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Lame Thoroughbred Is... Still Lame: Final Update

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  • #21
    It's getting late in the summer but he might benefit from wearing fly boots whenever there is a fly in sight. If he doesn't have a reason to stomp then he won't bruise his feet up as much slamming them into the ground all day.


    • #22
      From the video, I think your horse looks lame on both fronts (intermittently) and on the right hind. Foot soreness would definitely be a good guess.


      • Original Poster

        I agree with the fronts. Those semi-canter strides he takes are new- the stiffness moving through the right is not new.

        I've asked the vet to please, please consider coming out a little later in the day, and I think we might be able to work something out. I want to be considerate of his time, of course!!


        • #24
          The semi-canter steps you are referencing are an indicator of hind end lameness. Look closely at the right hind when he takes those steps. Put it on very slow motion if you can.

          I hope the vet arrangement works out, but don't feel bad if you have to put it off a bit!


          • Original Poster

            Thanks! I'll check it out. I don't have the world's best Lameness Eye, but I'm working on it.

            I sent the video to the vet. Unfortunately, my guy is only occasionally well-behaved on the lunge, and never when the vet is present, so we had to skip that part of the lameness eval (with the exception of my guy cantering cheerfully around the arena, lunge line streaming out behind him, smirking after bolting away from the vet tech when she tried to lunge him). Since time was a consideration for that first visit, I had the choice of an EPM eval or to tack him up. I chose the EPM eval.

            I'm super-sensitive about doing right by my critters, and I feel bad that my guy is probably uncomfortable, and I can't immediately fix it. He's not acting uncomfortable by pasture standards, but I can tell he's bored and missing his routine. The night I tacked him up for this video, he practically charged to the arena, excited and ready to go!


            • #26
              Have you tried putting hoof boots on him with pads? That's one way you might be able to see if it's foot soreness.

              When I first took my horse barefoot I always rode him in hoof boots all around. If you stick pads in them too you might be able to make him more comfortable.

              I also recommend Magic Cushion. It's been very helpful for my horse.
              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


              • Original Poster

                We had him in Easy Boots last year with pads- one of things we tried was to keep him in those through the summer, since he was literally crumbling his feet stomping on the hard ground.

                They worked until they stretched out, and then I got a great workout searching for them. The vet, farrier, and I decided to abandon them at that point.

                I'm willing to try anything, but reluctant to buy something that's going to stretch out and disappear in the pasture. Are there any other hoof boots that would work better?


                • Original Poster


                  Vet will be coming out next Tuesday. Adequan was given last night.

                  Upon lunging him last night, he was looking awful on his front right... then worked out of it.

                  My paranoid self has built this up to be absolutely enormous, so if there are any available jingles that this is something treatable, that would be just super. Horsey is bored, bored, bored, and his cribbing has picked up. Hearing him call out when I take the Appy down to the arena to work is definitely on the sadder noises I've heard this week.


                  • #29
                    For starters I'd get a new farrier. Sounds like the current farrier is taking from the bottom, which this horse can ill afford given that he's sore after every trim. And put shoes on the horse. Bet you anything he's got thin soles, will always have thin soles, and just needs shoes.

                    Being footsore can greatly aggravate the upper joints, starting with the ankles.


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by erniewalker View Post
                      Vet will be coming out next Tuesday. Adequan was given last night.

                      Upon lunging him last night, he was looking awful on his front right... then worked out of it.

                      My paranoid self has built this up to be absolutely enormous, so if there are any available jingles that this is something treatable, that would be just super. Horsey is bored, bored, bored, and his cribbing has picked up. Hearing him call out when I take the Appy down to the arena to work is definitely on the sadder noises I've heard this week.
                      Most lamenesses are treatable, one way or another, once you figure out the cause. Not all horses are going to be pictures of perfect soundness, even on their best days. You do what you can do and work within the limits the horse presents to you. I agree that this sounds hoof related, and that perhaps it would be worth trying a new farrier and putting the horse in shoes (perhaps the glue ons I mentioned previously). But the first step is the vet, and you've got that squared away.

                      In the video, I mostly thought your horse looked footsore. There are lots of ways to deal with foot soreness. X-rays are not that expensive, so perhaps get some shots of his feet and some shots of the fetlock that seems to be giving him trouble.


