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Sore after chiro: did I break my horse?

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  • Sore after chiro: did I break my horse?

    Obviously beating myself up here, wondering if anyone had similar experiences.
    I've had chiro done on my horse by a vet/chiro before with very clear and benificial effects. She doesn't do chiro any more (exacerbated HER arthritis...), so the barn has started to book another chiro, not a vet but someone very well known and regarded locally.
    First time she worked on my horse I can't really assess the outcome -- he had been kicked in the hq and was NQR to begin with. She seemed to find his issues and suggested a reasonable rehab protocol.

    Fast forward 3 months. Horse improved but remained NQR. Took him to fancy lameness clinic where we injected his pelvis. He improved dramatically, felt essentially normal, but was still a bit stiff/resistant on the right side.

    Chiro came yesterday, found a lot of things that needed adjusting, worked on horse and he was very reactive to all the adjustments.

    I put him back out (he lives out 24/7) yesterday after the adjustment. Came out today and he is visibly unsound at the WALK (was completely sound and working day before chiro). Clearly uncomfortabe in his hip/pelvis region.

    I'm very unhappy. Now, our pastures are CRAP right now, and he could be abscessing or have pulled something entirely independent of the chiro. But my gut says no.

    Has anyone experienced this? Is it possible to be sore as a result of a "good" adjustment???

    I plan to call my vet (ex-chiro) tomorrow if bute/time off have not resulted in improvement. Very, very worried about this.
    The big man -- my lost prince

    The little brother, now my main man

  • #2
    Yes, it is possible to be sore. Definitely check with your chiro, and ask if massage would be beneficial. I'm guessing he might be tight somewhere and the adjustment is bringing that out. JMO...

    Comment


    • #3
      Like Gold said, it is very possible for him to be sore from the chiro adjustment. It could be that he was so out that his body is sore from being put back into alignment. It could be to that he felt so much better that he went and ran around the pasture and slipped in the excitement (so he is now just feeling the after effect).
      I have a mare that was so out from being ridden incorrectly (before I had her), that the vet thought she was dead lame on her right hock. But what it really was that she was completely out of whack and needed her entire body adjusted- her hips and pelvic region being the source of her lameness. She is now better than ever, but she did get a few days off after wards. She is now swinging her back and using her hind end much more.
      Eventingismylife
      http://www.jumpingthebigsky.wordpress.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Last year I had chiro done on my boy (he didn't have any lameness or anything, it was just a preventative maintenance thing) and the next day he couldn't walk at all. Really, couldn't get him to take one step! Gave him bute that morning and he was better but not great by nighttime. Gave another dose of bute in his dinner and he was back to his normal self the next morning. I was kicking myself too.
        '10 Dolce Latte G - Thoroughbred Mare

        Comment


        • #5
          My mare was way out in her rear end - hips, pelvis, etc. Had her adjusted. Was advised not to work her for 48 hours, and then to hand-walk her in a specific pattern for two more days, which I did. Also that she would likely develop an abscess in a rear hoof. Well, that was off. BOTH hind hooves blew within two days of each other.

          good luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Sorry to hear Piks is not happy. I remember the last time Moose got done (and he was a complete wreck), she said he could be sore for several days and he was (I think our old chiro said the same thing if Moose needed a lot of adjustments). He did get better, though. I think this time we are also affected by the lovely footing . I would think massage might be beneficial as well.

            BTW, she is a vet just not a practicing equine vet. She does a lot with the horses, but her main day job is a small animal practitioner (might even specialize in surgery?).

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              hey, pharmgirl; thanks! and thanks everyone. He had a LOT of adjustments, and the way he was moving yesterday did really seem to be related to the areas she was working on.
              I'm fine with him being sore for a few days if it's in service of getting better -- I was just worried maybe this was something that was so unusual after chiro that it meant something was really wrong.

              I'll see if I can prevail on our overworked BM to give him a massage today, will walk him, bute him, and try not to panic


              For what it's worth I thought she really nailed the areas he had issues with, and when she was done he smooched her even though the work had been hard for him...
              The big man -- my lost prince

              The little brother, now my main man

              Comment


              • #8
                On some of them my chiro will recommend some bute for a few days and on horses that might have some extreme issues we sometimes even do a bit of robaxin just to help them relax while we start to work the new muscles and allow them to relax into the adjustment.

                I know when I am really out I am super sore after a chiro visit for the next 2-3 days. I need a chiro visit right now!
                http://www.benchmarksporthorses.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  If a horse gets a lot of adjustments, they usually need at least 48-72 hours to adjust. It varies. Sometimes mine need only one day off, sometimes they need the three. It also depends on how long something was "stuck" putting in back right can make them sore because now their muscles, etc are having to get used to being correct.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    update: He is walking normally today (48 hrs, 2 gms bute later) -- in fact, the ankle twist he was showing on his right hind at the walk ever since he was kicked is gone.
                    Still not crazy about trotting or cantering, but I gave him another 1 gm bute (he's 17.2, so this is conservative) and hope tomorrow, 72 hours out, he's better still...
                    The big man -- my lost prince

                    The little brother, now my main man

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I feel your pain! Had my mare adjusted on Friday to make sure she was still feeling ok after SI injections in November. Had two of the worst rides on her the last two days - as bad as she was before the injections! Am hoping I didn't screw up and this is temporary...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sometimes when *I* get adjusted by my chiro *I'M* sore for a few days.
                        LOL

                        That being said, I'd have been freaking too, glad your horse is well.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I had my 21 yr old gelding done last fri and he has been sore ever since. Was told ok to ride the next day but I knew he was sore. Rode monday and although his attitude was better, he felt funky in the hind end. Will try again today. Am wondering if maybe the chiro was a little too tough on his joints. She cranked him pretty good..and he is 21. Maybe its better to go a little easier on the olders?

