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What does this sound like to you?

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  • What does this sound like to you?

    I am getting very frustrated with the soundness of my horse, I am hoping that maybe someone will have had a similar experience and may have some insight as to what I should do next to help my mare.
    long story short: I have had lots of problems in the past, she is only 8. about 4 weeks ago she came up dead lame trotting to the right, but looked like a million bucks trotting to the left. bute, DMSO, 1 and a half weeks and some stretches later she was sound for about 2 weeks. We went to a clinic came back she got two days off and one easy day. yesterday I rode for about 20 min she was great. I guess she felt a little off in hindsight, but she gets unbalanced sometimes and it felt like that more than unsound. I took a walk break then picked the trot back up to the right (same leg) and she was lame. Dmso and bute. Same story today when I lunged her, lame to the right, looks like a rock star to the left.
    So obviously whatever was bugging her never went away, but she was sound. this is what I have done:
    she has a 'hunters bump', I have had it ultrasounded, there was scar tissue but we werent able to see much else
    she has had a broken wither, although it was not a major fracture and I dont believe thats playing a part
    I have considered the SI, but from looking at symptoms it seems it would be the hing legs, plus she readily accepts the bit and engages her hind end no problem. when I say she goes like a million bucks I mean it, shes just lame.
    I have done laser treatment, ice treatment, pretty much all of it, granted a few years ago (this has shown up before) it worked okay, we felt it was because of the bump
    had a massage person friend feel her for a few minutes the other day, she thinks shes tense in the shoulder, but would that really cause full on lameness?
    saddle fits, teeth floated, all that good stuff.
    From what I know, I believe her feet are good, but if you have any experience with something like this that involves feet please tell. she is negative to hoof testers, gets her feet done regularly.
    the smaller the circle to the right the lamer she gets, both undersaddle and on a lunge line.
    I am having a vet come out again this week. Im trying a new vet (i have tried many btw) and maybe we will get somewhere. If you want any more information i will be glad to tell you, I know you cant diagnose stuff like this on the internet, but at this point the mystery lameness is is turning out to be so frustrating and if any one has ideas thats a big help. The vet has suggested bone scans, but I can not get them since they are pretty much unavailable right now. thank you in advance

  • #2
    Have her stifles checked if you haven't already. I'm going through something with that right now and have learned a lot about how it can affect things you wouldn't think of.

    Looong story short, had two vets out for lameness exams, similar symptoms as yours, but she seemed lame in the front end. Both vets concentrated on that. Third vet (who is awesome) went right to the back end and found out that's where it has been coming from all along. She was lame in the front from it because of holding her weight to the front all the time. That was the only visable symptom for awhile.


    • #3
      Also what leg is she lame on? What have the other vets said?

      My only experience with something like this was a horse that was just barely off to the left (you really had to be looking for something) and head bobbing to the right. They had limited funds and so far rest (no riding, but turnout, stall rest was not an option unless the vet felt he HAD to have it, and he would have needed drugs) had done nothing to help. No swelling anywhere, blocked sound down in the foot, took an X-ray everything looked ok. Decided to inject coffin bone joint and was sound and stayed sound as far as I know for a few years.

      Have any of the vets done any blocks to see where the lameness is coming from? If the horse is visibly lame this usually works well in determining where lameness is. My experience has been if they are head bobbing lame it is usually the front (aside from 3 legged lame behind or something) and if they are not quite right or off it can be harder to tell if it is front or back.


      • #4
        You say she's negative to hoof testers. Any heat or pulse?
        Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"


        • #5
          It's so hard without the right diagnostics.

          My mare with the stifle problem was head bobbing lame in the front, but was coming from the back end, that's why two vets neglected to due further testing on the back end

          Horses are complex creatures. I hope you find the solution.

          Let us know, hopefully it will help someone down the line and you can get your kid sound!


