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Intermittent OTTB Lameness

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  • Intermittent OTTB Lameness

    I had written earlier that my vet thought it was feet,after going over him thoroughly with the farrier, we think we can rule that out.

    So just got a 6 yo (by Medaglio D'oro) gelding off the track. Last race was Dec. 23rd. Let down a little (2 weeks), but not too much as he was in great condition and has a great mind. Brought back into work slowly, but he's been "hitchy" on his right front more so on 2nd day if worked 2 days in a row and if had 2 days off always coming back 100%. Brought in vet who knew him from the track, knows he's had some ankle issues and been "tapped" at least once.

    On the scale of 1-5 of lameness he's off like .5, it's just barely noticeable, and more so for the rider less so for those on the ground. looks 100% at canter, gallop and walk, only see the shortness at the trot. No heat, no tenderness, no issues with flexing, mild wind puffs always present.

    X-rays haven't been done yet because the vet is sorta perplexed on where to even start and knows I don't have ton of $ to just start x-raying everything. Keeping him off hard ground (damned near impossible where I am) helps immensely but it's not a foot issue.

    Both farrier and vet are in constant contact and both are a bit unsure where to go other than starting to run a million tests. Farrier recommended, turnout only in small paddock where he can't run amok on the hard very rocky soil, and only work in the indoor, + "tap" his right fetlock again, give him a month of walk only and then reassess. This seems like a sane idea to me, since he doesn't seem to be in any real pain, at least that we can find.

    But, I'm also thinking of going ahead and doing an X-ray of that right front just to see what we're dealing with, and maybe an ultrasound too. I don't get emotionally attached to my horses, but this one has personality out the wazoo and I'm completely smitten. I'd rather take my time and see where we are, but at the same time, he's in such wonderful shape I don't really want to throw him out with the heard and lose all that.

    So this was REALLY long, sorry, just wondering for those around the track a lot if this rings any bells? Something I've missed that we should look at?

  • #2
    Reading your post a few things stand out. You say he has mild wind puffs present. If my racehorse has "wind puffs" I x-ray and if the joint is clean I will tap. Horses that carry pressure in the ankles have some issue going on.
    I would also suggest having your vet nerve block the leg until he is sound and then x-ray when the problem is pinpointed. Does your vet have experience with lameness and racehorses? It is helpful to use an experienced vet. I hope you can find out what is bothering him and are able to fix it.
    My mom didn't raise no jellybean salesman!


    • Original Poster

      The first issue I've had is having him lame for the vet! Because life gets in the way I can't get there to work him before he comes, which is about the only way I can guarantee he'll show up lame, work him outside and about 2-3 hours later he will be lame. Sometimes that will carry over to the next day sometimes not.

      The vet used to be a track vet when there was one in Upper Marlboro. My farrier is a small time track trainer and he's thinking we need to call out one of the Laurel track vets to take a look, especially since that's the last place he raced.

      The vet and I talked about blocking, but without him being really lame it didn't seem like the time to do it.

      Looks like I need to schedule a time, when I can get there early, work the gelding hard enough to force the issue, then have both vet and farrier there at same time to discuss. . . Does that sound like a good game plan?


      • #4
        It could be a mild suspensory pull. My friend just went through this with her horse. On off mild lameness and farrier and vet foumd nothing even on the ultrasound. They treated it as a suspensory with 8 weeks of rest. Her horse has been back in work for 3 months and is fine now.


        • #5
          Sounds like a chip to me. They are often very subtle until they wear entirely through the cartilage. Radiograph the joint with effusion.