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Lame Thoroughbred Is... Still Lame: Final Update

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  • #41
    GLad you found some answeres, and ones that are not going to break the bank at that! Keep us updated please.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #42
      Round 2

      So last night, I tack up my big red guy, totally thrilled that I get to ride him again- vet checked sound, right?

      Our walk is beautiful, and after some circles and light bending and warming up, I head to trot... only to get the gaited washing machine feeling again.

      I was not equipped for hari kuri at the time, so I pulled my friend into the arena. She confirmed I was not just hallucinating. "I wonder if it's the saddle," she mused.

      So we pulled out another saddle. And that made it WORSE. "Yes," I said,"I do believe that has something to do with it."

      So then, I hopped on bareback. Because every experiment needs a control, right?

      My horse is a saint. A complete saint. Say what you want about Seattle Slew bloodlines, then come meet my horse. If I were in pain and had someone's big butt bouncing around on my back, I would probably drop them. Instead, he shuffled a few steps, then stopped, shook his head a little bit, then craned his head around so I could see the ouchy look in his eyes.

      I hopped off, and trotted him out in hand. SOUND. I had my friend trot him off in hand. SOUND.

      She then tried to hit the activation spots in his back- she's training in equine chiro- NO SHE DID NOT ACTUALLY WORK ON HIM- and he showed some ouchiness in his withers and ribs.

      So all that lameness worry, and he needs chiro. Urgh. Great news- we have one that works nearby who swings by once a month.

      Comment


      • #43
        Can you borrow some hoof boots to see if those help him? If those help, shoes might solve the problem. If you are really worried about shoes, go to your vet school farrier. He or she can work with the vet school vets to make a shoeing plan that your farrier can follow. Did the vet think laminitis is a possibility? Foot soreness always makes me think shoeing issue, laminitis, or navicular.

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        • #44
          ;-)

          Originally posted by erniewalker View Post
          So last night, I tack up my big red guy, totally thrilled that I get to ride him again- vet checked sound, right?

          Our walk is beautiful, and after some circles and light bending and warming up, I head to trot... only to get the gaited washing machine feeling again.

          I was not equipped for hari kuri at the time, so I pulled my friend into the arena. She confirmed I was not just hallucinating. "I wonder if it's the saddle," she mused.

          So we pulled out another saddle. And that made it WORSE. "Yes," I said,"I do believe that has something to do with it."

          So then, I hopped on bareback. Because every experiment needs a control, right?

          My horse is a saint. A complete saint. Say what you want about Seattle Slew bloodlines, then come meet my horse. If I were in pain and had someone's big butt bouncing around on my back, I would probably drop them. Instead, he shuffled a few steps, then stopped, shook his head a little bit, then craned his head around so I could see the ouchy look in his eyes.

          I hopped off, and trotted him out in hand. SOUND. I had my friend trot him off in hand. SOUND.

          She then tried to hit the activation spots in his back- she's training in equine chiro- NO SHE DID NOT ACTUALLY WORK ON HIM- and he showed some ouchiness in his withers and ribs.

          So all that lameness worry, and he needs chiro. Urgh. Great news- we have one that works nearby who swings by once a month.

          Coming out of a year-long lurkdom to ask (TIC!) ... How on earth can you be a regular COTH Forum user and NOT look to saddle fit first, formost, and above all else when presented with lameness that was not immediately remedied by a vet exam and treatment!? (Again - TIC!)

          I once posed a question on this forum (many moons ago) related to hay quality issues in North Florida causing some mild respiratory symptoms in my super sensitive lease pony, and received an abundance of very sincere, detailed responses that managed to tie that issue PLUS my failing Algebra test grade and oily T-zone to saddle fit issues.

          ... prepare yourself. With all seriousness, I am glad for you! Lameness related to an external provacation vs. a legitimate internal complaint has such an optimistic outlook, and so many non-invasive treatment options to choose from. Good luck with the pending saddle fitting adventures (talk to KrazyTBmare) and chiro/massage explorations!
          Common sense aint so common.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #45


            Actually, saddle fit is a constant in my mind, especially with his changing topline. At first, though, he was lunging out sore, and in his first vet visit, he hoof tested and flexed sore in his legs. Remember, when he first presented sore, I hadn't ridden him in awhile- we'd been doing light conditioning for his stifles. In the first vet visit, the vet thumped on his back and shoulders and hindquarters, but didn't really do an activation test, because the foot and leg soreness was so aparent.

