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making a lame (?) horse comfortable on a very low budget (with pics)

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  • Original Poster

    #21
    Originally posted by mvp View Post
    Does he officially belong to you or not?

    In the interest of not wasting time and money, or getting your hopes up, I'd also get the ownership issued cleared up with the owner before I paid any pro to do anything to the horse.

    Remember that you are losing money and starting to love him every day you feed him. For that reason, you might want to set a reasonable time limit for how long you'll give him to "just be a horse" before you start expecting him to be more sound. You don't want to wait, say, 4 months and find yourself looking at a still lame horse and wishing you had cut bait 90 days/and those dollars earlier.

    Your farrier can help you decide the quickest way to resolve foot pain for this horse. Again, I think that's your very first job. It may be that it make sense to pay for shoes up front if he thinks that trimming plus toughening up the soles will work for this horse.

    Just remember that time is money and time is a chance to get way attached.
    She told me to give him to "the first person that showed up with a trailer". I told her I wasn't comfortable giving him away with out his papers (since that is how ownership is often exchanged with TBs.. I've never had a "bill of sale" with my OTTBs.. they just give me his papers).

    The farrier is coming out this weekend and I'll see what he thinks. The "time limit" i've set is the end of this month because he's only had his board paid that much. I know that's not a lot of time but it's reality. I've had a couple of people contact me (he's on the giveaway page) and I'd be happy to give him away as a pasture pet or companion horse.

    Comment


    • #22
      You're doing good! Glad you got the papers and the farrier appointment.

      With 20 days to go, I'd definitely go into overdrive with respect to taking the foot pain out of the equation. If you can see a decent amount of change in that time, he'll be better off because you or others who might take him will have a clearer idea of what they are getting. A horse who is pretty, but more lame than the people had hoped is in a tough position.
      The armchair saddler
      Politically Pro-Cat

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      • Original Poster

        #23
        Originally posted by mvp View Post
        A horse who is pretty, but more lame than the people had hoped is in a tough position.
        Totally understand.. that's the main reason i'm being brutally honest with all the people who have messaged me about him. I've been cheated before; I adopted a horse from Bowie (from a popular TB rescue webpage-not CANTER) and it turned out she had a terminal breathing condition that the trainer knew about. I ended up paying for diagnoses (which he already knew) and experimental treatment before I put her down. At least she spent her last days happy in a field.

        ANYWAY... I'd love to do x-rays so I could show people exactly what's there. I've only ever had x-rays done on my older OTTB gelding but that was part of a HUGE lameness exam at a hospital that included bone scan and stuff.. the bill was so big and it was all under insurance I don't even remember what I paid!

        For now, if I don't do x-rays, I just have to continue to be honest with people and give him the best care I can.

        Comment


        • #24
          What happens if he's not OK or improving after the time period? Euthanization?

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          • Original Poster

            #25
            Originally posted by lolalola View Post
            What happens if he's not OK or improving after the time period? Euthanization?
            I have money to do that if he can not be placed in a good home. I am too close to New Holland to risk just sending him down the road to whomever will take him. But that will be a last resort. I've had some offers for people to take him but many are hundreds of miles away and I don't particularly like the idea of sending him to somewhere I can't check out (even if just by word of mouth reference).

            I have a pretty good network of people up here and I'm "Optimistic" that he will find a good home. (his JC name is Optimistic)

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            • #26
              More ideas

              I'm glad someone brought up the "What if the prognosis is heinous?" Issue, and that the OP could answer it. That must be at the back of any effort to find out what's wrong with him. I would do what the OP plans:

              1) Try really hard to figure out the horse.

              2) Represent him honestly.

              3) Try to find an owner that knows what the horse is, and can provide the OP with some assurance that they aren't deluding themselves about what they are getting or don't really have the means or a plan for dealing with him should he not work out. I'd also euthanize a horse before sending him into a situation that I merely *hoped* would be good while my gut said otherwise.

              So here's my idea re: X-rays. If you get so far as to find someone interested in doing a PPE, and they get to the point of X-raying a suspicious part, why not make a deal that you will buy the incriminating radiograph for half price should they not end up taking the horse?

              The purchaser could be an a-hole and ask you to buy all of the info they spent on the PPE, but perhaps not. After all, the money won't be coming back to them, regardless of how the info could help you, and ultimately, the horse. This way, you'd get more knowledge to pass onto the next guy who looks at the horse. I wouldn't offer to split the cost of the whole PPE exam, just one key picture.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #27
                Originally posted by mvp View Post

                So here's my idea re: X-rays. If you get so far as to find someone interested in doing a PPE, and they get to the point of X-raying a suspicious part, why not make a deal that you will buy the incriminating radiograph for half price should they not end up taking the horse?

                The purchaser could be an a-hole and ask you to buy all of the info they spent on the PPE, but perhaps not. After all, the money won't be coming back to them, regardless of how the info could help you, and ultimately, the horse. This way, you'd get more knowledge to pass onto the next guy who looks at the horse. I wouldn't offer to split the cost of the whole PPE exam, just one key picture.
                That's a really good idea and I will suggest that to those who are interested.

                As of now he's doing well and my sister, who has been helping me a lot with him is interested in taking care of him. She hasn't totally decided if she wants him forever but she's contemplating paying his expenses for the winter and see how he is after a few months off, good feeding, hoof care etc.

                She's the type of person that is perfectly content with going out to the barn everyday and just brushing and mucking and doesn't need a horse that can go out and be in the ribbons every weekend.

                This would give him time to improve and also get some better ground manners and possible some re-training if he comes sound enough.

