HELP Old horse is limping really bad - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 8 Old 11-17-2012, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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HELP Old horse is limping really bad

My horse is 27 years old. About 4 days ago when I went to do chores in the morning I noticed she was limping and babying her left hind leg. It was a bit muddy in some areas of her pasture so I'm assuming that possibly one of the other girls chased her. I have been giving her bute once a day. There has not been any heat or swelling since day one and when I touch her leg all the way to her hoof she doesn't flinch from pain or anything. I don't know if maybe she sprained something or its her hip possibly?

Her attitude is the same. She's calling for me when I walk through the door and she weaves because she wants outside. I left her inside yesterday and I'm going to today also because I have to work and I wont be able to keep an eye on her.

She really limping on that back leg and she's not wanting to put pressure on it. I'm just a bit clueless because there is no heat or swelling.

I want to call the vet but my dad says no she'll be alright she just needs to rest it and that it will take time.

What do you think? Please don't tell me I'm a bad person call the vet because that is what I want to do but my dad says I can't
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-17-2012, 11:50 AM
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I wouldn't give too much bute as it will mask the pain and sometimes without feeling it they will do to much and make it worse. Can you stall her for a couple of days to rest it. That's what I would do and wait for a few days to see if it starts to improve.
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-17-2012, 01:02 PM
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I would suspect she has an abscess in her hoof if she is that lame that suddenly.

If she is not better NOTICEABLY better and walking on it in 24-36 hours after getting bute, she needs a vet. If it is easily fixable, then the horse needs to have it fixed (like an abscess). If it is serious and not easily fixable.. well you have to make a decision especially with a 27 year old horse.

One decision that does need to be made is to not allow the animal to suffer in pain (and she is in pain.. she is not putting weight on a foot and is getting bute).

Allowing an animal to suffer pain is, IMO, inexcusable. You, your Dad and/or other forum members may not agree.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-17-2012, 01:12 PM
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It sounds like a possible abscess and so poulicing, tubbing and vet should be called, but my vet is very against any bute being given for an abscess as the inflamation is part of the process and reducing inflamation will prolong it. Is there a pounding pulse?

My livery mare who is 30 has recently had an abscess, now recovering and will be back in gentle work soon.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-17-2012, 01:53 PM
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Does she have an increased digital pulse?

I also suspect an abscess as a probably cause, but you should know that no one can diagnose her over the internet. I would clean her hoof and lower leg off really well and soak it 2-3 times a day in HOT (as hot as you can stand) water with epsom salts for twenty minutes. If it is an abscess, soaking *might* draw the bacteria out.

Unfortunately, she really does need a vet. Bute is very hard on the stomach and can lead to more problems in the end. If she's not noticeably better within 1-2 days, I would be doing odd jobs for neighbors and selling tack to pay for that vet bill.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-17-2012, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by equiniphile View Post
soak it 2-3 times a day in HOT (as hot as you can stand) water with epsom salts for twenty minutes. If it is an abscess, soaking *might* draw the bacteria out.
Agree with Equinophile & others mostly. Quoted the above bit because... Don't make it uncomfortably hot, and soaking will just soften the tissue mostly, to hopefull allow the abscess less resistance to burst. Epsom salts will help draw any infection once it's burst.

Equino's & Clava's comments re bute are important considerations & why I only agree with Elana's last comment *conditionally*. Yes, allowing an animal to remain in serious pain is not nice & *generally* doing something - painkillers or otherwise - to relieve it is the humane thing to do, but it is important to consider & weight up the negative effects of treatment too, as dishing out NSAIDs willy nilly can potentially do more harm than good & I personally feel that abscesses are one of those things *generally* best not treated with anti-inflams.
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-17-2012, 07:06 PM
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Did she dislocate her hip?? Is it an actaully limp or a stiff drag??? If it is a stiff drag then she could have dislocated it, did she get rode hard int he past??
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-18-2012, 07:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Agree with Equinophile & others mostly. Quoted the above bit because... Don't make it uncomfortably hot, and soaking will just soften the tissue mostly, to hopefull allow the abscess less resistance to burst. Epsom salts will help draw any infection once it's burst.

Equino's & Clava's comments re bute are important considerations & why I only agree with Elana's last comment *conditionally*. Yes, allowing an animal to remain in serious pain is not nice & *generally* doing something - painkillers or otherwise - to relieve it is the humane thing to do, but it is important to consider & weight up the negative effects of treatment too, as dishing out NSAIDs willy nilly can potentially do more harm than good & I personally feel that abscesses are one of those things *generally* best not treated with anti-inflams.
Just to be clear I am NOT for willy nily giving NSAIDs to a horse to reduce pain. What I hoped the OP understood was that the horse needed 1.) a vet and 2.) relief per the vet's protocol and (gently) 3.) if relief is long coming and expensive in a 27 year old horse the answer may be the rainbow bridge.

Now I have opened an abscess with a hoof knife but that requires a level of skill most do not have. I followed this up with soaking, wrapping (duct tape and old bluejeans DO have a second life) and so forth.. and eventually when the thing stopped draining would shoe with a pad until things grew out.

Horses and I have the same stomach issues with NSAIDs.. so I really "get it."

They can be an answer (just went thru a knee replacement and they are my friend since other stuff makes me sooo sick).
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