Lame horse and wither sores - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 08-14-2014, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Lame horse and wither sores

Hi
I noticed yesterday when I got home that my standardbred was very lame in his front left leg, was walking with an obvious limp and not keen to bear any weight on that leg. I checked hoof and leg for any punctures or wounds and the only thing I could find was heat in the lower leg and some swelling. No heat in the hoof.

I gave him a small amount of bute to make him a bit more comfortable for the night, put one little square sachet (100mg I think) in his feed. Fed him again at 5:30 this morning and seemed a bit better although hard to see in the dark and put another sachet in that feed. This afternoon he seems better but I am unsure if that is from the bute, does anyone know how long bute lasts for? The leg is still a bit hot but he is walking better on it now.

I also found a sore/scab on his withers from his rug, he wasnt keen for me to touch it and I didnt have much choice but to put his rug back on as I knew the forecast for last night was pretty cold and wet. I am going to try fashion a pad using a silk neck protector that will take the pressure from his rug off his withers - anyone else have any success making one of these?

His weatherbeeta rug is the correct size but he has bony withers and quite a deep chest which seems to pull it tight over his wither area. Any suggestions on both issues would be appreciated! Thanks
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post #2 of 8 Old 08-15-2014, 12:49 AM
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This might be an odd question, but does he REALLY need a rug.? I know it is winter there, but my understanding is that it is a cultural thing in OZ and NZ to rug horses even when it is not that cold, by US standards. Ok, not meaning to sound ethno centric, but is it possible that he could go with out this rug? may be too late to consider this now, but in future, for next year, perhaps . . . something to consider.
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post #3 of 8 Old 08-15-2014, 01:40 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Tinylily, definitely get your point about not rugging and would like him to go rugless next winter if possible. Our winters are pretty mild in comparison to other countries so rugging here is really more for us than them, although down south where it snows gets much colder than in the north island.
We brought him about 3 months ago in autumn (sight unseen ) and the horse that arrived was woefully underweight with the thinnest coat for that time of year. The previous owner had been rugging him but that was about it, he was very underfed and lethargic. I felt the fairest thing to do was to keep rugging him for this winter anyway but am hoping that by next winter he will have much better conditioning and I will let him grow in a decent winter coat. Just had his teeth done as he was dropping food and the vet said they had not been done in a long time, am hoping that has made him feel much better.
I am thinking that maybe putting him in a lighter shell rug that has a separate neck cover may help ease the pressure on his withers in the mean time.
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post #4 of 8 Old 08-15-2014, 02:12 AM
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I figured you had your reasons, and of course, you do. but, for next year. it's just a cultural thing that people think horses need a "rug"when they often dont.

I know that two winters ago we had a real cold snap, like 16 degrees F (like minus 8? C) and I was sure that the horses were suffering in the night, out all night, no rugs, no stalls, just trees and open sided shelters. but, if they have enough hay, they are fine. totally fine. it's amazing how they adapt. they're ANIMALS.
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post #5 of 8 Old 08-15-2014, 02:40 AM
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Hi Kiwi79 - I'm a fellow Kiwi and I've had the same problem with wither rubs on my boy! He doesn't fit Weatherbeeta either. I've had great luck with canvas rugs, believe it or not. They tend to be roomier and shape to the horse better than synthetics. Andy wears a canvas cover from Kauriland Covers, it has fleece wither protection and has not rubbed at all so far. I'm not sure if you're in the Waikato or not but here's the website - KAURILAND COVER

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post #6 of 8 Old 08-15-2014, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Dawn, I just had a look at their website and they look really nice! It's been a long time since I've used canvas rugs and they definitely make them a lot better than they used to. I'm in auckland but they courier NZ wide so will send them an email and find out about their sizing. I think I'm done with weatherbeetas, they just wear out so quickly - the lining has tears already after less than 2 months and there are snags on the outer layers which will turn into holes pretty soon.
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post #7 of 8 Old 08-15-2014, 04:30 AM
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I'm sure there are many other good rugs out there - see if you can ask around locally before shelling out for postage perhaps. :) but that said, I cannot recommend Kauriland enough. Mine has stayed waterproof for at least three seasons, does not rip (my guy is lowest in the pecking order) and seems a good shape for his high-withered, TB frame. I have had a synthetic on him that did not rub, but I was borrowing it at the time and do not remember the brand. :/

Sometimes a horse can slip in the paddock and come back lame for a few days. It's happened to me. The first time you freak out, all the other times, you just get on with it. I would use Tuffrock poultice on his leg. It's fabulous stuff! Great for relief and getting the heat and swelling down. If he's still lame after a week, I would call a vet. It's quite worrying when this happens but chin up, he sounds like he's getting better already. Just keep a close eye on him.

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post #8 of 8 Old 08-16-2014, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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I've swapped him into a lighter rug with no neck cover that isnt so tight across his withers and put on a satin anti rub vest on, he looks much more comfortable in that. The scab has come off now and he let me put a bit of manuka honey cream on it today so fingers crossed it will heal up soon.
The lameness is much improved - I have never experienced a horse lame to that degree before so it did give me a bit of a scare! It's not surprising though with how muddy and slippery the paddocks are right now, the horses are sliding all over the place. The poultice is a good idea, will be handy to have for next time
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