his first YEH test.


    Here's a pic of us in action at his second training level event this past October.

    Last edited by kacey'srider; Jul. 23, 2008, 09:36 PM. Reason: update

  • #2
    Jingle ALLLLLLLLL the way

    I don't have any advice but tons of jingles for sweet Kacey and Em.

    And some big hugs thrown in for good measure.

    Mandy & Joy


    • #3
      Jingles to your handsome Irish boy!

      I've never had to deal with sidebone, so I'm useless in the advice part, but he should be a tough guy with both Irish and TB blood (my 2 fav breeds), so he'll try as hard as he can to please his Mommy and get better!


      • #4
        My last horse had some minor sidebone. The vet told me that unless it grows in a direction that it interferes with the tendon, it is a non issue, although it can become cosmetic.
        I don't know if 'severe' means a lot of buildup or that it is interfering with the tendon....something to talk to the vet about.
        Nina's Story
        Epona Comm on FB


        • #5
          The side bone is in the FOOT, not the pastern. Correct?
          So it will not interfere with the tendon?

          After reading some DVM stuff it seems like the side bone is up in the air. Some it bothers, some it does not.
          Usually the horses that are not bothered by it are never bothered by it. That is where this all gets sketchy. And many go their entire lives undiagnosed.
          It is up to the individual character.

          The side bone greatly decreases the hoofs natural impact absorption which can lead to ring bone and other joint issues. Which is were it seems the lameness comes into play. That's the sucky part. The side bone could be causing an issue somewhere else in the front legs, which is what is really causing the unsoundness. So I guess he has lost some air in his sneaker soles.
          Like any calcification, it can decrease. (I read that today).
          Maybe like the splint calcification...after some time the lumps will decrease in size.

          I guess using pads adds back a little bit of absorption that was lost? Once the pads are in line you may have to go through a series of nerve blocks to see at which point he becomes sound.
          (I just totally made that up, it sounded good!)

          A big issue seems to be keeping good circulation. Hit the Equi Laze girl!

          Another important factor is that there are many causes of side bone, not just hard ground.
          The articles focused almost primarily on the farrier and conformation. Take all into consideration. Is he built in such a way that heavy pounding will always be an issue..?
          Things like that.

          on that note.
          dude, they put our article in Eventing News. : ) I can't wait to see it!!!
          Last edited by purplnurpl; Dec. 6, 2007, 10:40 PM.
          Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


          • #6
            Sidebone is calcium deposits that are layed down on the outside of the foot, growing usually up from the foot structures. It can go in any direction, you can sometimes feel it right under the skin at the coronet band. It can interfere with the flexion in the pastern. It is extremely common in draft horses, less so in lighter horses.
            The heavier the horse, or the bigger bone, the more likely they are to develop sidebone.
            Last I heard it had no connection to ringbone and it usually does not cause problems.
            Nina's Story
            Epona Comm on FB


            • #7
              different viewpoint


              "Can horses really recover from massive calcium deposits, once they've formed, and have been present for a long period of time? Yes! I have testimonials available from folks who have rehabbed their horses. It has taken them several years, and firm commitment. It requires faith in the healing ability of the horse, and total regard for its needs. Since the deposits must break down and migrate via blood flow, abscesses must be expected. It should even be encouraged by daily hoof soaking and walking, even when abscessing and subsequent lameness is occouring. Of course, circulation-inhibiting horseshoes are not an option. Proper hoof form must be restored through physiologically correct trimming and movement, which is what forms healthy functional hooves in the first place.


              • #8
                that really stinks.. i have never even heard of this but i hope you figure it out and do get to go above training. it's a goal of mine too!


                • #9
                  We had a percheron/appy mare who had pretty significant sidebones when we xrayed her after 3 years of consistent work. She never took a lame step and was sold as a hunt horse back East, after doing some low level events. My trainer and vet said sidebones are fairly common in draft horses and frequently don't cause problems. Good Luck


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kacey'srider View Post
                    At several shows, he felt not quite right, but was never lame, just a bit short in front and not using himself well.
                    I went thru this. My prelim event horse turned out to have a fractured sidebone. Vet said it is unusual to see a sidebone problem cause lameness unless it is infected. Anyway, I elected to have surgery to remove it because is WAS causing discomfort and that discomfort wasn't going to go away. You should talk to a lameness specialist. My horse was 13 when he had the surgery and did come back and do training for a couple more years. Hopefully because your horse is younger, and has other issues that might be causing the lameness, you won't have to go the surgery route. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!!!!!
                    "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


                    • #11
                      Whatever is attached to his feet (shoes, pads, nothing), you need to make sure his trim is balanced. If you are unsure about what a balanced trim looks like, this is my favorite place to start: www.hopeforsoundness.com.

