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Where would you go next for diagnosing short moving hind end?

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  • Where would you go next for diagnosing short moving hind end?

    My filly moves short behind. She is coming 5 now. I first noticed this issue when she was 2.5: she badly hurt her RH (snapped a ligament off her ankle). Healed well, but noticed this short stepping when longing her for the vet...but she looked better trotting in hand.

    No idea if she moved this way pre-injury as I didn't longe her/work her such that i would notice.

    She isn't limpy, but just doesn't move out behind like I feel she should. She has been to clinics and shows without comment, but she IS short behind.

    I hoped she would outgrow it or something, but just stays the same.

    Vet feels she is lame both hinds, but flexes fine. Back shows no evidence of being sore, but does have more muscle in front of her SI that would be typical.

    She is picky about saddle fit.

    Wants to carry her pole level with withers.

    Where would you go next to diagnose fix?

    She has been this way for 2 years. Workload does not change the trot. Looks good when trotting in deep snow.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

  • #2
    Shifting lameness that's not significant enough to block out- have you thought about a bone scan?
    Balanced Care Equine

    Comment


    • #3
      Bone scan.

      I would be particularly suspicious of her cervical spine.

      Comment


      • #4
        Could be SI or back issues from compensating for the injury...
        "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Bone scan is about $2500.00 including hauling and such. Not sure I will go there. Considered it for my gelding, and it was more complicated than I expected to arrage as they get the left over isotopes from the human hospitals, so can't guarentee you a date.

          SI/back possible, although she doesn't palpate sore. It looks pelvic maybe?

          A vet chiro is coming to town next month, so trying to get my horse on the list to be seen by her at my vets advice.
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

          Comment


          • #6
            Sounds like a nasty ankle injury. Scar tissue build up? I don't know if this would translate to your situation, but my mare had a suspensory injury. Came back fine then went just slighly off behind. Looks like it's scar tissue build up is causing her pain. Maybe have an ultrasound done? Or look at her hocks, maybe needs injections? Although seems young for that

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Her ankle is suprisingly good. We were really careful with treatment and rehab, and it seems all good.

              She flexed fine on both hinds, and is evenly poor moving.

              I am recalling an incident when she was a weanling though, where she fell over the fence in a panic. She seemed fine at the time, but it is possible that this could have been the cause as well.

              Another thing of note is that she really likes pressure on her bum (when being groomed or when in stall)

              Thinking I may try bute for a week before the chiro visit and see if there is a change.
              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by CHT View Post
                Thinking I may try bute for a week before the chiro visit and see if there is a change.
                If she's comfortable enough now without the bute I would wait to do a trial until after the vet/chiro visit, especially if he/she hasn't seen the horse before. If the bute improves her, you've masked the problem (but not really solved it) before he/she does their evaluation and that might make getting a definitive answer more difficult.
                Balanced Care Equine

                Comment


                • #9
                  Has she had a full neuro work up by someone who really know what they are looking at with regard to neuro issues?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Even before you added the info of the younger flip over accident, I was going to add: investigate her neck. Once you added that it really sealed it for me.
                    Its been (and still ongoing) a long long journey, but this is exactly the spot we're in now. Just had neck injections about a week and a half ago, but prior to: short strided hind, and ambiguous 'there it is', 'no its that leg...no, its the other leg' on again off again NQR... have had many lameness, flexing, etc. evaluations. Had hock injections...had bone scan... had SI injection, and one x ray of neck showing arthritic changes at C6 C7. My guy flipped over as a 3 yr old....but never showed any injury from it......
                    I understand? you can get a partial scan which would lessen the cost...but even if you find that? not do able, I would ask vet for neck x ray(s) cost to see the possibility. Especially since: we still had to do the x ray after the bone scan anyway to better define. Best of luck. And, we, too will be evaluating EPM if this isn't the blazing cause the vet(s) feel certain we should go for first.
                    ayrabz
                    "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                    --Jimmy Buffett

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Do you have any vets in the area that offer a combination of traditional vet methods, chiropractic work and acupuncture? Usually they specialize in sport horses--and are better at picking out issues causing decreased performance. We have one in our area that is good at evaluating issues that are in the back or neck (vs. the traditional vets that are more comfortable with the lower leg diagnosis). When my vet thinks something is tricky--she recommends going to the vet that "thinks out of the box" (as she puts it).

                      I just took my young mare to this type of vet clinic for an evaluation. He ended up finding her acute problem in the right side of her SI (and injected that). Also found that she has kissing spines. The evaluation and injections were considerably less than a bone scan. I would really like to have a bone scan done on this horse, but will hold off until we see if the injections make a difference.

