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Crosspost: Help me solve a mystery. (Long) Update!! Pg. 3

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  • Crosspost: Help me solve a mystery. (Long) Update!! Pg. 3

    I have a horse that has something wrong with it and we cannot figure out what it is. ANY thoughts are appreciated!!!

    Original presentation: Horse had had two days off (due to a muscle spasm in my back). He had been going fabulously. First ride back was argumentative and quick. I originally thought he was fresh but began to realize he wasn't right and must be sore somewhere.

    He was tight through the back, a bit quick, and snarky when using the right rein. Over fences, did not push off the ground and was weak on takeoff. Toward the end of the ride he began bucking or kicking out when I used the right rein or during the left canter transition.

    Day two: Very backsore, felt NQR at all under tack. "Offness" was moving around - felt it up front and behind. Pulled the saddle and he was very backsore.

    Day three: Realized the left front frog had considerable thrush and was very sore through the frog and heel.

    I gave him about a week off and while he looked better on the longe line, he was still presenting under saddle. Below is a total list of symptoms, listed in order of thought as they spring to mind.


    Symptoms:
    • Backsore - more towards the back of where the saddle lies (last thoracic, first lumbar) but is sore all through the saddle area.
    • Funny on the right hind
    • Hot stifle and hock points
    • Flexes positive on each hock ONLY on the outside of a turn - he is sound on the straightaways immediately after the flexion and only positive through the turn on the outside hind
    • Thrush in left front frog - considerably sore in the frog and heal bulbs
    • Funny on left front
    • Bucking through transitions and after landing after low fences
    • Worse when weightbearing - the heavier the rider, the worse it is
    • Will not connect over the back - there is no continuation of energy. He is quick tempoed, doesn't use his back, and does not stretch out and down. No elasticity.
    • Snarky
    • Generally bodysore
    • Cannot do a right-left leadchange under saddle or at liberty. He will swap up front but not behind. He has difficulty with undersaddle changes, but has always been able to do them at liberty with ease.
    • He has had consistent trouble with the right-left change under saddle, which should be his easy direction. Lead change boot camp has not helped, so I know it's physical.


    With time off, the backsoreness IMPROVES, the hock and stifle points stay mostly the same.

    The saddle fits very well, and while switching to a saddle that has a greater weight-bearing surface did make him more comfortable, he was still bucking through the transitions and jumping. Every saddle pad known to mankind has been tried with no results.

    My inclination is that the backsoreness is secondary because it is the first thing to improve with time off but comes back whenever he is ridden. If the backsoreness was primary, it wouldn't improve at all. And no saddle or pad combination make him comfortable.

    No heat, no swelling, no identifiable gimp.

    I had a vet look at him on Monday who does chiro/acupuncture. She was not able to find anything other than the hot hock/stifle points, the strange flexion result, and that his pelvis and lumbosacral were out of place. She adjusted him and injected the hock points with B12 and gave me a chinese herb (Body Sore) for his body soreness.

    He looked great afterwards, but immediately began presenting under saddle.

    I am wondering if the sore thrushy left front could cause all of this....if he's holding himself funky to protect that it could cause soreness through the right hind (compensatory) and through the back.

    This all happened all of the sudden. He was going great, had two days off, and all the sudden is like this. The vet agreed with my original assessment that he may have gotten cast or fallen in the paddock triggering something....but this doesn't make sense as it is clearly related to being ridden.

    I am going crazy and want to keep my hair...any thoughts???

    ETA - horse is a 7 year old TB schooling 3'9-4' in grids and 3' to 3'3 courses. Normally relaxed, quiet, excellent flatwork, lovely, powerful jump. Daily turnout in small paddock (not ideal, I know, but it is what it is). Safe choice and lots of hay. No prior lamenesses or issues other than a bad case of thrush behind a couple months ago that left him sore as well.
    Last edited by Mac123; Jan. 8, 2010, 11:16 PM.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

  • #2
    I would have a certified saddle fitter out asap. I can take a long time for his back to heal and if you give him time off and he gets better and then you use the same saddle he is going to be sore again right away.A horse at our barn took 6 weeks and a new custom saddle to be right again!

    That being said thrush and foot soreness can make them miserable and need to compensate. My horse was tripping on his left front going to the right on a circle, when checked by the vet and farrier it was because he was sore in his front right.

