After using painkillers, horse's back looks raised? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-07-2013, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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After using painkillers, horse's back looks raised?

I must be going crazy...?

Waiting for my vet, I've been giving my horse bute, then just topical analgesic, for about one week/week and a half, and I swear her back, from wither to croup, looks... raised. Like the muscles were bunched up, and now they're long? I bothered my vet over the phone multiple times while she was unavailable, and she told me to consistently work my horse but avoid pushing her limit anaerobically, sprinting and gallop off-limits with minimal canter, no lunging, have my trainer ride her, then see what happens by the end of last week. This horse is known to "sham", put up what looks to be health problems every now and then but really just have a training issue phase usually learned from another horse. She doesn't behave as if she is having a bad pain, but recently has looked to have something bothering her, specifically where I believe to be in the pelvis or left hip. Everything on ground appears fine, though I see less sprinting than usual, as she normally spends her time alone walking with one big sprint every day or every few days. Almost never trots/canters on her own unless the neighbor horses goad her into it.

Until I drag my vet out to see her again, I want to know, is it really possible that the painkillers relaxed maybe a strained muscle somewhere, and the back muscles have "risen", or am I just going nuts/finally seeing some muscle as a result of the cavalletti work we've been doing for 4 months?
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post #2 of 16 Old 01-07-2013, 10:05 PM
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Maybe I missed something, but why is she on pain meds and then being worked if she is in pain ?
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post #3 of 16 Old 01-07-2013, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TerciopeladoCaballo View Post
Until I drag my vet out to see her again, I want to know, is it really possible that the painkillers relaxed maybe a strained muscle somewhere, and the back muscles have "risen", or am I just going nuts/finally seeing some muscle as a result of the cavalletti work we've been doing for 4 months?
I don't think the pain meds have done that, I think they have just allowed the horse to relax more and not be hunching their body in pain as much as they were before.

Sounds like the horse could do with a chiro.
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post #4 of 16 Old 01-08-2013, 01:29 AM
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Bute is an NSAID and can cause ulcers pretty quickly. If I have to use bute for more than 3 days, I always put the horse on ulcer meds. Bute is pretty hard on a horses digestive system and ulcers can present in all kinds of crazy ways... hindend stiffness/lamness, loss of appetite, general soreness in back/rear end/flanks/sides and underneath the belly, etc. High NSC diets also contribute.

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post #5 of 16 Old 01-08-2013, 02:56 AM
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Sorry, but never heard of horse faking medical problems? Limping yes, in a few cases.

And Bute is not good to keep giving, and can't imagine working horse heavily that needs Bute either.

Need another vet I think.

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post #6 of 16 Old 01-08-2013, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Vet said to keep working her, but not hard, and I only gave half-doses of bute for about four days (sorry I grouped that into the analgesic). I call my vet out whenever I run into something that /could/ be a medical problem, to make sure it's just laziness on the horse's part or some training aspect I need to fix because I want to catch any problems as early as I can, so I think my vet might just be a little fed up with those "false alarms" and thinks my horse has something minor like a strain or sore muscle, maybe that's why she told me to keep working her? She also told me my usual hour-long sessions containing 15min cooldown and 15min warmup is too long and I need to cut the session to 30mins. Yeah... I'm not too sure I agree with her... I work my horse at least three times a week, so it doesn't make sense that she'd be sore like the vet is trying to say...
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post #7 of 16 Old 01-08-2013, 10:05 AM
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How long have you owned this horse? if youv had this horse for several years dont you know the diffrence between true problems and a training issue. Cant say i blame the vet for being fed up with you calling her out all the time. Iv had my current gelding for 8 years i know when he has a problem heath wise or soundness wise. I also know when riding him when whats going on is a training issue. I sure wouldnt be giving bute just because there needs to be a real issue to give it. Sounds like you dont know your own horse well enough to know when theres a real problem. If your a new horse owner it just takes time to learn this stuff. Id quit the bute though and see how the horse does with out it.
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-08-2013, 10:47 AM
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Has this horse ever had a diagnosis of an actual problem, maybe something long term that you haven't mentioned?
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post #9 of 16 Old 01-08-2013, 12:20 PM
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Get a full lameness work up by a good equine lameness vet.
Then go from there.

She may need something as simple as a Chiro/massage work up or she may have arthritis, joint issues, good issues, etc. one lameness can make the entire rest of the body sore from compensating.

Have the lameness work up done if you want to figure out what is going on and stop wasting unnecessary money and medicating her for no apparent reason.
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-08-2013, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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She's my first horse owned. I rode her as a lesson horse for about 3 years, bought her almost 2 years ago.

Of her history, I know she was a bucking lunatic at around 5yo and has horizontal scars on her sides from apparently being shoved around barrels, she has a horizontal suture wound scar on the right side of her chest, right above the elbow, and an odd V-shaped scar on her right coronet that had a live flesh growth nodule that I had surgically removed. She has cruddy front hooves that will "pancake" out and crack without shoes. She used to yank the reins four years ago. That's all I can think of. I misinterpeted her care sheet the previous owner gave me, and used a single jointed snaffle instead of a double, and it looks to have really mucked her up, she hated the single joint because she has a flat palate (and the vet didn't mention until after I switched, even though she floated my horse's teeth twice...). She had the single joint for about seven months, switched back to the appropriate french link five months ago.
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