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Vet report/prognosis-translation please

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  • Vet report/prognosis-translation please

    Hey ya'll, me again with- still looking for my first horse.

    I have found a wonderful mare with the temperment of a saint- the problem- she has some medical issues. She is currently sound after injections in April and monthly Adequan. So here's what the vet said in April, I just want to hear it in "English" and maybe hear from those of you that have horses with similar issues. How are you dealing with it? Meds/supplements, condiitoning. What should I expect long term (mare is only 7 )?

    Vet report:

    Diagnosis: Osteoarthritis of the left femoro-tibial joint

    Passive exam: *****is toed in on both fromt feet, right worse than left and is mildly sensitive to hoof testers on both toes. She is also mildliy sensitive on the medial wall of the right front, and it appears there is a small bruis e in that area. She is very unbalanced, medial to lateral on both from feet. A medail sidebone is palpable on the right front. There is mild to moderate effusion in the left femoropatellar joint and mild effusion in the left tarsocrucal joint. She has bilateral moderate to severe pain in the sacroiliac joint.

    Lameness exam: ***** was a strong 2/5 degree lame on the left hind and paddles on the right fromt in the straight line trot. She was negative to left hind distal limb flexion, but 2-3/3 positice on the left hind upper limb flexion and 1-2/3 positive on the right hind upper limb flexion. On the circle she had a shortened cranial phase of the inside hind limb as well as a delayed stance phase on the inside hind limb going either direction.

    Intra-articular analgesia of the left medial femorotibial, lateral femorotibial and femoropatellar joints revealed a 60% improvement in her lameness.

    Radiographs of the left stifle revealed an osteophyte on the cranial medial boarder of the tibia and some mild changes at the pont of attachment of the cranial meniscus on the tibia. A limited exam of the right stifle revealed no signifigant abnormalities. A study of the left hock revealed very mild osteophyte production in the distal intertarsal joint and the tarsometatarsal joint.

    Ultrasound exam of the left stifle revealed no signifigant ligamentous abnormalities. An osteophyte on the medial aspect of the femur was noted. There was some synovial proliferation in teh medial femorotibial joint.

    Based on today's exam, it was determined that ***** has signifigant ostoearthritis of her left stifle. We recommend the following:

    1. Injection of both stifle joints with corticosteroid and intra-articular Adequan. If she has a positive response to the intra-articular therapy, she may benefit from IRAP therapy. THis would decrease the amount of steroid ***** would need over the course of her athletic career.
    2. A "low starch" diet would help *****lose some weight. Some of her lameness issues would benefit from her being a little lighter. She could start at one quart twice a day.
    The rest just goes on to say stall rest to monitor the injection sites and a little bute if she needs it for a few days. And to maintain her monthly Adequan IM. She could be lightly ridden until more injections, that did take place 2 weeks later.

    So this was all done in April, the owner has followed the vets orders, has not pushed the horse in heavy riding and has maintaned monthly Adequan and suggested to me that she should be ok for lower level dressage if I maintain the monthly Adequan and do the joint injections 1-2 times a year. The few times I have been to see her and ride her, she has been fine.

    So, aside from telling me to turn and run like hell- help me decipher the medical terms and tell me what to expect. I would really appreciate some third party advice especially from those of you who are dealing with similar issues.

    Thanks in advance

  • #2
    Not to sound like a hoof nazi or anything, but if the horse's feet are in bad shape, maybe that ought to be addressed first? At least a hoof can grow and (one hopes) be improved upon with excellent farriery--arthritis is, unfortunately, not something that just goes away.

    No hoof, no horse, as they saying goes. (I can't believe I just typed that, LOL) If she's not altogether sound when the stifle is blocked, perhaps some of her pain is coming from waht sounds like feet that are in bad shape?

    But I have to say I *would* probably run like hell, from a very young mare with poor conformation and degenerative joint disease already. Sorry.
    Click here before you buy.


