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Mechanically unsound ? no pain?

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  • Mechanically unsound ? no pain?

    My hubby is starting to claim that his horse, had a hole in his left front suspensory is mechanically unsound. But not in pain.

    background, horse was lame for months,1st vet out just could not find anything so hubby gave the horse a year of chiro! finally get 2nd vet out who finds a hole in the left front suspensory.
    DH handwalks and eventually rides the horse to bring him back into work, never gets there.
    2nd vet comes back out and lunges horse, says he is sound.

    now after a few years of handwalking after the "sound" diagnosis, hubby is attempting to get horse back into a working mindset. hubby says horse bobs his head but may not be feeling any pain.

  • #2
    Very unlikely. I wouldn't expect a soft tissue injury to turn into a mechanical lameness. Time for a new ultrasound to see where the tendon stands. It could be something new after all that time.


    • #3
      Yeah, that sounds very unlikely. If it was healed, but with a big scar that shortened the ligament or something then perhaps you could see a mechanical lameness.
      This just sounds like a convenient excuse to keep using the horse.
      I would stop working the horse to prevent making things worse and have a new exam and ultrasound.
      As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


      • #4
        easy to check- just do a pain-block and see if the head-bobbing goes away.


        • #5
          speaking as a person who has had a big ol' hole in her tendon, I can say with some authority that the lameness I felt was NOT mechanical. Fire breathing, hot radioactive, mind numbing, just want to cradle my elbow against my body and whimper like a kicked puppy? Yeah, that about covered it.

          And for good measure, I have considerable "mechanical lameness" in my other arm (hand/thumb) due to lots of tendons, ligaments, nerves, etc. being reattached and subsequent scar tissue development. TOTALLY different feeling.

          Horses may be different from humans in most respects, but I have a feeling this ain't one of those areas.
          Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


          • #6
            Not a tendon injury, but my mare injured her shoulder and the vet called it mechanical lameness. She was buted to the gills and no change whatsoever. I asked about blocking the shoulder but I guess it's a hard part to block? She also had no hesitation to move out, which made rehab lots of fun.

            She is back to sound now, but it look about 10 or 11 months.
            Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


            • #7
              Originally posted by wendy View Post
              easy to check- just do a pain-block and see if the head-bobbing goes away.
              Do this yesterday.

              I think your husband is lying to himself at the horse's expense, OP.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat


              • Original Poster

                mvp - I tend to agree with you.
                I said lets do another ultrasound of the leg to see where we stand. He doesn't want to do this.

                when the horse was lunged and termed to be "sound" there was no ultrasound.

                this is a sore issue between DH and myself. nothing will be resolved if I talk to him about this.

                just wanted to clarify this in my mind.

                this horse has not been sound from 2009/2010 onward.

                as he is now 24, I'd like to just retire him to a cheaper barn.


                • Original Poster

                  just to make clear, this horse is NOT being worked unless one can call handwalking work.

                  I am just trying to get this issue straight in my mind.


                  • #10
                    I don't envy your position, OP.

                    I'm a "do it right, or I don't want to see it" with stuff like this. But you don't have either option without getting into it with your husband.

                    IIRC from vets of my childhood, tendon injuries that developed gradually or aren't given a chance to heal become chronic. The quick, catastrophic ones do better if they are of the same size and treated promptly. Ask your vet if this is still current belief.

                    With respect to your dude, I think you could reasonably press him to at least *ask* for a lameness exam. This isn't you making him wrong or pronouncing his horse kaput. Rather, a DVM will do that or not. He can take it from that pro.

                    And at 24? Why not retire him and save money.

                    OTOH, there are worse ways to live than behind sore and hand walking (within reason). How much hand walking is involved? How's the rest of the horse's quality of life? Do you or the vet have a major moral problem with letting this horse live on Previcoxx and continuing to be your husband's 1,000 pet dog?

                    Either way, I think your husband should be forced to grow up a bit here.
                    The armchair saddler
                    Politically Pro-Cat


                    • Original Poster

                      mvp - I'm with you and I can change nothing.
                      I got my own horse after we had this guy for a bit because DH would NOT ride with any contact and I was. I got dumped and decided to get my own horse.

                      Had medical issues in 2007 and sold my draft X in 2009 reasonably expecting to share the horse left. not to happen!

                      tons of stuff he would do that I hated and called him on it. got ignored and it is a bad spot in our marriage.

                      I may suggest another lameness exam if/when DH decides to ride. I had a major accident - got bucked off Fjord and broke neck, am almost back to normal, but there may be fear in his head. Not that I blame him, as this horse when spooked, sits and spins and bolts. not for me!

                      the handwalking is 1 mile however long that is, and mostly 5-6 days per week. the horse has a high quality of life, is loved at the barn, spoiled and seems to be very happy there too. He has been there for at least 10 years now. would be difficult to change barns and also he goes out alone. does not accept other horses.


                      • #12
                        I believe a mechanical lameness is a shortness is stride, not a head bob. I think in all fairness at least let a vet make this determination, or allow this horse to be a pasture pet. Some horses are so stoic with such great big hearts they will work for you even when in pain. I don't think your husband is qualified to diagnose mechanical lameness.


                        • #13
                          OP, I'd have a hard time with the terms of your marriage. But that's none of my business, and you have to work with the constraints you have.

                          Your best bet is to see about having a DVM come weigh in with his opinion. If you want to stack the deck a bit, find the vet with the right "bedside manner" for your husband--- the guy who will look him in the eye, lay out what's wrong with the horse, how DH is making him suffer (if that's the truth) and, "man to man" get your DH to make a braver decision than lying to himself while his horse limps next to him.

                          I hope you all can find your way.
                          The armchair saddler
                          Politically Pro-Cat