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My horse is a 7yr old ottb that I bought knowing he had some long term hind end problems. He has a hitch in his trot from some slight wear on the top of the bone in the left stifle (I’ll add the X-rays if this gets any attention) and the hitch is better some days and he usually warms up out of it. I bought him about four months ago, and he’s been having some problems, and two other horses at my barn are going in for kissing spines surgery and they told me some of the symptoms, and my horse matched some of them pretty well. He’s very stiff, both laterally and vertically, and will not stretch down under saddle. He’s anxious and nippy in the crossties and pins his ears and bobs his head when I put the saddle on. He rarely rounds his neck and lifts his back, and when he does it’s just for a second. He also has a really hard time picking up his left lead from the trot or walk, but he’ll do a flying change onto it just fine. He doesn’t buck or rear, and I’ve been jumping him about two feet and he doesn’t have a problem with that, he actually really likes it. Also this could be totally unrelated, but he has raised lumbar vertebrae (again I’ll find a picture if anyone wants one) Thank you so much! I want what’s best for him and I don’t want him hurting:(
 

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My horse is a 7yr old ottb that I bought knowing he had some long term hind end problems. He has a hitch in his trot from some slight wear on the top of the bone in the left stifle (I’ll add the X-rays if this gets any attention) and the hitch is better some days and he usually warms up out of it. I bought him about four months ago, and he’s been having some problems, and two other horses at my barn are going in for kissing spines surgery and they told me some of the symptoms, and my horse matched some of them pretty well. He’s very stiff, both laterally and vertically, and will not stretch down under saddle. He’s anxious and nippy in the crossties and pins his ears and bobs his head when I put the saddle on. He rarely rounds his neck and lifts his back, and when he does it’s just for a second. He also has a really hard time picking up his left lead from the trot or walk, but he’ll do a flying change onto it just fine. He doesn’t buck or rear, and I’ve been jumping him about two feet and he doesn’t have a problem with that, he actually really likes it. Also this could be totally unrelated, but he has raised lumbar vertebrae (again I’ll find a picture if anyone wants one) Thank you so much! I want what’s best for him and I don’t want him hurting
Well, the only way to know if he has KS is if you would go get xrays of his back.

However, stifle issues could also be causing your problems. If his stifle bothers him, he will NOT want to reach the hind leg under his body. If he can't do that, then he also cannot round his back. So it makes perfect sense that he does not like the left lead, because that's the side where he needs to put the left hind under his body, which sounds like where it hurts.

Another thought, is to also xray his neck if you are going to xray his back. I had a horse with hind end issues, very very stiff, and it turned out he had a rare problem where he was born with crooked vertebrae in his neck that were compressing his spinal cord. (and not kissing spine)

To my knowledge, it's pretty rare for BONY changes to happen on the stifle. So I would be concerned about that. Has your vet also done an ultrasound?

So. You want to do what's best for him. WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR HIM NOW? You didn't say. Have you done injections, supplement, treatments, etc etc. What have you done so far?
 

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I completely agree with @beau159

I say If you’re worried about KS, get x-rays.
worried about the stifle? Get a vet out, do lameness checks..usually if it’s the stifle they will have an un-even gait.

my OTTBs stifle is weak/stiff especially when it’s getting colder.. but it improves with daily work, hill work, etc. my ottb is also stiff, but once I started doing exercises that target his stifle, he was easily able to bend, be on the bit, and start engaging his hind end/stifle, he was picking his back feet up a lot better.. but it sounds like something else for your guy.

but a injured or raised lumbar vertebrae will cause a horse to not be able to get there hind legs under them..which is a result of him not being able to bend etc.

did you think about when you put the saddle on him it could be a pain memory? For example, My ottb had ulcers so once his ulcers were treating, he was still expecting the pain though there wasn’t pain.
Or it’s because your guy has an issue (the slight wear on top of the bone?) I don’t know much about that but could it be causing pain or did cause pain so it’s a pain memory for him?

I feel bad for your guy, he sounds like he has a lot of issues and your trying your best.

I would be gentle on him when riding because if he has pain or is in pain, or if he does actually have KS I wouldn’t be jumping him..but I don’t know much about KS and never had a horse who had it, but I’ve learned about it.

anyway, sorry I wasn’t much help. Good luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, the only way to know if he has KS is if you would go get xrays of his back.

However, stifle issues could also be causing your problems. If his stifle bothers him, he will NOT want to reach the hind leg under his body. If he can't do that, then he also cannot round his back. So it makes perfect sense that he does not like the left lead, because that's the side where he needs to put the left hind under his body, which sounds like where it hurts.

Another thought, is to also xray his neck if you are going to xray his back. I had a horse with hind end issues, very very stiff, and it turned out he had a rare problem where he was born with crooked vertebrae in his neck that were compressing his spinal cord. (and not kissing spine)

To my knowledge, it's pretty rare for BONY changes to happen on the stifle. So I would be concerned about that. Has your vet also done an ultrasound?

