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Extremely Lame Horse-UPDATE #18

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  • Extremely Lame Horse-UPDATE #18

    My friend's horse has been non weight bearing on his RF for several days now. I guess when it started, he was a little off on the left front and then recovered from that and became increasingly worse on RF. He has history of laminitis. Vet has been out twice this week. X rays were taken yesterday but showed no rotation or other abnormalities in his RF that would cause this. The slight rotation that was in previous x rays in LF apparently has improved.

    Later that night, I was out at the farm and he looked much worse. I noticed some heat in the bulbs of his heels and possibly something wanting to break out the bulb of his heel. I wrapped the foot, mainly to give him an extra cushion, hoping that would help a little. When he attempts to walk, he puts weight on toe and hops a step at a time. It is pitiful to watch. He feels "spongy" to me at the coronary band. He seems to have less heat in his heel bulbs today and he is not reacting as much when I press on them. The area that looks like abscess is larger. I do not feel heat in other parts of his foot.

    Could this be a really bad abscess? Could it be laminitis even though nothing was on the x rays? With his history, it makes me quite concerned. Vet's only advice was to get the farrier out and keep him on anti inflammatories. She did not make a diagnosis. Farrier has been called but I hate to see a horse in this much pain.
    Last edited by caryledee; Feb. 4, 2013, 02:28 PM.

  • #2
    Sounds like it could be a bad abscess, or multiple abscess'. It probably wouldn't be laminitis if there was heel pain...I would get a different vet out, since anti-inflammatories are not recommended for helping abscess'...

    Has anybody been soaking the hoof?
    "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."

    Comment


    • #3
      He can be foundering without there being any rotation, and yes, it can be quite painful for him. I would suggest soaking his feet in epsom salts just to see if you can get anything to pop...but both feet recently being sore suggests a laminitis episode to me.

      I hope he's on stall rest, heavily bedded? No need to make a horse that lame walk around if he's not interested in doing so. My mare that I rescued (had been repeatedly foundering for over a year and a half, elf hooves, in really rough shape) was on stall rest and bute for about a month and a half, in 12'' of bedding, with perpetual hay in front of her. She was the one who decided after a month and a half that she was ready to go out. (By busting out the door when it was being cleaned and attempting to make a run...err..limp for it!)

      Comment


      • #4
        My vet always says "if they're fracture lame be really sure it's not a fracture" but it sounds like this horse got at least hoof x-rays. Do you know if anything up higher was considered?

        Laminitis is not a diagnosis made by xrays. Nerve blocks would probably allow a better diagnosis and might give the horse at least temporary relief.

        It certainly could be an abscess--they can be dreadfully lame, poor critters.

        Couldn't hurt to ice the feet, both of them.
        Click here before you buy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Horses with a history of laminitis can get oozing within the hoof capsule. This will form a sterile but painful abscess.

          The softening and bulging you see may well be an abscess about to break through at the juncture of the hoof. If this is the case, by the time the farrier gets there it may be all over but the draining. It is not an area easily opened up. And while abscesses do show up on radiographs, one there may be hard to visualize.
          Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

          Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thanks everyone! Vet is coming back out. The place on his heel is now oozing which hopefully is pointing to abscess. Nerve blocks were done and pointed to foot pain. X rays did not show anything up higher. He was blocked again yesterday, so maybe he overdid it while he felt better?? He has been on stall rest for since this started. Abscess was initially ruled out I guess because there was no reaction to the hoof testers. But there have not been signs like digital pulse or heat in hoof either.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
              Horses with a history of laminitis can get oozing within the hoof capsule. This will form a sterile but painful abscess.

              The softening and bulging you see may well be an abscess about to break through at the juncture of the hoof. If this is the case, by the time the farrier gets there it may be all over but the draining. It is not an area easily opened up. And while abscesses do show up on radiographs, one there may be hard to visualize.
              Very interesting! So does the farrier drain it, or does it just have to run its course?