          • Original Poster

            oops, I guess I forgot to mention which leg. Its the right front. shes head bobbing lame when on the lunge line to the right(bent right), off when I trot her on pavement (straight), and sound when I trot her on the lunge line to the left (bent the other way).
            Also, to the poster who asked about the foot there is no pulse or swelling in the hoof and her legs are clean.
            The stifles are interesting, I will ask about that on friday when a vet comes out yet again. Its so frustrating, thank you all for your help and well wishes.


            • #7
              Sounds like my girl. Blocking identified the hoof, even tho hoof testers were negative. Intermittent lameness. Torn medial collateral ligament in the hoof -- diagnosed via MRI since ultrasound can't do the hoof. She didn't seem unhappy, but off when the RF was on inside of a circle. Also stumbled a bit on downhill, didn't seem to lift that hoof to clear terrain.

              I did stem cell, but i also gave her 9 months off. Two months hand walk on hard ground w no lateral flexion (no circles, no soft arena) Two months mounted walk, two months trot working up to 20 minutes, two months canter working up to 15 min. No turn out until canter was complete. She is fine now, never an issue.

              I had to be so careful and conservative because I had no way of knowing her healing progression as I wasn't going to pay for another MRI just to check.

              Another thing you might check is impar ligament.


              • #8
                Originally posted by DressageOverFences View Post
                oops, I guess I forgot to mention which leg. Its the right front. shes head bobbing lame when on the lunge line to the right(bent right), off when I trot her on pavement (straight), and sound when I trot her on the lunge line to the left (bent the other way).
                Also, to the poster who asked about the foot there is no pulse or swelling in the hoof and her legs are clean.
                The stifles are interesting, I will ask about that on friday when a vet comes out yet again. Its so frustrating, thank you all for your help and well wishes.
                Has she been blocked on that leg? Has it been determined where in the leg? I personally do not have a ton of stifle lameness experience as side of some locking and weakness resulting in just being slightly off behind. But I do have a fair amount of experience with horses being lame and it being very low in the hoof without any heat or swelling ranging from easy fixes (inject coffin bone and sound) to needing stall rest and never making it back to the level they were before (Deep flexor tendon tears). Good luck!


                • #9
                  Considering the vast majority of lameness is in the lower leg that is where I would start. It only makes sense to start with the leg you 'suspect' and do blocks starting with the foot. This is standard procedure for lameness exams. Then if you find it is in the foot/pastern you then do xrays. Negative response to hoof testers does not 'prove' the foot is OK.
                  Once you eliminate the most obvious problem areas...then move on and look for the next most suspicious.
                  I would certainly not excuse the 'broken' wither as the culprit either. When you have an injury, even an old one, that needs to be considered.


                  • #10
                    she has had a broken wither, although it was not a major fracture and I dont believe thats playing a part
                    Most times, a smaller fracture causes a bigger problem. Saying it's not a big deal is like saying:well...I broke my neck but I don't think it's what's causing my pain LOL.
                    I wouldl bet this IS the problem..because of this:
                    had a massage person friend feel her for a few minutes the other day, she thinks shes tense in the shoulder, but would that really cause full on lameness?
                    YES! Especially with a broken wither.
                    oops, I guess I forgot to mention which leg. Its the right front. shes head bobbing lame when on the lunge line to the right(bent right),
                    How long ago did this 'insignificant' break to her withers happen? Did you have a chiro look at it? how did it heal? is it back in alignment, or not? Can your MT tell??
                    Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses


                    • #11
                      I vote soft tissue that is being rushed too quickly.
                      chaque pas est fait ensemble


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Petstorejunkie View Post
                        I vote soft tissue that is being rushed too quickly.
                        My thoughts too. The tip off for me is the off again on again nature of it.
                        2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                        A helmet saved my life.


                        • #13
                          have you had rads done? that is exactly the way my mare presented when she first got diagnosed with ring bone.
                          My mare wonders about all this fuss about birth control when she's only seen a handful of testicles in her entire life. Living with an intact male of my species, I feel differently! WAYSIDE