    I would also ask the vet to check for lyme disease.
    Good Luck

    Comment


    • #3
      I also was going to suggest checking for Lyme disease. It explains most of the symptoms you've described. Checking certainly can't hurt!

      Comment


      • #4
        I would look into a possible suspensory injury in the hind leg (not sure which from your post--maybe right?). Often it is visible when the injured leg is on the outside. It can also be subtle, and not so obvious on the lunge, only under saddle. Stop working him so if that is the case you don't do any more damage. My horse came up lame about 4 months ago. I had a great ride, turned him out overnight, and the next day he felt NQR, and progressively got worse. Looked okay on the lunge, but undersaddle he just felt NQR, and like he didn't want to use his hind end. Nothing was swollen or tender. When the vet first saw him he found he was "lame all over." Everything hurt. He flexed positively everywhere, but worse on the left hind. Vet wasn't sure where to start, so we drew a Lyme titer, which wasn't impressive. Eventually he got a bone scan, lots of stuff lit up, and then the suspensory injury was diagnosed after blocking him and confirming the injury with an ultrasound. The only thing we can guess is that he did something in turnout that night. Also, horses can get sore in the back from something else hurting them in their hind end.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'd pull blood - stuff like Lyme, EPM etc can all cause the symptoms you describe.
          **********
          We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
          -PaulaEdwina

          Comment


          • #6
            Fix the thrush. If the heel hurts, the horse is in serious pain. Particularly when it's on the outside. Which is when you are using the right rein.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by CBoylen View Post
              Fix the thrush. If the heel hurts, the horse is in serious pain. Particularly when it's on the outside. Which is when you are using the right rein.
              I'd certainly start there and see how he is once his heel doesn't hurt.
              Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
              EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

              Comment


              • #8
                Haven't read the other posts, but when I read this my first thought was Lymes disease.

                Maybe the thrush is unrelated, and just a bad coincidence? (Just thinking out loud) Good luck & I hope he feels better soon!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks for everyone's input.

                  Does Lymes set in so quickly and in the winter?

                  He was literally the best he'd ever gone, had 2 days off, and was like this.

                  I have to say, if you didn't know the horse well you wouldn't really be able to see it. It's not an obvious thing - it's subtle, more felt than seen. My bff/mentor is in town and she didn't understand what I was talking about completely until she sat on him - and he almost bucked her off. You literally can't get him over the back and through, which I know, sounds like saddle!

                  If we weren't experienced with saddle fitting I'd say it's saddle, but literally, the saddle is fitting better than ever. Like a custom fit. We always go to the saddle first, and we did this time too, but after two great fitting saddles don't make a lick of difference, I don't think it's that. Particularly since that's the first thing to get better....

                  Can't hear anything off either - he tracks even and straight. Yet the suspension within the stride is minimized.

                  It's really weird.

                  I'd almost say that there's a couple things going on...something behind and something upfront???
                  It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mac123 View Post
                    Thanks for everyone's input.

                    Does Lymes set in so quickly and in the winter?

                    He was literally the best he'd ever gone, had 2 days off, and was like this.

                    I have to say, if you didn't know the horse well you wouldn't really be able to see it. It's not an obvious thing - it's subtle, more felt than seen. My bff/mentor is in town and she didn't understand what I was talking about completely until she sat on him - and he almost bucked her off. You literally can't get him over the back and through, which I know, sounds like saddle!

                    If we weren't experienced with saddle fitting I'd say it's saddle, but literally, the saddle is fitting better than ever. Like a custom fit. We always go to the saddle first, and we did this time too, but after two great fitting saddles don't make a lick of difference, I don't think it's that. Particularly since that's the first thing to get better....

                    Can't hear anything off either - he tracks even and straight. Yet the suspension within the stride is minimized.

                    It's really weird.

                    I'd almost say that there's a couple things going on...something behind and something upfront???
                    This is exactly how my horse presented. Didn't want to use his hind end. When I asked him to carry himself and sit on his hocks, he would for a few strides, then the strides would get shorter and shorter until he didn't want to move anymore. To someone standing on the ground, it looked like he didn't want to move/use his back. And on the lunge you couldn't see anything. My trainer (who believed what I was feeling) didn't understand it completely until she rode him for the vet one day (I couldn't be there), and my horse didn't want to go, and almost bucked her off.

