Arthritis
   

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Arthritis

This is a discussion on Arthritis within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horse health-artritis
  • Myofacial and bad hocks

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  • 1 Post By walkinthewalk
  • 1 Post By aliliz
  • 2 Post By SullysRider

 
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    04-03-2013, 09:32 PM
  #1
Foal
Arthritis

Hello! I have an ancient mare (38 ish) who is pretty arthritic. She's on HA and MSM and does really well. Lizzie rarely comes out stiff and if she does, she works out of it in less than 10 minutes. I still ride her 2-3 times a week and lunge her gently 2-3 times a week (walk, trot, canter if she's super hyper). Liz is definitely still going strong- I can't keep up with her! However, I'm concerned that because she loves being ridden so much, she's hiding things from me.

Lately, I've noticed Lizzie shifting between resting each hind leg while being groomed. She'll rest one leg and then 30 seconds later, switch to the other leg, switch back and then just stand square. She's also taken on a wider stance with her front legs in the last month or two.

Liz doesn't seem to be in any pain and does fine riding, holding her hind legs up for cleaning and getting up from rolling. It takes her some effort to get up, but that hasn't changed in the last 6 months.

My guess is that she's getting arthritic in her hips... does that sound right?
Also, should I try to keep her from running hard? She absolutely loves to run and had a hissy fit when I made her do a walk/trot ride last week. Pretty soon, the trails will be clear enough for us to head out. Should I avoid some of the steeper hills?

Thank you!
Here's the old lady, just because she's cute
2013-03-09 14.26.18.jpg
     
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    04-04-2013, 10:47 PM
  #2
Foal
Bump back to the first page!
I'd love to hear anyone's opinions or advice!
     
    04-05-2013, 07:47 AM
  #3
Started
My suggestions for the Doll Face are expensive but she is around 38 and deserves the best

1. A chiropractor that also does massage and maybe even acupuncture.

2. Either a Back on Track full sheet or the therapeutic pad. Orrr let me get really good at spending your hard earned $$$ and say "buy both"

Once the heat of summer gets here, the full blanket will probably produce too much heat. They do make full mesh sheet, however.

If you do decide to order the BOT therapeutic pad, please post and I will tell you how to hook it up on her without having to put it under a sheet. But my method is only for 3 - 4 hours at a time.

IMHO, you're already giving her as much as you can in the feed pan. I would not be one to give her injections.

My 25 yo has hock/ankle arthritis in the left leg, that has affected his right hip because he keeps shifting his weight .

I have the BOT pad that helps but I also have an infrared therapy pad that he likes even better BUT I have to hook it up to electric, so that means I can't leave the barn like I can when I put the BOT pads on.

Welcome to Equine & Canine Light Therapy; Red and Infrared Light Therapy for Horses and Dogs! I have the 9" x 8-1/2" because I could barely afford this one

My 25 yo likes the infrared better but my 17 yo with a fractured sacrum likes the BOT therapeutic pad better. He will shake the infrared pad off, where the 25 yo goes to sleep

That's about the best I can offer for the Doll Face, except to please pass along a big smooch on the snoot for her sweet self and many kudos to you for giving her such great great care
hellothere likes this.
     
    04-05-2013, 09:41 AM
  #4
Foal
Thanks for the response, Walkinthewalk!

I've had a chiropractor look at her in the past... she despised it. She was miserable the whole time. I did meet a myofacial release massage therapist who I'm going to have come work on her, but I've got to save up some money first.

I've always wondered about the Back on Track stuff... how does it actually work? I've been skeptical when I see them in catalogs, especially when I see the prices.

I'm definitely not looking into injections- I think that would be too much for her and she's moving well on the supplements she's on now.

Thank you so much for your response! I'll definitely give the old lady kisses... she loves any attention!

Anyone else have advice for me?
     
    04-05-2013, 10:10 AM
  #5
Started
Great idea on the myofacial massage therapist, I hadn't thought about that

The Back on Track stuff really does do what it claims. I was also a skeptic but I read up on the products on a hunter/jumper forum. Many of those folks are blessed to have very large incomes and will spend the money to try new products for their horses.

Believe me, if those folks do or do not like something, they will tell the world in a skinny minute

I never heard a bad review about the BOT products so I bought the hock wraps for my horse that is like your Lizzi, the Quick Wraps and therapeutic pad for the horse with the injured sacrum, and the dog sheet for my Dobe/Rott with arthritis from an old pelvic fracture.

Everything works better than my expectations were.

A few months back, I saw my 25 yo, with Lizzi's issues, canter for the first time in a few years. He only cantered a couple hundred feet but he cantered; I never thought I'd see that again.

The secret to success is the ceramic particles inside one layer of each product. It causes the body to re-generate it's own heat and the pads hold the heat in.

Sort of like a battery-operated heating pad but the horse's own heat is the battery

I've never seen anything work as good as these products but again, there are certain types of muscle issues they may not be as successful with.