                      Another option (which is cheap and easy)--have you tried a "bute test"? Ask your vet first, but my vet and I have done this a few times. Basically, you put them on a decent level for bute for 5-7 days. Do they move better? Does it make any difference in their movement? Gives you a little more information (not anything diagnostic, but you know if the situation was improved by decreased inflammation, pain. Or not.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ---slp: how? did your vet person determine the kissing spines? (as in: curious to know? if you did x rays/or something that shows it vs. manipulation?)
                        I ask because: last evaluation we had done was with one of our area's best (sr.) vets in chiro/accu....and he wouldn't even manipulate the neck/back (which lets face it/could have and charged me!) once reading the x rays and evaluating the soreness from that area.
                        Also: in 'bute test'......only thing I would worry on here, is: does bute truly alter the inflammatory causes or just the pain from? For instance...they put our guy on Previcox for 3 wks at the same time injections were done, because the glaring issue to them is the inflammation of the arthritic changes. I wonder? if Bute would truly show that vs. just cover the pain, but not the inflammation?
                        ayrabz
                        "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                        --Jimmy Buffett

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Ayrabz---he actually used an ultrasound to evaluate the spine. He was also getting a big response when he put pressure on certain places on her back. He does a lot of using "points" on the horse to get a reading on things. I'm not really sure how that works (he says he is not sure either). I believe they can also do x-rays to identify KS.

                          As far as the bute test goes--I have read that bute will not make a difference on an SI issue (and obviously not on KS). I had 3 weeks before I could get in to the vet I saw. So my vet and I decided we had time to do the bute test for a week and then have another week or so off the bute before my appointment. When we did the bute test on my mare, after 7 days she was going exactly the same--no improvement or change in the way she went. So--that told us *something* (not a whole lot--but something).

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            thanks slp....it always helps me to learn more and know of others' journeys. Best of luck to you and your mare !! I know how hard this is....BELIEVE me. Hoping and praying we're finally? on the track of the smoking gun....but I'm starting to doubt as each approach fails and we try something else.
                            ayrabz
                            "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                            --Jimmy Buffett

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              oh, and for OP: another important evaluation hand in hand with any neck? or C Spine compression/inflammation concerns is a good Neuro exam. the tight circling both ways, the strong tail pulls each side, the crossing of limbs and seeing how long she leaves them there........etc. Reacting to these can show importance of disease testing if needed if severe reaction vs. if slight? weakness and neck soreness indicate arthritic inflammation.....Certainly there are further conclusive tests for either, but this is an important addition to checking out possible neck issues IMHO.
                              ayrabz
                              "Indecision may or may not be my problem"
                              --Jimmy Buffett

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If cost is a concern you could find a vet with a fluoroscopy http://www.mpequine.com/services/dia...uoroscopy.aspx
                                scan both hind legs very inexpensive and should tell you if the are any changes.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Was thinking of doing bute test now; vet chiro not here until March, so bute would be out by then right? At least gives Chiro more info (that inflamation is a cause). Bute doesn't mask pain, just resolves inflamation. Not 100% sure we can fit my horse into her schedule yet.

                                  My vet is also trained in TCM and regular accupuncture. That is actually what I had her out to do, but she couldn't pin point an area to address.

                                  Did not do neuro exam, but that might be a good question to ask vet. Can try leg crossing tonight, and maybe tail pull.

                                  She is well muscled on her topline...almost oddly so considering she had time off this fall.

                                  Does not palpate sore anywhere; no tight muscles, no soreness through her back.

                                  Interesting to try neck x-rays. Not sure if my vet can do those though. I know we did some of my gelding's neck a while back, but thought there were sections we couldn't do. When riding, she is pretty even in both reins, with just nominal one-sidedness which I would consider normal in any horse at her level.

                                  I am thinking pelvis though, as she wants to push into a lengthen trot and be low with her head...makes me think she wants to tip her pelvis a certain way?
                                  Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Bute doesn't mask pain, just resolves inflamation.
                                    Bute certainly can be a fairly strong analgesic (pain reliever). No, it won't "mask" fracture or severe pain completely, but it certainly can cause pain to go away temporarily. This is why we take motrin for headaches. And that is what the "bute test" counts on--"is the horse's _______________ (insert behavior or symptom here) due to pain, or not?"
                                    Click here before you buy.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      CHT, I read your post to mean that you were thinking of trying a bute trial in the week leading up to the vet/chiro visit, my bad. My point was simply that bute is not going to solve the underlying issue (ie the source of the inflammation), but it could potentially make it more difficult to localize the source of her problems, since if she improves the vet will have even less to work with in terms of localizing an area that might be a problem. But if you're doing the trial now and the vet isn't seeing her until March, I suppose it's a moot point.
                                      Balanced Care Equine

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Do you have a vet school near by you can haul him to? They can do a nero exam and decide if it would be useful to inject the neck.

                                        Comment

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