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Knee Care Suggestions?... sad update

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  • Knee Care Suggestions?... sad update

    Hi All,

    I recently acquired an ADORABLE 3 year old OTTB filly with THE WORST knees I have ever seen. According to xrays she has little cartilage left, and could have had a slab fracture last year that they just injected the $hit out of to keep racing her ( ) My vet said it's not bad enough to let her go right now, and that her issue will eventually be the loss of motion in those joints. She's getting around well now - if she gets really silly and does alot of running, she is sore on her left knee (the worst of the two) for a bit, but not crippled lame.. just sore. I would love to give her a few years of comfort as she's such a bright little soul, but I've never delt with knee issues like this before. Sooo... any suggestions? Supplements? I'd prefer to not inject the joints anymore unless she *really* needs it (at which point euthenisia will be considered)

    Last edited by AppJumpr08; Oct. 30, 2008, 08:34 PM.

  • #2
    I can't answer your exact questions, but will tell you about our 18 yr. old OTTB. At age 4, he had 2 slab fractures in the same knee. The owner couldn't afford surgery, so the horse was stall-confined for about 6 months. After that time, he was moving soundly, though the knee was "bumpy" looking. Around that time is when we got him, and the original vet didn't think he would ever be sound. For about the first year we had him, we turned him out, didn't ride him. When he would lie down on the ground to nap, or roll, he kept the leg with the bad knee propped out in front as if it wouldn't bend back. But he continued to move soundly. After that first year, the knee started bending just about as well as the other one. Over the years it has not given him any soundness problems. Of course, we don't jump him or do anything to overly stress the knee, he is a pleasure horse only. He also has some kind of old tendon injury in a hind fetlock, that has actually give him more trouble over the years than the fracture. So my advice would be to allow lots of healing time for your filly, it might take close to a year. The knee may not look "pretty", but might surprise you as to how well it will work! Good luck with her.


    • #3
      Knees are hell. I've seen so many crippled knee horses that rapidly progressed from "a little sore" to "absolutely crippled". I would manage her aggressively: IRAP and then Adequan and Legend monthly.

      If her knees are as bad as you say, you need to pull out the big guns. Oral sups will probably be no where NEAR enough to keep her comfortable.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks you two!

        I wish that she had been laid up when she fractured her knee... unfortunately she was raced consistantly all last year. Her last start was in July, but before that she was essentially run at least once a month her whole (very short) career. 14 starts in 15 months. Now retired at the grand old age of 3.

        I will be getting some injectables for her soon. I know I can't prevent the inevitable, but I'd like to postpone it for a bit if I can.


        • #5
          Ugh - lucky girl to have found her way to you. What about Surpass? Maybe not a big enough gun, but great stuff and beyond easy to use. Good luck.


          • Original Poster

            Well, I never got the chance to try and help her. We've had alot of rain the last week, and the mud in her paddock (it's not deep, just muddy) is proving to be too much for her knees. My vet came tonight and he was shocked at how quickly she deteriorated. The range of motion in both knees has been cut in half, and she is not sound. She is going to be euthe'd on Saturday, and I'm heartbroken. If the mud is causing this much pain to her, I can't even imagine trying to bring her through a winter with feet upon feet of snow.

            I'm so blessed to have had the chance to know her - she truly is a bright spirit, and I'm so sad that her connections last year failed her so terribly. I can only hope that she will join the huge herd we all have on the other side of the Bridge and will be able to gallop freely for as long as she desires.


            • #7
              I'm so very sorry. But please know that she is grateful to you for your loving care and for giving her a happy home in the last months of her life. You're very brave and I'm proud of you!!
              "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


              • #8
                What a sad, sad story. I hope you guys can simply enjoy each other's company for the next two days. I'm so sorry.
                Taco Blog
                *T3DE 2010 Pact*


                • Original Poster

                  Thank you both.

