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Opinions about buying a horse with arthritis

This is a discussion on Opinions about buying a horse with arthritis within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        11-14-2012, 02:13 PM
      #21
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by franknbeans    
    Could you lease her or would the owner allow you to work with her and condition her? That might help you sort it out better, unless you want to get films done.....If she is "crooked" I would call a chiro to look at her and help sort it out. Can't hurt. I have a chiro who I actually prefer to a vet for lameness issues. She is much more astute at seeing the slightest gimp, ones that are imperceptible to me for sure.

    Too bad you are so far away-she travesla LOT, but I think she sticks to the East Coast, perhaps Ohio.......
    So far, the owner has given me freedom to work her as I please, which is what I have been doing. We have a chiropractor appointment on Thursday next week, to have her checked out. This woman is well known for her abilities, as she is also a vet and does acupuncture. Many people have recommended her, including the farrier. I've emailed her about also doing x-rays while we are at the clinic. My plan is to have her "adjusted" and have some x-rays to either confirm or deny arthritis. If she does have arthritis, I'm going to walk away, but I'll likely keep working with her until I get a horse/the owner sells her to someone else. Hopefully, it is all related to being misaligned and overworked and pulling a muscle or 2 and straining a joint. We'll find out for sure next Thursday. I know x-rays are expensive, but so many people said they would walk away from arthritis, that it is better to have a clear cut answer and to remove all speculation, and to know that yes, she has arthritis which is more than I can afford, or no she doesn't, and it is safe to move forward.
         
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        11-14-2012, 06:03 PM
      #22
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DixieKate    
    That's the problem I'm having. I'm absolutely in love with her. We have this bond that's unlike any other horse I've ridden, and if that wasn't there, it would be easier for me to walk away.
    Get her xrayed before making ANY decisions. Honestly, it's a fw dollars out of your pocket but will save you years of heart ache.
    I just wish that I'd had my previous horse xrayed. He came up sound in a flexion test, and 6 months later was lame, had xrays and found to have bone spurs and arthritic changes in his hock. I ADORED this horse, I've had many horses previously, but Hugo was definitely my favourite.
    I spent over 18 months trying to 'fix' him, and close to $10 000 in the process on various treatments.
    In the end, he ruptured his suspensory ligament in the paddock, and while on box rest, within only 1 1/2 weeks of having to weight bare more on his hind legs, his hock swelled up and became problematic again. I ended up having to put him down.

    Just get this horse xrayed and don't make a stupid mistake like I did, buying with my heart and not my head. Hugo was only 6 when I bought him, but had had 32 starts on the track. I was a fool to not xray him.
    Don't make the same mistake, or you will end up broken hearted and very much out of pocket. There will always be another horse that you 'click' with. My 2 year old is that horse for me.
    franknbeans, Eolith and smrobs like this.
         
        11-14-2012, 06:09 PM
      #23
    Trained
    I personally would never buy a horse knowing it had arthritis. It wouldn't even matter if it was very minor and barely affected the horse.

    I have a 5 year old that has a severe onset of arthritis and a part of her bone is now gone. Her athletic ability has been diminished. I bought her as a barrel horse, and chances are, she'll never step foot into an arena because of this.

    I did not buy her this way. She was injured (kicked perhaps) and an infection took over, then arthritis set in.

    She is on weekly/biweekly/monthly IM injections of Pentosan, and gets oral meds to help with any pain. (MSM/Gluclosamine/Chondroitin) She's on 6 months of rest before I can *maybe* ride her.

    It's NOT fun dealing with this type of horse and it costs A LOT of money...I have put thousands of dollars into this mare and I've ridden her 5 times and owned her since August 31. It's not the type of situation I wanted, or would ever wish on anyone else.

    Seriously, GET XRAYS. If they come back bad, WALK AWAY. No matter how much in love with this horse that you are.
    Kayty likes this.
         