It sounds as if Lizzi might have hock arthritis? If you can afford them, I would invest in the hock wraps.

The quick and cheap fix on her hips would be to buy a cheap heating pad at WalMart and hook it up to her but you'd have to stay with her the entire time. You could hook her up first thing when you get to the barn, do all your chores, brush her, and whatever else, then un-hook her before you leave.

It looks like you probably have electric? Otherwise I would go on the hunt for a battery-operated heating pad -- maybe an RX store that carries a lot of geriatric products for seniors

You would also have to duct tape the heating pad to her hip since I'm pretty sure the soreness is located in her glutes part way down from the top of her back. If you can run your hand down her hip and feel any sort of tightness or lumps, that's the target area to securely tape the heating pad. Start if on low heat and watch Lizzi's comfort zone reaction before increasing the heat
     
    04-05-2013, 10:58 AM
  #6
Foal
Thank you so much! I'm glad your boy is feeling better with the help of these products

It makes sense- basically a self contained and powered heating pad. Lizzie's hocks actually don't cause her any problems at all... I had an eventer say just last month that my old lady's hocks are better than her 5 year old's hocks! Liz tends to have more stiffness in her fetlocks and in her stifle on her right side.

I have an electric heating pad (and electricity), so I'll try that for a little while and see if the heat makes a difference. If I do see a positive change, then I'll look into spending the money on a BOT sheet or something. I am a college student, so money is tight!

I really appreciate the time you've put into your responses!
walkinthewalk likes this.
     
    04-05-2013, 01:21 PM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliliz    
Thanks for the response, Walkinthewalk!

I've had a chiropractor look at her in the past... she despised it. She was miserable the whole time. I did meet a myofacial release massage therapist who I'm going to have come work on her, but I've got to save up some money first.

I've always wondered about the Back on Track stuff... how does it actually work? I've been skeptical when I see them in catalogs, especially when I see the prices.

I'm definitely not looking into injections- I think that would be too much for her and she's moving well on the supplements she's on now.

Thank you so much for your response! I'll definitely give the old lady kisses... she loves any attention!

Anyone else have advice for me?
My horse has the same type of massages done and it has made a huge difference! He used to be tight all over and stiff moving due to arthritis (thank you racing days!), but now that he has been of a regular schedules of massages he is so free and has the spring back in his step. Of course he's only 15, but I have never seen the massages not work (I have worked at horse barns for a long time)
walkinthewalk and aliliz like this.
     
    04-05-2013, 09:03 PM
  #8
Foal
I have a very young horse with osteoarthritis. I guess arthritis can hit at any age!

Your mare is doing so well... 38, wow! That's an accomplishment.

I'm honestly not sure about the questions you have to be honest. I thought I'd share my experience though. I did have joint injections done on my mare, she has arthitis near the sacroiliac area. We tried putting her back into work after the injections but things weren't going so well (not sure if it was behavorial or health related), so we gave her around 3 months of handwalking & pasture rest.

We haven't put her on any medicines or supplements other than the joint injections that we had. They were expensive, and I'm not quite sure how exactly it affected her, but I would say that she is doing well now.

I would definitely recommend keeping your horse active! I lunge my girl 5 minutes each way, and since lunging can be stressful on horse's joints (tight, unnatural circles) as you can imagine, I would recommend limiting that. Not sure if you keep your horse in a field or not, but natural movement is always a plus.

Weight management is very important! Judging from your picture, your mare looks to be a healthy weight, although I'm not an expert on that. She's very sweet! My mare was overweight and I switched her to a low starch feed and that has helped leaps and bounds.

Make sure your mare is riding comfortably, which means comfortable and accepting with the bit, not getting hollow in the back or falling on the bit or behind the movement, etc.

Ask your farrier if your shoes (or lack thereof) are correct for her situation. Asking a vet for advice is always the best thing to do. :)

Keep up the good work! And by the way, I did get the back on track saddle pad recently and I really like it. There have been studies I believe (or at least something I saw in the dover magazine haha) that showed the reduced inflammation of a horse after the pad was used. It is very therapeutic and although I haven't used it long, it is perfect for my horse and it is nice and thick, it holds up really well.

God bless, Happy riding!
     
    04-05-2013, 09:50 PM
  #9
Foal
Thanks for the response, Hellothere!

Lizzie is definitely going to stay active. I had stopped riding her for a couple of months while I was working on her weight gain and she got very depressed. This horse needs a job! She enjoys lunging, but I make sure to keep her on a big circle. She has an in-and-out which is perfect because her hay is outside and water is inside, so she's constantly walking around.

Liz has just gained back weight after a bad boarding experience and I'm keeping her at this weight to reduce strain on her joints. She loves being ridden- her ears prick up when I bring out her bridle She's barefoot and the trimmer adjusted her trim to Lizzie's new, wider stance.

Thanks for your input on the BOT stuff!
     

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