Nuerological or spinal damage? need some help
Has anyone ever seen anything like this? This the the mule we pulled from a broker from new holland. If anyone remembers me posting about her, when we went to get her she was cut up. We thought she had been cast in her stall. Her main issue is that she is having a really hard time getting up once she lays down. When we first got her she would not walk up the hill by herself at all- even the slight slope in this pasture. She is now walking up and down the hill on her own just fine. Sometimes she gets right up (but always a little backwards or sidestep when getting her footing), other times it takes her two or 3 times like this:
We have had the vet over and evaluate her. She walks fine, can spin in a circle, buck up with her head raised, etc. Despite how she looks, she is VERY thin, her hair is just deceiving and the big hay/worm belly. She has pretty much no muscle at all. From blood tests we did find she has lyme disease (not sure how high), but enough so our vet felt we should treat her. She has had one week of doxy and haven't really seen any improvement as far as her getting up, sometimes she can get up, sometimes she can't. I do think it doens't take her as long of a rest to retry - before she would lay and shake for a bit from the struggle before trying again. Vet said 7-10 days you usually see improvement. From the looks of her, we feel this is an issue that has been going on - her hair is rubbed short on her rear from sitting, and her hocks look capped - every time she does this she reopens bloody sores on them.
Now I don't know if this is a combination of the lyme with her being so underweight and undermuscled? Her feet are also extremely long, and her one hind foot is flaring to the side- I am still working on getting her to pick her feet up so I can get the farrier to do her safely. She is most definately perkier acting. Or did she have a spinal injury at one time? Or recovered from something like EPM (vet and I thought this one was probably unliked as she was reportedly an amish work animal- testing/treatment is quite expensive).
Any help is appreciated.
Looks to me like severe hind end injury and a most serious and sad case.
I haven't read the history but if she was cast recently then is your vet also treating with anti-inflammatory analgesia as precautionary to any injury sustained then?
You may not know much about her history but, do you know if she was cast for a reason? e.g. was she stuck because she had a problem that prevented her from standing?
Was she o.k. previously prior to getting cast?
Or has she always had a problem getting up?
Does she lie down a lot?
Does she ordinarily weight bare evenly on all legs?
Have you had ultrasound/x rays done? If not then I'd suggest if there's not an improvement within days that you move to that next.
I'm thinking though that this looks like a VERY expensive and extensive commitment and would strongly advise you make every effort to diagnose the root cause of this problem and the prognosis and extent of what will be required before you further invest (emotionally and farrier/vet/money/other resources etc)
I've just taken a look at the other video you have when you first got her.
She looks very sore and is moving short behind. Her right hind seems to be turned out. She also has a club foot.
I'd suggest you don't sit on her till you've identified root cause of this serious problem.
Poor thing. Does she have any other symptoms or is she just weak in the hind end. It certainly could be the effects of Lyme disease as it can effect so many different things including muscle atrophy and neuromuscular disease. Did the vet not show concern for this problem or did he/she believe it was a part of Lyme disease symptoms. If the vet hasnt seen this happening I would definately show them the video. Best of luck. Ive never had to deal with Lyme disease in a horse and we have few cases of it here but I am certainly glad of that.
She looks like a sweet thing.
I do not know if she was cast for sure, I was only assuming because she got herself cast against the side of our barn in the quarantine field (layed too close, tried to get up and feel back down and got stuck). She does lay down and nap quite a bit. I have absolutely no history on her.
She does seem stiff in the neck, she can flex it when we ask, but does not do so on her own. She generally walks with her head low and doesn't turn her neck much if she turns to look at something. None of her feet are clubbed, but yes her hind foot is quite turned out. That is the foot she rests the most. Another thing she does is stand up on her toes and stick her tail out (looks like she is about to pee)- she does this if she has been napping in one spot for a while and I have caught her and make her walk forward. She also would do this when I was trying to pick up her hind feet at first, she would refuse to pick up her foot or pick it up slightly then stand on her toes - she has really not done this lately.
We have not done x-rays. We had the vet look at her the second week we had her and pulled blood. We started out with the lyme test first, when it came up positive we opted to treat her first before moving on.
I honestly do not have a lot of money to invest in her. And yes I do already realize it was foolish to buy her without having loads of cash sitting around in case there was a problem. I guess we were just seeing and animal that needed some food and tlc, not intensive veterinary tests.
If money is an issue then if the treatment for lyme's doesn't make an improvement within a short time, (10 days maximum!) then I'd urge you to give serious consideration to having her put down to save further suffering and without too much delay.
I think she might have some injury based on what you have just said. The lack of movement of neck is but another symptom that could be indication of back injury. Taking a stance (pee stance)could also be a sign that she is trying to relieve some pain. Just give your vet a call and chat with him about the symptoms and get his/her opinion of what you should do next. It is difficult when you are trying to help an animal out of a bad situation and then find out perhaps its problems are more than you can afford to deal with. Its very sad. Sometimes our hearts get ahead of our heads.
Have a chat with the vet and go from there. Do take his advice and talk with him about finances available for treatment. Best of Luck and dont feel bad. You arent the first person to find out they bought an animal with way more problems than expected. It is a hard lesson, but a very good lesson. Always have a vet check for your own protection...
We will be calling the vet again, was just waiting for the 7-10 period to see improvement for the lyme treatment. I was hopeful at first that this was the problem paired with the lack of muscle, and I do think there is some improvement - as I said she is able to go up the hill now - but she is still showing difficulty getting up. She has been able to get up on her own though. After I took the video that day, we had to help her up - I pulled my husband pushed, she was just too weak to get up on her own. That was the only time we really had to help her.
She seems quite happy in the field. She just grazes most of the day and naps and wanders around and messes with her goat friend. Her personality has definately improved, shes not so lethargic, shes perky and a little mischevious. She doesn't seem like she is in a lot of pain, except for getting up, but I also don't know whats normal for her as she was off from the day she came here.
By the way, thank you both for replying and trying to help
I think you are right. She was not a good prospect to rescue from the sale-barn.
Personally, I would not put good money after bad, would cut my losses and would go rescue one of the many young, thin, sound horses that are getting shipped out of the sales. This one, while pathetic, is just a dead-end for a lot of money and will probably not have a good outcome if you spend thousands on her. The money you spend on her (and still not have a good outcome) could rescue 2 or 3 young thin horses that would make very nice saddle horses.
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