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Mystery Lameness

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  • Mystery Lameness

    So one of my horses came up with a very slight lameness in the left front about a month ago. my trainer suggested a day off and to try again the next day so we did that and seemed better but not 100%. Had the vet out and he really couldnt see much on the soft ground but could see a slight lameness when he trotted him on the driveway, he rated it a .5 out of 5. So we put the horse on surpass, handwalking and small turnout for a week. Still about the same so we blocked him first in the heel and that didnt help and then the pastern which he then trotted sound on following the block. following that we did an xray of the pastern as well as an unltrasound, both showed nothing nor did the hoof testers. So the vet recommended another week off with walking 20mins per day no turnout. Vet came back out with the intention of blocking the coffin but didnt as he was sound both on the lunge line as well as the driveway so he suggested slowly putting him back to work. he looked fabulous and didnt show any signs of lameness until he saw some deer and had a nasty spook and spin and lameness is back. Had the vet back out today and again hardly sees anything but there definitely is a slight intermittent lameness. Vet suggests an MRI as it has been a month of off and on lameness very slight but definitely there. I would love to hear some feedback or thoughts of what this might be, really not looking forward toforking out $2500.00 for an MRI. Any help is appreciated. I also posted this in horse care forum.

  • #2
    Is there any chance he healed from the first thing and tweaked something else when he spooked? Or is the lameness presenting the exact same way as before?

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
      Is there any chance he healed from the first thing and tweaked something else when he spooked? Or is the lameness presenting the exact same way as before?
      It is very much the same but the spook definitely seemed to aggravate it. With thatsaid however the symptoms did not worsen they simply returned.

      Comment


      • #4
        My guy did this somewhat. Never really showed much of a lameness at all really but I could tell he was nqr. Had vet out xrayed his feet and his coffin bone had rotated 2 degrees. Maybe check into the feet with xrays and if nothing I'd do the MRI probably myself.
        Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

        Comment


        • #5
          I have a horse that developed a slight not-quite-right lameness in his right front. No heat, no swelling, vet didn't see anything much jogging him on hard pavement (like yours, a .5 lameness). Then we did an ultrasound, and there was a huge lesion in his check ligament. Vet told me that check ligaments frequently present as slight, not-quite-right lameness.

          Maybe you could do an ultrasound before you do an MRI? Ultrasound is usually relatively inexpensive.
          Why do I like most horses better than most people?

          Comment


          • #6
            If you get an MRI make sure it is read by someone who knows what they are doing. Get second opinions.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
              If you get an MRI make sure it is read by someone who knows what they are doing. Get second opinions.
              I second this. It is definitely worthwhile to haul out to a clinic and get the opinion of a vet/vets who have more expertise in lameness.

              Comment


              • #8
                My questions for the vet would be:

                What are the things that the MRI could show, that we cannot see on xray or ultrasound?

                What would the treatments be for these things? Would it make sense to just pick the most likely issue, and treat, rather than MRI?

                My thought is, I would only pay the money for an MRI if it significantly increased the chance of a good outcome and if there were treatments that would vary depending on the MRI results.
                Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by CHT View Post
                  My questions for the vet would be:

                  What are the things that the MRI could show, that we cannot see on xray or ultrasound?

                  What would the treatments be for these things? Would it make sense to just pick the most likely issue, and treat, rather than MRI?

                  My thought is, I would only pay the money for an MRI if it significantly increased the chance of a good outcome and if there were treatments that would vary depending on the MRI results.
                  The MRI at this point is a last effort to try and figure out what is going on, we have done both xrays and ultrasounds and both have showed nothing. We narrowed down the pain area to the pastern using nerve blocks but there is no heat, swelling and he does not palpate sore. The vet has been out 3 times in the last month and just cannot pinpoint the problem and because the lameness is so minor its difficult to diagnose. its just one of those things where I want to find out if something is there somewhere so I dont make it worse by turnout or light exercise.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think you misunderstood my line of questions...what could the MRI possibly show, and what would the treatment options be? If the options are all likley to be the same (rest, wraps and so on), maybe it would make sense to do the treatment vs the MRI. I would only to the MRI if it could give a more precise treatment plan.
                    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The blocks in that area can be tricky sometimes. You need to make sure blocking that area did not possibly block part of the foot.
                      Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by CHT View Post
                        I think you misunderstood my line of questions...what could the MRI possibly show, and what would the treatment options be? If the options are all likley to be the same (rest, wraps and so on), maybe it would make sense to do the treatment vs the MRI. I would only to the MRI if it could give a more precise treatment plan.
                        Oh yes Im so sorry I did read that wrong. Thats a really good point I think I will call my vet and ask that question. I guess my only concern would be if the vet thought it was something specific and said for example 3 months off handwlking, wraps, etc. and it really wasnt that serious I would hate to lv my poor boy standing for that long if it was not necessary. At the end of the day I just want my boy to be comfortable and happy :-)
                        Last edited by worldclass; Dec. 8, 2012, 02:37 AM. Reason: Change

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Have you thought about getting your horse tested for Lyme disease? My horse pretty much had never taken a lame step until last winter then for around a month and a half he would be nqr then fine in a week and would nqr. After he tested positive and we put him on the meds for it he hasn't taken a lame step since.

                          Hope you get to the bottom of it!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            From the sounds of it, he just needs more time off. Sound like the few weeks off healed it well enough that it stood up to normal work, but the quick torquing movement of the spook irritated it. I would probably give it a couple months off, then do a very slow rehab process, before I spend money on an expensive MRI

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I would take him to a lameness expert. Bring your xrays and ultrasound shots. Where are you located? If you are in the MD/Va area, I would recommend dr. Kent Allen. Good luck and I hope you get some answers soon.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Anytime you block the pastern you're blocking the foot, at least the front part. It could still be a sole problem or toe problem if he didn't block sound on heel block but did on a pastern ring or sesamoid block. Did you do rads of feet too? MRI would be good for soft tissue things in the foot and good localization of the injury.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Personally I would go for a second opinion and possibly a second ultrasound before I did an MRI. Find a really good lameness expert and spend your money on that, I just can't see an MRI paying off.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by kmwines01 View Post
                                    Anytime you block the pastern you're blocking the foot, at least the front part. It could still be a sole problem or toe problem if he didn't block sound on heel block but did on a pastern ring or sesamoid block. Did you do rads of feet too? MRI would be good for soft tissue things in the foot and good localization of the injury.
                                    Yep. This could also effect the coffin bone as well. This is why I would xray the feet just to make sure and that's much cheeper than an MRI. I'd go to the ultrasound and MRI after xrays of the feet.
                                    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Weird Lameness

                                      I worked for a vet and this was frustrating for owners and the vet. Quite often he would tell the owner to keep working to get him lame and then them start blocking.
                                      I third getting your horse xrayed ( digital)
                                      knees, hocks and ankles, ultrasound suspensory,tendon. High tears are boogers to see visually but they do make a horse lame. Also, find a vet that is really good with lameness.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Is the lameness more apparent when the horse is ridden vs. jogging in hand? If so I suggest riding your horse for your vet, even after flexions and blocks. A .5/5 lameness is very difficult to block out reliably.

                                        Comment

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