                      Remember, the back of the foot is the primary concussion-absorber. U of MI researchers have found that blood flow within the hoof is a major shock absorber and is stimulated by sole and frog pressure. So your farrier needs to concentrate on getting a sightly heel-first landing-- and he/she needs to accomplish this with a correct trim. If he must wear shoes, pour-in pads help to distribute weight across the frog, bars and sole.

                      If you post pictures on the horse care forum, there are a lot of trimmers and farriers who will weigh in on your guy's hoof balance. Good luck!
                      Taco Blog
                      *T3DE 2010 Pact*


                      • #12
                        Sorry for the joke, but...

                        When I saw the title of this thread as I was scanning down the list I couldn't help but think:

                        "I do?"

                        And then I wanted to kick myself... I don't see that spelling too often.
                        Jingles for your Kacey. I have no experience with sidebone myself to add advice, but I hope everything turns out well for you guys!
                        ...for there are wings on these hooves, the speed and power of foam-capped waves...
                        Proud member of the artists clique


                        • Original Poster

                          Kacey will start the first round of his Equi-Laze treatment tomorrow. Rita said that it will take 10 - 12 treatments to bring down the swelling and inflamation. The cost is $50 per treatment, so over the long haul, costly, not to mention that I will have to haul him out there. But, SO well worth it if it actually works. Rita said that she is currently treating a horse with side bone and he is sound.

                          Yes, side bone is more common in horses with big bone, and well, he has excellent bone, and of course, is 1/4 draft. And gorgeous, I think he's gorgeous, but that is off topic, sorry!

                          I am hoping that will this treatment, the pads, and getting him off the hard ground, that I will be able to keep him sound and happy for a nice long eventing career. I am looking into some other supplements as well. The vet did not seem to think joint supplements were worth the cost, but I may do HA injections and find something natural, like Devil's Claw, to give him for pain and inflamation.

                          Did I mention that I love him like mad yet. Finally had a good cry about it last night. I know this may or may not have a good outcome, so I am trying to be as positive as possible.

                          And with good friends like Texaseventer and Purplnurpl helping me out here too, we'll get through this! Thanks guys!


                          • #14
                            Most of the horses I have heard of getting side bone tend to be pretty upright in their pasterns. So my advice would be to get a good farrier that can help to alieve some of the pressure from him being so upright (if he is... most drafts tend to be though.. so there is a good chance he might be). Also remember that if he is upright in his pasterns that it will cause him naturally to receive more concussion when his feet hit the ground because there isn't as much flexion in an upright pastern vs a more slopey one. So I would re-think any conditioning program to try to find alts to trot and gallop work. Maybe more hacking at a walk and possible aqua-tred, etc.

                            Also remember if you start on Devil's Claw, you are suppose to stop that 5 days before a recognzied show.......

                            Good luck

                            ~ Jus Passed My Zipper aka Spanky, 11yo QH gelding.
                            ~ Muskogee, 2yo Oldenburg Colt.


                            • #15
                              Jingles for your guy to get better from a fellow Texan.
                              RIP Kid Gloves (Holly) 1992 TBxHanv CCI*** mare.
                              New mare: Miss Bunny Express (Missy) 1995 AQHA Jumper mare.


                              • Original Poster

                                Thanks again, guys!

                                Bobbi- Yes, I am going to look into the aqua tred for conditioning. At training level though, just regular work gets him quite fit. He was too fit for novice and I had to really hold him back not to get speed penalties! We were 24 seconds fast at the AEC's b/c I forgot to check my watch after the first half of the course! OOPS!

                                Anyway, Aqua tred it will more than likely be for prelim and above.

                                And, just got an email from Rita and she is going to come and do his first treatment this afternoon.

                                I am relieved this might not be as bad as it seems.... although it is pretty scary.

                                Thanks again!


                                • #17
                                  I hope your guy is helped by the Equi-Laze...

                                  I had a BN/N gelding who didn't show any signs of side bone untilll I was at a week long clinic where we were jumping a lot. We had x-rays done of his hooves and the vet said he would only be sound jumping about 2' every so often. So I sold him do a woman who primarily does dressage and jumps about once a month. He has been happy and sound in his new home.


                                  • #18
                                    food luck with evertyhing! hope it works and he is sound and happy!!
                                    keep us posted


                                    • Original Poster

                                      I just lunged him to see if I could tell a difference or not with his new pads... his left shoulder is still bothering him, so I really couldn't tell much.

                                      Equi-Laze lady should be here any minute now for his first treatment.


                                      • #20
                                        If my horse had an acute lameness and they found sidebone, I would say "Keep looking". In most cases sidebone will not cause lameness, so just because they have sidebone that does not mean that is why they are lame.
                                        "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                                        "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x