The mysterious lameness in my gelding. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 06-04-2013, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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The mysterious lameness in my gelding.

So I'm going to attempt to make this short as possible.

Bought my gelding in Nov of 2012. He had shoes. I pulled shoes shortly after I got him because I figured he would be totally fine barefoot. Wrong.

He was without shoes all winter up until this April. I didn't ride all winter so didn't notice any difference. He's completely sound at a walk without shoes but dead lame at a trot. So had shoes put back on in April and it is 97% better.

Alittle back track- I had X-rays taken in January of his fronts and the left front has a 1-2 degree of rotation and the right has a teensy tiny bit of arthritis. Vet found nothing else.

So now its been 2 months he's been wearing shoes again. I felt awful because I was not told he needed them and he was pretty sore for a few weeks until he got use to shoes again.

Anyway, I was riding him every single day until he got thrush. (He has a reoccurring thrush issue) which had made him lame on his right front. Normally he is lame (or what I think) on his left front. This horse always bobs his head alot no matter if he's walking or trotting he bobs his head so it makes it very hard for me to tell is he lame? Or is that just the way he walks.

Before the thrush he would slightly bob his head more when his left foot hit the ground. He trots with his neck up in the air at first then he gets into a decent headset and the lame look goes away. Every once in awhile it'll look like he's taking a lame step then it stops. His saddle was checked already, X-rays revealed nothing other then what I stated.

My trainer came out and rode him and said he's completely sound and that's just the way he moves but it just looks so weird to me.

Now that we are getting over the thrush I decided to lunge him to see if he's still lame. Now, he's limping on the right front. (Normally it was left) and then it stops! At first I thought he was just still lame from thrush but he womed right out of it and was totally sound at a canter.

I don't get it. Does anyone have insight?
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post #2 of 31 Old 06-04-2013, 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowgirls Boots View Post
I pulled shoes shortly after I got him because I figured he would be totally fine barefoot. Wrong.
Good that he had a break from shoes. What made you think he'd be 'totally fine'? What do you work him on? Did you use boots? Yes, shoes can help a horse feel less, so appear to 'go sound'. But sounds like he has some major problems that need to be addressed. I'd personally be inclined to try to get his feet healthy first before putting shoes on him if necessary. IME the horses that 'need shoes' are too frequently the ones who most need out of them.

Quote:
Alittle back track- I had X-rays taken in January of his fronts and the left front has a 1-2 degree of rotation and the right has a teensy tiny bit of arthritis. Vet found nothing else. ...I felt awful because I was not told he needed them and he was pretty sore for a few weeks until he got use to shoes again.
What did you get the rads done for? What has been done about the 'rotation' and arthritis? He was sore for a few weeks after being shod?? Yes, I'd feel awful about that too - this is too frequently a sign of bad farriery - the farrier has done something wrong that's hurt the horse. Could be he trimmed into sole, too much frog, could be a 'quicked' nail... It isn't necessarily due to the farriery though, could be something else going on, such as laminitis, etc. What did you do about it? What did the vet say/do?

Quote:
Anyway, I was riding him every single day until he got thrush. (He has a reoccurring thrush issue) which had made him lame on his right front. Normally he is lame (or what I think) on his left front.
Please don't ride this horse if he is lame, whatever the cause, you should not be riding him! I appreciate your trainer said otherwise & could well be right - after all, I haven't even seen the horse, but it sounds like you should give him benefit of doubt - head bobbing generally indicates serious lameness. If thrush is a recurring problem then his feet aren't healthy or strong, which would have been one reason he didn't do well bare. As his feet are one known problem, I'd be working to get them healthy.

Quote:
Now that we are getting over the thrush I decided to lunge him to see if he's still lame. Now, he's limping on the right front. (Normally it was left) and then it stops!
Has the vet seen him doing this? A good vet should be able to tell if it's pain or 'the way he goes'. While it's no treatment & the horse shouldn't be worked while on it, for the sake of a lameness workup, I'd be buting him to see whether he was any different.
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post #3 of 31 Old 06-05-2013, 12:36 AM
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I can't say much without more information. Do you have a video of him moving as you described? Maybe you could video before and after bute.

Do you have some good hoof pictures? Check the link on loosie's status for tips on taking them.

What us his lifestyle like? Stall, pasture, turnout, footing, diet, etc.
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post #4 of 31 Old 06-05-2013, 03:52 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Good that he had a break from shoes. What made you think he'd be 'totally fine'? What do you work him on? Did you use boots? Yes, shoes can help a horse feel less, so appear to 'go sound'. But sounds like he has some major problems that need to be addressed. I'd personally be inclined to try to get his feet healthy first before putting shoes on him if necessary. IME the horses that 'need shoes' are too frequently the ones who most need out of them.
I had just gotten him and I never put shoes on my horses unless necessary. I don't use boots, I don't own them. We put hoof testers on his feet and he had a small stone bruise we suspect and that was the only time he flinched. Otherwise they were fine. I've had 3 different farriers work on him and all say he has really nice feet. But that doesn't explain to me why he can't go without shoes.



Quote:
What did you get the rads done for? What has been done about the 'rotation' and arthritis? He was sore for a few weeks after being shod?? Yes, I'd feel awful about that too - this is too frequently a sign of bad farriery - the farrier has done something wrong that's hurt the horse. Could be he trimmed into sole, too much frog, could be a 'quicked' nail... It isn't necessarily due to the farriery though, could be something else going on, such as laminitis, etc. What did you do about it? What did the vet say/do?
I got rads done because everyone suspected he had foundered. I wasn't told this when I bought him and it ended up being true. And let me rephrase that. He wasn't dead lame a few weeks after. It was more of a transition so he wasn't just 100% sound right after he got shoes. He was getting use to them again. I am planning to have vet out within the next few weeks. I haven't had her out yet because I have other bills I need to pay off beforehand.



