25yr old gelding - Very Stiff - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-03-2016, 11:54 AM Thread Starter
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25yr old gelding - Very Stiff

I have a 25 yr old QH Gelding who recently has a hard time walking on his front legs. Mainly the right. We noticed last summer he would raise his head when mounting. Now he's gotten so stiff in the front he has a terrible time walking. We plan on taking him to a reputable chiropractor next week but wondering if there is anything I could give him to ease what seems to be painful for him. I'm a little limited on money right now as we are remodeling our house out of pocket & have a little girl on the way. :)


Any advice on what to do or how to help him is appreciated!
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-03-2016, 12:06 PM
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There's no guarantee it's skeletal in nature, so you're probably wasting money on a chiropractor. Could be navicular, arthritis, ringbone, or any number of hoof/bone related injuries. The only way to really be certain is to have a vet out, and they might need to do x-rays to give you a definitive diagnosis.


You can give him bute to help with the pain or try supplements/natural remedies, but until you know exactly what you're dealing with you're only masking the problem. I hope for his sake you've stopped riding him.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-03-2016, 12:14 PM
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Well, there are several things you can try. Some things that work really well for one horse, doesn't seem to work as well for others, so it might be a little bit of trial and error.

Supplements:

MSM -anti-inflammatory properties about $35 per 5 lbs about a two month supply for one horse, I order mine through Amazon.

Stabilized ground flax seed - also has anti inflammatory properties in the form of Omega 3 fatty acids, which have the added benefit of helping out coat, mane and hooves by adding some fat to the diet. It also adds calories to the diet. $50 for a 25# bag of "Horseshine" lasts one horse about a month.

Prescription medications:

Equinox/Previcox - an oral pill given once or twice a day with feed. It is an NSAID that acts a bit like Alieve for people. It costs about $90 for a month's supply. There is some danger of it causing stomach issues such as ulcers, but I have never had an issue with that. It would be something to discuss with your vet. Previcox is the dog medication and although it is off label usage to give it to a horse, it is the same as the Equinox, but much less expensive.

Once you get into the realm of the injectables, some of which work amazingly well (Adaquan), is when you start talking perhaps $200 a month or more, so unless you are willing to go that route, I'll skip those.

The other thing that my vet prescribed for my guy's arthritis, if that is what you suspect, is mild and consistent exercise several days a week. For my old man that means 15 minutes of walking, on the good days, short spurts of trotting, like maybe around 1/2 of the arena at a time, three to four days a week.

If your horse is stalled, see if you can't get him on 24/7 pasture as just the movement of grazing will help keep the circulation going and reduce inflammation.

I also second having the vet out to diagnose the problem.
Good luck!

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Last edited by Reiningcatsanddogs; 06-06-2016 at 11:37 AM.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-06-2016, 11:28 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
There's no guarantee it's skeletal in nature, so you're probably wasting money on a chiropractor. Could be navicular, arthritis, ringbone, or any number of hoof/bone related injuries. The only way to really be certain is to have a vet out, and they might need to do x-rays to give you a definitive diagnosis.


You can give him bute to help with the pain or try supplements/natural remedies, but until you know exactly what you're dealing with you're only masking the problem. I hope for his sake you've stopped riding him.
Yes - I have stopped riding him. We have always taken very good care of our horses and watched out for their best interest. They are part of our family. The reason I asked on here and have not had a vet out is because we are from a very small area and there is really no good large animal vets around. The chiro we were going to take him to is about 45 min away. I hate seeing him like this and it almost seems to be a shoulder problem is why we thought this would help.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-06-2016, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reiningcatsanddogs View Post
Well, there are several things you can try. Some things that work really well for one horse, doesn't seem to work as well for others, so it might be a little bit of trial and error.

Supplements:

MSM -anti-inflammatory properties about $35 per 5 lbs about a two month supply for one horse, I order mine through Amazon.

Stabilized ground flax seed - also has anti inflammatory properties in the form of Omega 3 fatty acids, which have the added benefit of helping out coat, mane and hooves by adding some fat to the diet. It also adds calories to the diet. $50 for a 25# bag of "Horseshine" lasts one horse about a month.

Prescription medications:

Equinox/Previcox - an oral pill given once or twice a day with feed. It is an NSAID that acts a bit like Alieve for people. It costs about $90 for a month's supply. There is some danger of it causing stomach issues such as ulcers, but I have never had an issue with that. It would be something to discuss with your vet. Previcox is the dog medication and although it is off label usage to give it to a horse, it is the same as the Equinox, but much less expensive.

Once you get into the realm of the injectables, some of which work amazingly well (Adaquan), is when you start talking perhaps $200 a month or more, so unless you are willing to go that route, I'll skip those.