    • #3
      You never know, but this sounds like a horse that would be hard to keep sound for mild trail riding and a no-no for a competitive horse in any discipline.
      She is very young to be so high maintenance and if her structure is causing the problems...they will only get worse.
      When I vet I horse I am not looking for perfect, I am looking for wear and tear consistent with the history of the horse and recommendations for maintenance that make sense, are affordable and will allow me to use the horse for whatever purpose I am buying it.
      I think a serious heart to heart with the vet is in order.
      Don't get attached to a horse that is going to break your heart.
      Nina's Story
      Epona Comm on FB


      • #4
        Is this mare off the track, or what is her background? I ask because it seems like stifle problems are becoming either more prevalent or just better diagnosed. You can treat stifles with injections and so forth but only up to a point and she is fairly young.

        I agree with DW in the regard that it sounds like her feet are in bad shape and balancing them would be the place to start, however I'm not sure if fixing the front feet would help the hind issues enough to get and keep her sound. I don't agree that arthtritis cannot go away, although if cartilage is worn in the stifle or there are flaps overgrown, healed impoperly, flattening of joints, that I agree doesn't go away.

        Remember sometimes a good temperament is a sign that the horse feels too crappy to be frisky and that has been known to change once they feel better.


        • #5
          Awfully young for the degree of issues stipulated. Have you flexed her yourself? One of the biggest things which would frighten me is the mention of some changes associated with the meniscus. Stifle issues can be extremely difficult to manage. There's all sorts of other managment issues in terms of strength training etcetera which may be alot to take on if you're a novice owner. Sacro-iliac issues can also be a nightmare to deal with. Even if she's able to stay sound with the injections and adequan you're probably looking at anywhere from 6-750.00 for injections depending on your area and likely close to 40.00 a month (ballpark) for Adequan if you're doing it yourself. So easily, close to an additional $2000 per year on maintenance.


          • #6
            Pigeontoed in itself is not that bad, but with already sidebone changes may mean that by ten or eleven she may be permanently lame.

            A friend just showed me his perfect 16 year old roping horse that, at 11, became lame with sidebone, one foot only, started by some pasture misstep maybe and has never been sound since.
            They have been waiting all these years, hoping that it will fuse, as it is high sidebone, or some other theraphy may come along, but for now, all he has been is a happy if a little lame pasture ornament.
            Every time they try to ride him, he is too lame to keep riding.

            Now, your mare may not be like that.
            What does the vet tell you?


            • Original Poster

              Thanks ya'll, this is the dose of reality I think I needed to hear.......

              Back to horse shopping I go..........

              I never thought this would be so freakin hard ! Finally after 30 some odd years, I can have a horse and I am sick of horse shopping already.

              vent over, thanks again


              • #8
                Translation: Move on to the next prospect


                • #9
                  Translation: this horse has many joint problems that are clinically affecting her now, and ones that will affect her in the near future.



                  • #10
                    Since this horse is only 7 years old and already has this many issues, I would not touch her with a 10 foot pole. At this age, I expect a sound horse.

                    When I was looking I turned down a 7 year old that already had bone spavins in both hocks ...............


                    • #11
                      Put simply, this is a young horse with a heck of a lot already going wrong and with some pretty major secondary joint disease and lameness. It means expect to pay out to keep her sound and expect not to do anything too athletic or strenuous with her.

                      In my world it also means go look elsewhere for a sound horse that's going to be a better prospect for a novice owner.

                      However what you need to do is phone your vet and ask them to explain the report you've paid for and so you understand it.


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by Thomas_1 View Post
                        However what you need to do is phone your vet and ask them to explain the report you've paid for and so you understand it.
                        I didn't hire the vet, this exam was done in April by the owner. As I said, she was very honest about everything and gave me copies of the records to look at. I did email the vet that did the exam to see if I could speak with him directly.

                        I'm going to pay attention to everyone and move on......I am going to look at another horse on Thursday. Pray for my safe trip into the backwoods of Alabama


                        • #13
                          Good decision to move on, although I applaud the owner for being honest. But my 24 year-old gelding doesn't have that many problems. Poor horse.


                          • #14
                            Keeping Looking !

                            Keep looking ! You will find exactly what you are looking for * if you are patient and for a good price. Good Luck! It took me months... you will know when you find your horse - won't be any questions in your mind.
                            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                            • #15
                              good decision
                              and good luck
                              Nina's Story
                              Epona Comm on FB


                              • #16
                                Good to hear OP is moving on with the search.


                                • #17

                                  from the first two paragraphs I get the impression that the vet was saying...
                                  Try using a better farrier?
                                  Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!