                  I feel almost silly for being SO upset about a filly I've known for such a short time... but there is something so special about her. She's a pocket pet who loves to cuddle but is also tough and has the 'tude that I love so much in a mare. She was ridden by Kent Desormeaux in her first start, which was at Keenland. What a bright future she had then. If only those that knew her a year and a half ago could see her now.
                  I'll spend some extra time with her for sure, and am really considering saving part of her mane and perhaps having a bracelet made or something... some part of her should be able to see more of the world then she could in her short time here.
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Absolutely heart rending. Good on you for making the effort and then making the best, hardest decision. You will be in my thoughts tomorrow.
                    "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                    Spay and neuter. Please.


                    • #11
                      I am so sorry. Thank you for trying. And for giving her someone to count on.

                      If you wish, I would be honored to make a bracelet of her hair. No, I am not a pro, by any means. But I have made some that have held up well to daily wear.

                      PM if you wish to send me some hair to work with. No charge to you at all. Just a kindness I hope to show someone who cared for another special horse.
                      I\'m not crazy. I\'m just a little unwell.


                      • #12
                        I am so sorry. Pretty filly. Too bad someone made her life hell before she met you.
                        Like others have said, knees are bad bad bad. I can't believe anyone would risk lives on a slab fracture or two. The poor soul. She must have hated her life. People like that make me wonder why I love horse racing like I do.
                        Know who the previous connections were?
                        Last edited by Blinkers On; Oct. 30, 2008, 10:06 PM.


                        • #13
                          Jessica, I am so sorry you are so good to all of your horses, the frustration and pain when things are out of your control must just be heartbreaking.
                          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                          • #14
                            What a gorgeous filly! The previous owners/trainers should face cruelty charges for continuing to race a horse in that kind of shape.


                            • #15
                              What a pretty, pretty girl It makes me insanely furious to hear how she (and countless others like her, no doubt) were treated

                              At least you are her Angel now, doing what is right *for her*, screw the people.

                              Cut her tail after she's gone over the bridge. You'll need the longer hairs to make a bracelet
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                              • #16
                                Oh Jess I'm so sorry.

                                Bum knees can be tough, tough, tough. Thank goodness you are there to do right by her before she really gets hurt.

                                Pardon this suggestion for being a little crude; I've saved some manure from my horses that have left this world and used it to fertilize my roses. In some weird way it makes me feel better to know that they contributed to a beautiful thing that lives on.

                                {{{Hugs}}}, and let me know if you need anything, 'kay?


                                • #17
                                  other possibilities!

                                  Lucky, lucky filly! to be found by you!; You might consider Adequan or Legendinjecttibles; also a magnetic knee wrap'; I Have experienced good results with those; the wrap merely increases circulation , as do soft lasers, and Capsaicin; the re are ways to keep her comfortable through the winter especially .
                                  breeder of Mercury!

                                  remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Oh man, every time I sign on tonight I start crying again! Thank you all for your kind words. This is surely the downside of the racing industry.. it is an industry that I have grown to love, but the downsides are so painful sometimes.

                                    I have an idea of who her previous connections were, and I'm sure if I wanted to I could really figure it out, but I'm not sure what good it would do... the damage is done to her, and some chick from New Hampshire new to the TB industry certainly wouldn't be able to change the mind of someone who has been doing what they do for years and years...

                                    Sobriska - thank you so much for your kind offer. I will PM you now.

                                    The comfort that comes from fellow COTHers is truly something I am thankful for. Thank you!


                                    • #19
                                      I will certainly be thinking of you and your beautiful filly. You truly have been a blessing to her, even if your time with her was destined to be short. I'm sure she made her way to you because she knew she would be loved and that you would do the right thing for her. Hugs!!!


                                      • #20
                                        AJ: You're doing the right thing.

                                        I was there with my late App mare... a kick to her right knee, left untreated by previous owner. By the time I decided to put her down (only 2 years after I got her), it had fused at a 20 degree bend. She hobbled everywhere and spent 75% of her days lying down. She was in constant pain and no drug I gave her could quell it.

                                        You are giving that lovely filly the gift of a pain-free crossing, instead of a years of medications and shots.

                                        (((( Many hugs ))))
                                        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.