                I would of course be willing to give him to someone if they could provide a good home, but it looks like for now if I can't find someone she's willing to work with him. It'll be a good experience for her as well.. she hasn't really connected with a horse since her leased horse died and it's good to see her inspired again.

                Comment


                • #28
                  Thanks for helping that horse out. I'd recommend PTing someone like Fairweather of JLeeGriffith with questions about the soundness. Fairweather has a great eye for soundness things- and has seen so many OTTB's and their issues. I'm pretty sure they see a lot that come in lame and take a few months to get comfy again...then go onto good careers. Good luck.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    I certainly understand your position, as I have been in a similar spot, but had my guy for 2 years now...

                    To start, have the farrier look him over. It could be as simple as needing that plate off and a trim. If thats the issue, it's repaired for $30.

                    If that doesn't do the trick, I'd consider caling the vet for a lameness exam. Tell them upfront you're not in a financial position for x-rays and just want to make him comfortable. It cost me $45. This at least narrowed down the problem areas and ruled out tendon/ligament issues. It was arthritis and a muscular issue of unknwon etiology.

                    If it's not feet, not joint/arthritic, and not something obvious like a bowed tendon, tear, etc. Then I'd do a gram of bute a day for the next 2 weeks, and start the horse in a program. Walk trot, etc. The guy I'm working with was lame as could be until I started him in physical therapy (my name for our program) Low intensity, consistent work. This coupled with a gram of bute for 2 weeks worked wonders. After 2 weeks, I weaned him to a half a gram a day, and he has had not a single gram of bute for the last 18 months and is completely sound.

                    Good luck, and thank you.
                    Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #30
                      Update

                      So grey horse (he doesn't really have a name...) got his feet done yesterday and he feels SO much better! Farrier said his feet aren't too bad but will keep him on a very consistent trim schedule to try to slowly change their shape and give him some heels.

                      His wound on his ankle is healing well, I decided to leave it open today with some Wonder Dust on it because everytime i wrap it (with a poltice pad or gauze) it starts to bleed when I remove the pad.

                      My sister has been doing great with him and is becoming very attached. However she got very upset yesterday when he went from perfectly fine in the field to "I don't want to move my hind leg" lame. She thought he had broken his leg or something (even though he hadn't done anything that would even cause a minor injury) and I thought maybe he had blow an abscess or something. On further observation I realized he had slipped his stifle and after a few backwards steps righted himself. He defiantly needs to build that hind end but is doing well for now.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        The horse has a lot of really ugly joint stuff going on. In more than one area.
                        I doubt the tender hooves are of much consequence. Even if you get h him shod or booted I suspect he will still be quite lame from joint problems.
                        The swellings in the LF fetlock, on the front of the fetlock, and in the area of the cut on the back, and in the area just above the sesamoid bones on the RF all point to potentially serious issues such as bone chips, osselets(arthritis of the fetlock) sesamoid fractures etc.
                        Even though the budget is an issue I would recommend a "once over" clinical exam by a vet to see which joints are most suspect, then get some radiographs of the most suspicious areas. Then you have a prognosis and can decide whether yo go much further with him beyond making him a pasture ornament. There is always the inexpensive "tincture of time" method of treatment, but given the amount of 'red flag" areas I see on his legs , "time" would mean six months to a year in pasture then see what you have.
                        Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                        Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
                        www.hoofcareonline.com

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Originally posted by Patty Stiller View Post
                          The horse has a lot of really ugly joint stuff going on. In more than one area.
                          I doubt the tender hooves are of much consequence. Even if you get h him shod or booted I suspect he will still be quite lame from joint problems.
                          The swellings in the LF fetlock, on the front of the fetlock, and in the area of the cut on the back, and in the area just above the sesamoid bones on the RF all point to potentially serious issues such as bone chips, osselets(arthritis of the fetlock) sesamoid fractures etc.
                          Even though the budget is an issue I would recommend a "once over" clinical exam by a vet to see which joints are most suspect, then get some radiographs of the most suspicious areas. Then you have a prognosis and can decide whether yo go much further with him beyond making him a pasture ornament. There is always the inexpensive "tincture of time" method of treatment, but given the amount of 'red flag" areas I see on his legs , "time" would mean six months to a year in pasture then see what you have.
                          wow you must have some x-ray eyes to see all those problems

                          He does have a lot of bumps and knobs, but I guess in dealing with a lot of OTTBs they don't really shock and awe me like people who have sound horses I'm not sure if you read my post but he does have ossolets in the LF that were x-rayed on the track and ruled as green. The RF is big but doesn't bother him so it's either something old or just an ugly racehorse ankle.

                          I think he def. needs lay up time but he was walking 100% better today after having his feet done, having the wound cared for and moving him to a field where no one is chasing him... which gives me hope.

                          Thanks for the look over, I will defiantly keep your suggestions in mind.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I've seen horses with a lot worse legs come sound with time.

                            One mare had both ankles bigger than that, as well as hocks, and was sound for the years I knew her in the pasture. Finally the owners wanted to find her a new home and we had the vet check her out. Legs look ugly but she moves great with no signs of lameness so trail ride her lightly. She made a great kid's horse.

                            Simkie talked about bone on bone. I've seen many in the heal with time, fuse, giving the horse limited range of motion but soundness. Again, these made good kids horses, but they had very pleasant dispositions. Many were turned out for a year or two.

                            Best of luck finding him a new home. There was a grey TB with big ankles that looked just like your horse that I knew in NJ. I told the trainer to let me know when he was done racing, he was sweet as could be. He never did, though

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