Please help! Mysterious Lameness!
Ok so I have a very frustrating problem with my QH mare. It all started the morning of April 17th. I got her out of the stall to lead her to her pasture and i noticed she was walkin funny. She looked sore on both front legs, the 1st thought in my mind was that she was developing laminitis from the green grass, but this puzzled me as she was not fat at all and has always been pastured during the day and in at night. I called the vet and she came out around 5 that evening. All she could say was that she looked foundered from the way she walked but her feet werent real hot. There was nothing else wrong with her, her eyes were clear, temp was normal, she was alert and otherwise happy ole Patty. So we pulled her off grass and treated her as if she had a slight case of laminitis. Well all seemed fine after a few days and she was walking good again but i left her in her stall for the rest of the 30 days with hand walking and turn out in a dry lot. Ok so here it gets tricky. Just around 30 days after the laminitis scare she went lame again this time on the hind left only, within two days she went three legged lame! So i figured she had an abcess as there was no heat or real swelling in leg and she wouldn't put weight on it. So in comes the farrier, he found nothing! I continued with the soaking and packing her foot but started to notice the leg was swelling but wasnt real hot. So I started wrapping her legs for support but the swelling continued within two days she had three painfully swollen legs and out came the vet again! She couldn't find anything physically wrong with her so she ran a bunch of blood work thinking maybe she had vasculitis or purpura haemorrhagica. Ok well the blood work was great! So i just kept up with packing her legs with ice and giving her bute and some low key outside time. The swelling and pain went away and she was normal again for about 3 weeks. I went to get her out 3 days ago and her right front leg was swollen and painful but with little heat. None of the swellings are real big and noticeable its all in the back of the cannon bones around the tendons but the tendons themselves dont seem to be the real source of pain. You can flex her legs and pinch the tendons and it does not bother her. All four legs have been affected. She is lame again with what appears to be the samething and i am very frustrated. The vet is puzzled and so am I. I cannot continue to call the vet out and keep putting more and more money into this mare. The next thing is to go to the vet for x-rays. I love her dearly but between her and the other one(is having dental surgery Tuesday to remove an impacted cap which has pushed the adult tooth down) I just cant keep up with the vet bills. I am young and have to pay my own vet bills so it is very difficult. If any of you have any suggestions or have heard of anything similar please let me know!!
Truthfully, a lameness exam and x-rays by an equine vet that has a special interest in lameness is probably your best bet. The fact that you just keep seeing lameness rather than something that appears but goes completely away means that it's something you need to get a figured out and treated.
I would stop with the vet calls and take her in for x-rays and any other test of the leg. At this point, I don't see how a diagnosis can be made by outwardly looking at the leg.
Let us know how things go.
Yes, at this point I'd say x-rays and a consultation with a specialist would be ideal. If your vet isn't doing any good, get a new one. A specialist may cost more, but in the end it will be less than calling a vet that hasn't been able to figure it out over and over again.
Thank you for replying, it's even more frustrated knowing that I have to get caught up with my vet bills before I can take her in for x-rays. In the meantime she is looking quiet comfortable again, which makes me feel a bit better. My filly has to go in tomorrow(appt. got moved b/c the big storms knocked out power at the clinic) for her tooth extraction, which is seemingly more urgent. :( Well thank you again I will let you know if I have ne more news on her!
Keep her comfortable on bute and don't ride her. Might try hosing her with cold water to reduce the swelling when she gets stocked up.
:cry: Hope she gets better :cry:
Best of luck! :(
I've been giving her powdered bute when she begins to look uncomfortable. Do you have any suqqestions on good ways of covering it up??? She finds it in everything!! Its supposed to be carrot favored, ya right! Ive been mixing it in applesauce and putting it in a syringe to give her but i don't wanna keep putting things in her mouth if i don't have too! Any suggestions welcome. I've tried molasses, applesauce, and yogurt all mixed in her grain n she always finds it!
I'm no vet, but if its in more than one leg, is recurring, and gets better with rest, then I'd be wary that perhaps its a chronic lameness brought on by the way in which the horse is constructed. The horse is such a complicated animal in the way it is built, and conformation that is not ideal in the legs could lead to the bones, joints, and ligaments/tendons becoming sore and swollen since horses spend almost their entire time on their feet.
I truly have no clue what it is, but I wish you luck. I think the best bet would be x-rays as soon as you can possibly get them, especially if this turns out to be a degenerative disease. That means that the quicker you get it figured out, the quicker you can treat and slow its progression. I understand the pressure of money and vet bills, as I am in my early twenties with horses...and yes, it is a big expense! As much as you may hate to, you may have to sell/give her to someone who can take care of her lameness issues. Particularly if it turns out to be something you're going to have to treat her entire life.
It could even be arthritis (I had a 4 year old QH with arthritis in his hocks, its strange but not unheard of for horses who aren't aged to have it. The only way we could tell that this is what he had was through x-rays.) His treatment was injections in his hocks once every few months. That adds up very quickly, and I ended up selling him to a family that wanted a pet they could ride very mildly every once in a blue moon. (He was more or less finished at 4 and had been a halter baby, which is most likely why he had develop the arthritis in the first place.)
I'm just throwing out possibities that are coming into my mind.
In any case, I hope that it isn't anything serious and can be treated easily so that you can keep your horse without having too much financial pressure! Good luck! Please keep us posted, I think we al here are anxious to know how it goes. ^_^
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