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Call the vet? Or not yet.

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  • Call the vet? Or not yet.

    My horse is giving me gray hair.

    He *just* got back 3 weeks ago from the equine clinic having been there for a week on IV fluids due to a colic. I don't have the bill for that yet. And I'm cringing.

    Last week he started grinding his teeth again, so I've invested in both ulcerguard to the tune of $600 while I'm waiting for the poprocks which I invested $200 in (but are not here yet).

    I'm working him every day, which is required to keep his bowels moving, and feeding him soaked beet pulp and psyllium at lunch.

    I've ordered a nibble net, which will keep him in hay 24/7. He's getting extra hay now.

    We've been riding again and he's sound in the ring, but I've started trail riding him. He was immediately ouchy on stones (in just regular shoes) so I thought "oops, flat/thin soled TB, let's put pads on". Farrier sez "he ought to go through the rocks just fine in these pads"

    Horse does not think he's just fine. Horse refuses to walk on stones unless it is absolutely necessary. I think to myself "okay, maybe horse is just really really sensitive and can feel the stones through the thick leather pad and packing - because these are fairly large stones and pokey - I can see it".

    Then today I took him for a hack around the field and walked a portion on the actual paved road and he did the same thing. Mincey, with these odd "lurchy" steps periodically like he'd stepped on something that he didn't like. There was some tiny fine gravel...but there's no way it was big enough to feel through the pad.

    So I have two thoughts:

    Call the vet yet again *sigh* which would necessitate I'm sure rads and taking the pads off (which were just put on to the tune of $100)

    Wait a few days and see if it's stone bruising from NOT having the pads and it may just resolve

    He appears fine on hard surfaces in-hand. The occasional step is funny...but it's occasional. Under saddle though, it's really apparent that on hard surfaces only, he's NQR.

    So...should I call the vet yet? Or wait a few days to see whether it resolves.

    Incidentally, no heat or swelling that I could find anywhere...horse has arthritis anyway, so it could just be the sharp cold weather flaring things up....

  • #2
    Well do a few things first.

    Do you know how to look for a digital pulse? I would check him for one. It can be an indicator that there is inflammation / lack of circulation in the feet.

    Here is a link on digital pulses.

    If you find a good pulse, call VET asap and have them advise you on how to proceed.

    Really check the cornet area for heat.

    Take all vitals to make sure they are normal.

    Do you have access to hoof testers? I would try to find the location of the pain.

    If no digital pulse, no heat, normal vitals all around, I think you could give it a little time. If any of the above are "off" I would have the vet out.

    Good luck!
    APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


    • Original Poster

      Ah yes - good thinking - no digital pulse that I could feel, no heat nor inflammation. Of course, that's also hard to tell because it's just dropped to 5 billion below zero (well...just 30 degrees, but I'm a big baby) and if there's heat, his whole body is hot

      Normal vitals. Seems fine. Willing to stride out and move on soft ground with no issues. Not standing funny or anything like that, even on the concrete.

      I could do hoof testers, but he's padded heavily up front - no way to test...Unless someone knows a way to do it with pads?

      I called the Farrier and left a message to see what he thought, as he seemed to think that the padding would take care of the problem. Thought I'd start there, and see where we went.


      • #4
        perhaps it is an abscess, when my horse starts on one, he is just not quite right, intermittent lameness...


        • #5
          An abscess was my first thought (possibly because I just went through pretty much the exact same series of events with my horse). In my case, it was a stone bruise that caused the abscess. I'd probably deal with the farrier first; unless the unsoundness progresses, in which case I'd get the shoe pulled and call the vet ASAP.


          • #6
            Originally posted by OneGrayPony View Post
            I could do hoof testers, but he's padded heavily up front - no way to test...Unless someone knows a way to do it with pads?
            I could locate stone bruises even through the pads with hoof testers on my flat soled tender footed hot house TB. But I don't know that all horses will still give you reactions through pads!
            APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


            • Original Poster

              I could locate stone bruises even through the pads with hoof testers on my flat soled tender footed hot house TB. But I don't know that all horses will still give you reactions through pads!
              I'll try him tomorrow. Never tried it with pads on

              Of course, he's a weenie and reactive to EVERYTHING, so who knows.