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TOE DRAGGING, a dig in spine? NO RIDING EVER?

This is a discussion on TOE DRAGGING, a dig in spine? NO RIDING EVER? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        05-03-2013, 08:42 AM
      #31
    Green Broke
    Sorry, but the reason your horse is dragging is probably because he is lethargic from being emaciated. Your horse needs some real food.
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        05-03-2013, 09:34 AM
      #32
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MangoRoX87    
    Sorry, but the reason your horse is dragging is probably because he is lethargic from being emaciated. Your horse needs some real food.
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    I would love to believe it... :) . But could the vet be so wrong about his spine? He didn't even examined his blood but was certain it is his spine and left me with the news that my horse is about to retire at the age of 4,5 :/
         
        05-03-2013, 10:24 AM
      #33
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by m00nisek    
    I would love to believe it... :) . But could the vet be so wrong about his spine? He didn't even examined his blood but was certain it is his spine and left me with the news that my horse is about to retire at the age of 4,5 :/
    Yes, he could. It's a sad fact, but there are vets out there that have no idea about what they are doing, or worse yet, don't care. Does this vet know horses? I would think that his lack of muscle right now has more to do with the toe dragging than anything. You know the feeling of walking after running for a while, when your legs feel heavy and tired? I imagine that is similar to how he is feeling, because he doesn't have the muscling to sustain movement.

    I'm a novice really when it comes to horse health, but all I can see is a horse weak from malnutrition. Feeding him carrots, apples etc is all well and good as a treat, but not as a staple part of their diet. I'm currently working on putting weight on my lease horse for winter, as he dropped some in the last few weeks. And I'm telling you, a week of hard feed (lucerne/alfalfa hay 24/7, pellets and chaff) has bulked him out immensely.

    Right now, focus on getting your horse at its optimum weight. Heck, even get him fat! Once those ribs of his are covered by a nice layer, work on lunging to build his topline, and then get into riding. He's a beautiful horse, as is very obvious by the photos you've posted. He seemed to drop the weight rather quickly (unless his fluffy coat was hiding it), but you've already got him coming back nicely in that last photo. Keep it up, and you're going to have him back to an absolute stunner in no time.

    Elana has given you some brilliant advice, as she always does! Definitely, definitely show the vet those photos you posted of his progression.

    But most importantly, don't give up hope. Even if the worst did happen and you couldn't ride him again, you would have an amazing companion. But the chances of that being the truth seem slim right now. Wait and see what the new vet says. Until then, act as though you're just fattening him up so that you can eventually ride him every day :)
         
        05-03-2013, 10:37 AM
      #34
    Trained
    This is not something that you are going to find an answer to quickly. Right now, the horse needs more weight and more muscle. Until those two major issues are resolved then he is going to have problems - most animals would have problems if they are underweight and out of shape and are asked to perform.
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        05-03-2013, 10:48 AM
      #35
    Weanling
    Again, you are seeing that divot in the spine hip area because he is too thin and there is not much muscle covering it. Plus add in a slight roach, my mare has the same thing.

    A year ago right after winter, no work from pasture.



    Now, Middle of fall, muscled and fat. You can see the dip against the sky.



    Dogs get this as well and it is alarming! But once they get some weight, it will disappear.

    Yes, your vet could be wrong. They are human too.
         
        05-03-2013, 12:23 PM
      #36
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by m00nisek    
    I would love to believe it... :) . But could the vet be so wrong about his spine? He didn't even examined his blood but was certain it is his spine and left me with the news that my horse is about to retire at the age of 4,5 :/
    YES. If your vet did not have you do the 180 degree sudden surprise turn.. and did not mention the horse's condition and so forth then either your vet is not a good lameness vet OR does not know horses OR was so disgusted by the horse's condition they wanted no more to do with it (or because your horse was not a $100,000 stakes winning brood mare they lost interest).

    I find incompetence with horse lameness.. especially body related lameness.. is pretty common with vets. They need to see a lot of it.. or be familiar with it. I also find that while a vet may have brilliant academics, they are not necessarily good with people.

    A good vet would have taken a fecal, examined the horse's teeth, and then proceeded to raise cane with you for having the horse thin. At that point you could have a dialogue.. because it would all be out on the table.

    When realizing the horse lost condition over the winter, a good vet would have backed off and looked at the other horses, asked how they are fed, realized the others were NOT thin and probably run a blood test on your horse. A good vet would have talked about feed and suggested something different to bring this horse when you see him every day to help this horse gain condition. This horse is worth this effort.

    Not all vets are good. Remember.. the guy who graduates at the top of his class gets to be Dr. Smith. The guy who graduates at the bottom of the class still gets to be a doctor. They BOTH graduated.
    tcvhorse likes this.
         
        05-03-2013, 12:38 PM
      #37
    Yearling
    I'm very concerned that you think carrots and apples are a "feed".
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        05-03-2013, 12:55 PM
      #38
    Green Broke
    Look folks.. this owner has a horse kept at a facility (boarding barn) with other horses. The facility feeds the horses on the ground in multiple piles and the horses are out 24/7. It appears the horses are all treated the same way and this is the one that lost condition.

    I think repeated whipping for the horse's condition is pretty counter productive.

    The horse LOSING CONDITION was one reason the vet was called AND for the toe dragging. She goes to the facility daily to check on her horse and brings the carrots and apples because the FACILITY is providing the Feed.

    Now that the grass is growing it appears the horse is regaining lost weight.

    The owner has another vet coming. The owner knows that the horse needs more condition. The owner has been informed that the horse needs more than carrots and apples.

    No one likes to see a thin horse, including this horse's owner.
         
        05-03-2013, 02:50 PM
      #39
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Elana    
    Look folks.. this owner has a horse kept at a facility (boarding barn) with other horses. The facility feeds the horses on the ground in multiple piles and the horses are out 24/7. It appears the horses are all treated the same way and this is the one that lost condition.

    I think repeated whipping for the horse's condition is pretty counter productive.

    The horse LOSING CONDITION was one reason the vet was called AND for the toe dragging. She goes to the facility daily to check on her horse and brings the carrots and apples because the FACILITY is providing the Feed.

    Now that the grass is growing it appears the horse is regaining lost weight.

    The owner has another vet coming. The owner knows that the horse needs more condition. The owner has been informed that the horse needs more than carrots and apples.

    No one likes to see a thin horse, including this horse's owner.
    Agreed!!! Also, the OP has stated that English is not her first language and I don't think she believes carrots and other treats are "feed". I think she is just letting us know that she also feeds her horse those items. I think the pictures prove that he is already gaining weight again and she has arranged for another vet to come out. I think she has received some very helpful information here and she is following everyone's advice.
    m00nisek and 4hoofbeat like this.
         
        05-03-2013, 03:10 PM
      #40
    Foal
    Thank you Corgi and Elana - you explained everythink what I meant clearly :)
    I know the difference between feed and treats but someone has asked me to list everything the horse eats. I also took it for granted that you know I am not a stable owner but one horse owner only and that the facility provides food. I decided to "intervene" by calling the vet because my horse was thin and other horses not and at the same time toe dragging occurred.

    My another thought: I think he lost his weight quite quickly, in 3 weeks maybe? In my country there was a long winter , at the beginning of April it was about -5 Celsius degrees and then,suddenly +20. When I was riding him when it was cold he was OK but when "true spring" came he lost his enthusiasm for rides and his ribs started to stick out.

    PS. You are really helpful and sound really competent :) Thank you for all the pieces of advice :)
    corgi likes this.
         

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