How do you suppose my 6 year old has osteoarthritis? Advice for dealing with this?
I have a 6 yr old mare and she is such a sweetheart. I've had her since 2011, just over 2 years, and she has been a dream come true.
Our first few months, we were sort of just bopping around, having some fun. But when I moved stables in an attempt to get a bit more serious, I started to notice some issues.
She began to crow hop, one day she wouldn't even move forward but tried to buck me off. She was in too much pain. So, we had the vet come out, and she said it was stifle lameness. OK, so we put her on bute, gave her some rest, and in a couple weeks she was back under saddle.
We still noticed the crow hopping, but that could easily have been a form of resistance because she was so green. After weeks and weeks of riding, she still had some little crowhops, but overall had seemed to smooth out for the better.
Then I moved stables after a fall I had caused by the slope of the paddock I would always ride in. It was a lack of control and balance on my part, but I doubt it would have happened had it not been for the downward slope we were cantering over. (that's not really important to the story though haha)
Anyway, we moved and then stiffness and riding issues returned, so we had the vet come out. After hundreds of dollars of testing, my girl was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. It could be seen in her joints, and the injections were in each side of the sacroiliac area. It would make sense that things would show up in her stifles because they are such closely related areas. The joint injections didn't seem to do much at first, but after 3 months of rest, hand walking, and pasture turnout, she was much better and ready to start dressage.
Now, something else is going on, her legs keep swelling up and getting hot (just the two back legs), but I'm going to elaborate on that in another thread. My question is, how can I deal with this and why do you think this happened? If anyone else has been following my ring thread about how I just switched stables and none of the rings are great for riding in, do you think too hard/too soft rings can contribute to this? I know I've been dealing with this for a while, but I'm really extra cautious about everything after I realize she has these issues. If you saw her in the field, you wouldn't think she has arthritis at all.