                    I knew it wasn't saddle fit because my horse has a custom saddle that had just been adjusted for him. He was sore up front, and probably because he was hurting so much behind, he didn't want to put too much weight on that hind leg. The vet started with blocking one of the front legs, which made no difference. He moved to the left hind, and when he got to the suspensory insertion at the hock, he was sound. And the ultrasound later showed a big, bad injury. I think it is really something you should look into because your story sounds like mine. Fortunately because my horse is insured, I was able to have surgery done, and now he is hopefully on the road to recovery.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by WishIWereRiding View Post
                      This is exactly how my horse presented. Didn't want to use his hind end. When I asked him to carry himself and sit on his hocks, he would for a few strides, then the strides would get shorter and shorter until he didn't want to move anymore. To someone standing on the ground, it looked like he didn't want to move/use his back. And on the lunge you couldn't see anything. My trainer (who believed what I was feeling) didn't understand it completely until she rode him for the vet one day (I couldn't be there), and my horse didn't want to go, and almost bucked her off.

                      I knew it wasn't saddle fit because my horse has a custom saddle that had just been adjusted for him. He was sore up front, and probably because he was hurting so much behind, he didn't want to put too much weight on that hind leg. The vet started with blocking one of the front legs, which made no difference. He moved to the left hind, and when he got to the suspensory insertion at the hock, he was sound. And the ultrasound later showed a big, bad injury. I think it is really something you should look into because your story sounds like mine. Fortunately because my horse is insured, I was able to have surgery done, and now he is hopefully on the road to recovery.
                      Believe me, I am open to (and scared for) a suspensory injury - several have come up in my barn recently...BUT, my guy isn't using his hind end in a different way than your guy.

                      Mine doesn't reduce his stride length or his tempo. He will sit on his hocks, but won't carry the connection through his back. He will quicken his tempo largely - his natural tempo is slow - and become over-productive with the hind end, but it is more out behind him.

                      He will go go go really quick tempoed and only bucks through the transition (first time today) or on landing from a fence.

                      He's definitely motivated to go - he just wants to run and not take a weight bearing stride. That's what I meant when I said he didn't use his hind end, sorry, I wasn't clear.

                      My thought is that really taking the weight and thrusting through is the problem - due to a front or hind issue - or that carrying the connection through the back is the problem. Any of those three make sense but doesn't help in diagnosing where it is.

                      Does this sound like a presentation of a suspensory injury, maybe in a different place? I would imagine that he wouldn't want to go, like your guy, but he's turned into a speedy little demon with no suspension to the stride.

                      Thoughts?
                      It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        FIX the thrush first...start with the obvious. compensatory lameness can explain his sypmtoms.....fix what's broke. then see where you are. Soak his thrushy foot in very warm epsom salts for 15 mins. dry. treat with thrush med of choice, or triple antibiotic ointment syringed into the infected area. Treat next day with med of choice. Get all the soreness out of the foot, give some time, a few days, begin work slowly , no jumping for a few more days...come back slowly and see where you are.
                        "Over the Hill?? What Hill, Where?? I don't remember any hill!!!" Favorite Tee Shirt

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Fix the thrush first as sore feet can lead to other problems if not resolved. Just think how out of alignment you are when you are wearing a pair of shoes that hurt your feet! You are asking him to work and his foot is sore so other symptoms are showing up - just like when you have to continue to walk in shoes that are hurting your feet.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hey Mac, I've been meaning to e-mail you, but got kind of caught up in this moving-to-NC job thing! I told you that I'd been having on-again-off-again issues with Billy and they sound kind of similar in presentation. The final straw with Billy was my last ride before my chiro and her mentor came out. He started kicking out something wicked when he was cantering to the left. Which isn't "crazy" with my TB in the winter except that it was ONLY to the left and it wasn't bucking, it was a weird little stabby kickout to the outside with his right hind like something was tight in his back and he was trying to work it out.

                            My "voodoo" body worker finally worked on him last week and told me that Billy (with similar symptoms) is having problems with his....crap....now I'm going to forget what the ligaments she was talking about were.....annular ligaments? Basically the pastern/fetlock region in his hind legs....she had me use Topoionopatches (or ionotopopatches or something to that effect) right above his fetlocks on both hinds. Sorry, I'm just a wealth of non-information after several drinks on a freaked out and somewhat celebratory night!

