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On again off again lameness

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    On again off again lameness

    My mare's on again off again lameness that plagued us last year is on again.

    It started about this time last year, and myself and the BO thought it appeared she had gotten kicked in her hind end. Gave her a week off and she was right as rain. Then a while later it looked like she had strained a muscle in her shoulder. There had been a big storm with lots of ice so BO and I agreed that it was likely just a strain. Gave her a week off and she was good to go again. Then in June she started to look sore in her stifles. I called the vet, but they couldn't come out immediately and a day later when my appointment was she was totally sound so I canceled. Same thing happened in August, she was lame for two days and then totally sound. September again, same thing. This time I did have the vet out, but the next day when he showed up she was totally sound. Couldn't even "make" her take a bad step during a full lameness exam. Vet didn't think it was worth the time/money to do xrays. He had two theories one of them being that the she was sore from the multiple growth spurts that she went through (she grew two inches in the front end and matured/filled out a TON last year), or could be a selenium deficiency. We tossed around PSSM and EPM, but other than the weird lameness she really showed no signs of either, and the vet didn't feel the need to test. She got a selenium shot, and has been on Deccox ever since. Since then she hasn't had any issues. Now, she is lame again and it looks like its the same type of thing. At 7 years old I would thinks she would be done growing...

    It doesn't seem to matter if she is on full turn out or stalled, or what her work load is. Right now she is only getting ridden once a week by my trainer's working student, last year I was riding her 3-4 times a week. Last year she was on full turn out, currently she is out 12 hours of the day and in a large box stall at night.

    Vidoes of her from Tuesday:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpIi...QLSGwWlhxjQ8AA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QDIT...QLSGwWlhxjQ8AA

    I know nobody on here is a vet, and I have an appointment set up for Monday, I would just kind of like some ideas of what to talk to my vet about, and if anybody else has ever had any experience with this type of situation.
    RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
    2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
    Western Dressage
    Draft Mare blog
    Original Poster

    #2
    Just wanted to add during all of these lameness episodes she never showed any heat or swelling in any parts of her body. Was still bright, alert, eating, drinking, and having normal body functions. She did have a mild bout of lameness in in 2013 before I bought her, but it was thought to be from the horrible hoary allysum bloom that plagued the area. She passed her PPE in November of 2013 with flying colors.
    RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
    2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
    Western Dressage
    Draft Mare blog

    Comment


      #3
      First, did you check her selenium levels before giving her selenium? You can over dose. Traveling lameness I would rule out Lyme with the multiplex test from Cornell, which has three parts to it, one being "chronic" phase. Other than that you need to put your head together with a good vet.
      Lameness like this can be a mystery and hard to find....but please rule out Lyme, ask me how I know. ??
      Adriane
      Happily retired but used to be:
      www.ParrotNutz.com

      Comment


        #4
        Yes, definitely have the horse tested for lyme disease, if you haven't already.
        "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

        Comment

          Original Poster

          #5
          I live in an area where the vet sees a lot of selenium deficiency, so he felt that there was a very slim chance of over dose. Though the more I read about it the more that I guess I should have advocated for her to be tested first. The good news is that she didn't have an ill effects, in fact it didn't really seem like it had any effect at all. What seemed to help the most was starting her on Deccox, and she has been sound since last fall. She is currently still on it though, apparently it wasn't the cure.
          RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
          2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
          Western Dressage
          Draft Mare blog

          Comment

            Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Posting Trot View Post
            Yes, definitely have the horse tested for lyme disease, if you haven't already.
            I have not had her tested for Lyme yet.
            RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
            2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
            Western Dressage
            Draft Mare blog

            Comment


              #7
              Is Deccox an antibiotic? Why did the vet decide to start her on that?
              "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

              Comment

                Original Poster

                #8
                No, its a product used to treat EPM, but according to the a different vet (not the one that did the selenium injection) can help horses with hard to treat lamenesses for some reason. My former trainer's retired schoolmaster who was barely pasture sound became pasture sound while on it, and another friend who's horse was marginally sound after a hoof injury that didn't heal correctly also became more comfortable. Thus I decided to try it.
                RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
                2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
                Western Dressage
                Draft Mare blog

                Comment


                  #9
                  Personally, I don't deal with vets that just try a magic bullet without testing. Where I live we have lots of Vit E and selenium deficiencies , but the vest test first and then prescribe! And to prescribe a drug with absolutely no testing, as it seems, is also stupid in my humble opinion.
                  Why have you had two different vets prescribing with no work ups?as any blood work been done at all to rule out things?? Doesn't make sense to me.
                  Adriane
                  Happily retired but used to be:
                  www.ParrotNutz.com

                  Comment

                    Original Poster

                    #10
                    Deccox isn't prescribed, most feed stores carry it.

                    As I said in my other post, I guess I figured the vet knew what he was doing and didn't question not testing for her Selenium levels before treating her. He assured me that the likelyhood of any bad side effects was minimal.

                    Just wanted to add that as of right now she is scheduled for a fluoroscopy on Monday.
                    RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
                    2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
                    Western Dressage
                    Draft Mare blog

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Did the vet take any x-rays of her hind end when you originally thought she had been kicked? Perhaps she has a chip that is moving around and only causes her discomfort very occasionally? A friends horse had a chip in his knee and would present suddenly 3 legged and then be fine within a day or two, no heat or swelling. He was sound with full work for long periods of time and then would come up three legged. Owner finally got x-rays and they found the chip, had it removed and horse is fine.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        I have heard that it used to be common (and maybe still is) in Standardbred racing circles to treat for EPM when there was any sign of lameness that couldn't immediately be diagnosed as something else, without doing any diagnostic tests for EPM.

