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How do you manage your horse with osselets?

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  • How do you manage your horse with osselets?

    Any tips or tricks you want to share?

    A good friend of mine recently got an older TB with big ankles. She was absolutely perfect in every other way (temperament, training, etc.) for him as he is a timid rider moving up from a pony. The mare started having difficulty picking up the right lead, so the vet came out and the x-rays don't look good.

    She has been sound and content to work. The vet injected it and gave them dmso/cortisone. I don't have any experience with osselets so am just wondering if there are any other tricks for keeping a horse comfortable. They are cutting her workload back appropriately of course but they are heartbroken and want to keep this mare as comfy as possible. What kind of workload does your horse with osselets hold up to? Have shoes helped? Hindered? Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Osselts or ringbone? I'm assuming you're using the right term since you said "big ankles". Cold, set osselets generally are not a problem. But what, exactly, did the xrays show? Did the vet look farther down to look for ringbone, or just xrayed the fetlocks?
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Osselets. Old set ones. There was no mention of ringbone. Unfortunately I was not able to be there when the vet was there, and these are novice horse owners. I did tell them to get the x-rays on a CD and they are; they are considering getting an additional opinion.

      I'm guessing (just speculation because my friends really didn't ask a lot of questions, and I wasn't there) that there must have been a bone chip or spur or something affecting the joint space. They did say that there was fluid and the vet tried to draw some off but was unable.

      I feel awful for them. This mare has been completely sound (kid is doing very low level stuff, W/T/C and some crossrails) and a perfect match (confidence builder) and there was no lameness, no headbobbing, no protest from the mare...just one day not getting the right lead. We knew it wasn't a training or behavioral issue so they got the vet out and now instead of being a low level kid's horse the vet is suggesting a very very limited riding career.

      I'm a little skeptical because the mare has been sound and happy to work. Obviously I'm not advocating that they start a hunter career or anything, but I just am wondering/hoping that they might be able to keep her in a slightly reduced workload vs. greatly diminished workload. She's obviously a stoic soul so steps need to be taken to ensure her comfort, but I suspect she is also the type who will fail to thrive without a job.

      They don't have the means to get another horse, and they (bravo for them!) are not the type to try to dump this one off somewhere.

      Comment


      • #4
        Sounds like the mare is not a big complainer until the pain got too bad. She'll could probably thrive as a broodmare.
        You feel sorry for the people but I feel sorry for the horse. People buy a cheap horse and don't bother with x-rays.I have this personal saying.
        "You pay for it now OR you'll pay for it later".If you don't "bite the bullet' and pay for the vet ....you'll pay double and triple down the road.We all have to learn the reality of horse ownership.Even kids

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          No need to feel sorry for the horse. She will be properly cared for through the remainder of her days. Fortunately despite the fact they are novice horse owners they are intelligent enough to know they have no business breeding this mare.

          Comment


          • #6
            My OTTB has one big ankle. He is sound and does dressage and lower level jumping/eventing.

            I generally only jump once a week, don't jump when he is in winter shoes or when the ground is very hard. He is maintained with injectable joint support and MSM.

            He also had some issues with L canter lead a while back. Osselot is in RF. Canter lead ended up being due to SI issue. Horse gets regular chiro and massage in addition to joint support. Farrier care is also important-I make sure he is trimmed every 5 weeks to keep his toes from getting too long.

            He is 20 and shows no sign of wanting to retire. I pay close attention to how he is feeling, and he is honest enough to let me know when he is uncomfortable.

            Comment


            • #7
              Personally, I wouldn't retire a horse simply because it has trouble picking up a lead. If the horse has been going sound and all the vet can find is old osselets, I would consider that there is something else going on. Did the vet do any blocks or just xrays? IF there is no other lameness issue, I would definitely try Legend, or Hytril which is a generic equivalent, it really seems to help the older horses.
              "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by chism View Post
                Personally, I wouldn't retire a horse simply because it has trouble picking up a lead. If the horse has been going sound and all the vet can find is old osselets, I would consider that there is something else going on. Did the vet do any blocks or just xrays? IF there is no other lameness issue, I would definitely try Legend, or Hytril which is a generic equivalent, it really seems to help the older horses.
                I didn't want to tell them that I think the vet is wrong, but I think the vet saw big ankles and pretty much stopped there. The mare has had big ankles most of her life. I kind of feel like the ankle is a red herring. My money is on the right hock.

