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Thoughts on horse's PPE?

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  • Thoughts on horse's PPE?

    I have a horse on trial that is the perfect horse for me. He is "my" ride and I love everything about him. Said horse is a 9 year old WB imported from Canada. We had him vetted last week and I'm sort of at a loss with what to do. Horse flexed perfect and all his xrays were perfect as well....except for one. This is what the vet report states about this particular xray...

    Cyst-like lesions in adult horses are probably the result of trauma or osteochondrosis and can be a reason for lameness. Since the horse has no history of trauma and lameness, then the cause may be osteochondrosis. If osteochondrosis is the cause, then this lesion would have been present for many years (usually starts when the horse is skeletally immature) and might be inactive; the cyst and sclerosis being a footprint of prior disease. Prognosis is sometimes predicated on the size of the lesion and the closeness to the articular surface - in this case, the lesion is articular but small (better); sclerosis implies chronic as this is a response to or consequent from the initial event. Pastern cyst-like lesions are often less of a problem than fetlock lesions. When needed, treatment with intra-articular medication can be helpful.

    The cyst is in the LF pastern. The vet explained that since the horse has never had any lameness issues (we know the sellers very well)...it likely may never be a problem but you can never be certain. I want to believe this especially since he has obviously been in work for many years now and it has not affected him. I really love the horse. But I'm still torn. Any thoughts?

  • #2
    There will nearly ALWAYS be something that shows up on a PPE of a horse that has been doing a job for several years. THe way I look at it is, if the horse has been doing the job I want it to do, and has remained sound for several years, then there is no reason to assume he will not continue to do so. I cannot tell you how many people ahve spent huge amounts of money on extensive PPE's that the horse 'passed' and then the hrose came up with a lameness problem. PPE's are pcitures of a horse THAT DAY, they are not useful to predict future soundness. What IS useful is the history of the animal's soundness
    www.shawneeacres.net

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      My trainer said the same thing as you. Thanks for the reply. I guess that was sort of what I was leaning towards but wanted to hear it from someone besides my trainer.

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      • #4
        I am completely risk-adverse after all my previous horse issues (two with stifle OCD among other things...) -- yet I would have no problem with buying the horse you just described. If you are comfortable that the horse has been doing the job you want it to continue to do, it sounds like chances are it won't ever be a problem. Now, if you were changing things, like this was a horse just dinking around for pleasure/trail, and you plan to start jumping or eventing, I might look at it differently. But having a history and clean vet exam prior to the x-rays is worth a lot. I'm assuming from what you said that there wasn't anything that led you to x-ray that particular joint?

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        • #5
          I agree with the others that its not a deal breaker if the horse flexed well. Have you asked if there are old rads you can compare to? I'd ask just for my own interest, but if my vet felt comfortable about the horse staying sound (knowing it might need a little maintenance down the road, but that is not unheard of for ANY horse, even in joints with perfect exrays) then I'd be fine with it.
          http://community.webshots.com/user/Kikki500

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          • #6
            I'd take him.
            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              horsepoor-There was nothing that made us want to take xrays....we just took xrays of basically every part of his body for 1) just to be extra cautious and 2)to use as a baseline for anything in the future since after everything else in the exam went fine and we thought he would be a keeper.

              I'm not planning on doing anything different with the horse except he will be jumping less. Right now he is in a training program with the owner's trainer and he is not a good match for the owner. I would only be jumping him once a week or once every other week.

