Mystery Lameness

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Mystery Lameness

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    03-15-2009, 08:44 PM
Mystery Lameness

Okay. Sam's little appy pony Pepper has been lame for about two months now, and we can't figure it out, so I figured i'd post on here for some fresh thoughts!

We were at a sporting competition (gaming for all you western riders :]) back in Januray. It was about 42 degrees, (Super hot!!!) and we did about 9 games twice each. The horses were cooled down and put away, then we found out we both made the flag spectacular, (the big final of the flag race, top 25 times) so we saddled back up and warmed up. We ran the race, and afterwards Sam said Pepper felt a bit stiff in his left fore. She walked him out and put him away for the night. The next morning, yep, he was lame. She didn't ride and we took him home. There were no cuts/marks, no sign of heat in the foot, no swelling anywhere on the leg, no soreness when we poked and prodded him. She gave him a few weeks off, but no change.

Vet came out, suggested it was an inflamed shoulder muscle.

She got the chiro out, who said he was out in the shoulder, so he adjusted him and said he should be ok to ride in a few days. That's what we did, he was a bit better, but would still put in lame steps at the trot. Chrio came out again, said the shoulder was resolved, so it had to be something else. Suggested putting shoes on him to try and rule out the foot.

Farrier came out and put shoes on him. Rode him the next day, STILL lame. Not as bad as he was, fine at walk and canter, but still lame steps in the trot.

Throughout there has been not heat, no swelling, no wounds...

Does anyone have any ideas? She doesn't have any other horse tor ide, so it's kind of lonely without her to ride with :[
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    03-15-2009, 08:46 PM
I'll add a pic of him... Here he is. We are unsure of breeding, bit of a mutt. Good pony though.
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    03-15-2009, 08:48 PM
I image it has been very lonely for you with out sam as you & her are like joined at the hip lol, I do hope pepper gets better soon poor sausage
    03-15-2009, 08:49 PM
Ha ha yeah we have been riding together for about 5 years. Kinda strange not having her there to ride with!
    03-15-2009, 08:50 PM
As I said lol JOINED AT THE HIP hope she gets to come back out with us soon :(
    03-16-2009, 09:44 AM
Could be a stone bruise in the hoof that's trying to abscess. Vets have been known to miss them. THe shoes take pressure off his sole, and would provide some bit of relief, but they will only slow the healing. I'd suggest removing the shoes at the next farrier visit, since they aren't solving the problem. If it's an abscess, it may have progressed to where your farrier or vet can find it to diagnose it.
It's not a incompetent vet, either, if they miss an abscess. Sometimes they just don't show up with hoof testers-hand strength does not equal a horse's weight in motion. Had an excellent vet miss an abscess on a horse a couple of years ago, even had taken x-rays to find the lameness. The leg was swollen! Then, the abscess blew at the hairline and the horse was sound. This was a vet that is considered THE best in his area, and the horse, in spite of the swelling that went to his knee, didn't have any heat in the area. Go figure.
That just my over the internet guess anywho.
    03-16-2009, 05:34 PM
Do stone bruises normally discolour the sole? We looked for that when he first went lame, and nothing... But if not, then it could be the culprit. Should our farrier have noticed if that was the case? This was only the second time we have hadthis guy, but he has been really good so far, and the first to notice that my ASH is low-heel high-heel.
    03-17-2009, 06:13 AM
Try getting a lameness workup with flexion tests and nerve blocks. This will pinpoint where the problem is. If cost is a problem discuss it with the vet, they'll usually cost out each step for you. If it is the foot you'll find out very quickly and with no doubts.
Good Luck
    03-17-2009, 06:04 PM
^^ That might be a good idea Gluey, thanks! Do you know roughly how much it costs?
    03-18-2009, 04:58 PM
Stone bruises may not be visible. Many horses have pigment in the sole, or dark colored feet that hide any discoloration. Most bruises won't show up until the foot has grown out some. A farrier may find it when paring the sole (a big no-no in my book, but is part of shoeing and actually makes it easier to bruise), but it's not the same as a bruise on your skin in that it's not immediately visible. BTW, improper trimming can allow the coffin bone to push on the sole and bruise it, even with shoes and not a rock in sight. Many "stone bruises" are actually from the coffin bone being at the wrong angle. If it's in the area just in front of the frog, it's likely the coffin bone. That is the highest part of the hoof dome, besides the grooves on the sides of the frog, so it gets the least pressure from the ground (an occasional rock can strike it, but statistically, its the most common location with shod horses, and statistically, should be the least common). Real stone bruises would likely be closer to the hoof wall, where the sole is lowest and most likely to make contact.

Some horses are more senstive than others, that is why I say a person using hoof testers can miss the bruise, as horses's bearing weight on his own is going to provide more force. Basically, people may not be strong enough to get a reaction on a bruise.

Soak with warm epsom salts may provide temporary relief and comfort, and won't do any harm if it's not the cause. If the salt soak does help, you are probably looking at a bruise or abscess in the hoof.

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