*sigh* Stifle issues (super long, but please bear with me)

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*sigh* Stifle issues (super long, but please bear with me)

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    04-18-2011, 01:02 AM
Unhappy *sigh* Stifle issues (super long, but please bear with me)

Before I give some backround, my horse came up pretty lame today on his back right. I tacked him up, got on and walked around the ring as usual, and BAM as soon as we trot he felt so off :( My mom was video taping and I had her stop and she confirmed that he was definitely lame. I got off and had her trot him up for me, and she was right. Ugh, this is so frustrating. This horse is NEVER lame.

So now for the much needed backround. I will try and give every bit of info possible, and if you guys think of anything I didn't mention, by all means, ask.

This winter has been pretty crazy, Northern VA weather. He's really only been back into serious work for the last month and a half. He's in training with me for the hunter ring, but we do quite a bit of dressage type stuff and just fitness building exercises. I'm not a professional trainer or anything of that sort, but I'm being guided by my vets and a 3 day eventer trainer from Ocala, FL.

When the weather was bad, we were barely squeezing in one ride a week, and have worked up to 3-4, sometimes 5 times a week, jumping bounces and crossrails and the occasional 2'6" vertical. So not too heavy of anything. We do lots of collection and working from behind, moving nice and forward into the bit. (His butt muscles have shown it ) I haven't been able to do any hill work because the ground has been so iffy, but if you could see his field it go very downhill, and then right back up pretty steep. (which might have contributed to the issue)

Since last summer he started "tripping" in the back, and it feels like he falls out underneath himself when I am on him, but wasn't lame from it. We had the vet out and described it and she said that he has an Upward Fixation of the Patella. (basically his "knee" locks up) I've seen horses that can't walk from it, and his was no where near that bad. Just the occasional trip. She said hillwork would be good for it and building that muscle up should take care of it.

Over the past week, the last two time I rode besides today, I was cantering over a line of ground poles and going to the right he would cross canter in between them and going around normally his gait felt smoother than usual. (all of this only going to the right, or on the right lead) I thought he was just not getting his spots and I didn't have another person to tell me it was funny looking. I feel really bad now knowing he was probably in pain :( He didn't do it at the trot at all, only the canter. And then he did it at the trot today, and even at the walk ever so slightly. He was more "trippy" than usual the past days, and I just associated it with coming back into work and because we had been doing lots of collected working trots, so I thought he was just a little tired.

(I'm trying not to leave anything out lol, so sorry if this gets long)

Yesterday we had torrential downpours all night and day. Since his field is so steep and gets muddy I wonder if he could have strained it by slipping.

Also, he got shoes put back on (all around) for the show season on April 10th. They are just regular eventer shoes, a light steel and no studs. We gave him some bute (the pills, dissolved in his food and he is so picky he didn't eat all of it) and I put some lineament on the right stifle. It appears to be that one because when my mom trotted him out he wouldn't fully extend that leg. Only about half way actually. He is field boarded, so I hope he doesn't have to be on stall rest to heal =/ but if so, I'll figure something out. He stocks up pretty bad in the back, so that's why he is on pasture 24/7.

I hope I didn't leave anything out, it took me forever to write this and think over everything lol. So if anyone has any idea what the treatment is, or if it seems like a mild sprain, pleaase let me know. I just read something that said they would never be able to be ridden again :'( it's probably a worse-case scenario, but still scary all the same. And again, if you have ANY questions regarding this, don't hesitate to ask. I also have a confo picture taken today if you think it would help and I could post the video on youtube of him trotting while I'm riding, it's short and excruciating for me to watch, because I can't believe I didn't notice that. :(
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    04-18-2011, 03:09 AM
Here is the video it isn't very good, and if it isn't raining tomorrow I'm going to trot him in hand and hopefully get a better view of it. But I'm REALLY hoping I'll go out there and he'll be back to normal =/
    04-18-2011, 03:21 AM
I can watch the first 30 seconds or less of your video and see that your horse has a stifle issue.

I am sorry, this is not going to be the horse that you want it to be.
    04-18-2011, 03:54 AM
Does the fact that he's never done this before make a difference? Is this a permanent thing? I know I need to contact a vet, but if you know anything, it would be a great help :/
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    04-18-2011, 04:01 AM
Nope doesn't make a difference, a lot of hill trot work can help, but I don't believe in this case with your horse, I am sorry.

I am not a vet, and just passing my personal opinion.

Vet work, with Adequan injections will help but only for the short term. There are other meds that could 'help' too, but what you really need is for a vet to see your horse and make an assessment.

    04-18-2011, 04:27 AM
Has he ever been chiropracted? He looks like a tb, and I've known a few (not saying this is always or even often the case, but I have seen it) that can be off behind because their pelvis is really out. I would hear what the vet has to say and what the issue actually is. He may have pulled something or it may be something that was always there and now that you have been working his hind end its flaring up. Good luck and keep us updated.
    04-18-2011, 02:04 PM
That looks much more like a chiropractic hip/si joint issue than a stifle issue. I don't see any looseness or dislocation in the stifle joint as the horse is trotting which is (imo) a very good sign. I did have a mare blow out her stifle completely (former leasee was riding and jumping her w/o permission and yanked her around a corner and she fell flat out and slipper her one hind leg WAY out behind her). Her stifle swelled bigger than a grapefruit and she was lame for about 6 mos. Since then (4 years ago) she has returned to full work, even been bred, and now has been back to jumpers, eventing, and hunter paces with no sign of lameness at all. So if the vet DOES deem it a stifle issue, it can be treatable depending on the extent of the damage and the cause.

Back to my original assessment - I see a horse with an si joint and pelvic joint that is out and lower back tightness as well. I'd guess that with the right side out, the left side of the lower back will be tight to compensate, and the right side of the mid back to withers will be reactive when you palpate. The left side of the neck will be stiff from the horse balancing and the atlas/poll will likely be tender from the horse trying to balance without using that hind end.

Has your horse recently not liked to be pet between the ears (assuming he wasn't headshy before of course) and not like either side of the top of his head touched? That is a good indicator (again imo) that this is chiropractic and has traveled up the spine rather than stifle issues isolated to the stifle joint and compensating stiffness in the opposite leg/hip.

If you are located anywhere near me (NY/NJ/PA) I have a wonderful vet/chiro who also does myofascial release which helps tremendously. Overall I think chiro is the way to go here, though a vet can tell you best.

Good luck and please keep us posted!
    04-18-2011, 02:10 PM
He does not move right at the walk either.

He is a nice sweet thing though. Trying to go nicely for you.

Before you write him off I suggest a full lameness exam and chiropractor work up.
    04-18-2011, 02:14 PM
He's never seen a chiropractor, I'm sure there's one in the area, but like I said he's never been lame. We'll probably have a vet out tomorrow, or a chiro, whichever one can deal with this sort of thing better. And he is a TB, never raced. I will definitely keep you updated. I don't even know what exactly is wrong and I feel like the world is ending. I've had him since he was two, and have put so much work into him and for it to just all be over? I don't even want to think about it :( My last horse was 7 when he was diagnosed with navicular, which ended his riding career as well, and I just don't want something similar to happen to Cosmo :'( I'm going out to the barn later today and I'll let you guys know if anything has changed. More than likely he'll be worse..but we'll see =/
    04-18-2011, 02:15 PM
I would not proclaim it all to be over before the vet has looked at him.

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