        11-14-2012, 07:06 PM
      #24
    Yearling
    Ok, I'm just going to tell you my experience w/ my horse who has arthritis and you can take what you need out of it

    I bought Odie as a 3 yr old as an all-around horse. We showed strictly all-around for 2 years and then switched to barrels when I realized that he was NEVER going to shorten his stride for WP. Because I was serious about running, and he was having diffuculty turning to the left, I started having a chiro come out. His pelvis was "locked", she would "unlock" it, but it never got better. So we took him in for x-rays. The x-rays showed that his left femur is a few cm shorter than his right, BUT his illium is cm longer on the left than the right. Basically, his legs are the same length, but the joints aren't even so they break at different points. Because this is how he was born, arthritis had started to develop.

    The diagnosis ended his barrel career, because his butt would never be able to handle the stresses of racing. However, he is perfectly able to continue as a huntseat horse.

    He's almost 22 now and has NEVER EVER taken a lame step due to the arthritis outside of a flexion test (then he will take 2 missteps, and then he's fine). Now that he's older, he does take awhile longer to warm up and get all the stiffness out, but he's 110% rideable.

    I know some on here list a large amount of meds, treatments, etc for their arthritic horses. And I've worked with horses like that as well, BUT as maintenance for Odie's arthritis I pay a grand total of.....wait for it....wait for it...$36 on a senior supplement w/ xtra arthritis stuff in it. Next summer it will go up a little because I'm going to start having a chiro come out so my daughter can ride/show.

    So in a nutshell, in my experience even a young horse can get arthritis, but still be considered sound (if I hadn't gotten x-rays, and just stayed w/ all-around I still wouldn't know he has arthritis). Definitely get the x-rays, BUT even if they show some arthritis, ask the vet about the prognosis. Having arthritis isn't always a death sentence.

    Just my 2 cents on the topic
         
        11-14-2012, 07:10 PM
      #25
    Foal
    A lot of good points made here

    Thanks for the input even though I didn't ask the question. I am looking at the same situation with purchasing an older horse.

    I am also trying to get my 5 posts so that I can actually contact someone about a horse I am interested in.
         
        11-14-2012, 11:10 PM
      #26
    Foal
    I contacted the vet who came out to do her lameness exam and I told her that Rain has been doing better and has been sound for about 2 weeks. I asked if she would come do a pre-purchase exam and take x-rays so that I would have a clear picture of what is going on. I told her I like evidence and I would feel better about walking away if I had real hard evidence, rather than speculation, even if it was more money than I intended to spend. Hopefully I'll know by next week.
         
        11-14-2012, 11:52 PM
      #27
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DixieKate    
    This is what I'm wondering as well. Could joint misalignment (she's a little crooked) and overwork cause joint pain and popping temporarily?
    Don't know about horses, but it sure can for me
         
        11-15-2012, 12:12 AM
      #28
    Yearling
    Just to add that I think I can second busysmurf's experience. Ellie (now 19) was diagnosed as having a bit of arthritis and a malformed hip joint a couple of years ago (in addition to a serious leg injury), yet I started riding her this spring. We've worked up to maybe 8-10 mile trail rides. Once she's warmed up, she wants to trot a lot, canter some, even worked up to a bit of a gallop last weekend. Then when she's unsaddled at home, she'll go running up the hill in the corral to get to her rolling spot, So she surely isn't crippled, She gives every evidence of enjoying our rides, even though I'm an absolute beginner, and (at 6' and close to 200 lbs) not by any means a light weight for her to carry.
         
        11-15-2012, 12:14 AM
      #29
    Yearling
    My qh mare was 14 when diagnosed. She's now 17. I found the right supplement (technyflex) and she's perfectly sound. I can take her out for 4-5 hours lots of hard riding over hard ground and she's fine. She pulls up better then I do that's for sure!

    She jumps no problem though not sure she'll ever do 5ft again.

    I'd definitely get the vets opinion on this one though!
         
        11-15-2012, 12:16 PM
      #30
    Foal
    If you have that bond then I would get her. Itll take a little more upkeep but it will be worthit. If my mare had problems before I bought her I would have bought her anyway. She's in my care and as long as im alive she will have everything she needs even when she gets to the point she can't be ridden. That bond is hard to find and worth every bit of work that comes with it.
         

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