EPM or just arthritis, or . . .
First, the vet is supposed to be out today sometime (hopefully) - but I still would like some second opinions or to hear anyone's experiences
This is prob going to get a bit long, sorry
Anywho, my friend called me on Saturday night, kind of worried, because her mare just wasn't normal. She said she saw her walking and she was really swaying. By the time she made it to the hay feeder, she was shaky and was breathing a bit heavy. I came over and she seemed alright, standing okay, breathing okay but when she went to move, her hindquarters really leaned and it was like her front end was moving okay, but the back was really delayed. She seemed sort of lethargic as a whole, but her hindquarters def seemed to have a delayed reaction. And too, when she'd place her back feet, a couple times it was like she didn't put them in the right place. She seemed off balance.
We're really worried it might be EPM, because she seems to be showing a few symptoms, but only just a few. However, another reason it freaks us out is because about 5-6 years ago, another friend of ours was keeping her horse there on her property, and he ended up with EPM and had to be put down. We only had the horse two years, so he could have gotten it somewhere else. But I do know that sometimes a horse can have EPM, and not show symptoms for a long time. So, they both could have gotten infected at the same time, and the mare is just symptoms now.
Okay, so now the arthritis. She has had arthritis in all of her legs, I think for the last two years. In late fall, 2009 her legs started stocking up a bit. Once she got moving, the fluid would go away. Last fall, her legs were stocking up really bad, and then her back legs became bowed. I didn't feel comfortable riding her anymore, so when the vet came out that fall, my friend asked him if he thought she was still in shape for riding, and he said yes, she was still okay, just nothing strenuous. I can't remember what he said about her legs bowing out. I only rode her one time after his visit, just walking for like 10-15min. So, last year her back legs were really bowed, it was really obvious. But right now, it seems like they've straightened up. Can arthritis spread to the hips? Can arthritis be so bad that balancing becomes a problem?
So, this mare is about 23, QH, and she walking around now like she has jelly ankles that can't hold her butt up straight :( I know she is older, but to me, she isn't that old. We're just afraid that our vet is going to suggest putting her down. Any thoughts/ideas would really be appreciated. Thanks :)