my horse is broken :(

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my horse is broken :(

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    09-22-2011, 02:21 PM
Exclamation my horse is broken :(

I appologize, first off, for my rambling and the novel to follow...
I am completely devestated and confused right now. My horse is completely lame and the vet have no clue what is going on with him. I am hopping for a little encouragement and maybe someone has experienced something similar and can give some advice.
I have a 6 year old registered paint gelding "Blitz" ot Western Sugar, as he is registered. I have had him for a little over a year. When I first go this horse I was ready to send him back the next day--another victim of false advertising!
Anyways, we are now best friends, and this horse is the most sweetest, gentlest guy around. He can still be a bit nervous, but is completly managable.
I board my to horses about 6 km from where I live, and go see them everyday, usually work them every day too (even if it is a quick lunge, or some groundwork in the pasture)
Here is what is going on:
Sunday afternoon--100% normal and sound
Monday am--same as above
Monday pm--100% lame in front right leg, I knew right way something was the matter when he didnt greet me at the fence. He couldnt put any weight on his leg to walk, but could stand on if perfectly fine. I hosed him, gave him a dose of bute and managed to get him to hobble to a small paddock near the house with his buddy for observation. Vet couldnt come till wednesday (there is only one large animal vet in my area, and we sold our trailer)...
Tuesday..the same
Wednesday... vet came out in the pm.
On my assessment, he has no obvious sign of injury-not bruising, cuts, scrapes, swelling, heat, nor any abnormalities AT ALL. You can push, pull, prod and tug on his leg, shoulder, chest-no signs of pain. He can completely weightbear--can stand on his leg, rest the backs. I can pick up all of his other feet no problem.
He is acting behaviourally normal--eating drinking, breathing normally, no temp, cap refill, palses, colour all normal. Hoof tests negatvive for any sign of absess--I can even pick out where the injusry actually is. When he goes to step out on it he can't weightbear (but like I said he can stand normally).
Vet found all of the same things-cant find out exactly where the pain is, and said he is presenting like he has a hoof abcess when he steps but he wouldnt want to stand on it either, and his hoof tested negative with testers (pulses good, no heat or discolourtion--he has white hooves) then she said maybe soft tissue injury--no signs of injury. No soreness on palpation, no signs of trauma... Fracture? No signs of fracture. Nerve damage? Reflexes ALL good, he can pick it up and moves it perfectly well. He actually starts to dig at the ground with his offending leg. She said that she has never seen a horse present this way before, and is going to consult with some collegues form some other ciys, and the track. I have to email her everyday to keep her utd.
Vet wants to start to treat it as a soft tissue injury for the next two weeks (as it is the easiest to treat), and if he isnt getting better, then Off to another city for x-rays... He is supposed to be on stall rest, but he has never been in a stall. Tried to move him into a 20x20 covered pen with his bud in the barn and he was way worse off moving in circles and circles and getting all worked up. So he back out in the paddock with free choice hay, water, salt, and shelter all within a 10 foot radius to encourage rest. He is getting 2 g of bute 2x a day, and some topical stuff (cant remember the name) to the shoulder that is VERY potent (2x a day). Also, hosing entire leg 2x a day.It just seems strange to be treating for pain and inflammation when there does not seem to be pain or inflammation.... I am very upset-wish I could do more for him, I don't know if/when he will recover, or even what is wrong...any body want to giver their 2cents worth?
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    09-22-2011, 02:23 PM
Forgot to mention, he is maybe a *but better today then he was on monday, but the same as yesterday and tuesday. But in not worse, thank god!
    09-22-2011, 02:37 PM
Sounds like you're making all the right steps to find out whats going on. Have you looker higher up on the horse. He may of done something to his shoulder region. I only think this because he is weightbearing when he stands and only has a problem when stepping forward.
    09-22-2011, 02:41 PM
How thorough was this vet with the hoof testers? My gelding JUST recovered from a hoof abcess and it sounds exactly th same. It probably wouldnt hurt to soak in epsom salt JUST in case.
    09-22-2011, 06:49 PM
Its early days and your doing all the right things alot of lamenesses recover with rest. It does present as a foot abcess which could just not be visible has the farrier been I've had many foot abcesses the vet couldnt find but farrier did straight away x
    09-22-2011, 10:15 PM
Originally Posted by mramsay    
--I can even pick out where the injusry actually is.
Did I mis-read? I thought you are unable to locate where the injury is, but this line says you can pick out where the injury is? Does that mean you found an injury on the hoof?

If there is no sign of injury, no heat, no swelling and no area of sensitivity that you can find, I vote abcess. But, keep looking. I would not be inclined to cold hose without the presence of swelling or heat. If it is bone and/or arthritic pain, cold hosing will make it worse, not better.

Did the vet use a nerve block anywhere to try to isolate where the pain is? For example, if the pastern and below is blocked, does he move normally?
    09-22-2011, 10:22 PM
I kind of think it might be an abcess, too. That would be good, because they are normally fairly easy to treat and recover from, once they are drained or drain on their own.
    09-22-2011, 10:34 PM
Wandering pain and intensity...Lyme disease maybe?
    09-22-2011, 11:06 PM
It could even just be a sole bruise. They don't always abscess (although it DOES sound like an abscess).

My guy was lame for two weeks once, whenever he would step on rocks or an uneven surface. He never abscessed, gradually got better and when I started to ride him again (after about two weeks) I rode him in hoof boots and he was sound.

Did he have x-rays? Horses can even fracture their coffin bone, but hopefully that is not the case.

I wouldn't panic yet. Be concerned, yes, but don't write him off. Something like an abscess can cause them to be 3-legged lame and then once they recover they are 100% sound. So don't panic, it's way too soon for that.
    09-22-2011, 11:48 PM
He may also have some kind of "catch" in a joint somewhere. I've never had a horse with them but I get them myself occasionally, most often in my hips. I can stand fine, even bearing full weight on that leg, pick it up and bend/twist it any which way, but the combination of the weight distribution/motion when I try to walk causes the joint to "pinch" something and it really hurts. I have found a way to pop my joints when that happens and that releases the catch. If nothing changes in the next few days, you may want to consult with a chiro and see if they might find something the vet could not.

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