Home treatment for lame horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 03-07-2020, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Home treatment for lame horse

Hello
I got on my TB mare (Willow) for a lesson and as soon as we trotted I could feel she was very off and my instructor said so to. She only showed lameness at a trot, was fine to walk. It is one of her front feet. I have texted the farrier asking him to come out but he hasn't replied and I know it will at least a few days before he comes. I am going to my first ever horse camp in 12 days (March 21-22). What can I do at home to help her until the farrier comes so she will hopefully be pain free by horse camp. I was trying to get her fitter as she is very unfit and will probably pass out from all that exercise at camp but now I wont be able to ride her :( Since she is fine to walk would gentle walking rides be ok?


Thanks

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post #2 of 23 Old 03-07-2020, 04:07 PM
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It all depends on where she is lame.

You do not seem to know which leg she is actually lame on and this is something you really need to learn.

Depending on where they are lame, they usually take a longer stride with the lame leg, shorter with the sound one as the lame one is bearing the weight.

Their head will come up as the lame leg hits the floor taking the weight off it.

Two simple things to look for and the trot is the best pace to see lameness.

There are a lot of variations but the above is a good starter to being able to diagnose which leg they are lame on.

As for what can you do, my answer is not a lot! Where she is lame is the key factor as to treatment.

Personally I would not ride a lame horse.

Is there any heat in the leg?
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post #3 of 23 Old 03-07-2020, 06:21 PM
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Adding to the great post above. . . . I would not ride a hrose that is obviously off/lame at the trot, not even for walking rides. You want her to heal, and you will only delay that by making her walk more with your weight on top.


this came on suddenly, right? Will she walk happily? or is she limiting how much she walks on her own? yes, is there heat or swelling?
do you have a way to pinch her hooves to test for soreness in any one spot (check videos for pinch testing for abcesses)


have you taken a really, really careful look at her leg and foot? she may have a small puncture, or infected bug bite, or . . . any number of things.
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post #4 of 23 Old 03-08-2020, 05:17 AM
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Ditto to above posts. Only thing that I'd suggest is, esp if lameness is suspected to be in a hoof & if the horse is shod, I'd remove the shoes immediately. If your horse is shod, you really need to know how to do this & have the tools to do so.
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post #5 of 23 Old 03-08-2020, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticalgirrafffe View Post
Since she is fine to walk would gentle walking rides be ok?

If you sprained your ankle (as an example), would you want to go for a walk?


No. Do not ride your horse. Lameness is often easiest to see at a trot, due to the nature of the gait, but if they are lame at the trot, they are lame. Period. It is up to the horse owner to figure out the source of the lameness and what steps need to be taken.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticalgirrafffe View Post
I got on my TB mare (Willow) for a lesson and as soon as we trotted I could feel she was very off and my instructor said so to. She only showed lameness at a trot, was fine to walk. It is one of her front feet. I have texted the farrier asking him to come out but he hasn't replied and I know it will at least a few days before he comes.

So this sounds like it is a sudden lameness?

Did your instructor think it was one of her front feet?
Why did you first call the farrier? Why didn't you call the vet first?



Quote:
Originally Posted by mysticalgirrafffe View Post
I am going to my first ever horse camp in 12 days (March 21-22). What can I do at home to help her until the farrier comes so she will hopefully be pain free by horse camp. I was trying to get her fitter as she is very unfit and will probably pass out from all that exercise at camp but now I wont be able to ride her

If you don't know what is wrong with her, it will be impossible to know if she will be rideable in 12 days. It is unfortunate and it stinks, but if she is still lame then, you know you CAN'T take her to the horse camp. Horses can and do get hurt and sometimes it is poor timing for us humans.

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post #6 of 23 Old 03-08-2020, 01:10 PM
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Agree with all the posts above. First step is to find where your horse is lame and second step is rest and treatment. If it were me, I'd have the vet out with the farrier if I didn't have an idea of what was causing the lameness, so that you can have a better idea on how to approach it.



Personally, I don't condone riding a lame horse at all. Horses are prey animals and most hide lameness VERY well. Furthermore, horses can develop secondary and even tertiary lameness from compensating. You could do far more damage (even permanently so) by riding since you have no idea the root of the issue. It could be something as simple as an abscess, hoof bruise or muscle strain, but it could also be ligament or tendon damage which are not easy to heal.You won't know until you have a thorough checkup. So, it is better to error on the side of caution.



I would call the riding camp and see if they may have a horse you could borrow (or if anyone you know does) and if not, then cancel and look for another event farther away. Of course it is disappointing to miss out on the fun, but it is MUCH more disappointing to find out that you've gone and made the lameness much worse by attending camp, not to mention the potential $$$ it can cost in future vet bills.
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post #7 of 23 Old 03-08-2020, 04:55 PM
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Call the vet.


It could be an abscess and she'll be fine in a few days. It could just as easily be a torn ligament that needs 6+mo stall rest. You don't know. Your farrier isn't a vet and can't do diagnostics.
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post #8 of 23 Old 03-08-2020, 11:55 PM
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I think a farrier can often see SOME lamenesses and make a reasonable diagnosis. I mean abcesses. Usually a farrier can detect those. They can usually see when thrush, or a hotnail, or punctured frog, or perhaps a case of white line, etc.



If your farrier is coming anyway, or is easier to get to come by, I see nothing wrong with having him/her take a look.



I would not say this if the horse was limping badly, had a hot leg, or a swollen one. Sometimes lameness works itself out without the vet. But, you still have to rest the horse.
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post #9 of 23 Old 03-09-2020, 12:01 AM
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Here are two videos of my old horse, taken two days apart. Obvious lameness in the first. We chose to do a 'wait and see' approach, since he had no swelling or heat, and two days later, he was fine. I'm not saying your horse is the same, just saying that sometimes horses just get better, same like us.







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post #10 of 23 Old 03-11-2020, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Ok so a new more experienced farrier came today and said she was definitely off. (He rides and competes his own horses and is well respected by the equestrians around here). So he said her tendons did feel a little hot but that was not what was causing majority of her pain, it was that she had an uneven hidden chunk in her hoof. He said to give her 2x sachets of anti inflammatory stuff and this hoof hardener spray (I forgot what its called). He also said to keep riding her

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