Severe Ringbone

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Severe Ringbone

This is a discussion on Severe Ringbone within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    04-15-2010, 12:09 PM
Severe Ringbone

I decided to move this here. See my other thread for reference: Breed Guesses Please

I finally got the call, and it's not good. Floyd has a severe case of ringbone. Dr Elliot said it is the worst case he's seen in 10 years. Encouraging, right?

Basically he told me it's very very very bad. He doesn't know what the outlook looks like at this point. He's a little confused as to why he appears to be lame on both front legs. The ringbone is only in the right, and the other leg has no radiographic abnormalities. He wants us to get his feet trimmed as soon as possible as there's a ton of pressure on his heels and he said instead of a 90 degree angle, Floyd's hooves are at negative angles. And I guess we're going to go from there, see how that improves him. Keeping him on the Bute. He wants me to turn him out for most of the day so he's not standing around on that leg, get some circulation going.

He basically told me surgery may be the only option, to put some kind of pins in to relieve pressure. I don't know if I can afford that for a rescue horse. Does anyone have any words of advice for me?

I cried. Why does it have to be the really nice horses that this stuff happens to? I couldn't even get past the shock enough to ask the proper questions, i'm going to have to request to speak with him again. I just couldn't get my mind to process what he was telling me in order to ask things that I started to ask myself as soon as I hung up the phone.

Anybody have a Ringbone horse? A really bad one?

He is sending me a disc of the rads, but they're coming by snail mail so I dunno when i'll get them to share here.
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    04-15-2010, 12:21 PM
Green Broke
Oh wow, I'm sorry to hear that. I don't have any experience with ringbone, but just wanted to wish you luck, I hope it all works out for you.
    04-15-2010, 12:39 PM
Oh no! I am really sorry. I don't have any first hand experience with ring bone, so no help there... Where are you located? You mentioned the auction and the amish, are you in PA? I know you said you'd like to find a better farrier and I could recommened a few depending on where you are. Sending lots of good thoughts!
    04-15-2010, 01:05 PM
I am in Northeast Ohio. About a 10 minute drive from the PA line.

I am pretty emotional right now, I got attached to him very easily. I hate feeling helpless.

I need to call the vet back and ask him point blank - is he in a TON of pain? Am I going to prolong his pain trying to fix hi only to find out I can't? Would putting him down be more kind? He made this sound so terrible, it shocked me into silence and now I have a thousand thoughts running in my head.
    04-15-2010, 01:32 PM
Ringbone is basically arthritis and so it is progressive. Depending on the severity (I don't know what cases of ringbone your vet has seen) it is treatable with a course of Adequan, usually also Legend and full time turnout. He is probably lame on the other leg from compensating, and if his feet are very bad that could also be the case.
Be careful when rotating the hoofs back to a "normal" position as any drastic change can cause severe inflammation of the ringbone and potentially lead to founder. As bad as they may be, it might take 6 months to get the feet "normal". Get him trimmed/filed slightly every 4 weeks if you can to speed the progress.

It really depends on the severity - but all you can do it treat it and try to slow the progression. The horse is going to end up having to be put down from this - you just have to decide when and how much treatment (read: money) you want to put into him first.
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    04-15-2010, 02:39 PM
I realize this is not something curable, but I'm finding it hard to drill it into my head that it is this bad. He isn't completely out of shape, like he's been standing around for months on end. I find it hard to believe that somebody would be able to work him the way that he is, but he had to have been having some exercise.

The vet basically told me it's such a bad case that he may not even be comfortable on pasture. So basically I have to wait and see if he's even going to be able to be comfortable once his feet are fixed. I called him back and talked to him some more. From what I understand it's an upper ringbone. He didn't give me many details but he's copying the discs to send to me right now and they'll go out tomorrow.

He seems to be very conservative about this. He just wants me to keep him on stall rest, no walking, until the bute really starts to kick in and then he can be turned out for a half hour at a time if he's feeling okay. He doesn't want me to do anything else.

I can't help but think, wouldn't cold treatments a couple of times a day at least ease the pain and inflammation too?

What do YOU guys think? Should I go out of my way or is it not going to make any difference? I was thinking liniment wraps at night, and hosing him down a few times a day. It can't hurt can it? I would think circulation would be a good thing, which the liniment would help with. Thoughts?
    04-15-2010, 02:49 PM
Not sure if you've started googling Ringbone for more info, but I found a couple of good articles...

The Truth About Ringbone -
    04-15-2010, 03:04 PM
My sister's horse had severe ringbone and there are a few things that can be done to both ease the pain and slow down progression w/o going the surgery route. Natural trimming or corrective shoeing is an option depending on the horse, the farrier, and vet recommendations. In some cases I prefer barefoot trimmed specific to ringbone, however in some cases shoes offer a better option for the horse.

In addition, i've had good success with magnetic pastern bands improving circulation and reducing signs of lameness and discomfort in the horse. In conjunction with that, there are a few supplements that have made a very large difference - including jet breath (typically used for oxygen intake in race horses). Jet breath b/c of the increased amount of oxygen to the blood as a nice side benefit helps actually break down calcifications (essentially what ringbone is) bc the increased circulation and oxygen. It's not something that it is advertised for, but when I put my TB on it who had a breathing problem, I noticed his large, solid, calcified splints from the track started to get smaller. Now they are totally gone with no signs of any calcification whatsoever.

There's also a few other supplements specifically for ringbone that can help. If you check out (or email terry through that site for help) there's a ton of option. I def recommend talking to terry b/c through the rescue she's seen results on all different kinds of supplements.

Good luck!!!!
    04-15-2010, 03:41 PM
Thank you guys for the links. I was doing some research and I don't seem to be finding much helpful, they all say the same thing. I really want to see the rads. Once I get them I am going to ask my ex-boss (just lost my job at a vet clinic due to the economy) to look them over for me if he'd be so kind.

I talked to my fiancée and surprisingly enough he was asking me questions about the surgery, that I can't answer obviously. So that is not completely out of the question at this point. He's such a nice horse, I don't know if i'd want to put him through that or not but he is so young it's a shame.

Dr Elliot did say he was going to have somebody at the equine specialty hospital (where I guessing they do the surgery) their opinion about this case and what the options are. I'm going to look into supplements and at least get him on those.

The search for a good farrier is not going well. I've left messages on 3 answering machines - but these are all outside of my county and I have no idea if they'll come out here or not. I would like to say money isn't an object, but having just lost my job this is all happening at a very bad time. My farrier is great, but I haven't even been able to get a hold of him to find out if he has any experience with this. He's due to come out and trim my girls in two weeks, but I can't wait that long to talk to him especially if I can't find another option. I guess that's the downfall of having a farrier who doesn't believe in electricity hence no telephones. I think I would like to go the barefoot route if it's possible, unless they think shoes would do him good. With his feet in the condition they're in... ugh.

I need to try to find a job asap, unemployment won't get me very far with all this going on.
    04-15-2010, 03:50 PM
Ugh, I can only imagine how stressful this must be! My fiance lost his job 11 months ago. The economy SUCKS! All you can do is gather all the info, see what the vet recommends, and do what's best. Does your vet know of any good farriers that are experienced with this?

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