Does it sound like I need to think about retiring her permanently?

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Does it sound like I need to think about retiring her permanently?

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  • The horse's fetlock is very swollen she limps badly
  • hard swollen fetlock

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    05-28-2012, 07:11 PM
Does it sound like I need to think about retiring her permanently?

My mare Gypsie is 18. A few years ago, she started losing condition during the colder months, so I started 'retiring' her from roughly November to about April... basically, I started giving her the winter's off and she began keeping better condition through winter.

However, over the last few years, we've taken a few falls. She's been hurt pretty badly on one fall to the point where I had to get the vet out on an emergency basis where she landed on her shoulder pretty hard and skinned the hide off. She healed up fine, but was a little stiff when we finally started riding again.

My issue now, though, is this:

For the past few weeks, my girl has been 'off'. Not in the ''she's sick'' way, but in the way she moves. I've been watching her, and I've noticed that she's stiff in the leg that she had that bad injury on. She doesn't really want to walk off when I first catch her and she limps a little when she does start walking. She's stiff in the shoulder, but also in the fetlock joint, as she has a bone deformity in her fetlock that causes it to twist inwards and makes her hoof grow crosswayed (we take care of it with careful trimming to keep her balanced and comfy... but if it was ever left alone too long, she would be walking on the side of her hoof, basically).

Last time I rode my mare, she was a bit stiff and 'off'. I haven't ridden her since, but have just been watching her. She was limping a little by the time we got home and we only rode a little over a mile. When she stands normally, she puts that leg out slightly, like she's trying to rest it and not put a lot of weight on it.

Is it time to retire her permanently?
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    05-28-2012, 07:14 PM
Have you talked to a vet about putting her on a joint supplement of sorts?
    05-28-2012, 07:22 PM
I would definitely talk to your vet about it, if she is going to be permanently lame/off/in pain while you ride her, then I would say that its time to retire her.
    05-28-2012, 07:29 PM
She was limping very badly (for no reason that I could see) a little over a month ago, and I panicked and took her to the vet. He checked her over, put her on some medication for two weeks, and wasn't concerned at all (where I thought she'd broken her leg she was limping so badly).

After she quit limping from that time, I haven't spoken to the vet since. This entire year hasn't been too good to my mare... she's had injury after injury since January...
    05-28-2012, 07:29 PM
Green Broke
I would agree with the others she may just need to be retired to walk only trail/ kids pony.
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    05-28-2012, 07:31 PM
I will make it a point to call the vet though, and consult him about joint supplements... but it will have to wait until tomorrow because the office is closed today.
    05-28-2012, 07:43 PM
Originally Posted by Britt    
I will make it a point to call the vet though, and consult him about joint supplements... but it will have to wait until tomorrow because the office is closed today.
Are all of her injuries a result of falling? There may be a lot more going on than just a stiff joint if so. I hope she gets comfortable.
    05-28-2012, 08:07 PM
I got her when she was about 8-ish... and she already had the deformed leg-bone. I don't know if she was born with it or kicked or what, but she had that when I got her... and after using a farrier for years who never addressed the hoof issue, it got a lot worse than it should have been...

We fell a few years ago and she sprained her fetlock joint (the left one) badly and was on pasture rest for several weeks... And just about always it's been that leg (left leg) that she's injured. When we fell last time, she landed on that shoulder (the left one) bad enough to skin the hide off and she also hit her left knee on a rock when we hit the ground and it was swollen for several weeks. It took her a while to heal up from all that... but the vet wasn't too concerned about the injuries in terms of would it effect her ridability, etc...

She's been a little stiff in the shoulder ever since healing up, but it usually worked out within the first five/ten minutes of a ride... I assumed it was just lingering stiffness and would eventually go away... y'know, like us humans get after an injury... work it out... My girl went back to normal (walk, trot, canter, gallop, run, ride over mountains, trail riding, lunging/jumping, etc...) and was seemingly fine until I noticed how stiff she was (it doesn't seem like she was stiff like this last year, either... it seems like this has just happened this year...

She's had some pretty bad injuries this year, though... Back in Jan she got tangled up in hog wire and had to be cut free, tore her back pastern to pieces... it was healing up well and I went and got hurt and during the time I couldn't get out there, it got infected badly and she was on two rounds of antibotics and it still took over a month to fully clear up, then she went lame and was on another two rounds of antibiotics and bute tablets for two weeks, etc...

If I have to retire her, I will. She's been good as gold to me and if he has to retire, then she's definitely deserved it.
    05-28-2012, 08:30 PM
Wow, poor girl. Sounds like this has been a rough year for her. I'd nail the vet down on what is exactly causing the stiffness. And treatments. If they can't give you a diagnosis other than stiffness, maybe they can recommend someone who can.
She may be becoming so stiff she takes a nice little trot, leg doesn't keep up and down she goes. It happens with a friends old mare like that sometimes. She is 32 and very arthritic. Her one leg just can't seem to keep up with the others at anything faster than a walk.
    05-29-2012, 11:54 AM
Yeah this year has been horrible to my mare...

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