            He's had acupuncture before for back soreness- his regular vet was cautious about doing chiro at the time because he was (surprisingly!) lame. Since everything below the topline is now vet-checked in working order, I think we can risk some chiro now.

            As far as saddle fit, the good news is that the company I bought my dressage saddle from can do refitting. The bad news is that they're in another state, and I have no idea who does saddle fittings in my area anymore. While my barn is wonderful, the only things really close to it are truck stops and bait shops. The closest tack shop is about an hour and a half away, and they think anything hunt seat is hilarious. I've been doing fairly well with an assortment of padding.

            But I really would love to clear up this oily T zone... .

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #46
              Updating this, because I'm sure I'm not the only person with a mystery-lameness situation. I know I go to old threads looking for hope, so maybe someone else is too!

              Chiro and farrier came out last night. I did not have a chance to talk to the farrier, because he had finished up with my horses by the time I got there.
              One of the other boarders and I will be changing to another farrier next time around, though.

              Chiro took a look at the OTTB and was quite concerned. His poll was out, he had most of his lower neck out on the left, and the upper part on the right. His withers were out. His ribs were out. His pelvis was out enough that she had to work on it for a considerable amount of time. She threw in a little extra massage and recommended we sweat his lower back last night, then continue with a combo of DMSO/Absorbine/Alcohol for a week.

              If you're thinking OMG ERNIE, YOU HORRIBLE HORSEOWNER, WHY HAVEN'T YOU HAD THIS POOR THING CHIRO'D BEFORE NOW? I tell you- because he wasn't vet-cleared to have it done. With his stifle and lameness issues last year, his regular vet recommended acupuncture. The vet last week cleared him for chiro, which is why I felt ok to give it a whirl.

              So, two days of stall rest, and follow up chiro on the 17th, he can start lunging again Saturday, riding again on Sunday, but just stretchy, loose stuff. Provided his feet are ok with that plan!

              Comment


              • #47
                Hey erniewalker, I see you are in Columbus, Ohio. If you have ANY further problems with your TBs feet or farriery in general, call OSU to get Trey Green's phone number ( Rocky Creek Forge) and have him take a look at your boy. He is the best in the business around here. Even if you against putting shoes on him, one cycle with properly trimmed, balanced and hot shod might convince you otherwise. I've got one TB who doesn't need shoes, but our other one just does.

                Comment


                • #48
                  That's interesting. My vet who is also an acupuncturist recommends chiropractor before she goes in and does acupuncture. I wonder if her method is atypical?

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #49
                    Since you know the horse in question- lol... this was back when he was at his last home, and we couldn't keep him sound for a full week at a time due to all the variables going on with him at the time. Dr. K thought that, since his stifles were ouchy, his feet were ouchy, and his skin was ouchy, it wasn't fair to make his whole chassis ouchy with chiro. She recommended the acupuncture because it has a short recovery time.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      I with the (WTF) group on chiro being last. Having dealt with a long back and a back that was injured by a saddle not being stuffed properly and one that was injured due to riding(not mine but another person that I trusted) (3 different horses by the way) I have had a bit of experience with sore backs and successfully making them not sore using various therapies. The Chiro would be first on my list and would be interested to hear why the vet thinks that way, could have been a vary valid reason by the way not second guessing him. Now that you have had a chiro work on your horse, you could try what I did. There was a study that showed carrot stretches (UTUBE has video of these) actually strengthened the back. They did them 5 repetitions 5 days a week and it took 5 weeks to get full results. What I did was add that to what I already did, which was giving her a back massage before I rode, then the back lifts, then the tail tuck and finishing with the carrot stretches. The tail tuck and carrot stretches were the new part. All I can say is by week 4 she had no back pain, I did have a chiro out the first week and he came out again on week 3 and had me add the everything after I rode too. You do need the vet and chiro but for support and strengthening after they have done everything this was the ticket. As a note this horse was seen by a vet and had mesotherapy done and other supportive therapy done but that was a year ago I wanted to try this instead of more injections. From what I seen it worked and better yet - it was free only taking my time. I now have a pain free and spoiled but happy horse.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #51
                        Thanks for the suggestions on the stretches! The chiro actually suggested I look for some that he would enjoy, so I've started incorporating that into our former work time.

