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Who's dealt with SI issues?

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  • Who's dealt with SI issues?

    Ok, here's the timeline:

    September 2011 I bought Bravo. I did not get a PPE, but did contact the vets who the other interested party had do a PPE (I know, bad.) He responded to hoof testers on the RF, but had clean x-rays.

    November 2011 he had some back soreness. Thought it was my saddle, so I gave him time off and bought a nicer saddle. Vet felt that he had mild pedal arthritis and recommended barefoot or heart bars. I did barefoot for a bit, tried heartbars, and we're currently barefoot.

    December 2011 had the vet check on him again. He was cleared for work.

    He's been in sporadic work since due to school. Both my trainer and I felt that something wasn't "right" - he tends to drop the canter and is cranky about picking the canter up, especially to the left.

    Took him into OSU Vet Hospital, where they felt that he had a subluxation of his pelvis. I had his SI injected. That was last Wednesday.

    Now his injection site is sore and he's even MORE lame. OSU said give him 4 more days off, bute and see where we are mid-week.

    Videos were taken a few days before OSU. Please ignore the plethora of lame horse videos. I swear they all have a headache-inducing story.



    Does anyone have experience? Kind words? SOMETHING? This is my dream horse, and I'm very upset that he is going to be lame

  • #2
    I have a lot of experience with vets that are sure it's one thing, only to have something else pop, or the horse to be worse after treatment. You know what it's been? Cervical spine arthritis.

    I'd recommend a bone scan. Stop chasing your tail and just image the whole horse and see what lights up.

    If it is something in the spine, hope is not lost. You can inject the spinal facets and potentially have very good results.

    Thread about my horse here: http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=161628


    • Original Poster

      I am not willing to do a bone scan. At that point, the cost of treatment would be approaching the purchase price of the horse. Then I need to look at other options, as I'm not comfortable with injecting any more.

      Your thread is very interesting, that's for sure. I'm a little comforted that I'm not the only one dealing with mystery issues. Unfortunately.

      Forgot to say that he's seen the chiro twice and has a Black Country fitted to him.


      • #4
        One of mine had SI injected at CSU for a "hot spot" on nuclear scan. He was worse after he came home, to the point I called CSU vet in a panic. Was told to give it time, it would take several weeks to months for significant improvement. This turned out to be true.

        So don't despair yet.
        Ring the bells that still can ring
        Forget your perfect offering
        There is a crack in everything
        That's how the light gets in.


        • #5
          I hear you on the cost, but I'd encourage you to consider how much you're spending a couple hundred at a time, and how much you might keep spending a couple hundred at a time. Unless you're at the point of just tossing him out for the summer, there's a good chance you'll wind up ahead doing the scan.

          That said--injections DO take time to kick in, usually depending on what steroid was used. Give it a few weeks and see what you have. What was he injected with?

          Ah, also--do you have EPM where you live? Has he been tested for that? How about checking his selenium levels?


          • #6
            From what I read last fall, bone scans are not as accurate with SI issues as once thought.


            • #7
              Originally posted by davistina67 View Post
              From what I read last fall, bone scans are not as accurate with SI issues as once thought.
              If the issue is SI, then the injections should show a positive response. If Monokeros does not see a positive response to the SI injections, a bone scan could be quite useful in identifying what is wrong with the horse...


              • #8
                Yes. Diagnosed in addition to cervical spine issues by bone scan in September. Previously presented as front end lameness.

                There is a much longer version of this story.

                At any rate, had I known the relatively small difference in cost between scintigraphy of the whole horse vs the front feet when I had the first scintigraphy done 3+ years ago I would have had the whole horse scanned then. And probably found it then. And possibly had a horse with a better prognosis. At this point I have a horse that is serviceably sound for flat work, but may never return to jumping.
                The Evil Chem Prof


                • #9
                  I've had several horses with varying SI issues (I've posted about them many times here, so if you want the longer stories you can search for earlier SI threads). Short story is that I've never wasted the money or time to do a bone scan (no particular aversion to bone scans, I just didn't feel there was a need since we already knew it was sacroiliac/pelvis related). My vet is a really phenomenal chiro/acu and put my guys back together, so to speak. My mare went on to do the 1.40m jumpers and my gelding did his first 1.50m classes last year. Both had pretty significant SI issues when they came to me.

                  My vote goes to finding a really good chiropractor/bodyworker.
                  Flying F Sport Horses
                  Horses in the NW


                  • #10
                    I second the chiro acupuncture ideas. MY mare had an SI injection - ONCE and then has had some chiro/acc work done for support. I've only had good results since then. GIve the injection time and think about getting him stronger..


                    • #11
                      I hope this doesn't come off the wrong way, but if you are unhappy with OSU's diagnosis and treatment, have you considered getting a second opinion?

                      I only have experience with OSU for colic surgery (and they were fabulous), but perhaps you might try Woodland Run? That's where I've gone for my lameness issues.

