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Stiff, girthy horse - what should I go over w/ vet?

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  • Stiff, girthy horse - what should I go over w/ vet?

    I am having the vet come out to look at my 8 yo horse, who has been getting increasingly girthy/touchy and stiff in her hind end. I have not had her long and have no history on her, so I don't know what could be causing these problems.

    What kind of things should I ask the vet to check for? She will be doing a lameness evaluation, and I was also thinking of asking her to test for Lyme disease. Can anyone think of anything else that might be useful?

  • #2
    You might also want to ask about EPSM. Ulcers.

    Comment


    • #3
      foot problems! foot problems!

      Seriously, have the vet do hoof testers on the feet and lower limb flexions, and I'd strongly recommend taking x-rays.

      Because a horse with sore feet braces, the pec/girth area can get really sore (ask me how I know). Horses will also get sore in the hind end because they are shifting their weight off the front feet.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by Tegan View Post
        foot problems! foot problems!

        Seriously, have the vet do hoof testers on the feet and lower limb flexions, and I'd strongly recommend taking x-rays.

        Because a horse with sore feet braces, the pec/girth area can get really sore (ask me how I know). Horses will also get sore in the hind end because they are shifting their weight off the front feet.

        Very interesting! This horse has hoof flares in the front, so that makes a lot of sense.

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        • #5
          Saddle fit
          bunchy, tight muscles- where and why?
          No bute or any sort of NSAIDS for 48 hrs before the vet comes out

          run your hands ALLLLL over this horse. Uneven heat, and hard knotty muscles should be duly noted. Muscle at rest should feel like...muscle think uncooked roast. Not beef jerky make notes of what you find and share that w/ the vet.

          Is this vet - and are you- open minded about massage and chiro? I might (were she mine) start with massage, see what the therapist feels and notes.

          Comment


          • #6
            back issues - i.e. Kissing Spines
            "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

            Comment


            • #7
              I've learned to look at feet first. Negative plantar angles (hind feet) can easily cause stiff stifles and a sore back. Thin soles and thrush also causes horses to move stiffly, which contributes to overall body soreness and gouchy behavior. Good luck getting to the bottom of it!

              Comment


              • #8
                Selenium deficiency

                You might also consider testing the horse's selenium levels. The symptoms you describe can also be those of selenium deficiency. I have first hand experience with one of my horses being Se (imported from Se deficient country into Se def state, then moved to my Se def state), and so did a neighbor.

                Are you currently in a selenium deficienct area, does your hay come from a Se deficient area, or was this horse ever residing in a Se deficient area?

                Here is a map, by county, of levels of Se in the US:
                http://tin.er.usgs.gov/geochem/doc/averages/se/usa.html

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Fantastic View Post
                  You might also consider testing the horse's selenium levels. The symptoms you describe can also be those of selenium deficiency. I have first hand experience with one of my horses being Se (imported from Se deficient country into Se def state, then moved to my Se def state), and so did a neighbor.

                  Are you currently in a selenium deficienct area, does your hay come from a Se deficient area, or was this horse ever residing in a Se deficient area?

                  Here is a map, by county, of levels of Se in the US:
                  http://tin.er.usgs.gov/geochem/doc/averages/se/usa.html
                  Thanks for the map! It looks like she came from an area that was 0.57+/-0.09 pm and is currently in an area that is 0.28+/-0.05 pm. So, there was a definite drop. Would 0.28+/-0.05 pm be considered low, or middle of the road?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Dapples7 View Post
                    Thanks for the map! It looks like she came from an area that was 0.57+/-0.09 pm and is currently in an area that is 0.28+/-0.05 pm. So, there was a definite drop. Would 0.28+/-0.05 pm be considered low, or middle of the road?
                    Well, for comparison, the county I am in says 0.68 on that map, and all the vets in our area consider us to have virtually NO selenium and tell everyone to supplement all horses daily. All the good barns, trainers, owners, etc. around here know that horses need to be supplemented daily.

                    My QH mare was deficient a few years ago even though she WAS being supplemented. If the horse is being worked or used at all, they can require as much as 3 or 3.5 mg. daily to stay healthy. 5 mg. is the very upper end of the safety zone and 1 mg. is considered bare minimum, or that's how I understand it anyway.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Even if the vet thinks s/he finds something, have them pull blood as well. That can answer alot of questions even if it rules things out. Lyme, EPM, various deficiencies can eat you up financially chasing what's not wrong.

                      One other thing, you have not had her long...perhaps she also lacks condition and is suffereing sore muscles and/or trying to tie up. Keep that in mind. May also have a pre exsisting condition with an old injury or even a fracture in the pelvis returning to work has aggravated. You never know.
                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by findeight View Post

                        One other thing, you have not had her long...perhaps she also lacks condition and is suffereing sore muscles and/or trying to tie up. Keep that in mind. May also have a pre exsisting condition with an old injury or even a fracture in the pelvis returning to work has aggravated. You never know.
                        It's kind of a funny situation, because she's gone from lots of work to very little work, instead of the other way around. She was worked intensively on the flat and over crossrails for about 8-10 hours/week by the person I bought her from. When I got her home, though, I only rode twice per week at the most, and then only on the flat W-T because my instructor thought (and I agreed) that she was too green to do anything productive at the canter just yet.

                        I really hope it doesn't end up being a thing where she needs tons of exercise to stay sound. I wish I had the kind of schedule where I could make that happen, but I just don't.

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