                            My regular vet/body worker was a little annoyed with her because she said that she's been diagnosing a lot of horses with the same thing lately. But my voodoo lady (who's also my vet/chiro's mentor) has a LOT of experience with NQR horses and I don't ignore anything she says.

                            Anyhow, my Billy horse went through a weird period of irregular 3-legged lameness (some days he was 100% sound, other days he was literally 3-legged lame). We put pads on his front feet because seasonal soreness that comes with the rain deluges of fall hit first, and that helped a lot. But then he was a little off behind and a little back sore. My chiro brought her mentor out and they decided that he'd flip-flopped his weak pelvis side, and fixed that. And then my body worker added that she felt that his annular ligaments were tight and had me put on a topo-ionopatch (again, can't remember the exact name). Basically it's a charged patch where you put a positively charged liquid in one side and a negatively charged liquid in the other and then leave it on for 24-48 hours. My voodoo body worker swears up and down to this treatment and has suggested that I do it weekly for Billy. I don't know if the patches made much of a difference, but something about what they did had him back to 100% a few days after they worked on him (they also did chiro, acupuncture, electroacupuncture, and then the requisite "voodoo" work ).

                            Anyhow, it's just a thought. I was also stressed out about the fact that it was presenting like it could have been a hind suspensory (complete with the lame-when-the-right-hind-was-on-the-outside symptom). I know how up on body issues you are, so I'm guessing that it's not a simple hock-soreness issue or SI issue (which would be my first guesses for anyone else). FWIW, Billy presented in a "sudden" way too. He was going GREAT at the end of the season and then one day he just wasn't quite right. I blew it off for a little while and spent much time watching him on the lunge (his TB side comes out in the fall/winter and I lunge him before I ride if he's had a day or more off) wondering if I was seeing things or if he was really off. Now that he's back to 100% I can say with certainty that he just wasn't using his hind end correctly. His hind end was just a little more "stabby" than usual.

                            Anyhow, that's my two cents on the issue. Of course it could be something more accute than a tightening of the annular ligaments, but it's something worth looking at. My voodoo body worker seems to think that it's something that a lot of TBs suffer from (moreso than warmbloods anyhow).

                            Good luck and I'll e-mail you with my fitness plan for my mare as soon as I have a few minutes to think out my response.

                            Happy New Year!
                            __________________________________
                            Flying F Sport Horses
                            Horses in the NW

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Sounds weird but I would check mouth (teeth)and ears.
                              I also agree to check Lyme disease. Had a mare that was fine one day and next was totally off in front.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I think that you should get the thrush problem resolved, and if he is still off, think about doing a full body bone scan.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  read very quickly (and didnt read other posts) so hopefully i didnt miss something, but here's what came to mind.

                                  1. lymes
                                  2. possible leg injury, maybe pulled a muscle? my pony had similar symptoms about a year ago, and we had a tough time figuring out what it was (obviously vet figured it out quick enough, but we were sure it was lymes. turns out he pulled a muscle or something)
                                  3. saddle fit

                                  get on that thrush asap, though. it can be very painful for them, and i would not be surprised if a number of symptoms dissapear once the thrush is gone.
                                  (|--Sarah--|)

                                  Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think posts like this are my pet peeve...

                                    Get the vet out. You aren't going to diagnose anything over a forum. If the horse isn't right, and you aren't getting anywhere resting it, advice from people on a forum isn't going to replace the valuable advice from your vet.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by scrbear11 View Post
                                      I think posts like this are my pet peeve...

                                      Get the vet out. You aren't going to diagnose anything over a forum. If the horse isn't right, and you aren't getting anywhere resting it, advice from people on a forum isn't going to replace the valuable advice from your vet.
                                      And posts like this are my pet peeve.

                                      Read the post. The vet has been out and is as puzzled as we are. She sees all of what we think are secondary symptoms, but couldn't find a primary.
                                      It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        You either need to find another vet, or get some imaging like a bone scan. Or if you don't want to spend the money on that maybe the vet could start blocking either the left front and/or right hind and see what you have.

                                        Comment

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