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Long time lame - how long would you wait?

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  • Long time lame - how long would you wait?

    My four year old went lame six months ago. No sign of a cause. Vet mystified, referred to equine hospital who were also mystified.

    Lame on off hind. How long do I give him?Have any of you had a long term undiagnosed or otherwise lameness come sound?

  • #2
    So basically you have a lame horse because you have not undergone diagnostics such as MRI and bonescan?
    Or have you guys done those?

    If not, then the question is: is it worth spending 2K for a diagnosis?
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    • #3
      Was the horse rested calmly all winter? I would send to big hospital for bone scan. Exersise lightly a week prior to bring up the inflammation. If you can block her out of the lameness and radiographs and ultrasound aren't revealing then MRI or CT may be advised, if not I would be doing a bone scan.
      Last edited by Fharoah; Nov. 12, 2009, 01:04 AM.

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      • #4
        FWIW, my mare was lame for nearly an entire YEAR when she injured her shoulder. It was only around month 10 or so that she was cleared for w-t-c, but even then she was gimpy if I wasn't extremely careful.

        So yes, a horse can become sound after an extremely long lameness. But you need to know what you're dealing with.
        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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        • #5
          Have you done nuclear scintigraphy (bone scan) to look for hot spots? Or MRI?

          Baffling, chronic hind end lameness can be the result of a high suspensory or collateral ligament injury in the hock, or a bone cyst in the hock. You usually need an MRI to detect any of these as they won't show up on radiographs or bone scans.

          Good luck, I feel your pain.

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            I'm not asking for a way to find a diagnosis. I'm not prepared to spend thousands on MRI scans etc. After all, knowing why he's lame won't make him sound will it?

            All I want to know is if anyone knows of horses coming sound after long term lameness.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by oldbag View Post
              I'm not asking for a way to find a diagnosis. I'm not prepared to spend thousands on MRI scans etc. After all, knowing why he's lame won't make him sound will it?

              All I want to know is if anyone knows of horses coming sound after long term lameness.
              It might if the lameness has a certain protocol or specific management in order to get better. Without a diagnosis you don't know how to treat the animal. Do you need to stall the horse, or pasture turnout only? Soft ground or hard ground? Cold hose, or heat therapy? Sweat wraps? Ice the leg? Medication of some sort? Injection of some sort? Rest or light work? etc, etc.
              Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by oldbag View Post
                I'm not asking for a way to find a diagnosis. I'm not prepared to spend thousands on MRI scans etc. After all, knowing why he's lame won't make him sound will it?

                All I want to know is if anyone knows of horses coming sound after long term lameness.
                Knowing what the cause of the lameness is, can help answer that question actually. Anything is possible of course, but knowing the cause gives you the odds on the possibility of returning to soundness which seems to be what you want to know. So no, it won't make him sound but it might indicate what to do to get him sound, which you might be able to do. Or not.
                What diagnostics have you done and what has been ruled out?

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                • #9
                  Soft tissue injuries can take a long time to heal.

                  If you are tired of asking, hovering and paying, this is where you turn the horse out for a good chunk of time and systematically ignore the problem.
                  The armchair saddler
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                  • #10
                    Try checking the near side fore. Seriously.
                    "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

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                    • #11
                      I don't think diagnostics are outragiously priced may put you back 2k less if your lucky. Maybe there is a bone chip that once removed your horse will be sound. Maybe there is inflammation in the collateral ligament and an injection to take the inflammation down will better allow your 4 year old to heal. Maybe he has an OCD lession that could be easily removed. Good diagnostics may help you fix your horse, rest heals many things but not all.

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                      • #12
                        The relief that came with knowing exactly what was wrong with my horse was priceless. Unfortunately even when you know what you're dealing with it sometimes takes longer to heal than expected anyway. Good luck with your horse.

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                        • #13
                          tests

                          Some tests aren't that expensive and could at least narrow down the possibilities. Nerve block?
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                          • #14
                            Yes - I have a horse that was very lame, gave him a year off & he's absolutely fine now. I originally did a bone scan that was inconclusive except it was a soft tissue injury w/in the hoof. I decided to give him time to see if he got better with rest - he did. Over time, i could see him improve. Once he was put back into work, he did not relapse (which was a concern).

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                            • #15
                              I'm not asking for a way to find a diagnosis. I'm not prepared to spend thousands on MRI scans etc. After all, knowing why he's lame won't make him sound will it?
                              Knowing why he is lame will do two things:
                              1) it will give you a treatment plan AND
                              2) TELL YOU HOW LONG IT MIGHT TAKE TO HEAL. Or it will tell you if it even CAN heal.

                              [QUOTE]All I want to know is if anyone knows of horses It depends on the cause of the lameness.
                              So that said, since you said the vets were baffled , what diagnostics did they do before they got baffled?
                              Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
                              Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
                              www.hoofcareonline.com

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                              • #16
                                What exactly are you waiting for? To see if he gets better, to see whether he needs to be euthanized, to see if he needs to be retired?
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                                • #17
                                  hsa the horse improved at all in the 6 months?

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by oldbag View Post
                                    I'm not asking for a way to find a diagnosis. I'm not prepared to spend thousands on MRI scans etc. After all, knowing why he's lame won't make him sound will it?
                                    Depending on what is causing the lameness the horse may not be able to improve without treatment of some type. Some things cannot be healed by time and rest.
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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by oldbag View Post
                                      I'm not asking for a way to find a diagnosis. I'm not prepared to spend thousands on MRI scans etc. After all, knowing why he's lame won't make him sound will it?

                                      All I want to know is if anyone knows of horses coming sound after long term lameness.

                                      Not saying it doesn't happen.

                                      But it depends to a large extent on knowing what is wrong so that a protocol that would produce the best outcome can be selected and followed.

                                      If you don't know what's wrong, you are just guessing at whether it will or won't get better with time.
                                      Inner Bay Equestrian
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                                      • #20
                                        I'm not sure there's any way to answer this without diagnostics. Really a pretty bizarre thought imho. Some things heal in no time, some longer, and some never. Diagnostics tell you which category you fall in to.
                                        "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."

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