The other thing that my vet prescribed for my guy's arthritis, if that is what you suspect, is mild and consistent exercise several days a week. For my old man that means 15 minutes of walking, on the good days, short spurts of trotting, like maybe around 1/2 of the arena at a time, three to four days a week.

If your horse is stalled, see if you can't get him on 24/7 pasture as just the movement of grazing will help keep the circulation going and reduce inflammation.

I also second having the vet out to diagnose the problem.
Good luck!
Thank you for your reply! I will look into this all! He is and has always been on pasture. For the last week they have been in a big corral because my parents recently moved and we have not been able to finish fencing. It's still a pretty big area though. I'm almost 8 months pregnant too and my husband and I are getting ready to move so it does make it a little more difficult lol I've had my big boy for 12 years though and know he's not ready to retire yet :/ I just feel bad for him, horses are not any vets expertise around here. We honestly think it's arthritis but obviously do not know for sure. My mom worked at a vet clinic for 13 years so saw a lot of different cases and this is what she believes as well.


Thanks again for your reply!
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-06-2016, 11:43 AM
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I second the MSM. It worked wonders on "my" 13-15 year old gelding's hips.


He was super stiff too and was getting uncomfortable with anything that made him have to move them too much, now he's rolling around in the pasture like his owner's two year old and moving much better, as well as being a lot happier. I've been giving it to him, once small scoop (from in the tub) once a day except for Saturdays (they don't get fed that day), for about a month and a half.


I recommend that, but Reiningcatsanddogs gave a lot of other good suggestions.

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post #7 of 11 Old 06-06-2016, 05:49 PM
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Msm & also turmeric is really helpful, natural anti inflam. But honestly, without having much of a clue whats wrong & knowing its been ongoing long term (so is likely to have become bony/arthritic changes by now, to any original soft tissue injury), you need to get him checked out properly if at all poss - can you cart him to a good vet/hospital if theres none close?

Can u post a vid, pics, hoof pics etc? What makes you think shoulder not back (esp if he has been long term obviously hurting to be mounted?) How do you know he hasnt got hoof problems, perhaps causing other body issues... for eg?

If you cant get him treated, esp as hes 25yo & chronic injury/pain left untreated causes other issues (such as osteo arthritis, untreatable), he IS absolutely in need of retirement - the least you can give him is cut him slack & not make him work - hope he hasnt been ridden since being in pain.

As for chiropractor, its curious that the general idea of them (including mine until i learned better relatively recently) seems to be that theyre 'bone doctors', as Speed obviously also thinks, but that is far from the case - just that working through the spine allows access to virtually whole body of nerves - chiro is actually a very holistic type treatment, not at all confined to skeletal probs. Certainly worth a try, esp if there arent better options.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-09-2016, 12:52 AM
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Definitely have a vet check him out since this is such a sudden change for him but
I would suggest a body worker over chiro for him :) Chiro tends to be for bones but most of their work is in the back and neck alignment. I would focus on muscles primarily, they in turn will effect his bones. After years of riding, horses' muscles tend to buckle down and can really restrict their movements, softening him up will encourage a supple body and help his body figure itself out.
An equine massage therapist who works in neuro-muscular, craniosacral or myo-fascial work would be great for him. I am certified in equine massage and the old guys I work on just love the work. They have a lot of years of tightness built up and it's really amazing the movement they can gain back from it!
Supplements and herbs are also great! I really like Chamomile for inflammation and joint health!
I work at an equine rehab facility and we have a couple seniors on previcox, if you go that route buy the dog version, it's the same but far cheaper!
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-09-2016, 06:42 PM
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I have a 26YO mare (xrays confirmed arthritis) that I have had on Flex Wafers (glucosamine, MSM, chondroitin, and some misc) for years. She didn't respond to some of the other joint supplements; we'd try for one for 60 days and then switch if we didn't see improvement. She has done great on the Flex Wafers. If I buy a year's supply at the Horse Expo, I only pay about $120 for the entire year. I switched her to the FlexXT in March and it runs me $200/year. I like the wafers because they are super easy to feed and you know the horse is getting the whole dose.

Regarding Previcox: we use that on one of our mare's with a digital cushion issue. She gets one 57mg pill every other day, and it costs us 1.48 per pill. If I wanted to buy the 227mg pills, I could get the cost down to 88 cents per dose. Many horses do well on one dose every other day (such as my mare), which makes it about 44 cents a day... pretty reasonable when one is talking about ANYthing involving horses.... :)

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-09-2016, 06:50 PM
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dont keep him in a box stall, keep him where has a place to move around. liniment his front legs you can make a wash by adding water and sponging it on him. have you checked his feet to see if he is maybe foundering ? laminitic ?
is he standing odd at rest ?
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