                The vet also did not give them any additional suggestions like Legends, Adequan, shoeing (mare is barefoot now) things to try - just suggested reducing her workload to near nothing. I'm not one to anthropomorphize but this horse likes to work, and she is working at a pretty low but consistant level, which if she were mine, is right where I'd keep her until she let me know otherwise. Obviously she is uncomfortable at times with the RL canter as she only gets it intermittently. I read the vet's write up and the funny thing is that the mare flexed clean on all 4!

                I think they are going to get a 2nd opinion, and I have shown them how to wrap. I suggested a DMSO and cortisone wrap after every ride for a bit. Is that too often? I also suggested that they get her back on a 24/7 turnout routine. They are boarding her at a place with an indoor so they can ride her through the winter, but instead of the 24/7 turnout she is used to, she is only out about 6-8 hours. You know, that is pretty much when the problem started...

                Like I said I've never had one with ankles before. They are also consulting with the farrier to see what he thinks. Thanks for the info and suggestions.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Managing osselets is mostly about shoeing.
                  She should have coffin joint alignment and medial lateral balance when standing square (check with Xrays set up just to assess hoof balance) .
                  Easing the breakover all around the hoof is *very important*. The idea is to reduce the amount the leg has to go forward over the foot in any direction before the heels lift off the ground.
                  Long toes, or activity that over extends the fetlock joint are usually what causes ossellets.
                  The farther away the breakover point is from the center of articulation of the foot ,the longer the toe is stuck on the ground , which causes the fetlock joint to get over extended before the leg gets off the ground.
                  Many different shoes are helpful to accomplish this. Half rounds, Morrison rollers, natural balance ,(particularly the NB 'PLR" shoes), even barefoot with a well rolled toe if she otherwise has good feet.
                  Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                  Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
                  www.hoofcareonline.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hm, a frind has a horse with osselets and he's been sound, moved up to 3' last season, showig well locally. "Horses don't read xrays," I would look for something else going on with the mare. Retirement due to a lead? She might eventually need to be retired, but I would be looking elsewhere. Did he even consider the hind-end?

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks, precisely what I was thinking re: the shoes. She does actually have nice feet.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Patty Stiller View Post
                        Managing osselets is mostly about shoeing.
                        She should have coffin joint alignment and medial lateral balance when standing square (check with Xrays set up just to assess hoof balance) .
                        Easing the breakover all around the hoof is *very important*. The idea is to reduce the amount the leg has to go forward over the foot in any direction before the heels lift off the ground.
                        Long toes, or activity that over extends the fetlock joint are usually what causes ossellets.
                        The farther away the breakover point is from the center of articulation of the foot ,the longer the toe is stuck on the ground , which causes the fetlock joint to get over extended before the leg gets off the ground.
                        Many different shoes are helpful to accomplish this. Half rounds, Morrison rollers, natural balance ,(particularly the NB 'PLR" shoes), even barefoot with a well rolled toe if she otherwise has good feet.
                        This. I was going to suggest a squared off toe with a rocker on it. We've had really good luck with our racehorses using shoes like this when they race on osselets. My mare has them in both ankles and I don't have to do anything other than to make sure she is shod regularly.

                        Can you have another vet do the Churchill test on the mare's hocks? It is easy to do and will give you an idea if her hocks are bugging her. IME when a horse does not want to pick up a certain lead at a slower pace (meaning not at racing speeds) it tends to be a rear end issue. While racing though, not switching leads usually means a front end issue.
                        I also agree with the poster who mentioned having a certified chiropractor take a look. I've seen people completely bypass the horse's SI joint when there is a problem.....but that seems to be a pretty important place to check!
                        RIP Spider Murphy 4/20/02 - 10/31/10

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