              Comment


              • #8
                Here's hoping it's just an abscess--not only will the horse feel better fast but it's the best possible diagnosis under the circumstances, prognosis-wise.
                Click here before you buy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Because of the way the foot is constructed, they can be difficult to lcate with hoof testers, and even harder to pinpoint so that they can be opened and drained.

                  Excavating a huge hole in order to locate and to drain one can be counter productive.
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                    My vet always says "if they're fracture lame be really sure it's not a fracture" but it sounds like this horse got at least hoof x-rays. Do you know if anything up higher was considered?

                    Laminitis is not a diagnosis made by xrays. Nerve blocks would probably allow a better diagnosis and might give the horse at least temporary relief.

                    It certainly could be an abscess--they can be dreadfully lame, poor critters.

                    Couldn't hurt to ice the feet, both of them.
                    I understand x-rays won't show laminitis if there's been no changes inside the hoof, but my gelding was diagnosed as laminitic based on x-rays. Not because there was any rotation, but because of an increased distance between the hoof wall and the coffin bone.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      He does seem a little better today; still non weightbearing, but at least he is trying to move around more. The vet left some SMZs and is saying probable abscess for now. We've got him wrapped in Animalintex to hopefully draw the abscess out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Laminitis is the inflammation of the laminae BEFORE rotation. It becomes founder once the bone has rotated.

                        So, as DW pointed out, x-rays are not helpful if the stage has not progressed from inflammation to rotation, yet.
                        "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Other than heat and digital pulse and rotation, are there any other symptoms that would show this is laminitis?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                            So, as DW pointed out, x-rays are not helpful if the stage has not progressed from inflammation to rotation, yet.
                            Not quite accurate. Not all founder results in rotation of p3. Sometimes, there is a sinking of the bony column(often called 'sinking of p3) without rotation. Or, there may be capsular rotation. Or a combination of two or three of the radiographically evident calamities. And, how are you going to know what stage you may be dealing with if you don't have rads to which you can refer, even in the presence of other external symptoms?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Poor guy. I hope it's just an abscess and that it drains quickly and he has relief.
                              ~Veronica
                              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I think its a great idea to have rads to at least have a starting point to refer back to.

                                OP, my "motto" is: if the horse is lame and an abscess cannot be detected, especially if said horse is lame on both front with a strong digital pulse and/or heat, I would treat it as laminitis. Better safe than sorry.
                                "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                                  Let me clarify because my words didn't get typed out how I was thinking them in my head. I think its a great idea to have rads to at least have a starting point to refer back to. I just meant to the OP that xrays may not provide a definitive diagnosis at a certain point in time. If rads are taken now, and they don't indicate any structural changes, you at least know it hasn't progressed to something worse. If the horse remains lame at the same extent of gets worse, and rads are taken again, you may see changes that can be compared to the old rads.

                                  OP, my "motto" is: if the horse is lame and an abscess cannot be detected, especially if said horse is lame on both front with a strong digital pulse and/or heat, I would treat it as laminitis. Better safe than sorry.
                                  Clarification. My hands didn't type clearly what my brain was thinking.
                                  "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    UPDATE-horse is still pretty lame. Neither vet nor farrier can figure out what is wrong. It looked like an abscess for several days. She started wrapping with Animalintex and goop was coming out. He seemed to get better. Farrier couldn't get a reaction with the hoof testers; left her with Clean Trax which seemed to make him a lot better. Then when it seemed to be about 85% better (horse was only a bit off) he goes completely off again. He has a strong reaction when the bulb of his heel is pressed. He is slightly warm and puffy around the coronet band.

                                    What else could it be? It is no longer draining. Could an abscess go on this long? Vet and farrier have made no other suggestions.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Yes, an abscess can go that long. If it didn't fully drain the first time, it may have sealed back over and began festering again.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Just like joiedevie said, and abscess can easily go that long. We had a horse laid up with and abscess for 3 MONTHS this summer. We just had to let it run its course. We found magic cushion to be a miracle worker as well.

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