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post #1 of 8 Old 09-20-2012, 04:12 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
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Senior horse

My poor older girl has been getting worse and worse in the shoulders. She is twenty six this year. Last summer we had her legs x-rayed and the vet praised them highly. They're well built up and arthritis free. She does have a bone spurr in her right front hoof but if we keep her riding it stays callused up and causes her very little grief. Her shoulder stiffness was a little noticeable last year but this year its worse every month. The vet & I think the best thing for her is to keep her going, she is trail ridden two or three times a week and is of course turned out 24/7.

This spring a couple of mares caught her in the back of the run in and beat her up pretty bad. She was stiff and must have drank less than she needed which caused impaction colic that was a two week long battle. I can't help but notice that they've done her old lady body NO favors as she has only gotten more sore and more stiff since then.

The weather turned colder and rainy today and she is one short strided, stiff moving girl. Does there come a point that the only thing you can do is bute daily? Does anyone have any suggestions? We have used a chiropractor twice this year for her and he says she is in outstanding shape and holds her adjustments well. He too says "just don't stop riding her".

She is on Smart Pack Senior, Yucca and ACV for her joints and has been on something for a very, very long time.

I haven't looked into supplementing her muscles or tendons, could that be something that causes this much shoulder discomfort? And I also haven't had her vetted strictly for her shoulders this year. I would kind of like to see where they are at but with all of the "surprise" vet bills I've gotten this year I haven't gotten to do that for her yet.

She is very stiff on the turns and "clicks" when she first walks off. If she is stalled for even a couple of hours (sometimes I have to feed her inside) she is very stiff.

So, another supplement suggestion? Time to move along to daily pain relief like bute? (Anyone had any luck with BL solution?! I haven't noticed much but I haven't really used it in a case like what she has right now..) Shoulder joints vrs shoulder muscles? Ideas? Anything appreciated, thanks.
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-20-2012, 07:53 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Middle Tennessee
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If you have never blanketed her for cold weather, I believe this is a good time to consider that. Using a waterproof blanket for the time she is outside will help her keep warm without her having to use extra calories and energy.

I have never blanketed horses until last winter. Believe me, even in our mild winters, blanketing my two mid-20's fellas made a huge comfort difference on those cold/damp/windy days.

I like waterproof Weatherbeeta's because they are reasonably priced, hold up well, and have the gussets (pleats) in the shoulder areas to give more freedom of movement. Their sizes run pretty spot on, unless your horse is long and lanky, then a size down might be needed; I say that from my own experience

Also, you might consider something like this: Welcome to Equine Light Therapy; Red and Infrared Light Therapy for Horses and Dogs!

I have the 9" size for my 25 yo with bad hips and hock/ankle arthritis. He loves it.

However, my 17 yo with an old fractured sacrum injury does not like it

That's a lot of money to spend if your horse won't tolerate it which, is why I suggested "it or something like it".

Hope this helps
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-20-2012, 08:09 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Alberta
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In my opinion I would stay away from Bute, its the leading cause of Ulcers ( says my vet) and just masks the pain and doesn't help it. I recommend glucosamine. My mare was clicking too and seemed stiff. It help her out. She is arthric tho. My Husband took it for sore elbows and I also gave for my dog that was getting sore after lying down. All of them are feeling good.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-20-2012, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Michigan
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I feel similar about bute but I am wondering where there is to go from here besides a pain relief.

She IS on 7,000 mg of Glucosamine, 500 mg of Chondroitin, 50 mg Hyaluronic Acid and 12,000 mg of MSM. Devil’s Claw, Boswellia, Phenylalanine, B-12, ACV and Yucca all for joints and has been for many years. Like I said, the vet was in shock after she saw the pictures of her legs.

Walk- I do blanket when the temp drops to or below zero. Molly is one to get hot and decide not to eat all together. But I do love the light therepy idea. I wonder if that would help at all. I am sure she would love it.
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-20-2012, 10:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Alberta
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Hmm sounds like alot of stuff. Im at a loss. Do you think all that is still working? I know when people are on things for along time it eventually stops working. Maybe try some natural herbal remedies.
I also like absobine ( rub it on ). May help. Maybe if she isn't stalled and keeps moving around the paddock she won't get as stiff.
I wish you and your horse the best.
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-20-2012, 10:43 PM
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Maybe try the bute with Neighlox or something like that to coat the stomach.
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-20-2012, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Michigan
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It is a lot, but she does still test for all of it. Most of the supplements are all in the Smart SR. Devils claw, yucca and AVC are separate. She isn't stalled. If she spent twelve hours in a stall she would literally be un able to walk out in the morning, poor girl.

Natisha, I think bute might be one of my only options here. We keep her moving, she is on herbs and joint supplements, we keep her riding, we keep her warm, we give her chiropractic care if/when she needs it.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-21-2012, 08:04 AM
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It's really tough to know what's the right approach sometimes. What worked last winter may not work this winter

You didn't mention metabolic issues, so that means she does not have insulin resistance, equine metabolic syndrome, or cushings?

If she were to have any of those, the glucosamine is a huge no-no. I think either Devil's Claw or Yucca is off the list of "can haves" too.

The horse I mentioned above, has equine metabolic syndrome. That beget hind gut ulcers and lipomas, therefore no glucosamine, and absolutely no aspirin or Bute.

He is on 99% pure chondroitin/msm, bought from and Med Vet Phamarceutical's Hylarin/Boswelia that I buy thru United Vet Equine.

They help him a lot.

He doesn't deal with shoulder issues so I have been wracking my brain trying to think of something for your mare.

I'm just about coming empty handed unless you want to think waaaay outside the box and try either liquid linaments or gel poultices. You would have to clean her shoulders every day if you used the gels.

Horse Liniments & Poultices, Horse Care | Pet Meds| Allivet Trusted Pet Pharmacy

I use "Sore-No-More" clay poultice on my fella when his hind legs get to bothering him too much and I also use it on my 17 yr old with torn ligaments and sesamoiditis. It really and truly works but it would be a bloody mess to clean off your mare's shoulders every day, especially during your winter months.

Sore-No-More makes a liquid but I have only seen it in 8 ounce bottles; you could go thru one of those in less than a week.

I think everything you're doing is right except, as someone else stated, maybe too much of all good things. It might be better to strip back and just use what gives her the most relief and know she is never going to get better.

Keeping her weight down (as in on the ribby side, and keeping her feet well-trimmed are also very crucial. I know you keep her trimming current but if she's a bit on the chubby side, try and get some of the weight off.

What she eats can also matter in terms of aggravating inflammation, or not.

I have often thought somebody needs to invent battery-powered heating pads for horses and some way to velcro them to the horse.

I'd be first in line for one - lol My 26 yo Arab has arthritis in his vertebra from an injury before I rescued him 19+ years ago. My 25 yo, with EMS, has hock/ankle arthritis and has developed it in his rump. My 17 yo has the torn ligaments and sesamoidits (bad farrier who cut him waaaay too short) and he is going to have arthritis.

Only my 18 yo is healthy ---- as long as you don't count mental issues

Hopefully I've given you some ideas to try and maybe even help you come up with something else. Just because nobody else has thought of "it" doesn't mean you shouldn't try it, as long as nobody gets killed
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