                      • #31
                        magically moving foot sore signs

                        my experience, had lameness vet out for same issue with a young horse. Was told absolutely had to have shoes, at very least on front. Foot conformation was the issue and correct trimming was not going to help his particular issues when competing in sport. 2 years later, never looked back. Has been sound and showing every since the first time with shoes. He absolutely would not be happy with out the support. Just my experience good luck


                        • Original Poster

                          I would be thrilled if it wasn't something life-threatening. Shoes are on my list of things that can be high-maintenance and a pain, but won't kill my horse. Now that he actually has some foot, shoes may be a possibility. Both the farrier and vet agree that his feet show a lot of new growth- he still has event rings from his past neglect and the issues we've had in the past year.


                          • #33
                            Try to keep calm - he doesn't look life-threateningly horrible in the videos, and you said he seems fine in turnout. I'd think the absolute WORST case scenario you are looking at right this very moment is retirement, and I would even bet you are not looking at that.


                            • #34

                              The problem looks parallel to the one I had with a shelley footed TB. The problem disappeared after I found a farrier that could actually shoe TB's. Trust me they are few and far between. Shoes are mandatory on my boy, he just cannot take three sound steps without them.


                              • #35
                                Well my guy had the same problem up front. X-ray showed pedal ostietis (sp) frog support pads and a regular shoe and all should be ok. The degeneration of the coffin bone can remodel itself once the concussion on hard ground stops.


                                • #36
                                  Small point here......part of the reason his feet are not of great quality is that he is not getting enough vitamins and minerals from his feed. A 1000 lbs horse needs 2.5 - 5 lbs of Nutrena Safe Choice to get the amount of vitamins needed.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    I doubt he would be as chubby as he is on just 1.5 pounds of grain. That should have read "1.5 scoops/3lb scoop." He's getting about 4lbs of grain each day.

                                    Plus turn out, hay, and supplements.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      The Completely Boring Conclusion

                                      Last week I popped a shot of Adequan into my horse, with a message from the receptionist at the vet clinic that "it probably won't work if he's THAT lame." (She's super-cheerful in that not-at-all sort of way.)

                                      I also sent the vet the same video I posted here, which the receptionist said "the vet probably won't be able to see anything." Again, she's a real peach. She's new- the rest of the staff is phenomenal.

                                      Two days after I gave him the Adequan, he lunged out beautifully. Big lofty trot, and even cantered without looking like he was going to fall over.

                                      Four days after I gave him the Adequan, he was back to playing and bolting and bucking on the lungeline, bored to tears.

                                      Yesterday the vet came out and started with the flex tests. Horse trotted out sound. Flexed again. Horse trotted out sound. Had me lunge him. Horse trotted out sound.

                                      The vet delivered the bad news: "There's not enough lameness for me to do a nerve block. I was really working him over with the flex, and he responded with a little ouch in the left front ankle area, but that was at the peak of the flex." He recommended an Adequan regimen- we're starting at once a month. He noted that is NOT the loading dose, but that, given how much improvement we saw from just one shot, we'd start small. He cited a few different studies as to how different doses have difference levels of efficacy in different horses.

                                      So we sat around and talked about my horse's overall health, since I was already paying for an hour of his time. Horse took a cat nap standing in the arena.

                                      I asked about shoes, and the vet said that yes, he finally had enough hoof to do it. He said that with my horse's Special Feet, it might take him a few cycles to not get used to them, and they might make him more footsore, but we could give it a whirl. He pulled up my horse's feet and showed me the different things to look for- apparently my guy has a very nice looking heel and wide frog- and what we might look to improve with shoeing. His event rings are still indicating some of the hardships he went through at the last barn, but overall, his feet are healthy enough to shoe.

                                      We talked about different exercises to strengthen him and his various ouchy spots, and then he checked his teeth for good measure, gave the horse a pat and hug, and set off.

                                      All that anxiety, and it turned out to just be the arthritis. I know arthritis is a big deal (heck, I have it, so I know how much it hurts), but compared to all the horrible things I had in mind? I'll take it!


                                      • #39
                                        Personally, I love boring conclusions of this sort! Glad to hear your guy isn't terminal.


                                        • Original Poster

                                          I was aaalllllmost embarrassed. I'm very grateful that I sent the vet the video I posted here, because he was able to see and recognise the same lameness I saw, and subsequently confirm that he looks LOADS better now.

                                          Any vet appointment where the horse is so bored he sleeps is OK in my book! We all joked about those "hot-tempered, dangerous OTTBs" while my guy just snoozed contentedly.