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My SI/stifly horse back into work - what do you see - what would you do?

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  • My SI/stifly horse back into work - what do you see - what would you do?

    What do you see, what would you do, considering the below diagnostics already done .
    Some may have followed my posts here in the past. I have a horse that for the last 2 years struggled with delayed patellar release and before winter diagnostics revealed SI pain.

    We X-rayed from poll to sacral, hocks & stifles, ultrasounded stifle, did bonescan, did muscle biopsy.
    Result was SI inflammation and Vit E abnormality in muscle not in blood. Clinically delayed patellar release was clearly present, but clean stifle X-rays & stifle ultrasound. Other X-rays were clean too. We have injected hocks & stifles in the past to no avail, prior to winter we re-injected stifle, injected the lumbar back, did the ultrasound-guided SI injection as well as mesotherapy. He had the entire winter off to pasture and approx 2,5 weeks ago I re-started him on the lunge. He's shod allround under sedation, feet are well balanced and the best they have been in years.

    I just don't know anymore.
    I don't even know whether I see a sound horse or a lame horse .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DkPURlSgja4
    (trotwork as of 1:47, delayed patellar release noticeable again at 2:13)

    What to do from here
    Do I continue to build him up on the lunge for a couple more weeks?
    Do I just get back on and try to strengthen/improve under saddle? If so, should I get a trainer involved or is it way too soon for that?
    Do I stop and take him back to the vet? If so, to do what?
    Or do I just retire him as a walking trailhorse (not what my heart wants, but this has been such a long & frustrating saga)?

    THANKS!

  • Lieslot
    replied
    Thx Mozart, looking forward to it .

    I'll see if I can get some Previcox or Equioxx either one and what that does.
    I'm looking into the names of a couple of chiros I wasn't aware of that may come this way.

    I did lots of hillwork last year, he struggles trotting uphil, hindend trailers a little behind and he swings his hindquarters in, but he surely storms downhill totally straight, no issues with the downhill part.

    Leave a comment:


  • coloredhorse
    replied
    Mozart, if it's not too much trouble, I'd love a PM of your program, as well. I have a horse similar to the OPs and while I think I have her on the right track now, would love additional ideas from someone who's already walked this path! Tks!

    Leave a comment:


  • NorCalDressage
    replied
    Mozart -

    I too - third, or fourth that request, if you don't mind.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheBandit
    replied
    Originally posted by Mozart View Post
    I brought back an SI horse after he had been declared a "dud". I will PM you my program tomorrow, right now I have to dash.
    Would you be so kind to send it my way as well?

    Leave a comment:


  • Beethoven
    replied
    Originally posted by Mozart View Post
    I brought back an SI horse after he had been declared a "dud". I will PM you my program tomorrow, right now I have to dash.
    Ooo I would love a PM as well.

    Leave a comment:


  • Mozart
    replied
    I brought back an SI horse after he had been declared a "dud". I will PM you my program tomorrow, right now I have to dash.

    Leave a comment:


  • pharmgirl
    replied
    I am not a vet (nor do I play one on TV but I do work with lots! ), but I have seen my fair share of horses go (including my own who has had stifle and SI issues), and I just don't see a neurologic horse.

    What I see is one that is weak behind (sounds right for having the winter off), is possibly a bit stifly or sore in the SI (sometimes it's hard to tell which one from just a quick see). My guess is that the primary is actually SI, and with less work or a slip in the field, etc, the stifle becomes a problem (ask me how I know ).

    IMHO, he does look like he gets a bit better over time in the video. That also would make me think cantering may help a bit. How he deals with cantering may also help you figure out if it's more the SI or the stifle. With SI issues, often early helps. When my guy's stifle is really bothering him (or he just caught it good!) he is very unhappy about cantering. JME

    In one of the videos, it looked like he was guarding the RH- to me it looked like he would angle his hind end in a little going to the right. I can't remember which one you said was the worse one to start, but I would guess the other limb became sore from compensating.

    I say just bring him back into work, with as much hacking as you can. If not, try adding poles in the ring or something to help. I was once told that with SI issues, try to avoid lots of down hill work (up hill not so bad) as that seems to be the hardest on it and the last activities to do as they are fully healed and strenghtened.

    I suggest possibly doing estrone with him if he's still prone to catching those stifles. If you can keep from that happening (even the small ones) that will help a lot.

    If you can get your hands on more previcox, I would do that just to at least keep some on hand (if not on for awhile if it still helps him at this point). My vet told me that if my guy ever really caught his stifle while I was riding/lunging, to give him an anti-inflammatory right away to help stop the inflammatory cascade in that stifle. I have done that in the past (along with the estrone) and I thought it really helped keep it in check while we worked through it.

    There's also the prolotherapy route if the SI seems to be the main culprit. My vet has started doing this for certain issues, and has seen good results.

    Oh, and FWIW chiro and acu do help my guy. Once he's fit and had some regular chiro, his maintenance isn't very often.

    Good luck! He looks like a very nice horse!

    Leave a comment:


  • Lieslot
    replied
    I know whbar158 there's no 2 ways about it, not sure what to do anymore, it's raining most of this week anyway, so some time to think.

    Atr, after the SI inj & meso he got 2 weeks off, also due to biopsy stitches and started back under saddle whilst given Previcox for 1 week only. He actually went quite well instantly I thought and I figured the injections were a success, but he deteriorated again 2 days off Previcox. I called my vets and asked for more Previcox, but they suggested to give him the winter off and try again thereafter. So that's where I am at today.
    I do wonder had I kept him on Previcox, perhaps I could have worked him over winter.

