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Horse compensated for injury and is now DEAD lame in other leg. Possible injuries?

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  • Horse compensated for injury and is now DEAD lame in other leg. Possible injuries?

    Rehabbing a horse from surgery and have been cleared to for light work (trotting). I have been told to work through "gimpyness" in the leg that had surgery to loosen him up since he seems to work out of it. Now my horse is DEAD lame in his other leg! He had surgery in the right front, this new issue is in the left front. What are the possible injuries? He is not putting 100% weight on the left front even in a stall and is either pointing it or lifting it to say "ouch". If I walk him out of the stall he has a very noticable limp on a straightaway walk. It seems like a soft tissue issue, could he have torn a suspensory from compensating for the right front? I have contacted the vet and waiting to hear back when they can come and take a look. Still some slight swelling so we have to wait for that to go down before an ultrasound can take place.

    Worst part is now he is putting the majority of his weight onto his leg that had surgery.

    I have seen many soft tissue injuries before, and not once have I seen a horse off at the walk like this one is. I am heartbroken.

    Also, I gave him a gram of bute to test if it was an abscess and he immediately evened out his pressure on both from feet. Should I keep up the bute and allow him to put weight on the newly injured leg, or have him stay off bute so he doesnt put weight on it? I am worried he is going to strain his "surgery leg".
    Tinker Toy & Blue Bonnett

  • #2
    Definitely sounds like an abscess

    Comment


    • #3
      Laminitis in both or the one he's been compensating on.
      When both are "lame" its hard to tell which one hurts more than the other, so one may appear "better"

      I would have the vet out immediately. This happened with my mare when she had an abscess. She had all her weight on the leg that didn't have an abscess, then foundered in both fronts, worse in the one that was the most weight-bearing.
      "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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      • #4
        It could be an abscess, or it could be laminitis from compensating. Definitely have the vet out ASAP.
        come what may

        Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013

        Comment


        • #5
          My first thought when reading was abscess, but totally agree that in this case best to be extra careful and have the vet out ASAP.

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          • #6
            I would definitely have the vet out. And buy some Soft Ride boots pronto, in order to help that left front leg that's having to bear so much weight.
            Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

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            • #7
              Id xray his feet. My guy had a slight rotation in his coffin bone from compensating from an injury in his left front. I caught his very early so now he is back and doing great and it's back where it should be but I'd be very careful and have a vet out ASAP.
              Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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              • #8
                I'd second supporting limb laminitis. Are there digital pulses or is there heat in the hoof?

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  He has slight heat in hoof and a strong pulse on the inside of left leg just under the knee. Slight swelling there as well and squishyness which is why I am thinking soft tissue. Also, if I slightly palpate the suspensory with the leg lifted he about drops to the ground. Havent heard back from the vet yet about when they can come out. Hopefully soon, one lives close to me.

                  We ruled out abscess when he was better after adminisering bute how I WISH it was an abscess!
                  Tinker Toy & Blue Bonnett

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                  • #10
                    Check the pulse by the fetlock.

                    The swelling you're seeing may be from stocking up. It doesn't always make the entire circumference of the leg puffy.
                    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Best case is abscess, worst case laminitis. Soft tissue injury would not make the horse as lame as you are describing in my experience.
                      McDowell Racing Stables

                      Home Away From Home

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Just got off the phone with the vet, she is thinking its an abscess as well and didnt even think of laminitis. She said the likelihood of laminitis is very slight and is usually caused by a fracture in the other leg that would cause the compensation. I told her that bute helped it which is why I ruled out abscess and she said that she has experienced bute helping an abcess in some cases. She said she could come out tonight and do hoof testers, but that laminitis and an abscess will warrent similar symptoms. We are going to bute him and wait for a few days and see what happens. He is confined to a stall with wrapping and the whole nine yards. A vet will be out Thursday.

                        Question: If it is laminitis, how do you treat?
                        Tinker Toy & Blue Bonnett

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I n ahorse that is already trotting in its rehab, laminitis is unlikely. My vote is for abscess.
                          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.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by WARDen View Post
                            She said the likelihood of laminitis is very slight and is usually caused by a fracture in the other leg that would cause the compensation.

                            I respectfully disagree with your vet, because my mare absolutely did founder when she had a simple abscess in one front foot (no fracture anywhere). Any long-term weight bearing on only one front leg can cause all sorts of trouble, including laminitis, in that foot.
                            "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by WARDen View Post
                              She said she could come out tonight and do hoof testers, but that laminitis and an abscess will warrent similar symptoms. We are going to bute him and wait for a few days and see what happens. He is confined to a stall with wrapping and the whole nine yards. A vet will be out Thursday.

                              Question: If it is laminitis, how do you treat?
                              In addition, while they may present very similar, the treatment is absolutely not the same, and if you're dealing with laminitis, waiting four more days may very well prove detrimental to your horse's recovery.

                              If the horse is laminitic, you would be icing his feet regularly, have him on very deep soft bedding and limiting movement, and on an anti-inflammatory.

                              In this case, I would have a vet out ASAP, and be erring on the side of caution here and assuming the worst & treating accordingly, and hoping for the best.
                              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                                I n ahorse that is already trotting in its rehab, laminitis is unlikely. My vote is for abscess.


                                If I am reading correctly, the horse was cleared for trotting, but then starting exhibiting symptoms of being lame on the side that was not operated on/didn't have an issue to begin with.
                                "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                                  Laminitis in both or the one he's been compensating on.
                                  When both are "lame" its hard to tell which one hurts more than the other, so one may appear "better"

                                  I would have the vet out immediately. This happened with my mare when she had an abscess. She had all her weight on the leg that didn't have an abscess, then foundered in both fronts, worse in the one that was the most weight-bearing.
                                  Very possibly laminitis. Good luck...get the vet.
                                  Boss Mare Eventing Blog
                                  https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

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                                  • #18
                                    There was a good article about laminitis in this month's Equus. It talked about the different causes, one of which was physically induced from exactly the situation you have. The article said that a study showed great success with icing and cold soaks of the good leg to prevent laminitis. It did acknowledge that the difficulty is in knowing when to ice, because the onset of laminitis in the good leg can appear days after the injury on the bad leg. I would think that it would be good to ice or at least cold soak the good leg twice a day during recovery as a preventative.

                                    Movement is also important, because the good leg was shown to have lower levels of blood oxygen, because the horse was standing and not getting that blood-pumping action to the frog. The lower blood oxygen levels in the foot were associated with incipient laminitis.
                                    "Random capitAlization really Makes my day." -- AndNirina

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Having a vet tell you what they think it might be over the phone can lead to a false sense of security. Surely, that vet should examine before making that assertion over the phone, without seeing the horses. Pet peeve of mine.

                                      Many, many years ago I lost a horse to laminitis because the vet was dead wrong and didn't get out here fast enough despite my pleas.

                                      That ended our relationship. Nothing to mess around with. If there is even a remote chance it is compensatory laminitis, the vet should have been out the first day you saw symptoms.

                                      Good luck. Hope it's an abscess, but it needs to be diagnosed. And not by the vet the phone. I made that mistake long ago when I was newer to horses. Never again.
                                      Last edited by sid; Apr. 9, 2013, 07:19 AM. Reason: typos
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                                      • #20
                                        I disagree with the vet also. My guy twisted his shoe on the lf and the nails went in his sole. He was sore and we treated to prevent an abscess and we did prevent that but the compensating on the rf because he was sore in the lf made his coffin bone only in the rf slightly rotate. This also can lead to swelling up the leg. I'd have the vet and my farrier out ASAP to make sure. If it is this or laminitis it can end badly if not treated.
                                        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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