Lame - I'm inexperienced and not sure what to do
We were gone for the weekend and our barn owner took care of our horse. Their 20 year old daughter rode with our permission. She is very experienced and rode bareback so I wasn't at all concerned. Unfortunately, now Lily is limping.
We went out yesterday and as my daughter walked Lily around I noticed that she looked kind of stiff and at first I thought it was no big deal. Lily easily went into a trot and seemed alright. When she went back into a walk she seemed stiff again so I really watched (I'm do not have an experienced eye) and sure enough she was short-striding on her right front. We quit riding of course but now we're not sure what to look for or what to do. Lily is barefoot so I suppose it could be a stone bruise, but I don't know what to look for. What else can I look for and how do I check her out?
I'm heading to the barn in about an hour and if it's worse I will certainly call the vet.
I keep some Anprin on hand for just such occasions. Its a non prescription aspirin for horses. You might try giving some of that if you have access or stopping at the vets and getting a tube of bute.
I would say before you go out and spend money on a vet, give her a couple more days to see if maybe she gets better on her own. She may have strained a muscle. Depends on how this person rode her. I would say that if by friday she isnt any better, then maybe call your vet. If you give her any pain meds, that may hurt her too. Only because she wont know to lay off the injury and may damage it more. Do what you think is right. Take the tips of your fingers and push from hips to fetlock and from shoulders to fetlocks. If she doesnt flinch at that then really check her feet. Good luck.
Thank you for the replies. I'm on my way to the barn now and I will check her out as thoroughly as I can. I've got my fingers crossed that she is a little (if not a lot) better this morning. I'll post again when I get back.
I agree with mbender. In the mean while look at the bottom of her hoof if there is a stone bruise, you may be able to see it. It would look like a regular bruise.
A friend of mine had a horse that came up lame with no visible marks or sore spots. A few days after he first noticed it, an abscess broke free just above the coronet band. The only thing he could think of is that the horse banged his leg on something.
Well, I just got back from the barn and Lily is no better and no worse. She was demanding breakfast so I knew I'd have to check her out while she was eating. She is in good spirits though. I rubbed, massaged and pressed on her back, shoulders, hips, and legs and she never flinched or smarted. Her hooves are not the least bit warm. She wasn't crazy about me picking up either of her front hooves which leaves me a little suspicious as she is normally great about that, however she was eating so maybe she just wanted to be left alone. If she is still not wanting her hooves picked up and weight transferred to her other hooves would that indicate a back issue or would that indicate a sore hoof? I'm going back in an hour or so and I will put her in the cross-ties and really look at her hooves as well as more body rubbing (she'll probably like that part).
I called the farrier, who is scheduled to come out next week, and she suggested to soak her hoof in epsom salts about 20 min. per day and to let her know if there is no improvement in the next couple of days. This should be an interesting task beings that Lily is true to her Arabian heritage (desert horse) and does not like to get her hooves wet!
Not wanting to transfer the weight could be a back/muscle issue or the hoof. Soaking won't hurt, but are you able to ascertain which hoof it is?
If she just seems stiff and I would just give her a day or so. If it is an abscess she's most likely going to become very lame. At that point the abscess is showing a sign that it is getting ready to burst and soaking or a polutice should be applied.
I posted on these before...... Davis Soak Boot, the best $30 you'll ever spend, especially if they aren't great with a bucket.
The Horse's Hoof Soaking Boots
Can you asked the person that was riding her if she rode her hard?
Can you feel a pulse in the affected leg? Right above the back of the hoof is what's called a digital pulse. If all is normal, you should be able to barely feel a pulse there or not at all. If you feel a strong pulse there, or more of a pulse than the other legs. there's is a problem with that leg. I didn't read all the rsponses, but I'm sure someone mentioned checking for heat in the affected leg as well.
The other thing is, the day you get impatient and call the vet, the horse's leg will magically heal. It always seems to work that way.
Well, I did find something suspicious in Lily's right front hoof. While I was picking her hoof I noticed that on one side of the frog I can pick very deep - the other side of the frog is normal and just like her other hooves. I am wondering if she had a rock wedged up in there or stepped on a stick or something and it's now getting sore. Anyway, I tried to soak in epsom salts but to no avail. Lily will have NOTHING to do with putting her hoof in any water. After an hour or so we finally compromised and she will stand on a soaking wet towel. I guess this is better than nothing at all.
When we went to put her to bed last night she was really agitated with something in the neighbors pasture (their horses were already put away for the night) and she was running the fence and snorting and a bit crazy, so I guess her hoof wasn't feeling all that bad! I'm guessing it was a coyote, but who knows.
She is still a rock star when she is with my 8-year old daughter. When my daughter went into the paddock with Lily's halter Lily stopped running and stood still, put her head down to about waist level so that we could get her halter on and very quietly and calmly walked with my 8-year old into her stall. She then got worried again and kept looking out her window and giving an occasional snort. I love this horse!
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