              I guess my question is what exactly this thing is. I will be the first to admit I have always been very lucky with my horses' health and honestly, don't really understand what this is. Is this what OCD is? I see all these horror threads about OCD...so is that what I would be getting into? I was under the impression that OCD was in young horses...and he's 9. Any thoughts?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Alter99 View Post
                I guess my question is what exactly this thing is. I will be the first to admit I have always been very lucky with my horses' health and honestly, don't really understand what this is. Is this what OCD is? I see all these horror threads about OCD...so is that what I would be getting into? I was under the impression that OCD was in young horses...and he's 9. Any thoughts?
                You should talk to your vet more as s/he is the one that has seen the x-ray and the horse and can give you the best explanation. You hear of OCD in young horses because when it is going to cause a problem, that is when you usually find it (either swelling/lameness in a youngster or they are fine and then go into work at 2/3/4 and it becomes a problem). MANY horses have ocd of some sort show up on x-rays, just like your situation, yet they never cause a problem. We just often hear about the horror stories because that's when you find this stuff -- horse is lame and you go looking for a cause. The sound horse only gets x-rayed and scanned and such when it gets sold, like here!

                If I understand correctly, and I'm not a vet or even close, it sounds like it is a blemish in the bone that was there when he was young and has not caused a problem. Sometimes you can have these bony defects that aren't a big deal because the cartilage covering is healthy and/or it is in a good spot.

                Sounds like your vet also threw out the possibility it was from some prior injury/trauma (so not OCD) -- but because the history of the horse doesn't include any such event, doesn't think that is what it is.

                Either way, if it isn't bothering the horse now and hasn't in the past, I wouldn't worry about it. In fact, I'd be kind of excited if that was the only thing that showed up on the PPE!

                If you still have doubts, you could ask to have the x-ray sent out to a radiologist just to get another opinion. Just to confirm that what your vet thinks it is seems reasonable to the radiologist as well.

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                • #9
                  Does the horse have a history of being in consistent work, and sound? This is always something to look closely at --- was he in work before your trial period?

                  I agree with others that this is not a deal-breaker at all. It sounds like otherwise your PPE was very good. Maybe send the rads out for a second opinion?

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    The statement I pasted in the first post is actually a second opinion. Our vet who did the PPE said something looked funny on that particular view when she got the xrays home and recommended that had get more xrays taken and send them to Cornell to confirm. So the info in my first post is from the radiologist at Cornell. Does that change anything? Knowing that the vet suggested sending it to a specialist?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Alter99 View Post
                      The statement I pasted in the first post is actually a second opinion. Our vet who did the PPE said something looked funny on that particular view when she got the xrays home and recommended that had get more xrays taken and send them to Cornell to confirm. So the info in my first post is from the radiologist at Cornell. Does that change anything? Knowing that the vet suggested sending it to a specialist?
                      It doesn't change anything to me -- sending out to a specialist for a 2nd look is not uncommon and wouldn't scare me. Actually makes me feel comfortable that the 1st vet is being very careful not to miss anything! The vet that I use is one of the best lameness vets in the country -- yet even he still sends x-rays out to a radiologist at times.

                      Since you got the radiologist report, have you spoken with the PPE vet? They can interpret the radiologist report combined with their own exam and findings -- the history and hands-on exam are a very important part of interpreting the rad's report, I would think.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My friend just sold her horse, he's a draft cross so he's big-bodied. A cyst in his front pastern also showed up on his PPE. The buyer's vet told prospective buyer he wasn't concerned about it since the horse is 7 and has been in work since the age of three. The lady bought the horse and did not try to have the price lowered at all, so hopefully everything will be fine with your horse as well.

                        I agree that every horse has something that will show up if you X-ray enough joints or ultrasound enough tendons. The horse being sound and in work are two really good things you've got going for you!

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                        • #13
                          A vet at Rood & Riddle told a friend of mine (when talking about a similar cyst in her mare) that he estimated about 75% of WB's have such cysts and of those, 75% will never be bothered by them.

                          Now, I didn't hear that directly, but I do know that particular mare has turned out to be sound for the last seven years.....
                          Y'all ain't right!

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                          • #14
                            I would say you had a very good PPE. Congrations!!
                            "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                            ---
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                            • #15
                              Sounds like you are in good hands with your second opinion already in hand. Enjoy the new horse!

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