Quote:
Please don't ride this horse if he is lame, whatever the cause, you should not be riding him! I appreciate your trainer said otherwise & could well be right - after all, I haven't even seen the horse, but it sounds like you should give him benefit of doubt - head bobbing generally indicates serious lameness. If thrush is a recurring problem then his feet aren't healthy or strong, which would have been one reason he didn't do well bare. As his feet are one known problem, I'd be working to get them healthy.
Every farrier said his feet aren't bad. And that's the problem, I can't tell if he's actually lame or if its just how he moves. He bobs his head just walking in the field but it isnt a bobbing lame on one leg he just moves his head alot. I buted him yesterday morning and lunged him around 3 and he didn't move any different. Though, the byte could've worn off.




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post #5 of 31 Old 06-05-2013, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aforred View Post
I can't say much without more information. Do you have a video of him moving as you described? Maybe you could video before and after bute.

Do you have some good hoof pictures? Check the link on loosie's status for tips on taking them.

What us his lifestyle like? Stall, pasture, turnout, footing, diet, etc.
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He's turned out 24/7 and comes inside 2x a day to eat. He's on a very very grazed down pasture and is muzzled from 8am-4pm.

His diet is:
AM: 1/2 pound nutrena ration balancer
Cosequin
3 oz flax
Remission

PM: 1/2 pound nutrena ration balancer
3 oz flax
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post #6 of 31 Old 06-05-2013, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Cowgirls Boots View Post
I've had 3 different farriers work on him and all say he has really nice feet. But that doesn't explain to me why he can't go without shoes.
I only have what you have told here, but sounds pretty plain to me. You said he has had serious thrush, you said he had been shod when you got him(any idea how long/well/why?), you said he had some 'rotation', you suspected & now say he foundered. That should all explain pretty well actually... and illustrate that the farriers who have told you his feet are great maybe kinda, possibly... don't really know what they're on about??

But aside from the obvious known issues, even if he had A1 feet, but had been shod long term &/or never been on hard/rough ground bare, well, the easiest way I can think of getting it across to you is to ask how you'd go barefoot on a gravel road if you were only used to doing so on shagpile.

I think the best bet is that you learn all you can about hoofcare & management as it relates to hoof health. Hopefully the thread link in my signature will help you get a good start.

Quote:
It was more of a transition so he wasn't just 100% sound right after he got shoes. He was getting use to them again.
I appreciate you were likely told that by some professional, but no, horses don't need to 'get used to shoes' like that & if he was uncomfortable with them, something's wrong. Eg if a farrier tells you not to ride or expect an uncomfortable horse immediately after shoeing, run a mile! While there are reasons for horses being sore after a trim/shoe not related to farrier error, you don't want to go expecting & accepting it. Obviously being laminitic is wrong & this could be the entire reason - not good to put shoes on a laminitic horse IMO. Whatever, I'd want to address it pronto, not leave him uncomfortable for days, let alone weeks. I'd have at least had the farrier out the next day to remove shoes. Sounds like padding would be prudent too.

Quote:
He's turned out 24/7 and comes inside 2x a day to eat. He's on a very very grazed down pasture and is muzzled from 8am-4pm.
Obviously having little info I don't know the cause of the laminitis, so how sensitive he may be to these factors, but grass gains sugars with photosynthesis, using them up to grow over night. Therefore the safest time(generally, there are exceptions) to graze is in the early morning. ALSO stressed grasses, such as overgrazed, drought affected, etc tends to retain & have far higher sugar content than healthy grass.

I would also look into Magnesium4Horses & consider feeding him extra. It sounds possible it's arthritis or such, not directly his feet, but from what you've told, I'd say his hoof issues are a likely cause & need addressing, so if you would like any specific advice on them, pics would be good. Hope all of that is some help! Cheers!
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post #7 of 31 Old 06-05-2013, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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The vet suggested that I stall him overnight and outside with a muzzle during the day. Which, I cannot do because my gelding will probably kill himself in a stall alone. He has an issue with the barn sometimes. I think he was very mishandled there. So therefore she said to take it off after I feed at night.

I asked my farrier about pads and he said "he doesn't really have a flat foot". I wanted to try them because that may be of some help.

He does have 1-2 degrees of rotation. (That is founder, no?) excuse my ignorance on the subject.

I bought him and he had deep sulcus thrush. I treated it and it went away. Now he just got the same thing again. He also had it when the previous owner bought him. She used him as a lesson and trail horse and she had him shod for the 6 months she owned him. She said he was never lame. Where he was is very rocky/muddy and she told me she just figured he needed shoes because of the terrain there. *rolls eyes**

When I got him he had really long toes and we've been working on that. I will try to get pictures later.
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post #8 of 31 Old 06-05-2013, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Here are pictures from today of his fronts. I know they totally suck. Apologies.







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post #9 of 31 Old 06-05-2013, 10:06 PM
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Yep, they're run forward feet alright. Appears to be quite a bit of stretching/separation(can't tell without seeing bottom) most of the length of the walls, around the toes & outside quarters. High and crushed forward heels and too long toes, especially on the left fore.

I can't seem to save pics at the mo, to draw on for you, but if you look at the first & 2nd pics, you can see the obvious flaring on the outside quarters from about 1/3 down, and on the second last pic you can see that the left toe is way forward, right one less so, from about 1/3 down. Above that level the walls still look pretty funky, with lots of ridges. The right fore looks like it 'wants' to be a bit steeper, higher heeled than the left. The left fore looks possibly imbalanced medio-laterally too.
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post #10 of 31 Old 06-05-2013, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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The left is the one he has rotation on.

Crummy picture cause this is a snap shot from another photo but this is how they looked when I got him.


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