                        Horsey's arthritis is flaring up again in the front left this time- which is where he has visible, diagnosed, everyone agrees upon it arthur. I just bit the bullet and bought the full course of Adequan.

                        There are so many variables involved- is the big brute in the pasture running him and making things ouchier? He was relatively sound after two days of stall rest and bute (per the chiro after her visit). What is the deal with his back? Why weren't horses made to speak? How did we go almost a year without any lameness, and suddenly we're just rotating which side has the lameness today? Why can't I get a grip on myself? Why didn't I sell him to the vet when she expressed interest? How does anyone remain sane during a long lay-up?

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Back soreness is often -- not always but often -- secondary to soreness elsewhere.

                          Since he's sore in front he's overcompensating with his hind end, which will make him back sore, for example.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #53
                            Latest Update

                            I think I'm starting to give up on this horse being sound ever again. At this point, I'm just detailing progress for anyone else who is ever at the point of giving up.

                            The latest- we're now doing the normal loading dose of Adequan instead of the "once a month" plan, because while there was immediate response from the Adequan, it only "lasted" about a week. Horse sometimes trots out normally, sometimes trots out with a "sticky" in his left ankle, which the vet confirmed is his most arthritic spot. Getting a new farrier next month who works specifically in oddly-conformed horses.

                            I rode him last night just to see how it would go- despite feeling like a gaited washing machine, he was very perky and eager to go. We only walked around for about five minutes, with maybe a total of a dozen trot strides.

                            I'm trying to look back at the days when he was constantly sore due to bad pasture, bad feed, and bad friends who picked on him all the time and remain somewhat optimistic that he'll be passably sound again. Really, at this point, I'd be happy to have him trail-sound. I'm sure I could learn to love trail riding as much as he does. (The trails around the barn are the ten-minute variety, not the Tevis Cup variety, btw.) He's not giving me a pain response on anything, and is obviously bored, bored, bored.

                            It just breaks my heart- we were doing so well, and hitting training marks left and right. Now I'm praying he'll be pasture sound. I'm not a beggar, but if anyone is willing to volunteer some jingles, Big Red and I would sure love them. Here's a picture of the snoofly guy in his more active, vibrant years. Last year, as a matter of fact.

                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/erniedubs/5637397281/

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Forgive me if you've answered these questions somewhere, but...

                              Have you tried putting shoes on yet? Have you tried any NSAIDs? Do bute or previcox make him sound? If he is back sore, has your vet taked about doing a course of robaxin?

                              There are a lot of ways to make a sore horse more comfortable, and at 7 I don't think you should be throwing in the towel just yet.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #55
                                Hi Chezzie!

                                The answers are scattered around, but it's worth a recap. This has been going on so long, new friends probably aren't as familiar!

                                Have you tried putting shoes on yet?
                                No- I discussed it with the vet, and he said that initially, they will likely make him more uncomfortable. I am fully willing to do it, but unfortunately the farrier had already done 3/4 of my horse's feet before I got to the barn to mention it to him. Hence why I'll have a new farrier next month who's not going to just come in and do a "standard trim" like it's nothing!

                                Have you tried any NSAIDs? Do bute or previcox make him sound? Yes, and yes. After his chiro appointment (same day as farrier appointment), he had two days of bute, and when I lunged him the third morning, he looked a little achey, but was articulating through the left pastern/ankle. Later that day, though, he was back to bobbly.

                                If he is back sore, has your vet taked about doing a course of robaxin? Vet did not experience the back sore at the time of appointment- Red didn't demonstrate back soreness at activation. That didn't surface until after the vet said his legs were sound, and I tried riding him again. He's actually not be back sore since the chiro was out- he was foot sore, and now he just has the left ankle that won't flex properly. I say "just" like it's no biggie, but I think I need bute, banamine, and DMSO to get through this more than the horse does!

                                Fully open to thoughts and suggestions here!

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  I said it on page one, but I'll say it again. I think you need a new farrier. Your horse looks footsore in the video. My horse works pretty hard...I ride 5-6 days a week, I lesson once a week & jump around 3'. We horse show regularly. I am 1000% sure he would be unsound without shoes. He gets acupuncture, Pentosan every 3 weeks, and Previcox when we horse show. But none of that would take the place of shoes on his feet.

