Mystery Back Lameness
 
 

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Mystery Back Lameness

This is a discussion on Mystery Back Lameness within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    • 2 Post By farmpony84
    • 1 Post By huntergirl84
    • 1 Post By TBEventingLife

     
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        08-18-2014, 08:44 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Mystery Back Lameness

    I just recently purchased an ottb from a reputable rehoming organization and have been having some issues. When we did the pre purchase the vet said he was slightly back sore, but it could most likely just be fixed by having the chiropractor out. We did that and he was like a whole new, perfect horse and we continued moving forward with the purchase. It had been about 3 months and he started showing signs of being sore so we had the chiro out again, but this time it hasn't worked and has gotten worse. At the canter, mostly to the right, he kicks out. It's not behavioral because we had my trainer get on him and ride him, and he even did it for her! The really weird thing is that he only does it with a rider on his back so we've ruled out hocks because even without a rider on his back he'd show pain. Our next move was to just give him time off, maybe with the change in muscle use something was tweaked the wrong way, I don't know. That obviously didn't work, so today we had the vet out and she's really confused as well. He's been on a muscle relaxer and bute with low intensity work and it hasn't helped. We did x-rays and everything was normal. So long story short we have NO idea what to do and we have a limited budget. The vet said acupuncture could work, but it's also not a permanent fix. Any ideas???? I bought this horse with the thought of training it and going to Young Riders.
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        08-18-2014, 08:51 PM
      #2
    Super Moderator
    What x-rays did they take?

    I have a couple thoughts. It's hard because it could be anything such as an ill-fitting saddle but it could also be completely unrelated to the back. He could have a pain in his stifle that is showing in the back because he's compensating for pain elsewhere. If you take the back of an ink pen and run it lightly (small pressure) along his spine on either side, do you see or feel a muscle spasm? That will ensure the pain is muscle but still won't tell you the cause.

    If you can't afford more x-rays you could ask for a block. To see just how high or low the pain is. With him bucking it makes me think stifle but I'm no expert.
         
        08-19-2014, 08:29 AM
      #3
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by farmpony84    
    What x-rays did they take?

    I have a couple thoughts. It's hard because it could be anything such as an ill-fitting saddle but it could also be completely unrelated to the back. He could have a pain in his stifle that is showing in the back because he's compensating for pain elsewhere. If you take the back of an ink pen and run it lightly (small pressure) along his spine on either side, do you see or feel a muscle spasm? That will ensure the pain is muscle but still won't tell you the cause.

    If you can't afford more x-rays you could ask for a block. To see just how high or low the pain is. With him bucking it makes me think stifle but I'm no expert.

    We did look into the stifle, but the vet said that this also wouldn't make much sense. I have run my fingers down next to his spine and he does drop his back, but he has been on Robaxin and bute and they haven't helped at all and they would if it was a muscle issue. We took four x-rays all along his back and they showed nothing. I think were going to get a different vet to come out as our barn's vet is rather young maybe it's something that an older vet would recognize....
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        08-21-2014, 05:59 PM
      #4
    Foal
    Could it maybe be kissing spine? Does he drop his back when you actually get on him? That might explain why it only happens when there's a rider on him. These are just thoughts based on something similar I saw in a horse at my yard. Best of luck to you and your horse!
         
        08-21-2014, 10:01 PM
      #5
    Super Moderator
    The X rays would show bone damage but have you had anything done to look at possible ligament damage along the middle of the back - an ultrasound would probably be used for that but it might have shown up on the X rays but maybe not looked for
    It would be noticeable when ridden due to the weight of the ride putting pressure on there but not so much if at all on the lunge
    Does it help if he's on any pain meds?
         
        08-22-2014, 01:10 PM
      #6
    Foal
    Has your chiropractor and/or vet considered something going on with the sacrum? I have known a number of people with horses that have these illusive lamenesses/ back issues that can't be penned down and it finally turns out to be sacrum issues.
    KigerQueen likes this.
         
        08-23-2014, 08:17 PM
      #7
    Foal
    Saddle fit? Could just be deep muscle bruise or pain from a bad fitting saddle
         
        08-23-2014, 09:21 PM
      #8
    Trained
    Firstly, was the chiro a registered, fully qualified one? And what did they say? Very frequently, esp if problem is chronic, these things can't be 'fixed' in just one visit and require a course of regular adjustments. Giving just one single treatment could be a bit of a waste of money then too. We're all(well, I assume the vast majority) on 'restricted budgets' to some degree or other, but the bottom line IMO is, that if you take on an animal, you're responsible for it's health & wellbeing & need to provide for that, if you're going to keep the animal.

    Obviously it could be something unrelated to prior issues, such as saddle fit, rider balance, lack of fitness to do what is asked, slipped in the paddock... etc. Locking stifles/patella is something that may manifest just as kicking out with the 'locked' leg, as this is a way they can 'unlock' it. I've been told, by body experts & vet chiros, that locking stifles are generally due to lumbar or pelvic problems.
         
        08-24-2014, 08:42 PM
      #9
    Foal
    Thanks everyone for replying! He's been on muscle relaxers and bute for 14 days now and seems to be slightly improving. We actually had Hoppy Sterns out who is an equine osteopath and does a lot of work with high level horses. She works with the skeletal and muscular systems of the horse. Her recommendation was to have out a dentist. We had the dentist out before the purchase, but it apparently wasn't done correctly and the bit isn't sitting right in his mouth. So he's still not 100% better, but we've determined that some of it is behavioral and we're attempting to work through that now. I had a lesson and we are going to put a stronger base on his training. The horse is the lowest in his fields "pecking order" and therefore often looks for things he can pick on and has chosen me so I just have to prove that I am the boss, not him. And yes the chiro was certified and had a veterinary degree.
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        08-24-2014, 08:45 PM
      #10
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by loosie    
    Firstly, was the chiro a registered, fully qualified one? And what did they say? Very frequently, esp if problem is chronic, these things can't be 'fixed' in just one visit and require a course of regular adjustments. Giving just one single treatment could be a bit of a waste of money then too. We're all(well, I assume the vast majority) on 'restricted budgets' to some degree or other, but the bottom line IMO is, that if you take on an animal, you're responsible for it's health & wellbeing & need to provide for that, if you're going to keep the animal.

    Obviously it could be something unrelated to prior issues, such as saddle fit, rider balance, lack of fitness to do what is asked, slipped in the paddock... etc. Locking stifles/patella is something that may manifest just as kicking out with the 'locked' leg, as this is a way they can 'unlock' it. I've been told, by body experts & vet chiros, that locking stifles are generally due to lumbar or pelvic problems.

    Yes I 100% understand that I am responsible for the care and well being of this horse and he is FAR from
    Being not provided for if anything he's rather spoiled lol.
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