My horse + osteoarthritis = permanently lame? NEED ADVICE. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 1 Old 12-01-2012, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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My horse + osteoarthritis = permanently lame? NEED ADVICE.

Hi everyone. Thanks for giving me your time. I know I have a lot written, but it'd mean a lot to me if you have any advice that you could take some time and offer it.
If you don't feel like reading it all please skip down to the bolded paragraph
Recently my 5 yr old mare was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. It is in her back area, hind end, by her sacroiliac. I'm not a horse health guru, so sorry if my terminology is not completely authentic.

Basically I knew something was going on with my girl for a while. I've owned her for over a year (but known her and ridden her for almost a year and a half). She is such a sweetie, such a good girl. She came from a stable that wasn't in great condition, had too many horses and not an ideal facility for them. However, it's special to me because I met my best friend (this horse) there.

A while ago, I noticed different things that meant my horse might have been getting sore. Last winter, her lameness after a move to a new stable was ascribed to a simple stifle lameness. She was off for a few weeks, with some bute for the first couple days, and when I got back on her, the rest of her behavior was attributed to "lack of training". Me being a green rider, her being a green horse.

We are now in a new place and my girl was put on a new training schedule. I had switched trainers, and we were both starting up dressage together. We worked on basic walk/trot, but she was learning how to get on the bit. Whether you know what that is or not, it's strenuous for a learning horse. She was doing a great job, but eventually became sore.
We of course thought it was just from the work, she was acting stiff and resistant, then we got the chiropractor to work on her. Then, she went downhill again.

She started to act odd. My trainer rode her and said she felt like she (my horse) was wobbly and unbalanced. My girl didn't want to bend on the bit. Things got worse when she began to shortstride on her right front, and bob a little at the trot. She was clearly sore. Then, of course, we had the vet come out. They didn't know what it was. I think it was on the third exam at least when they figured out what it actually was -- osteoarthritis. This horse, as far as I know, has had no physically demanding past experiences, other than the normal 4 day a week workouts that I've put her through, which are by no means unreasonable or overworking.

Last Friday, my girl got guided ultrasound therapy (injections) in hopes that these injections will help relieve her pain. The vet explained that if the osteoarthritis comes too close to her nerves near her spine, or something of that nature, that she will probably not get sound again. They explained how physical activity would be good for her if she does become sound, because it helps to keep her joints active and healthy. I was given the okay to ride her again the day after the treatment, but for the first week just walking a little bit at a time. I probably rode her for 10-15 minutes a few days a week last week through this week. I trotted her literally a few strides on Thursday, and she is still lame as it seems. She seems sore, shortstriding, and off on the trot (even though I only did a couple strides). The veterinarian said that (I was confused about this) the injections would take at least 10-14 days to relieve pain, but full relief would come around 4-6 weeks after it. I'm confused what that means to be honest. My big concern is that I don't know if it's abnormal that she is still lame even though it hasn't been 10 days or if that's okay that it hasn't kicked in yet. I'm so confused and lost. There's the chance that she won't be sound anymore and I really could use some advice.

UNDERSTAND: I know that none of you are vets (most likely hehe) and I will not hold anyone accountable for their opinion. I have contacted my vet but have not received any advice back from him at this point. I would just like to know what you all think about this, if you have had related experiences or if you have knowledge of this. Please don't be concerned about offering "false hope" or "making me more concerned" because I know that none of you have seen this case first hand and that this is just a way of sharing internet opinions. Thank you & God bless!
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