Knee and Lameness issues? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 07-11-2011, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy Knee and Lameness issues?

Okay, so I was hacking my mare out about a week ago, and half way around noticed that she was slightly lame - even trotting on the grass. So I walked her the rest of the way home, not wanting to push anything. She then seemed fine when I lunged her later in the week; trotting fine and even cantering fine on both reins once I'd warmed her up.

Then she started to go a bit lame again in the field. We had the farrier come at the end of the week and he declared he couldn't shoe her because when he finally managed to lift up the leg that seemed to be giving her the problem (her near-side fore) she wouldn't relax it into to position he needed. Instead she kept bringing the leg forward when it was in the air, as if she was going to paw the ground. She also tried to wrench it out of his hands but jumping upwards and backwards. So we said that we'd leave it a few days (since she had already managed to work herself up and spook at something minutes before our farrier tried to shoe her, and thought perhaps that might have been part of the cause).

So she has been in the field over the weekend, and every evening when we feed our horses we have picked up this one leg and tried to get her to relax it. This evening we finally managed to get her to drop it down so that I could at least pick out her hooves. Then we trotted her around and she is definitely quite lame. This could also not be helped that her feet never got trimmed and re-shod so her toes are a bit long.

But anyway, when we bought her back in 2009, she had one knee bigger than the other. She was apparently born with it and has given us no trouble until now. It's her near-side knee and it's a curious thing as it's isn't a swelling as such, and it's not fluid. It's just like her knee joint is slightly bigger.

So yeah, sorry about the long, rambling post, but I'm am just a bit concerned. We will try trotting her each night for the next few weeks, see if anything improves, but after that I'm not sure what we can do. Although we can get the vet out to check her, as she is unisurable we can't afford any expensive care for her. If it looks like it's permanent lameness, then we will either have to have her put down or try and sell her as a companion horse, as she is able to walk around her field alright on it.

Anyone else experienced anything similar or have sopme advice for me?I really don't want it to come to having her put down, but I don't know what else I would be able to do for her, as she is un-ridable at the minute and she can't even trot on grass with just her own weight, let alone a riders.

Help. :(
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post #2 of 5 Old 07-11-2011, 09:11 PM
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Without a vet's diagnosis it's not possible to make any suggestions. She could have a bone bruise, bone chip, arthritis, an infection, a high splint, a sprain, tendon or ligament damage, a host of things or maybe a problem with her shoulder or even her neck.

Many things can be fixed but first you have to know for sure what the problem is.
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post #3 of 5 Old 07-11-2011, 09:20 PM
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Firstly, if she is lame, please DON'T trot her or force her to do anything like that. Even if it doesn't make the problem worse, it will likely be unpleasant at best, for the horse and not acheive anything positive. *If* she's comfortable doing so, gentle exercise - walking on yielding ground, etc is probably not bad though.

At a guess, I'd say it's arthritis - further bony changes due to the stress on her knee. Perhaps she *can't* flex that knee so much any more. Also possible there's a bone chip in the joint, of which may be removable by arthroscope. An xray should confirm what the issue is. Given what you've told, it does sound like a 'something' that requires further investigation by a vet, rather than something she'll just get over.

Actually while you're right that not keeping her toes short can well exacerbate it, keeping her unshod would definitely be the way to go IMO, as the restricted hoof function and the added concussion resulting from shoes will not help.

If she's OK at picking her foot up off the ground, but just not lifting it up very high(for the farrier's liking), she can still be trimmed, just not in the most comfortable position for the trimmer!
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post #4 of 5 Old 07-12-2011, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your replies. :)

We are getting the farrier to come again to at least take her old shoes off if nothing else, as he didn't evn mange that last time.

We will also be calling out the vet if there is no improvement within a week.

I felt her knees this evening, and although the larger knee was warmer than the normal one, it wasn't enough of a difference to cause me any concern.

And by trotting her, I don't mean pushing her to exercise, it's just for a few paces to see how much she is nodding on it, and at first it was so we could tell which leg it was.

Thanks again.
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-12-2011, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ZuluPony View Post
And by trotting her, I don't mean pushing her to exercise, it's just for a few paces to see how much she is nodding on it, and at first it was so we could tell which leg it was.
yeah, but you know it's a problem now, so there's no reason to put her in more pain and risk making it worse. If she's actually obviously 'head bobbing lame' this indicates it's pretty sore.
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