                        Did the vet do any tests to see if the horse had a neurological impairment? (Such as pulling on the tail, crossing one leg over the other, walking the horse up and down hill, etc.). Here's a good discussion of what a neuro exam would be like: http://www.equinewobblers.com/diagno...amination.html

                        If the horse is going to see the vet anyway on Monday, it would be easy for him to take a blood sample and send it off to be tested for lyme disease. I would ask specifically for the lyme test to be done.

                        Good luck.
                        "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The thing that jumps out at me in the video, aside from the right front lameness, of course, is that she appears rather back at the knee in the right front. Do you have any standing conformation shots of her? Do you have video of her trotting to the right? I think were only a handful of trot steps in the video you shared.

                          Seeing lameness and a possible flexural deformity in the same leg makes me think the two may be related and if she were mine, I'd have her front feet and right carpus x-rayed. Often, a horse that is hyperextended at the knee will have a high heel and broken hoof/pastern angle on that side due to tension in the DDFT and, by association, eventually in the flexors, too. This can lead to hoof pain in the area of the toe, pedal osteitis, ring bone....any of a number of pain causing conditions. Occasionally, the pain is in the heal because of the "heel jamming" gait a horse may have when back at the knee.

                          Perhaps the video doesn't give an honest perception of that leg, though, which is why I asked about confo shots.
                          "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen
                          http://www.etsy.com/shop/tailsofglory

                          Comment

                            Original Poster

                            #14
                            The vet that suggested Deccox to me is a STB racing vet. He will be the vet doing the fluroscopy on Monday. My neighbor races so I am just piggy backing on her appointment since she was already having him out to do full work ups on her two year olds before they head to the track.

                            She had a full lameness exam including checking neurological responses. We discussed EPM and PSSM but he found no evidence of either. She didn't put a toe out of line. We couldn't make her lame even when using the hold their leg up for a set amount of time technique. She trotted off sound every time. I did not get x-rays as the vet was not really sure where we should even x-ray during that particular visit. As I said unless I can get vet a out the very day that she comes up lame (which thus far has not been possible) she is sound again within a day or two. Part of her lameness episodes is that she also doesn't ever show any signs of heat or swelling.

                            BO checked her over after the suspected kick, and I know she is not a vet, but she was a vet tech for 20 years with The Best equine vet in the area before he retired. She was always my go-to for "does this need to be seen by a vet." We agreed that she didn't need to be seen by a vet at that time. The kick appeared to be in the fleshy part of her hip, and it never really appears to be her hips that bother her, more her stifles and shoulders.

                            She has been regularly seen by a MT, and I am looking into possible chiro as well. My chiro moved out of the area a while back which was super disappointing as she did people and horses. Loved that! I haven't really persued chiro for either of us since then, and we could both probably use it.

                            She is also due to get trimmed, but my farrier rather suddenly up and left the country to watch his daughter compete in a Friesian show in the Netherlands. I was hoping that he could give me some insight and help rule out abscess at the very least.
                            RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
                            2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
                            Western Dressage
                            Draft Mare blog

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Did you put hoof testers on her when she was lame? What breed is she? I'd eliminate problems in the hoof (navicular changes, mild chronic laminitis) first, and check for lyme or other diseases. But absolutely xray her front feet!

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Can you post some photos of confo, as well as hind end/back shots?

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  I also would test for Lyme. My gelding had a wandering lameness issue that the BO noticed. It was very subtle. She had him tested one day when the vet was there (she's also a friend so I didn't have an issue with that) and son of a gun if he didn't come back positive. Fortunately he recovered completely on 6 weeks of doxy.
                                  "With hardly any other living being can a human connect as closely over so many years as a rider can with her horse." Isabell Werth, Four Legs Move My Soul. 2019

                                  Comment

                                    Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    I have a call out to my current BO's farrier. My mare was suppose to be trimmed last week when my farrier suddenly left the country. Here are pictures of her feet, keep in mind she is due to be trimmed: https://plus.google.com/photos/10185...NSU8O_wu47S8QE

                                    She is a Sugarbush Draft aka an Appaloosa x draft cross.

                                    Is this what you mean by back end pictures?

                                    This is the most recent full body shot that I have.

                                    I am thinking it may be a case of thrush. She seemed a lot better yesterday, or at least not dead/limping lame on the concrete, only sore when she pivoted in her stall.
                                    RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
                                    2009 Sugarbush Draft mare
                                    Western Dressage
                                    Draft Mare blog

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      IMHO, having watched the videos you just put up, plus the other short ones off the the right (be careful BTW, she could connect kicking like that, sorry can't let that go), anyway, something seems off behind. She's standing with the left hind behind the right in both pics you have posted at a bit of a wonky angle and she looks reluctant to step forward with both right feet to the right. That could indicate she does not want to push off the left.

                                      Im not a farrier but do those feet look like they are not overdue for a trim to anybody else? Seem short to my ammy eye. But I don't think it has anything to do with the hind end irregularity.

                                      Do think it's unusual the vet doing the lamness exam did not do blocks with one presenting with chronic on and off lamness-unless you did not want to proceed for financial reasons. Nobody really has done a "full lamness exam" without them. I'd skip the body work and get that full evaluation because something is wrong here. Pull blood too.
                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Left hind stifle?

                                        She is turning he leg inside when trotting, and her head seems to come up the moment that she has to use that leg. Curious to see what vet says.
                                        "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all".

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