    Leave a comment:


  • atr
    replied
    Leiselot, quick question--I think it was asked before and go lost in the shuffle. Does he go better if he's on bute or the like?

    Leave a comment:


  • whbar158
    replied
    I think at this point you either just give up completely and let him be a pasture puff, or work through it and see where it takes you. Either he is going to get better or get worse or stay the same. As long as the horse is not getting worse and seems happy I usually have no problem riding them for fun. I think I would think about forward and ignore collection or strong on the bit type work. Just work on fitness, and then see how he is doing. Many horses enjoy a life where they are not 100% but still do some work and are sound enough to do what they do. Get some fitness and see if it helps.

    Leave a comment:


  • Perfect Pony
    replied
    Originally posted by Lieslot View Post
    Sure PP, let's say he's neurological, so what do I do now?
    I never said not to ride him, and even mentioned as much in my PM. But I would ride him on a flat surface and try to leg him up slowly. If he does have neuro deficits it's not fair to ask him to do things that are physically hard or impossible for him, like cavaletti or hills. I would do lots of walking and hack him like a hunter, nice and forward.

    If you really want to see if it's fitness related I would send him to a rehab facility with an aquatred before dealing with a trainer. My experience with trainers is most of them cant see lameness unless the horses head is bobbing, even the good ones. And lots of them simply ignore lamenesses. The only trainer in this area that I trust to see lameness has a terrible reputation as having a black cloud over her because she dares to tell owners that their horses are lame. Most people simply don't want to hear it and will go to the vet/trainer that will tell them what they want to hear.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheBandit
    replied
    The only time my mare looked lame was directly after she tore her SI ligament.

    The best description of her movement when she is out of shape is that her movement is very flat, there isn't any power behind and she trails her hind legs out behind her.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lieslot
    replied
    Thx TheBandit, so does your horse look sound when working through it all or lame?

    I just wished I could have a better idea of what stifly, SI horses look like. I read about it a lot, but not much video examples to be found, so it's hard to compare to have a feel for how lame my guy really is.

    Leave a comment:


  • TheBandit
    replied
    When I bring my SI/stifly mare back into work in the spring I start handwalking her on a flat surface. Usually 15-20 minutes for a week-10 days. Then I add 1 very gradual hill in the middle of the walk, starting and ending with the flat surface. To switch things up I will sometimes ground drive her. I get on and start hacking her after about 3 weeks. 15 minutes on a flat surface. I add more to the routine every 5 days or so. We start trotting about week 5 or 6. It is slow going, but it works for her.

    Leave a comment:


  • Lieslot
    replied
    Sure PP, let's say he's neurological, so what do I do now? I have no reason to change vet clinic, in my immediate area I won't find better then the vets I have, they honestly have a great reputation. Plus I really don't think I should question the capabilities of the U of M on issues like shivers & EMND, they are leading researchers on the subject.

    Seems it swings both ways, either work him with a caring trainer or retire. It was probably stupid to try again last year after I had already thrown in the towel.

    The anxieties are not necessarily riding related, they can happen in the stall, in the field, he's ubersensitive.

    NorCaldressage, May of last year. I kept trying until Aug of last year, then sort of gave up and thought about trails, figured that wasn't working either so did a final effort, with entire work-up & injections.

    Leave a comment:


  • NorCalDressage
    replied
    Larkspur - good advice!

    Lieslot - when was that canter video taken?

    Leave a comment:


  • LarkspurCO
    replied
    Originally posted by Lieslot View Post
    LarkspurCO, you are confirming what I'm worried about. I've seen a horse that was blistered and the horse was so sore, he kept laying down like he was laminitic. So these are things you don't forget and you never know how a particular horse will react to it.
    That's what happened to mine. There were times he could not get up on his own and I had to help. It was horrible. And it didn't help the stifles at all.


    All of last year I really felt I needed a trainer, but it's such a difficult thing, do you ask a trainer to work a lame horse.
    I'll have to be upfront and say, he's lame, are you willing to work with him.
    A good trainer will understand the difference between a lame horse and an unconditioned, unbalanced horse. I was really afraid to work him and always looking for a way to fix the problem first. With his stifles, though, the work was the fix.

    His stifles weren't just sticky. They would completely lock and would do so frequently, so making the commitment to work him was very difficult for me. I was really lucky to find such a great trainer.

    When I finally stopped obsessing about it and stopped looking for the lameness all the time, I was able to move past it and really learn how to build him up.

    If it's any help to you, my first trainer told me to get rid of my horse. She said, and I quote: "He is worth dog food." She said I would never be able to show him because the judges would ring him out of the arena. How wrong she was, and what a number she did on me psychologically.

    When I finally got up the nerve to show him, we received a 70.8% on out TL test with nice comments from the judge, then went on to do very well in 1st that year.

    I think your horse is really nice and has very pleasant gaits.

    Leave a comment:


  • davistina67
    replied
    Originally posted by Perfect Pony View Post
    Chiro work can also make them much worse. .
    How????

    Leave a comment:


  • Perfect Pony
    replied
    The problems with all the suggestions is they are all torture for a horse with any sort of neurological deficits. Cavaletti, backing up, hill work, any work in a frame, cantering. The canter video is the big one for me, he is clearly struggling to do what is asked, and he clearly cannot really use his hind end properly. Chiro work can also make them much worse. For me, the anxiety when he is out in unfamiliar surroundings is a red flag also. Add to all this the fact that vets have already mentioned shivers and EMND and I really don't think there is much doubt that he has some sort of neurological deficits to go along with everything else.

    Leave a comment:

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