Lame for 6 months - help!
Last year I adopted a horse who had been abandoned. It took a bit to get her healthy again and eventually I started some nice training with her and she was doing very well. Then, suddenly, one day she went lame, and has been, for the last 6 months.
Firstly, the vet found she had an abscess in the coronet of her hoof. So we treated her for that, and she appeared to be sound again after not very long.
However, soon after this we found her opposite knee was swollen and she was lame again - we got x-rays and put her on painkillers etc to deal with this. Turned out her leg was perfectly okay, and that it was her other leg - I don't know how the vet could have got this wrong!
Anyway, he found that the abscess that had apparently cleared up appeared to be travelling down her hoof, so we got the farrier out, and for a good 2 months I poulticed her hoof, and lots of pus came out.
Eventually she seemed to approve A LOT, going from very lame in walk to not lame at all, only lame in trot. But this still was staying the same. We left her hoof fully grow back, and she still appeared to be lame, so the farrier came out to see her and informed us that he didn't think it was her hoof that was causing this lameness at all anymore.
He feels himself that it may be arthritis or joint problems - he feels that she looks like an ex race horse and maybe this is why. Another reason is that even while standing still, every now and then she will slightly lift her leg and sway it a bit. But at other times, she appears to put all her weight on it without it bothering her.
The yard owner also feels that it may be joint problems - he had a horse with bad arthritis for a number of years.
What I'm wondering is why, if it is her joints, she didn't exhibit any problems before the initial lameness? And why would it only be now that she's suffering from it. Would it not come on more slowly?
I have bought some joint supplement and I'm going to try her on it for a bit and see if she improves. If not, I'll get the vet out yet again. I just feel after all this, how much trust can I put in the vet making an accurate diagnosis.
She is about 10-12 years old, so I have been told anyway.