Old mule - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 11-11-2012, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Old mule

Hello, I have an old mule ( he's 27 ) and he is arthritic.
In september he slipped and really messed up his shoulder
So this winter has not been kind to him :(
It is really cold out side and we see he is just walking in circles.....
I don't know if this means he's in pain or if he's cold.
These are the things I am doing to help with his shoulder:

An ostyo path came and streched him
I message his shoulder
He has a special cream for it
During the day he somtimes has on a light blankey with megnets in it.
Bedding him warm
Everymoring he gets this pill that is really stong and is suposed to help him, I can see a difrrence but not much but he can probly feel a diffrence.

If he is really sore somedays I give him 2 grams of bute.
Will walking him in the arena with poles make him feel better??
We let him loose in our alley way most of the time

So my main questions are:
Do you know of a supplament that only really helps the shoulders? The rest of his body is doing pretty good.
He has been on everything so it has to be somthing that is real popular I guess.

Will walking him over poles help his shoulders??

We are ordering him herbs that my mom has used on many horses and they work so my mom will try those on him. Have you ever used these with success?

Will making him strech his neck with a carrot help his shoulders?

Do ostyo paths do good with shoulder issues?

What will help his shoulders??
Will putting one of those giant horse treats with a string attached make them strech there neck if it is high enough? If so will it help his shoulders?

Thank you

Sorry I was rambling on its just he's having a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE TIME it would be just fine if it was summer but its winter so it makes things 1,000 times worse :(

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post #2 of 22 Old 11-11-2012, 03:26 PM
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No, letting him into the arena and walking him over poles is not going to help. It sounds to me like if he's having that much trouble, he still has an injury- not just the aftermath of it. You need to either spend the money to get him xrayed to figure out what is still wrong (did you get xrays when he first did it?) and treat it if you can, or you need to put him down. If he's on a strong pain killer AND bute, he has no quality of life.

Stretching, exercising, massaging...none of that will do any good if he has a tear in a muscle or ligament, and may just irritate it more. He's old and probably very stiff anyways if he has artheritis, and theres a good chance that artheritis has already set into his injury.

If he were mine I would have him fully xrayed and put on stall rest in a deeply bedded stall. Take him out twice a day or so to stretch his legs, but nothing more until the vet tells you what to do. You may be dealing with something serious.

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post #3 of 22 Old 11-11-2012, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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He is not in that much pain at all!!
I was over exagerating while writing that by quite a bit because I was upset.Haha

He is not very much pain and he is not on a pain killer and bute!!! That will only cause an ulser and I wont make him suffer through that.

He gets out everyday and right as I say this he's is making miles in the alley way, his head is up he isnt walking stiffly and he is very happy.

I know what is right for him and putting him down is not going to happen till I fully try my best.

About the messaging thing, I bet a differ, when I message him and put on his cream he is much better :) he loosens right up :)

No we did not x ray him because we know what is wrong, Our vet has seen him and said that his shoulder will never be healed but he doesnt have to be in pain if you keep him on herbs ( they are natural and can't cause an ulser)

He is very very happy.
He is getting up great actually his hips seem to be stronger and he is getting up faster then my young mule
Tommorrow ( monday) we are taking a bobcat and leveling out ned and my sisters horses pens, then we go in with shovels and scoop out any lumps.

Also in the summer time he si very happy and loves to roll in the dirt, its jst winter that's rough but if we keep his pen ice free and let him loose he will be okay.

We figured out why he is walking in circles :)
This sounds harsh but when we bought him( we bought him as a lawn ordament) he was full of lice, just coverd so we powderd him evryday.

Now we think he has licea again because he isnt in that much pain at all and he isnt cold either, he scratches his bumm against the wall in the arena ( he doesnt have worms) and he only walks in circles when his blankets on...
Well before the inside of his blankey was nillon wich means the lice couldnt breathe so they moved around on him, that why he walked in circles.
When we took his blankey off he was fine and now we changed the blanket to cloth and he is fine :).

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post #4 of 22 Old 11-11-2012, 06:54 PM
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Talk to a vet please.
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post #5 of 22 Old 11-11-2012, 07:29 PM
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How exactly did the injury occur? Did he fall down and hit it? Did he stretch it in the wrong direction? Did he pull/injure muscles or bone - and what proves it's that?
I say this because I had a pony who we got at our rescue he was used as a pony ride pony for several years, kept on a hot walker his entire life. His inside hind leg had become so tight he could not stretch it all the way out and his spine was permanently curved. He was never sound again but lived out his life at our rescue - as he aged he lost muscle tone and his leg got worse and worse. We had massage therapists and chiropractors and he was on every supplement in the book. When he was no longer able to get up on his own we built him a harness, in the morning we'd pick him up, at night we'd lay him down onto a memory foam mattress- this only lasted about a week before we put him down. Just before we euthanized him we had the vet take x-rays, turns out his hip was dislocated all his life- but his muscle held him together. When he had grown old and lost that muscle the hip could no longer support him.
I guess I'm saying are you sure nothing has been dislocated? Are you sure muscles or tendons haven't been ripped or seriously damaged? Are you sure there is no damage to his bone?
I would seriously suggest x-rays because this could be more serious than you could imagine. Horses are horrifically stoic, especially mules! Often they won't complain until it's unbearable - please take it seriously. Chiropractors, massage therapists, herbs and supplements are all wonderful but until you know the entire extent of the injury clearly there's nothing they can do.

