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How do YOU manage ringbone in your horse?

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  • How do YOU manage ringbone in your horse?

    After 2 weeks of intermittent lameness (ranging from "just a bit off" to hobbling) my 20something pony was diagnosed with ringbone. Pony is used by the trainer in my barn for walk/trot lessons 3 or 4 times a week and he occasionally (very happily) is allowed to canter a barrel pattern once or twice. The rest of the time he is on 24-7 turnout. He is a barn favorite for the beginners and really seems to enjoy his work. We would love to keep him useful, if at all possible. However, if he can not work another day in his life he will live out the rest of his years with me. I'm currently discussing shoeing/trimming options with my vet and blacksmith (who is a wonderfully awesome corrective shoer!!). So, I'm just wondering what others have done to manage ringbone.
    On the 8th day God created the Quarter Horse. On the 9th day, he Painted the good ones.

  • #2
    A friend's mare had ringbone. They found special shoes with pads helped relieve some pain, and the mare gets bute the days she will be ridden. With both she is perfectly sound and happy to work.


    • #3
      High? Low? Articular or non? Low articular is the worst, high non-articular the "best".
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


      • Original Poster

        Whoops - to clarify, high, non-articular.
        On the 8th day God created the Quarter Horse. On the 9th day, he Painted the good ones.


        • #5
          It's basically trial and error. There are a lot of treatments, but all won't help every horse.

          If the corrective shoes don't cut it, there are lots of options. You could try Adequan or Legend, although I wouldn't expect much success there. You could try Surpass, which I would have high hopes for with high, non-articular. If that failed, I'd try a systemic NSAID like bute, banamine, or previcox/equioxx. I might also talk to the vet about Tildren if that failed.


          • #6
            The big man -- my lost prince

            The little brother, now my main man


            • #7
              Originally posted by asterix View Post
              Have you seen this make a physiological difference?

              As it has been described to me, it doesn't do much for pastern joints, other than making them numb for a bit.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat


              • #8
                Mine are both serviceably sound (as in, fine for light riders on the flat, do not appear lame when trotting) on BL pellets and plenty of turnout. I did learn that hilly turnout = lame horses. Turnout must be flat.


                • #9
                  Mine is basically retired after being diagnosed in 2004. Xrays taken in 06 and 2010 have shown no progression. She gets ridden at a walk (and she jigs a lot) on hacks when the ground is soft and is doing very well on 57 mg of Previcox daily.

                  I can't remember now if it is articular or not. First vet was all doom and gloom, second vet in 2010 was not. I think 2nd vet concluded it was both high and low but non articular. No jumping for her since 2004 and she used to just love it. BUT she is still with us... and most of the time, not gimpy!


                  • #10
                    I would start with 20 g msm, Previcox, corrective shoes/trim, and Adequan/Pentosan. Give a month off with 24/7 turnout, maybe some short walking rides, and re-evualate in a month.
                    come what may

                    Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


                    • #11
                      From a barefoot perspective..and i've helped a number of horses be more comfortable with ringbone that were barefoot...make sure flares are addressed and a good roll on the walls to help with easy breakover. I've seen that much, as basic and as simple as it is, make a huge difference in a horse's comfort when there were flares and a flat edge to the wall rather than a bevel or roll.


                      • #12
                        One shockwave treatment per year concurrent with a loading dose of Pentosan and corrective shoeing has kept my older guy sound enough to continue schooling upper level dressage. In winter he might need a bit of Previcox now and then. Mine has navicular changes as well. This year I think we might get an extra month or two since I usually treat him in August and right now he is still sound even in his warm up trot.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mvp View Post
                          Have you seen this make a physiological difference?

                          As it has been described to me, it doesn't do much for pastern joints, other than making them numb for a bit.
                          I have a friend with a huge dressage schoolmaster who is now 27. He's had super gnarly ringbone for years. Our very experienced lameness vet (Virginia Equine Imaging) has found shockwave to be the intervention that consistently gives him relief - the time frame has shortened as he's gotten older, and I think he goes every 3 months now ...but the vet has said he's amazed he can even walk given his X-rays.
                          The big man -- my lost prince

                          The little brother, now my main man


                          • #14
                            Ring bone is AO of the pastern joint. The arthritis generally progresses slowly and causes waxing and waning low grade lameness. Unless the horse was very stoic and the damage was very severe I would not expect to see the horse go from mildly off of hobbling lame. There could collateral ligament damage which would hasten the ringbone. I would have the horse seen by the vet and possibly ultrasounded. MRI is the best way to assess though.

                            Managing ringbone shoeing that eases the breakover, sometimes pads help. Injecting the joint with HA and steroid. Injecting the joint with a series of IRAP, supported with a loading dose of adequan. Possibly trildren. Bute or previcox.

                            My ringbone horse responded beautifully to IRAP and loading dose of adequan as well as five week shoeing program.


                            • #15
                              My old guy has low ringbone, articular. He's 24. Had fusion surgery in 2001...still has the hardware...and returned to show serviceable sound on the flat for another 9 years before he was retired. The pastern looks lumpy from the surgery, but he's comfy in his retirement and that's what matters. And he is still sound enough to hack out when I want to.
                              "Argue for your limitations and you get to keep them."
                              -Richard S. Bach


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Blue Eyed Tovero View Post
                                Whoops - to clarify, high, non-articular.
                                My mare has the same, as well as low, non-articular. I rode her carefully (as in, we did trails and some hunter paces - no jumping, not much cantering) until she was consistently lame. I knew when I bought her that it was a definite possibility (she's half draft, and not the best conformation) so we took rads every year of those front feet. When she finally went totally lame, we (my vet and I) chose to infuse those joints in several different spots with a combo of ethyl alcohol, steroid and a numbing med (I think it was lidocaine - would have to check). My vet told me to turn her out and not even look at her for 4 weeks. (He meant, don't watch her move and try to analyze if it was working.) I did nothing else with her - basically she was just a horse - 12+ hours turnout per day, no riding, no hand walking, etc - for about 6 months before I put her on a longe to just evaluate (walk with just a small bit of trot). 3 months later she was completely sound - walk, trot and canter in the field. Xrays showed complete fusion - and thankfully it was non-articular so once fused, she was fine. I do keep her shod on the front, just in regular steel shoes, for some support and she's on both a joint and anti-inflammatory OTC supplements but no bute at all. Her left front is a bit thicker than the right, but really from her behavior, you'd never know she had been so lame. So far, so good. I ride 3x per week - trails.

                                At the time, my vet actually suggested that my mare would be a great candidate for denerving surgery, but I didn't even consider it.

                                Good luck!
                                Last edited by spotteddrafter; Jul. 15, 2013, 11:43 AM. Reason: added a bit
                                “Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of Solitaire. It is a grand passion.” ~Emerson


                                • #17
                                  My 24 yr old gelding is on turnout in a field with another horse 24 hours a day. That alone has made a huge difference. Moving around all the time has really improved his soundness and flexibility. Before we moved here (when I retired) we had our horses in LA and didn't have this kind of space for turnout. We used IRAP very successfully with him at the time. He's barefoot now and being consistently on turnout has made him look SO much better. He has regained his position of "top horse" and tells our other two horses what to do- when to eat etc. They totally respect him. So he has a job now too!