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  • Ideas?

    Haha, feels like ages since I've posted a lameness dilemma ... but here goes round One Million and One! Wish I was kidding about that .

    So, my old guy has been off on the left front for about 5 weeks. Showed up the day he was to be tried out by a potential leaser ... seriously, of all days! He was sound just days prior.

    Called and had the vet out for a Legend injection, as it seemed like he was just really stiff and maybe he was due for another Legend injection. Vet out within two weeks of call ... horse seemingly sound after injection. Whohoo!

    Then he goes lame again. He's only lame when the left front is on the outside of the circle. Sound when it's on the inside. Definitely NOT from the hindend, least in the traditional sense ... so, after consulting with BO/Trainer we opt to get the Chiropractor out.

    Chiropractor comes out about two weeks after the vet was out. Finds multiple places in back where horse is out (withers through SI joint are all a mess) along with multiple ribs out. All mainly on the left side of body. Poor guy! Definitely makes sense why he was lame on the left side, but only when going to the right.

    Decide to do a lesson last week - first "ride" and "lunge" since the Chiropractor was out. He's sound on the lunge line and then he trips. Basically just stubs his toe. DEAD lame. Mind you he was 100% sound moments earlier. Won't work out of it.

    Give him a couple days off plus some bute and try him out at the end of the week. Again, sound as a dollar on the lunge. I hope up on him and he seems pretty comfortable at the walk. After really working on suppling and bending at the walk (our normal "routine" stuff) I ask for the trot. He's dead lame. Hop back off and put him back on the lunge. He's lame again.

    I palpated his back prior to working and he was VERY reactive about four inches down from the middle of his back on the left side ... basically the whole width of the saddle pad, but 4" down from the top of spine/back. AFTER working, he wasn't reactive at all, mind you he was "lame" just moments earlier when I was on his back.

    Call vet. Talk to her husband ... get a return call this morning from the receptionist wanting more information. Now waiting on another phone call from the vet.

    ANY ideas as to what may potentially be up? I know it's not his stifles, THANK GOD, and as far as I know, he was not reactive when the farrier was out to reset him a week ago (he was supposed to apply hoof testers to the fronts when he was out, as horse is currently in full snow pads).

    Possibilities ...
    1. Still having residual issues from ribs being out
    2. Pulled/Strained something due to being shod without studs/borium and it was icy
    3. Blanket issues? <-- his blanket fits beautifully, but well who knows?
    4. Gus being Gus, and knowing I'm broke at the moment
    5. Something else I'm missing entirely

    I'd love any and all input. Like I mentioned before, still waiting to hear back from the vet as to what her line of thought is. I'll get the chiro back out if it's what is necessary, but not sure if we're overlooking something else.
    Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
    See G2's blog

  • #2
    I'd wonder if you might have a chip in a joint that is drifting in and out. I'd definitely get a vet and have him blocked to see if you can pinpoint, then xray to see further. Goid luck with it, there is nothing worse. You want to help but don't know where to start.


    • #3
      Something like 80% of lameness is from the knees/hocks down. Why wouldn't you start there?
      Click here before you buy.


      • #4
        I'd have him blocked and go from there.
        "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer


        • #5
          How old is he? My thoughts are ( since I live in MN too). He has a past of lameness? It is the dead of winter and just plain cold, the ground is frozen 2 feet down, which is hard on young healthy legs. Even working in the arena with it's groomed, cushy surface is hard as H##L underneath. My healthy , sound horses didn't do much in their pasture until we got a decent snow to cushion the ground-- because it was like running on concrete. Give him the winters off?


          • #6
            Originally posted by appychik View Post
            He's only lame when the left front is on the outside of the circle. Sound when it's on the inside.
            Can be a classic symptom, along with intermittent lameness, of proximal suspensory injury. I went through a similar experience with our NQR horse.

            Time for a really thorough evaluation with a good lameness vet, and blocks from the ground up.


            • #7
              get xrays and the opinion of a great vet, and a great farrier (although I'm sure you already have one) to work together and hopefully they'll be able to solve the problem.
              Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

              Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!


              • Original Poster

                Well, after getting a hold of my vet yesterday - she recommended trying a massage therapist first. Because Gus was so sore and horribly out of alignment when the chiro was out two weeks ago, she's wondering if his muscles are just remembering the "wrong" thing.

                So, the massage therapist (who does massage/acupressure/Reike<-- I think that's what it's called) is coming out this evening to do a thorough evaluation. And we'll go from there.

                The next step is then another adjustment.

                The farrier, as far as I know, did apply hoof testers to Gus when he was out to reset him - but not sure the results of that. I'm assuming there was no positive response, which is always a good thing.

                Vet said I could trailer out to the specialty clinic, but honestly the funds are available. This boy has been though h*ll and back, so if I can't get him over this latest hurdle without pouring everything I've got into to his vet bills - he'll just need to retire to pasture ornament status, as long as he stays otherwise sane and comfortable.

                Thanks everyone for their thoughts. I'm really hoping it's just a back issue and nothing to do with ligaments/tendons/etc. Thanks for the ideas of what to try next though if I don't get anywhere with the current plan.
                Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
                See G2's blog


                • #9
                  What vet recommends a massage for a lame horse without examining it?
                  Click here before you buy.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                    What vet recommends a massage for a lame horse without examining it?
                    Different from any I'd use!!

                    "Can be a classic symptom, along with intermittent lameness, of proximal suspensory injury. I went through a similar experience with our NQR horse." Quote Watermark Farm

                    Gee that sounds familiar. Been there, done that!!
                    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.


                    • Original Poster

                      Figured I'd do an update ... since I haven't really been online in ages.

                      After the massage, Gus was 100% back to his old self. Best we can figure, he slipped on the ice and really messed up his front end (shoulders/back/etc).

                      And, for the record, the vet did see Gus ... but in early January, about six weeks prior to the start of this thread. She did a lameness eval + Legend (since we *I* figured it was his "usual" issues flaring up).
                      Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
                      See G2's blog


                      • #12
                        For future reference: If you see your Dr on Monday, and on Thurs, you fall on the ice and break your leg, the fact that you were seen days earlier would have no bearing on Thursday's problems.
                        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.


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                          For future reference: If you see your Dr on Monday, and on Thurs, you fall on the ice and break your leg, the fact that you were seen days earlier would have no bearing on Thursday's problems.
                          :-) Thanks merrygoround.
                          Proud owner of Gus & Gringo.
                          See G2's blog


                          • #14
                            So you're doing Legend and chiropractic, now reiki, and he is still lame... maybe stop those and save the money for a specialist vet?
                            "Here? It's like asking a bunch of rednecks which is better--Ford or Chevy?" ~Deltawave