left front leg lameness
I have a 9 year old Tennessee Walker who has come up lame in his left front leg. I didn't notice him being lame while just walking in his paddock but when I saddled him and got on it only took about 10 steps for me to know that he was lame. He is shod and has been for about 6 weeks now. I looked for swelling and tried to find any tender spots on his leg and shoulder but could not find any.
I had the farrier out to check his feet and he tested his hoof and could find no tenderness there.
Without riding him it is almost impossible to see him limp. So I rode him today for about 5 minutes and he is still limping and he seems to stumble some, which is a first he didn't stumble the first time I noticed it, his limp is not nearly as bad as it was 3 weeks ago. I have seen from others that it could be an abscess. If he has one I cannot see it. I am not going to ride him until he is 100%. I am hoping he will get better on his own and I think he will but if there something I can do to help him I would really like to know so if there is something I can do please let me know.
Great that you're not going to ride him any more until he's OK. As you don't know what's wrong, you don't know whether riding will do further damage - not to mention it's obviously hurting him. Horses are pretty stoic creatures & if he 'barely limps', I'd say he's in a fair degree of pain. Also consider that horses that are equally lame on both feet don't limp.
Especially as he's due for a trim anyway, I'd get his shoes off ASAP. If he's seriously lame &/or it goes on for more than about a week, give or take, I'd be getting a good equine vet out.
....Just re-read your post in case there was something else before I sent this & noticed that it's been going on already for a few weeks. I would therefore call the vet ASAP & don't leave him in pain any longer. It could well be an abscess, but these usually cause acute lameness & don't persist for long. However with him shod, so function & circulation may not be optimum, so the horse may have reduced sensitivity and abscesses do often hang about a lot longer IME. *In the case of abscesses, I don't generally agree with 'digging' for them.
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