older horse lameness

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older horse lameness

This is a discussion on older horse lameness within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Senior horse lameness
  • Lameness in old horse

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    07-16-2013, 06:59 AM
Unhappy older horse lameness

My gelding is a 20 year old TB. This year he has been going great, doing hunter trials and competitions and he hasnt been stiff after them or anything. Back in May he got a stone bruise and was out for a few days (he is quite soft) and came back, he then had some swelling around the flexor muscle behind the knee but after sometime off he was back to galloping around the field.. recently he has started stopping at fences and in the practice ring on sunday he was perfect and then refused the first fence on the course (i fell off).. he then went back into the practice ring and sometimes was sound and then trotted lame a few strides and then went sound again. The sunday before that he also stopped at the first fence but then went clear after that, he felt a bit off after it but I put it down to the ground being a bit hard as all the horses were feeling it I have had his teeth checked and back checked a month ago, but im having his back checked again tonight and his saddle.. he walked in from, the field perfect last night and I gave him a small trot up and he was fine but when he went back out to the field he looked to be walking a bit off.. Im at a loss as to what could be wrong,. People are mentioning arthritis and to retire him but I don't want to give up... anyone any advice? Could he have gone down hill so quickly? If the physio says he has a problem of course ill retire him but sometimes I think he is just chancing his luck!
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    07-16-2013, 08:18 AM
Green Broke
If it's arthritis you usually do not want to retire him at this stage. If kept in regular exercise it helps them not get to stiff. I personally wouldn't be jumping a 20 year old horse that comes out stiff once in a while either.

My mare is 20 and the vet recently said she has arthritis. She is on Smartpak's Smartflex Senior herb free pellets and I can see a difference after almost 2 months. The vet also said she must stay in work, ideally 5 days a week. An injury put her on rest for about a month and that is when she came back stiff.

So in short I would have the vet asses this horse and let you know. Could also be an abcess but with the age and the intensity of work I would say arthritis.
    07-16-2013, 08:23 AM
Sounds like the time has come for light trail riding and no jumping.
    08-16-2013, 06:09 AM

So just an update! His xrays came back negative for arthritris, vet couldnt believe they were the joints of a 20year old! He has thin soles and some bone changes in the hoof but he has been fitted with bar and rolled toe shoes and he is perfect now! No lameness, stiffness and vet said to keep doing what I was doing!! Doing our first one day event back next week and can't wait :)
    08-16-2013, 08:58 AM
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    08-16-2013, 09:00 AM
Hi, what bony changes in his hooves? If he is thin soled, does he have pads? Why rolled bar shoes? He may be more comfortable(temporarily at least) in bar shoes but they won't prevent sole damage or provide support for them.
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