                      I also agree with others that you might try to give the injections a bit more time.

                      Just to be clear, I'm not trying to say anything negative about your vet, and I know the few I've dealt with at OSU have been wonderful. However, sometimes a second opinion helps (whether they agree with the first opinion or not). A second opinion certainly helped me when my diagnosis didn't come back the way I wanted.
                      My Blog: Fly On Over
                      My Etsy Store: The Printable Pony


                      • #12
                        If you do a search about SI injections, the consensus seems to be that you will not see a difference for at least 2 weeks. I was *very* glad I had that info when I did my horse, b/c it took him more like 2.5-3 before it "clicked" for him. But he felt like a new horse after that.

                        Remember that the needle used for the SI injection is not just long, but quite wide, and causes a certain amount of trauma as it passes through muscle, etc to reach the SI area - my vet could even feel resistance from passing through fibrotic scar tissue. So it's reasonable to expect that there would be some initial discomfort from bruising, etc.

                        Good luck.


                        • Original Poster

                          Brutus - here's the thing...he was already delcared "VERY sound" by Woodland Run, which is where he got his x-rays. OSU is now our 4th opinion.

                          I'm feeling a lot more calm now. I'll give it a few more weeks before I have another panic attack at least

                          And I'll make sure to schedule my chiro out again. He's excellent and has a great price. If I don't see improvement in a month, we'll try the next step. Not sure what that is, but we'll see.

                          Thank you all so much!

                          Baxter, I think I've seen you on another forum. Good to "see" you again


                          • #14
                            My mare had both SIs injected in December 2010 and the left one redone a few months later. This was as part of her treatment for some long-standing lameness issues that first presented as a badly inflamed LH suspensory. She showed the classic "SI dip" in her spine at the top of her croup and at the first instance, the vet could nearly make her sit down just by palpating the area.

                            In both cases he advised me to stay off her for 10 days to 2 weeks, but do handwalks. It probably took another week to really see a difference. As others have said, the SI injection itself induces a certain amount of trauma.

                            She's doing great now, for low level dressage and casual trail riding, but I keep an eye out for the "SI dip" and when it shows up again (and stays) it will be time for another injection.
                            You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                            1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Monokeros View Post
                              Baxter, I think I've seen you on another forum. Good to "see" you again
                              Hi Mono! Are you spelled an even more novel way this time? *waves*

                              I should add, my vet recommended to wait two weeks before doing chiro (I waited 3-4). I also did 1 week handwalking only, 1 week of walk under saddle, 1 week of walk/trot, then added canter, and I'm still taking it easy on the jumping - trying to systematically build flexibility and strength and let it occur to him that this stuff doesn't have to hurt/pull. He was pretty damned crooked, so lots of work in the opposite bend (half-pass, counter-canter, spiral in and out) plus some stretches (reminds me that I have to do more of those today).

                              I was also lucky to have the BO's fabulously talented and very long-legged 6' tall daughter put a couple of rides on where she basically pinned him between those legs and made him go -straight-, and I really noticed the difference.


                              • #16
                                I have a horse that had a really bad SI for a while and while it still bugs him on occasion depending on work load, is MUCH better.

                                Forrest had that hitch in his gait. When I got him he was so underweight he had learned to walk in a less painful way creating his SI issue. I worked really closely with a Chiro and doing multiple exercises (aka horse Pilates) to build the muscles around the SI to support it better. I was advised NOT to do injections as there is no 100% way of making sure the injection gets to the area since it is well hidden behind the bone. We did LOTS of cavaletti work and slowly brought him along. For the first year I had to have the Chrio out several times, the 2nd year he only came out twice and this year not yet!

                                I couldn’t even do hills as it was too much for him. I have finally reached the point where we do a field/hill day once a week and he has been doing well with it. We actually started jumping 3'6-4 feet the other day. This was a horse they had through would be lucky to jump 2 feet!

                                Forrest still has bad days and gets really stiff or his toe drag is worse. So we back off our work a bit, have a couple light days, give bute for inflammation, and without 3-4 days he’s ready to go again. I have noticed however he’s much better and has a quicker comeback after a tough workout or show.
                                Calm & Collected, 13, OTTB
                                Forrest Gump (Catasauqua) , 17, OTTB
                                Little Bit Indian, 29, TB
                                Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by MelantheLLC View Post
                                  One of mine had SI injected at CSU for a "hot spot" on nuclear scan. He was worse after he came home, to the point I called CSU vet in a panic. Was told to give it time, it would take several weeks to months for significant improvement. This turned out to be true.

                                  So don't despair yet.
                                  This. SI's can take three weeks or so to respond to injections, and it's not uncommon for them to be sore from them--it takes a big needle going through at lot of muscle and other soft tissue to get to it! Don't be too quick to judge if it's helped or not.
                                  Originally posted by EquineImagined
                                  My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.