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Questions on hip dislocation/ pelvic issue/ ?

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  • Questions on hip dislocation/ pelvic issue/ ?

    Summary of my question: with no x-rays available, how can my vet and I test Hoover to see how big an issue this may be? and might a sonagram change how we decide to manage his work assignments enough to ask special dispensation for one?
    .........
    Just after Hoover got back on his feet after being zonked for gelding, I asked the vet about his tendency to point his right stifle and leg out to the side when he is resting it. Granted this pony is cowhocked but at rest he likes to point that leg almost 90 degrees from the left hind. His hips aren’t blatantly uneven. His stride seems even in back and he is sound at walk and stepping pace – including at purchase when two separate people rode him around sitting on his butt, legs dangling over his point of hips, since he had a wither sore. I haven’t ridden him yet because of the sore and his needing groceries. I thought when I bought him that he was just cowhocked, but when he completely rests the leg it’s evident he turns that stifle well outside.

    This visiting vet does cattle and horses in the US. As soon as I described ‘90 degrees’, he went straight to that hip while Hoover was still max relaxed from the drugs. He took a look at how Hoover was parked, and put a hand on the point of buttock and gave a push. After a couple times of this, he had me do it and note I could feel and slightly hear a pop up by his point of hip.

    He and our local vet suspect that the hip is slightly dislocating. I couldn’t take notes at the time so I don’t remember if the exact term he used was Coxofemoral Subluxation or something similar. Their differential diagnosis is some sort of old pelvic fracture. The visiting vet commented that in the US this is the kind of case where he wants X rays to see what’s going on in the hip joint. No chance of those here. They suspect that whatever Hoover did, he likely did it so young that his body compensated pretty well. Their recommendation is to keep him well conditioned, and watch carefully for signs of pain or difficulty. Makes sense.

    To read Google results on coxofemoral luxation, you’d think he’d be crippled for life instead of a seasoned work horse. Maybe he'd have just stretched the round ligament? While large animal x-rays are out of the question, how likely is it that the hospital’s portable ultrasound machine might be compatible with a horse-sized probe? And how likely is it that a sonogram’s info would change how we manage this pony? I need him for trail rides out to work sites, eventually up to 10 mile round trips and up to 1200 feet elevation changes, and occasional pack work. The local vet will be back next week - what other tests or checks should we do to better figure out how much I should ask Hoover to do? What should we look out for in ‘jog ups’?
    Last edited by HorsesinHaiti; Feb. 13, 2012, 06:38 AM. Reason: added a summary
    HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
    www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog
  • Original Poster

    #2
    These are the best pictures I have – since we just gelded him, Hoover isn’t about to let me get behind him without keeping an eye on what nefarious scheme I have in mind now! Today I didn’t have a helper for better pictures, I'll try to get someone tomorrow.

    (Obligatory disclaimers: I know he's underweight with long feet - we're working on those already. The neck rope is what he's used to for grazing, so we deal with it).
    Attached Files
    HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
    www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

    Comment


    • #3
      I have subluxing joints and it can be painful at times, but mostly I am sound! I do what I want to do and don't let it stop me.

      If this boy was sound when you bought him and is showing this when he is most relaxed, I would keep an eye on him and let him tell you when he has had enough.

      Good Luck. He is adorable! Kudos for you for doing right by this boy. Hope he turns out alright!
      Be Patient! Be Kind! Try to understand!

      Comment


      • #4
        I think I remember the other pictures from when you first saw him-looks like he has put on some weight since then. No ideas for you on the hip thing, but keep up the good work!
        RIP Mydan Mydandy+
        RIP Barichello

        Comment


        • #5
          I've dealt with a couple of horses with pelvic injuries from one who was downright lame (non displaced pelvic fracture) to one who was slightly NQR behind (u/s showed old SI injury to both SI joint and top ligament, arthritis in one hip joint, old knocked down hip, possible old mild healed fracture of the ileum, old fractured seat bone with 3" bone fragment in the muscle). Ultrasound is a great tool if done by someone who has looked at a lot of pelvises and knows their variations. The ultrasound specialist vet who comes to my farm told me you need a certain machine to do parts of the pelvis. She ultrasounded both rectally and externally. We got a ton of info on both horses this way but it was a very subtle process and I could see why I needed someone who was an ultrasound specialist. It's a great diagnostic tool and very cost effective.

          You might be able to get some decent images of the hip joint, at least the top part of it, since it's close to the surface? Maybe at least get the images and then send to a specialist in the US? I'm happy to put you in touch with the vet I use --- she's really good.

          Best of luck to you.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Watermark, thanks. Your vet could help me with one of my questions. I know the sonagram probe for horses must be different from the one used on humans. But are the base machines the same machine? as in, What minimum specs of ultrasound machine does it take to run a horse probe? The one hospital ultrasound machine might not have enough juice to get pictures even if some visiting vet were to bring down the right probe.

            Supposing two miracles happen - our machine is compatible with a borrowed probe, and I get permission to risk using it on the horse. What kinds of things would you look for to say 'this isn't likely to be a problem even walking up steep terrain' vs 'he may be sound now, but he won't befor long if he carries a rider or a load up steep terrain no matter how well conditioned he is'?

            Other questions, what non-imaging tests can we do/ signs can we watch out for to spot what exactly this is and when it is beginning to bother him? And has anyone had a horse with this issue, and how did they handle it as they worked/aged?
            HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
            www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

            Comment


            • #7
              Haiti, sent you a PM with contact info for the ultrasound vet.

              Comment


              • #8
                I had a horse who occasionally had hip issues when we went trail riding up and down steep hills. The chiropractor had me condition him by backing him up several minutes a day (on the flat, over cavelleti, up a slight incline) to help strengthen supporting muscles. It did help and I rarely needed the chiropractor out for hip adjustments after I added the new exercises.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Effie1221 View Post
                  I had a horse who occasionally had hip issues when we went trail riding up and down steep hills. The chiropractor had me condition him by backing him up several minutes a day (on the flat, over cavelleti, up a slight incline) to help strengthen supporting muscles. It did help and I rarely needed the chiropractor out for hip adjustments after I added the new exercises.
                  We don't have chiros but we certainly have inclines. Hoover seems to like reverse gear - as an evasion to "nw what are you going to do to me!?" Keeping him backing might help his mind as well as his hip, so long as we get Forward installed well first.

                  I finally got some decent shots from the rear (it took hiding behind a bush at one point) I've gotten good at backing for a few minutes a day, walking backwards to see how he's moving. His hips seem level at the walk and when he stands evenly, though he's almost always cocking the right hind a little when he's standing around.
                  Attached Files
                  HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                  www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

                  Comment

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