Somewhat minor lameness *Need opinions ASAP*
Hello, I usually am not one to demand attenion but I really need opinions.
I have a 13 year old QH gelding in moderate work and has been in moderate work for the past six years (was started as a 7 year old) , no long breaks at all. First three years of ownership no lamesness, 4th year, very minor one or two day stints usually after farrier visits. Early summer of fourth year he was cornered by step mothers gelding and got nailed in the RIGHT shoulder and was off for two weeks. Then he had an abcess during a very rainy summer, got it dealt with and healed within 3 weeks. Following spring he had another abcess, took about 3 weeks to heal.
March 22 (almost 2 weeks ago) his rythim was off the day after a hard ride (lots of circles, counter canters, changes) Gave him the next day off(23rd) Lunged him on the 24th he was fine. Rode him and had a nice quiet ride on the 25th. 27th he was off again, so I got my coach to look at him. He had a decent head bob at the trot on his right front. She suspected it was in the shoulder due to the lack of reach, so she did some massage of the largest shoulder muscle and stretched his leg forwards and backwards a few times then trotted him out and he did not come out as off. We also noticed how crooked his right front shoe was on, which could explain something some stress on the shoulder and out tendons. He also swung his right leg very oddly like he was trying swing it?
I called my farrier who arrived today (the 1st) asessed him on the lunge line and then found some sensitivity on the back of his right short pastern and not on his left. I told him the vet was coming out tomorrow so he took the shoes off even though he said his shoes were very balanced, which I believed were NOT. Just to eliminate a variable and I can get xrays if needed. I could not for the life of me get him to flinch like my farrier did, so I have no idea if thats correct either.
Anyways we talked over some possible ailments, ringbone, fracture, navicular, which at the sound broke my heart but turns out there is lots of treatments.
My horse is toed in naturally but is not possesing any characteristics of navicular that I have read about.
Anyways just need opinions on what questions to ask and what I should look for when the vets examitnating. Hes also getting his teeth and vacinations done, is it safe to get all this done at one time? Or should I schedule another day?
Hello, got the vet out and hes narrowed it down to heel abccess, torn tendon, or navicular. My horse is now on previcox and isox...? For 7 days along with stall rest. On the 8th day I am supposed take him off the meds for 24 hrs, if he stays sound, we put him back on meds and SLOWY put him back into work and off meds, if not he will get nerve blocking and X rays. Vet did lameness exam using flexions and hoof testers, and found sensitivity in frog and heel, which I understood could CAN dictate navicular if X rays match.
I also leaned some other intersting things but I have questions.
Since when can a horse abcess with shoes? And at the 5 week point? I was told they wont with shoes.
What else can heel and frog sensitivity mean? And he also tested a solid 2 on the lameness scale.
I disagree with the progression you've explained a bit. You might take him off meds on the 8th day & if he's sound, turn him out, then if all is well start light work, but why put him back on meds if he's sound & why start working him on meds?? I'd start working him without painkillers to mask anything.
If you're going to get xrays - any chance of ultrasound too? - I would request that the vet mark the dorsal wall, dorsal hairline and apex of frog.
Do some research into hoof function & 'navicular syndrome' - which effectively just means unexplained heel pain, so that sounds likely. If there are bony changes to the navicular bone, via rads, this is a positive diagnosis, but the bony changes are just a progression & don't appear to (generally) affect the likelihood of rehab with good management, hoof/frog support & trimming.
Do some research into treating the 'syndrome' & look at holistic options, as I believe it's a whole hoof issue, not about the navicular region exclusively, and while conventional views often still look at it as 'incurable' so they focus on symptomatic, palliative treatments which are usually short lived, it's becoming common for it to be 'cured'(bony changes may not change but horse is genuinely sound) with good management, including trimming the hooves to a more physiologically correct form for better function and relief of DDFT in nav. region. Dr Robert Bowker is a name to look up, but his papers can be heavy going, so you might look for a review of one of his lectures on the subject. Mayfield Barehoof Care Centre Home Page is another source with lots of info & case studies on hoof rehab, including 'navicular'.
Hello, Thank you for your reply. Hes still on medication. for 5 more days. But I am going to call the vet tomorrow and ask him about theory on the 8th day off then the 9th day back on medications. I will get an ultrasound as well (is that a overall better choice then an xray?) I am going to do some research into a new farrier with the vet in ANY casem as I dissapointed with him.
I have read a TON of papers on navicular on the last two days and most of it has been positive, I have also read that its somewhat overdiagnosed? Navicular Syndrome is changes on the bone itself, but horses with changes in the tendons and ligaments around it are also diagnosed with navicular syndrome. Assuming my vet is well educated it wont be misdiagnosed but I want correct treatment in any case.
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