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eventerdrew 09-06-2009 04:43 PM

I need some comfort... hoping for the best, preparing for the worst for Uma's issues
Hey guys,

I need some reassurance :cry:

My AWB mare, Uma, has been showing signs of EPSM for the past couple of weeks. She has been grumpy under saddle, reluctant to canter, and off-and-on lame and the lameness seems to switch legs.

Then, this week, she began to stomp both of her hind feet down at the same time when asked to do the right lead canter. The right lead has always been very hard for her but she has never been physically incapable of doing it. She can pick it up, but she has no strength to maintain it. I have been working this horse all year, she should be able to canter, especially because she was fine a month ago and her left lead is still great. It's so sad to watch her attempting to canter, she wants to please, but she physically can't :cry:

She had surgery on her stifle when she was 3 (she is 7 now) for a sequestrum (dead bone in her leg that if not removed, could have broken her leg) and she came back fine from that. But I'm worried that because it is in her left stifle, that might be the reason she is having some trouble. She has always had weak stifles (not diagnosed, just generally weak) and her back end is entirely too small for the rest of her body. Hence, fitness is hard.

My main concern is that she will never be able to jump again. If she can't jump, I don't know what I am going to do. Obviously I can't keep her (I've had her since she was 10 mos. old) because I already have one horse that does nothing, deservedly so, but still. She is a great trail horse, but if she can't canter and can only be ridden lightly, I am afraid that she won't be happy :-(. She is high maintenance in the weight building/keeping department and I don't know if anyone would want her. She's really not that good of a breeding candidate because of the way she is built.

I'm so scared that the vet is going to tell me she can't jump, or she has to be put down. :cry::cry::cry:

Hopefully the solution will be some hard-core chiropractic :?

sorry for the book, I just needed to get my feelings out somehow

AlmagroN 09-06-2009 04:50 PM

dont get too bent out of shape yet.

there are probably options for her. a lot of our horses get joint injections to keep them going. she may possibly be fine with her stifle injected regularly to maintain it. just have a vet check her out and see what they say. you may even want to have a few vets check her if youre not 100% sure on one. (ive had one vet take an xray of a coffin and tell me there was nothing wrong, so i took it to another and i could see the break from across the room on the xray!!!) good luck to you. i dont know much about cantering and lead changes and whatnot as i dont ride so im no help as to what might be causing it if it could be anything else :-(

eventerdrew 09-06-2009 04:58 PM

Thanks AlmagroN.

If this vet (who is my regular vet and has always caught problems with different horses in the past) tells me there is something detrimental going on I will definitely seek other opinions just to be sure of his diagnosis. Not that I don't trust him, it's just that I want the best for my horse, you know?

We have thought about stifle injections and he has suggested them in the past if the stifle issue became worse. Looks like that day has come. That is, if it is even in her stifle. We don't know yet. The sad part is, she is only 7. I would hate to inject a horse at her age but if that will keep her healthy and happy, then I will find a way to do it.

Thanks again, I'm just nervous for her appointment

AlmagroN 09-06-2009 05:07 PM

dont worry about age. our horses are injected at all ages of life, 2, 3, 7, 9, 13, 15... doesnt matter. if they need it they need it. injecting cant hurt a horse, there really is no negative side effects from it. its quick and easy. just make sure they have stall rest for 2-3 days after injecting so that the injection has time to work.

hopefully you figure out whats wrong.

eventerdrew 09-06-2009 05:11 PM

Stall rest... Uma... hmmm that will be an interesting combination!

MyBoyPuck 09-06-2009 05:23 PM

Can't EPSM be managed to a good degree by eliminating grain or complete feeds, adding fat and amino acids? The basis of this illness is the horse's inability to process carbohydrates needed for energy. She might need some time off, but it looks like it might be manageable. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

eventerdrew 09-06-2009 05:27 PM

yes, it can. He said he didn't want to start her on the diet without seeing her first. BUT she may not even have EPSM. It was just his first guess without an in-person visit. The only difinitive way to tell is a muscle biopsy, which costs a pretty penny.

Honestly, my hope is that she just needs chiro work or has a mild case of EPSM to the point where it can be managed by diet.

HalfPass 09-06-2009 05:54 PM

Hi there Eventerdrew!
I am very sorry to hear your situation but please do not loose all hope.
My horse is 8yrs old. He is a TB and was in training at the track. He was bred by my dad and then my dad raised him...his business.
Tiny, my horse was diagnosed with OCD in his stifles. He had surgery to remove the bony growths and it went well. He is now 8 and he does have some issue, but being that when my dad gave him to me I was in no shape to ride due to a work related injury and then after that an unfortunate car accident, Tiny was in pasture for a few years up until he came to live with me this summer.

It has been a battle UP hill and tough all the way.

He arrived with long feet and low heals. He was showing intermittent lamnes which I thought was a right fromt which was X-rayed and found there is a Navicular cyst but many horses have these and do just fine. I think his feet being long and low were the bigger issue. Then, this intermittent lamness continued. Finally I had had enough and called the vet back out. I told her I thought the Hind was the issue. We did x-rays of the stifles and of the hocks to check everything. Just a small amount of arthritis in the hocks.
The vet recomended injections and I had read about them and was cringeing while thinking about them.
I made a decision to try it.
This was a couple months ago and up until just the other day everything was great. I think Tiny had an arthritis flare and I now have it under control.
The injections helped! I was shocked at how much better he felt. He really was able to get over a huge hump with the inflammation under control.
Will he ever jomp...well don't know about that, but the one thing that makes me happy is He is happy and still willing to learn and work...

I hope this has given you a ray of hope!

Sometimes I think about all we do with our horses and wonder what kinds of stuff goes through their heads about all we do with them....
They are our kids! Big ones...
Hope your vet visit goes well. Oh- I too had another vet look at all the x-rays etc from the vet here. I have a contact at a university so I sent them on to him.

Hope it helps
Half Pass

tealamutt 09-06-2009 06:58 PM

I would not worry until she has been seen. Your vet was probably just thinking outloud when he mentioned a potential diagnosis to you when you spoke. Without a thorough physical exam, there is no way for a diagnosis to be made just based of a limited history. Don't start fretting yet, there could be dozens of explainations.

eventerdrew 09-06-2009 09:08 PM

Thanks HalfPass. What an amazing story your boy has!

As far as not worrying, that's not an option. There is something wrong with her, no doubt. The severity of the situation? I don't know.

I was the one who mentioned EPSM to him and he said that is what he was thinking it was. I had done some research on it before and Uma displayed an alarming amount of signs. But who knows, she probably doesn't have it.

It's not that she is in pain... I don't think (she is very good at hiding it). She just has something funky going on in her back end. She has a lump right on her croup next to her spine which might be causing the problem.

AHH! I'm just making myself crazy thinking of all the possible explanations.

The vet is going to have me ride her at his place to show what she does under saddle as opposed to on the ground. Then we will most likely turn her out and make her canter in the pasture; where she does the same thing. Then, he will take the necessary steps to diagnose her after that.

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