Also - I love mules! Got any pics?
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post #6 of 22 Old 11-11-2012, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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thank you PunksTank

I am absalutely posative that he didnt dislocate it as the vet looked at it and and the shoulder would drop if it was dislocated.
I am not sure about damage to the bone because it is not a open wound.

He did not tear an ligaments or anything.

Whatever it is effects both shoulders but mostly his right.
It is quiite posible that's it is bone on bone but that can't be it...

I would also like to say just so you know that I don't care if he doesnt have the most wonderful walk for the rest of his life as long as he isnt in pain.
If your wondering he IS NOT in much pain, its like he is loosing pain in his shoulders but his shoulders arent healing.. but they arents getting worse either that's for sure.
His shoulders were much worse before we started doing things to help ( it was for 2 days till we saw somthing was wrong)
He is very happy and loves being loose.

Also when we let him loose he walks reall well like its not like a 5 year old walk but its really good, his head is up and he is just truckin but when we put him back in the pen for the night he is slow again but not in pain.
( okay when I say not in pain he is in pain but not much and we have these specail herbs that are deffadently going to help him )

I again want to say he is very happy and loves to walk around when he's loose and he still lays down and rolls and gets up quite well, he also eats and drinks like a normal horse.

PunksTank, I don't think that he is nearly as bad as that pony at least not pain wise, would you mind telling me how long he when with a dislocated hip?

Thanks again guys
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post #7 of 22 Old 11-11-2012, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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can somebody please tell me how to post a photo ? Thanks
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post #8 of 22 Old 11-11-2012, 08:35 PM
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Again, dislocations are easy to hide because the muscle holds them in place - they don't always drop out like, say, a human shoulder would. He went 12 years with it dislocated and the muscles holding him together and gradually deteriorated in the last few months of his life - his hip got worse and worse the lower his muscle tone, but the worse his hip the less he could build the muscle (horrible catch 22).

Now if you're sure nothing is dislocated - what is the actual injury, did he fall down and smash it on something? Where on his shoulder is he injured? The point? Does it have any visually obvious injury? How do you know it's his shoulder that hurts - does he react to touch or pressure? Where on his shoulder does he react to pressure? How long ago did this injury occur? What herbs are you using? If it's visual do you have a picture?

I am NOT a vet, but I've dealt with a number of damaged rescues. I honestly believe x-rays are in order, if he's got a fracture or a crush injury there could be more damage than you think.
Again, horses and mules are stoic - he may not act in horrible pain - but that very well could be a defense mechanism.

What exactly is he doing, is he dragging his hoof? Is he hitching? Is he favoring that leg? Can you describe his exact movement (better yet video it?)

Sorry for all the questions but they matter.

Again I believe that Massage, Chiropractors and herbs are all wonderful ways of healing but all of them depend on what they're fixing and can't do much if your fixing the wrong thing. It needs to be clarified exactly what the injury is.
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post #9 of 22 Old 11-11-2012, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SMMJessee View Post
can somebody please tell me how to post a photo ? Thanks
There's a little button above the box you type in that has a picture of little mountains with a moon above it, it's tan and gray. Click that and put the link to the picture. You can use websites like www.tinypic.com to upload the picture and get a link to it.
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post #10 of 22 Old 11-12-2012, 12:01 PM Thread Starter
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Okay we think that he pulled a muscel and since he's old and wore out its not going to deal, the reason his left hurts is because he puts more presure on it ( he still puts presure on the other one)
His right toe KINDA drags but not badly, when he's in his pen he waks slowly but when he's loose in the alley way ( he's loose about 4-6 hours aday) he walks alot faster, is feet pick up more, his head is high, and he is oviously quite happy.

I know what you mean by teling how much paint heir in :( with him it is hard because it looks like he is in some pain and is madd when he's locked up in his run but when he is loose in the alley way he looks like a perfect pasture horse :) it really is har to tell but with him himself he will kinda show you if somthing is wrong, he knows we arent going to put him through anything, hw always eats his hay and he drinks his water so its hard to tell.

He at first will react to a touch of pressure but when I messsage it and but on his special ceam ( it is made for shoulders) he enjoys it.

Me and my mum think he damaged it from the scalpula ( I wrote that wrong) to the point of the

The tny pic thing didnt work....... it brought me to a search thing, I don't know how to make a video either... do I need a youtube account??
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