I have been battling an ongoing on/off lameness with my girl, and thought I might post here to see if anyone's experience might be able to help. I first want to say that she has already been evaluated by several vets, and the diagnosis is 'joint inflammation' in both fetlocks with no known cause.
In the past weeks when I have ridden her, she is occasionally off. It is always her front, but sometimes right, sometimes left. It is always SO slight, only noticable when she is backed, and even then it is difficult to see. Usually I notice it because I feel it when I am riding, and then I call someone over to watch and they eventually say "ok yeah, she is a little bit off," with her stride on one side being shorter. It does not get any worse with riding, she does not bob her head or show any signs of being agitated or uncomfortable, however I do stop riding as soon as I notice it just in case.
She is currently on a joint supplement, SmartFlex Repair (from smartpak, the info about it is here: SmartFlex Repair from SmartPak Equine)
And I know about the controversy regarding whether feed-through joint supplements work, but I have yet to find any negative effects of feed-throughs, so I still use this, in case it does help some.
She was on Devils Claw Plus and extra MSM, but I didnt think they made a difference so I cut back to save some money. Anyone have any miracle anti-inflammatories I could try?
She has had joint injections in the past, not recently because the problem seemed to have been resolved. I am considering restarting injections, but is there any reason to not inject? She is only 10, can repeated injections cause any scarring or detrimental effects to the joint? Also; how much should I expect to pay for injections?
She is very hard to evaluate by the vets, because her lameness is not always there. I am getting tired (and so is he!) of calling the vet out, and paying the house call fee only to show him a completely sound horse. Every time I ride her I have to pray she will be sound today, and we are not longer taking lessons or planning on showing because I cannot count on her being sound. Just wondering if anyone might have some insight.
I know what it is like to not be sure if you'll have a sound horse that day. Starship has been off and on for a while with his knee. I did opt for the injection as his trainer (he's an OTTB) convinced me I could not make his situation worse and it wasn't going to get better, so why should he be in pain?
He is doing so much better since the shot (2 weeks ago now), he feels like his old (crazy fast) self again.
On top of that he gets glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM, he had a Legend shot about a month ago and I have bute and aspirin ready to go before and after we ride. I try to stick with aspirin as much as I can, bute is only when he seems off again, which hasn't happened yet.
Starship is 13 and has received these shots since he was around 6/7 and still racing. I don't like doing it, but the alternative is worse.
Have you thought about getting a good chiropractor out? If the vet cant figure out whats causing her lameness, a chiro would be a good direction to go in and see what they think. Some Equine therapists can also test to see what your horse needs in there diet as well. I had this done on my horses and you will be blown away with what they say. They might not need anything, could be just that she needs to be adjusted somewhere. Its a very neat thing in which will save you alot of money in trying different things to see which works and which doesnt for her. Shes not very old either so I would definately try a chiro and go from there.
Just a thought.
Do you know how she was trained and at what age? She may be developing early onset arthritis. Or (and I hate to even mention it) navicular. You might try to find a lameness specialist or a vet that has lots of experience with navicular just to rule that out. Good luck and I hope you find out what is causing it. ((hugs))
what does the fluid look like in the fetlocks when you inject? is there even any fluid or are they dry?
injecting cant hurt. we have racehorses and they are injected very often. racing is tough on a horse. the only problem you can have is scar tissue from the needle from injecting, but thats minimal.
keeping her on joint supplements is good. you may want to look into Adequan depending on how bad the joints are. its expencive. there are 2 kinds, one that you would put right into the joint, and the other that you put in the muscle to keep the joint holding up.
im not sure how bad these joints are so its hard to tell you what to do. the simplest being keeping it wraped and rubbing it with either something like thermoflex or using an iodine paint... it all depends on what works better for the horse and what the true cause is and how bad
Luckily, when she first went lame, we had every test known to man done, and her x-rays showed no sign of navicular or risk for later developing navicular.
I had a 24yr gelding with Arthritis & Inflamed joints I used msm ( made in Australia) and it worked wonders! He couldn't trot without being stiff and lame after 2 weeks of msm added to his feed he was back to his old self jig jogging on the spot we even went to some sporting events! please give it a go.
MSM Supplies Australia - MSM is a form of bio-available (absorbable) Sulfur.
MSM also works extremely well for Animals. Cats, Dogs, Horses etc. Animals also suffer a lot of the same complaints we suffer from. Animals Suffering from Arthritis, Inflamed joints, Back Pain etc all can benefit from taking MSM. Its also been found that horse studs using MSM on both the mare and the stallion get much better success rates when breeding. Success rates have risen drastically. Race Horses recover faster after heavy training or a race. It works on all animals that are mammals large and small.
John Metcalf, DVM, a well-known equine practitioner, started his evaluation of MSM to treat a variety of illnesses in horses, including chronic muscle soreness, epiphysis's, acute laminitis, pleuritis, recurring digestive tract disorder and arthritis. He had good success where other more traditional treatments were not as effective.
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