Over the past 4 years I have had issues on and off with Cinny. At first I thought they were training issues, then ulcers, then magnesium deficiency and even "phantom lamness" that would be one leg one week, another the next. Several trainers, vets, chiropractors, and yes even an Equine Positional Release therapist and still the problems keep coming and going. It has been quite an exhausting 4 years. And he just kept getting better and worse. We seem to go 2 steps forward and then 3 steps back and now, he has days when he is so stiff that he walks more like a 30 year old horse than the 11 year old that he is. And the past 6 months he has lost an enormous amount of muscle mass.
Last week I asked my vet about "Kissing Spines" as he seems to have a lot of the symptoms. Fine when at rest, but then start riding and he goes berserk. Or even not even riding, sometimes just lunging with a saddle makes him act like the saddle is a mountain lion trying to eat him. Tucking his tail between his legs and running like a scared dog with his ears pinned and his eyes rolling back in his head. The vet came out and examined him and decided to hold off on X-rays for Kissing Spine.
He says Cinny is a "classic" Lyme case and he has had just over 10 horses in the area crop up with it in the past year. He thinks Cinny may have had it all along and nobody noticed because we all assumed it was a "green horse" behavior issue, then the ulcers and so on. No he did not do a blood draw or any other test yet, he is just that POSITIVE Lyme is the culprit, and this vet is the best in the area. I had him drive 1 hour one way to see Cinny other than my every day vet just for that reason.
He is currently being treated with doxycycline twice a day as well as a Chinese herbal remedy called "Concentrated Happy Liver." I was told to work him on the lunge for the next 2 weeks and then he can be ridden, but he has had so much muscle loss that I will probably work him on the lunge with a Pessoa System after the first week and then for a month to try to rebuild his top line and get him supporting himself better. My vet says the reason he should be worked now instead of waiting is that the Borrelia burdorferi spirochete, the organism responsible for Lyme Disease, goes dormant when the horse is relaxed or on rest. If it goes dormant, the antibiotic is less effective or may not work at all. It is most active when the horse is stressed.
As of today, Cinny has had the Doxy/Happy Liver for 24 hours and was worked on the Lunge. This is the first work he has had Since April 6, almost a month ago except for daily turnout. Yesterday he was so stiff he could barely walk out of his stall into the arena, but once warmed up and then turned loose he kicked up his heels a little, but was still a bit lackluster compared to when he is feeling like his normal self.
Today on the lunge started the same. Very very stiff. He did warm up out of it again to an extent and there were times of trotting with his nose on the ground. You could still hear his joint creaking but he seemed a it happier today than yesterday.
First 5 minutes, he was a bit lazy and didn't want to trot.
About 10 minutes into the workout
After about 15 minutes
Stay tuned for future updates, feel free to ask questions!. Please do not "critique" the videos, this is a sick horse, I know he does not move correctly, isn't being "pushed" into the halter/bridle, etc. Considering he could barely walk yesterday (April 30) I think he's doing a pretty good job.