First off I am not a horse owner. I am trying to help a friend of mine with a persistant health problem of her horse. Please be patiant with me, as I know little about horses and have never seen her horse in person. Anyway the problem is a pain in the horse's neck. She has not ridden him in years because trying to do so results in pain for the horse to the point he will buck. In addition whenever he tries to trot or run it will bring on a fit of pain which causes him to lower his neck and limp. She has taken him to several vets and none of them can find anything wrong. They have tried all sorts of treatments, even including leeches. (I honestly don't know how leeches would help in the first place) But she is to the point of frustration and desperation. The previous owner of the horse insist that he never had any injuries or birth defects. Can anyone give a point in the right direction as to what could be wrong? Thank you in advance for any help.
Has the owner had a chiropractor or equine massage therapist out?
JDI has a good idea...try getting a chiropractor or equine massage therapist out....it could be that the horse needs an adjustment on his back or something a good massage can fix
How many different vets did your friend contact? I'd definately look around for lots of opinions on this...many times something trivial can be overlooked.
I would recommend taking him to a university teaching hospital or an equine hospital with a good reputation for lameness exam. She really needs someone who can make an overall assessment of the horse and do a good workup rather than choosing a paraprofessional who can only base opinions on little medical knowledge.
I full lameness exam and exam to check for pain in the neck and back would be the place to start. Then work to pinpoint the exact cause by doing local nerve blocks, x-rays, ultrasounds etc as indicated by the initial exam. But I would definitely go with someone besides the local mixed animal practitioner, chiropractor or massage therapist. You need a diagnosis before you can plan a course of treatment.
Am I understanding that your friend HAS had the horse looked at by a qualified equine vet? If so, she really needs to get a second opinion. If as Ryle has suggested, going to a teaching hospital or larger equine hospital, is not something she can do, she may be able to get some good recommendations from other knowledgeable horse people in your area. Ask around at local feed stores or tack stores. Most of the people that run these places have horse's themselves.
If the horse is in that much pain and a vet can not locate the problem, then that vet is a problem.
As for what could be wrong...... geez where to start? It could be any number of things. Poll, neck, shoulder, back...... and it goes on.
As Ryle has suggested, a full work up with any or all, nerve blocking, x-ray's or ultrasound is going to help pin point the problem.
Thank you everyone for your help. Yes my friend has had several X rays done. And I think I remeber her telling me the horse has even had a cat scan. I'm really thinking it's some sort of nerve damage, but I will pass on all of your suggestions to her. Thanks so much again everyone.
chiropractic problems are common really with horses so i suggest getting that out of the way first. if the chiro finds nothing wrong then what ryle suggested would be a great idea. neck or back pain is very often chiro related.
let us know how your friend goes with it all :)
I'm personally not much for chiros. I would just get a vet out and check everything out. Might not be a health issue at all-could just be bad behavior.
Is there a race track near you? When I have issues that my local vet can't solve (I've recently switched vets and although my new vet is really high on price compared to my old... they are way better at diagnosing things)
I load up and go to west virginia, there is a vet at the track there and those vets are absolutely awesome. they deal with lameness so often because of the horses on the track that they can pick out anything... if there is a track nearby that has an onsite vet, it might be worth the drive....
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