Back? Hip? Need advice
   

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Back? Hip? Need advice

This is a discussion on Back? Hip? Need advice within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        10-27-2009, 07:13 PM
      #1
    Weanling
    Back? Hip? Need advice

    We moved our horse about 2 months ago and we see her daily now instead of 2x/week (in the winter months it was mostly mucking, she was barely ridden) so I'm not sure if the following issue has been around or is getting worse or is brand new.

    Our mare has always drug her hind feet when she is in her stall or walking around leisurely. Lately I've been noticing that she looks extra stiff in her hind and every now and then she will be lame for a few steps and then she will be fine. The past 2-3 days she has been slightly lame while tracking to the right and she drags her left (outside) hoof even at a trot. I have rubbed, poked, massaged, felt, etc. and cannot find any heat or soreness/tenderness. My mother-in-law (MIL) says that Lily has always had bad confirmation in her hind (she is right) and that it's just the way she goes. MIL also said that the only way to determine what it is is to put Lily out and have them do MRI's and x-rays to the tune of $3,000-4,000 which I cannot do right now. She suggested riding her until she goes dead lame. I am not comfortable doing this.

    Today while I was out at the barn I put Lily in the arena and took off her halter so that I could watch her walk around freely. Well, the first thing she decided to roll in the sand. I was alarmed when she stood up and she could not shake. She tried and could only shake her head. I then asked her to walk around toward the left and she showed no signs of lameness. She did drag her outside hoof while tracking to the right and she did seem a little off. Lily was feeling good and wanted to play so out of the blue she would go from a nice quiet walk to an explosive gallop (complete with bucking and snorting and followed with some prancing and snorting). She did this twice so I decided it might do more harm than good so I decided to quit and put her back in her paddock.

    I have decided to call the vet and have her looked over. I'm not sure if I should call my regular vet who knows Lily or a chiropractic vet. There is one in our area and I have heard good things about him but he is expensive. Any opinions?
         
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        10-27-2009, 07:23 PM
      #2
    Trained
    I have no useful input, but just wanted to comment on how frustrating this stuff is. It's drives me nuts when my horse feels a little off at the walk or trot under saddle, but then seems to have no issues about galloping around like a lunatic. I know so many people who have the same problem as you, and nobody ever gets a definitive diagnosis. I'll be curious to see if you find something concrete.
         
        10-28-2009, 12:23 AM
      #3
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by newhorsemom    
    Our mare has always drug her hind feet when she is in her stall or walking around leisurely. Lately I've been noticing that she looks extra stiff in her hind and every now and then she will be lame for a few steps
    I presume you mean she has always dragged her feet, not that she is drugged?? I don't know much about the condition, but recently acquired a pony with 'locking stifle' who does this occasionally, on one hind leg. He is not lame, or apparently uncomfortable because of it though. If he were, I wouldn't consider riding him until I'd got it sorted. It is apparently a conformation thing, that he was most likely born with.

    The vet & bodyworker I consulted about this prob said he was a bit tight in his hips tho, probably due to moving differently to compensate for the prob. They said to keep a close eye on it & he may need a bit of work every month or few to keep this from becoming worse. Touch wood, he hasn't had a prob, but I get the bodyworker every so often anyway, for a Bowen treatment & checkup.

    Your first para talks about 'mucking' & doing not much else over winter. Does this mean the horse was kept locked up? Horses need free movement, or at least a LOT of in hand exercise, **regardless of weather** if caged, and even if turned out in a paddock, may be rather sedentary. Lack of exercise could well be the cause of the condition worsening. If it is a patella prob, this is also more of a prob if the horse is allowed to become unfit.

    Quote:
    MIL also said that the only way to determine what it is is to put Lily out and have them do MRI's and x-rays to the tune of $3,000-4,000 which I cannot do right now. She suggested riding her until she goes dead lame. I am not comfortable doing this.
    How about you get her to piggyback you until she's 'dead lame' & see how she likes it??? She is right that you *may* need MRI or such to determine or confirm the prob, but a *good* equine vet or bodyworker should have a fair idea of what it could be & how to help it. A bodyworker(chiro, physio or such) will hopefully be able to straighten her out so she's not hurting in the meantime too, assuming it's a hip/back/patella prob. I would not ride this horse at all, but turn her out 24/7 if at all possible & continue low-impact in-hand exercise if she can do it without pain. When a horse *shows* lameness, it is likely that the problem is fairly chronic. Horses being prey animals are great at hiding their physical probs until they're too bad to ignore.

    I appreciate that MRIs & the likes are expensive & so therefore difficult for many to afford. As suggested tho, you may well be able to do without that expense. But owning an animal means you have taken responsibility for it's wellbeing, and one condition of this means treating the animal *appropriately* when the horse is sick or suffering. It is classed as neglect & cruelty not to do this, regardless of the state of your finances. Not trying to have a go at you so much, as you sound caring, but sounds like your MIL possibly isn't very caring & has been in your ear with some rather irresponsible advice.

    Quote:
    I'm not sure if I should call my regular vet who knows Lily or a chiropractic vet. There is one in our area and I have heard good things about him but he is expensive. Any opinions?
    I would personally go the chiropractic, as if your regular vet isn't experienced in this type of treatment, he could be a bit cheaper, but useless.
         

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