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            well, mine is now definitely lame on the right hind, which is where his issues were (he had been kicked there several months ago) and where most of the adjustments were.
                            Bute only got us so far so I've taken him off and am having the vet (who used to be his chiro, before this) Thursday.

                            Feel pretty rotten. He was going so well, was just trying to take care of a little residual "stuck" feeling from the kick.

                            Hard to imagine one could break a 17.2 h horse using your bare hands, but....
                            The big man -- my lost prince

                            The little brother, now my main man

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by asterix View Post
                              well, mine is now definitely lame on the right hind, which is where his issues were (he had been kicked there several months ago) and where most of the adjustments were.
                              Bute only got us so far so I've taken him off and am having the vet (who used to be his chiro, before this) Thursday.

                              Feel pretty rotten. He was going so well, was just trying to take care of a little residual "stuck" feeling from the kick.

                              Hard to imagine one could break a 17.2 h horse using your bare hands, but....
                              I don't think you can blame the chiro for breaking your horse in this instance. He got kicked and clearly there are residual issues which are being amplified by the chiro. He may have been compensating after the kick and feeling okay and now the adjustment has straightened him out and he is using muscles previously dormant. Having said that it should be helpful to see wha tthe vet says. This new chiro may not be bad, maybe just not good enough.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Well, and to be fair, he could have slipped in the pasture that night and the whole thing could be just a coincidence...

                                but...
                                he was kicked in Sept, had chiro done in November, recovered in very slow increments until I finally took him to the lameness vet in Jan; had his pelvis injected, which made a dramatic improvement. He's felt really wonderful since then, with just some small residual signs (a little reluctant to do lateral work off my left leg, and a curious lack of lipstick on the right side of his mouth)...
                                so to go from schooling 2nd level to grade 3 lame at the trot seems pretty dramatic...
                                The big man -- my lost prince

                                The little brother, now my main man

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by asterix View Post
                                  Well, and to be fair, he could have slipped in the pasture that night and the whole thing could be just a coincidence...

                                  but...
                                  he was kicked in Sept, had chiro done in November, recovered in very slow increments until I finally took him to the lameness vet in Jan; had his pelvis injected, which made a dramatic improvement. He's felt really wonderful since then, with just some small residual signs (a little reluctant to do lateral work off my left leg, and a curious lack of lipstick on the right side of his mouth)...
                                  so to go from schooling 2nd level to grade 3 lame at the trot seems pretty dramatic...
                                  Maybe the kick is a red herring and there were other things going on more or less coincidentally. Or, maye there is muscle or other soft tissue damage that did not get noticed/treated? Where did he get kicked. It's interesting that you're focusing on skeletal issues in diagnosis and treatment, and not muscular ones.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    well, i'd be happy to focus on ANY issues that a professional pointed out to me and provided a course of treatment for. So far his "kick" has been considered by 3 vets, including the premier lameness clinic in this part of the country, chiro, massage, saddle fit, acupuncture, etc.

                                    He was kicked in the meaty part of his HQ, below the point of his hip. Luckily (!), he came in that day with a big hematoma and a horse shoe-shaped indentation, so it was fairly obvious.

                                    I HAVE thought about muscle issues, having struggled with a muscle pull or tear myself for several months....but vets and chiros alike have focused on skeletal issues (although the first vet to see it, here for something else the week he got kicked, said "well, there's no way he broke anything, so it's probably just muscle. give it time").

                                    Like I said, I did give it time. It's been 6 months. I am just looking to make him comfortable. Chiro seems to have made it worse. If you have a better idea please tell me. I'm pretty depressed about it at this point (we won't go into the fact that the kick came 4 months after we had completed a successful rehab from serious suspensory issues requiring surgery and an extended layup)....
                                    The big man -- my lost prince

                                    The little brother, now my main man

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      It's my belief that vets tend to diagnose and treat skeletal and joint issues more because that's what they have to work with. And chiros are the classic example of having a hammer making everything look like a nail.
                                      I'm not really sure how you'd proceed looking for the problem now - you say you've tried acupuncture? Acupuncture is a good diagnostic. Massage can be (sometimes) as well. Maybe ultrasound or something like that?

                                      OK rereading your post you say you've tried acupuncture and massage already?
                                      The only thing that seems to be missing from the list is feet and dental.

                                      One thing that was really interesting was the 'twist' (?) in the ankle that went away with adjustment.

                                      The more you describe, the more the kick sounds like a red herring. Maybe there is something residual (e.g. scar tissue) left over from the injury/layup/srugery?

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        I don't know. It's very frustrating.

                                        The week before he got kicked he felt so spectacularly good -- better than he'd felt perhaps ever in the 6 years I owned him.
                                        I really think he was completely recovered from the suspensory issues (and "surgery" was a bit melodramatic on my part -- I am feeling sorry for myself today...he was "out" and laid down, but it was a fasciotomy, to relieve pressure on the suspensories -- they make tiny slits with a scalpel. Horse is back on his feet asap, can go home the same day, and "aftercare" is bute and wrapping. There weren't even any stitches.)

                                        He hasn't had a massage in a while, and the vet coming tomorrow does acupuncture, which he also hasn't had in a while, so we will definitely pursue both of those at this point.

                                        He's due for dental, but this horse always gets dental in the spring, and never has any issues when the dentist comes. I can't imagine his teeth suddenly made him lame the day the chiro came.

                                        His feet, well, you know feet, it could ALWAYS be his feet...but his feet are actually quite good, I trust my very thoughtful farrier, and every other horse professional who sees his feet always says "I really like the way he's shod, keep going with that."

                                        I'll post back after vet tomorrow in case you are still interested.
                                        The big man -- my lost prince

                                        The little brother, now my main man

                                        Comment

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