                                  Chiro/acupuncture/adequan are all great tools, but none of them are what I would call aggressive treatment for an ongoing lameness issue. Do you have x rays of the arthritic ankle? How bad is it in there? Have you talked with your vet about joint injections?

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #57
                                    I fully, completely, totally, 100% agree on the farrier. I agreed about 80% on page 1, but now that I'm a little more educated on the topic, I've made the complete journey. And I thank everyone for helping me understand more!

                                    We have some older x-rays from about a year ago- nothing very new. Both vets have been somewhat foot shuffly as to the cost of x-rays each time he gets this gamey vs. what the x-rays will actually be able to show us, since things like cartilege and synovial fluid don't typically read on x-rays.

                                    I have some current videos, but they aren't online yet- basically, the first one shows lunging in the arena with a very stiff left ankle area- he's reaching through, but just not articulating that joint. The second shows him- the very next day- trotting out sound on soft grass. That pretty much re-sold me on the fact that his feet are not happy, too.

                                    The awful part is that lameness is so complete and cyclical- this foot hurts, so compensate with this foot, which makes hind hurt, which makes back hurt, which aggravates original problem, which makes this worse. Then you have to slowly untwist the knot of lameness to make things better again!

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by erniewalker View Post

                                      My horse is a saint. A complete saint. Say what you want about Seattle Slew bloodlines, then come meet my horse. If I were in pain and had someone's big butt bouncing around on my back, I would probably drop them. Instead, he shuffled a few steps, then stopped, shook his head a little bit, then craned his head around so I could see the ouchy look in his eyes.
                                      I have a Seattle Slew grandson, "Code Wind", he is the spitting image of his grandsire. He simply does not know the meaning of NO. He has more try than any horse I've ever known, he could have a broken leg and he would still be trying to do what you ask of him. He's smart as a whip too, the Einstein of the herd. lol He's coming on 19 and I wish I could clone him. I'd take another in a heartbeat.

                                      IMO - I've had four OTTB's and have struggled with varying levels of soundness. What always seems to work is good shoeing, pads if necessary, tell the farrier not to take off too much sole. Get him on a high quality hoof supplement with lots of biotin. Chiro and massage always help, as well as Adequan, or Legend if you need something extra. These ex racers have had a lifetime of hard work in just a few years and their bodies just need a bit of help to be all they can be. Once you figure out the recipe for soundness, they stop compensating and develop proper muscle to do their jobs. I do wonder though..in your case, if longeing a horse with a stifle issue is counterproductive. I have one with a stifle issue and the vet said not to longe.
                                      "We're still right, they're still wrong" James Carville

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #59
                                        Originally posted by chism View Post
                                        . I do wonder though..in your case, if longeing a horse with a stifle issue is counterproductive. I have one with a stifle issue and the vet said not to longe.
                                        Thank you for your encouraging words. Red has a bunch of try and more heart than anything. He's my buddy, my heart horse, and more than just a nice ride.

                                        To clarify- we're not doing hardcore lunging sessions with my boy- we're doing as many steps as it takes to see if he's lame or sound, and where it is. Then we hang up the lunge line and do some stretching and bonding time. Maybe hand walk on the trails or property. We've done a lot of wandering around lately.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by erniewalker View Post
                                          I fully, completely, totally, 100% agree on the farrier. I agreed about 80% on page 1, but now that I'm a little more educated on the topic, I've made the complete journey. And I thank everyone for helping me understand more!

                                          We have some older x-rays from about a year ago- nothing very new. Both vets have been somewhat foot shuffly as to the cost of x-rays each time he gets this gamey vs. what the x-rays will actually be able to show us, since things like cartilege and synovial fluid don't typically read on x-rays.
                                          I'm glad you are getting a new farrier. I bet your horse will be too.

                                          I would ask your vets point blank the cost per view of xrays. It should be an easy answer. Then you can decide how much $$ you want to spend, and get the most useful views. My vet, for example, charges $40 per view for digital xrays. They don't show synovial fluid or cartilage, but they will show reduced joint spaces that will indicate the lack thereof.

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