So. You want to do what's best for him. WHAT ARE YOU DOING FOR HIM NOW? You didn't say. Have you done injections, supplement, treatments, etc etc. What have you done so far?
Okay, thank you! I can’t find the x rays but basically the top of the bottom bone in the stifle joint was worn down a teeny bit. As of now he’s on a joint supplement but I’ve been considering IM injections like adequan or pentosan. His old owner had him on a daily anti inflammatory (I forget the name) but it was bad for his stomach and gut so I took him off it. He doesn’t act like the stifle bothers him under saddle, he’s just stiffer on the left rein and warms up out of his hitch. Thanks for the feedback, I’ll probably X-ray his back and neck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I’m not a jumper, but if there is the possibility of kissing spine, I don’t think I’d be jumping him until his issue (whether it’s kissing spine, stifle, or something else) is figured out. Some diagnostics need to be involved at this point.


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Okay, thank you. He has never stopped at or rushed a fence, even though he totally could if he wanted to as I’m very gentle with him, I ask not tell, and he’s never acted like the jumping is hurting but we’re taking it easy either way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I completely agree with @beau159

I say If you’re worried about KS, get x-rays.
worried about the stifle? Get a vet out, do lameness checks..usually if it’s the stifle they will have an un-even gait.

my OTTBs stifle is weak/stiff especially when it’s getting colder.. but it improves with daily work, hill work, etc. my ottb is also stiff, but once I started doing exercises that target his stifle, he was easily able to bend, be on the bit, and start engaging his hind end/stifle, he was picking his back feet up a lot better.. but it sounds like something else for your guy.

but a injured or raised lumbar vertebrae will cause a horse to not be able to get there hind legs under them..which is a result of him not being able to bend etc.

did you think about when you put the saddle on him it could be a pain memory? For example, My ottb had ulcers so once his ulcers were treating, he was still expecting the pain though there wasn’t pain.
Or it’s because your guy has an issue (the slight wear on top of the bone?) I don’t know much about that but could it be causing pain or did cause pain so it’s a pain memory for him?

I feel bad for your guy, he sounds like he has a lot of issues and your trying your best.

I would be gentle on him when riding because if he has pain or is in pain, or if he does actually have KS I wouldn’t be jumping him..but I don’t know much about KS and never had a horse who had it, but I’ve learned about it.

anyway, sorry I wasn’t much help. Good luck! :)
Thanks so much! I’ve been trying to do more lateral work and stuff to strengthen his stifle, and it’s gotten better since I got him. Since he was a racehorse, it could be pain memory bc they raced him hard and didn’t treat him well. Thanks for the help!
 

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I bought him about four months ago, and he’s been having some problems

I can’t find the x rays but basically the top of the bottom bone in the stifle joint was worn down a teeny bit.
Were the xrays done when you bought him? Or a different time period.

If you having problems with him, the best thing to do is take him back to the vet anyway. See if the lameness exam shows up anything else, see how he travels on the stifle, and then xray the back and neck if the vet agrees worthwhile. (Or just do it anyway for your own peace of mind.)

Be forewarned that not many vets are actually comfortable nor qualified to interpret the NECK xrays. Ask for them to be send to a specialist for second opinion. (I can give you the name of a really good one willing to do this if you need.)

As of now he’s on a joint supplement but I’ve been considering IM injections like adequan or pentosan.
Which joint supplement?

Yes, I would absolutely consider an additional IM supplement such as Adequan for pentosan for good prevention of a young performance horse, anyway. Pentosan has worked REALLY well for one of my horses so I just have everyone on it for ease on my part. (and it's cheap)

His old owner had him on a daily anti inflammatory (I forget the name) but it was bad for his stomach and gut so I took him off it. He doesn’t act like the stifle bothers him under saddle, he’s just stiffer on the left rein and warms up out of his hitch.
Probably was Equioxx would be my guess.

Having a hitch that warms up gone is usually suggestive of arthritis.

I personally have had wonderous success with PEMF. So much so, I bought my own system to use all the time at home. My horses have never felt better. I'm a big believer.
 

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I'm curious about the stifle diagnosis. "Worn down" would suggest some type of bone to bone contact, which would cause constant pain and render a horse unridable.

More likely what they're seeing is an OCD lesion, which means the cartilage did not fully form with a smooth edge during development. The rough edge also causes pain, but it often can be managed with injections, PRP or surgery.
But most likely a horse with OCD will not be a good candidate for jumping unless the vet clears him after surgery.

Unfortunately, musculoskeletal issues are common in TBs. My OTTB took time to diagnose, but as he became less ridable we found an OCD lesion in the stifle, kissing spines, probable hock arthritis, and we didn't even xray his neck. He wasn't better after stifle injections, so no guarantees surgery or spine injections would help. He had issues from age 8 on, and is retired at 14.

I wish you the best for getting your TB sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Were the xrays done when you bought him? Or a different time period.

If you having problems with him, the best thing to do is take him back to the vet anyway. See if the lameness exam shows up anything else, see how he travels on the stifle, and then xray the back and neck if the vet agrees worthwhile. (Or just do it anyway for your own peace of mind.)

Be forewarned that not many vets are actually comfortable nor qualified to interpret the NECK xrays. Ask for them to be send to a specialist for second opinion. (I can give you the name of a really good one willing to do this if you need.)



Which joint supplement?

Yes, I would absolutely consider an additional IM supplement such as Adequan for pentosan for good prevention of a young performance horse, anyway. Pentosan has worked REALLY well for one of my horses so I just have everyone on it for ease on my part. (and it's cheap)



Probably was Equioxx would be my guess.

Having a hitch that warms up gone is usually suggestive of arthritis.

I personally have had wonderous success with PEMF. So much so, I bought my own system to use all the time at home. My horses have never felt better. I'm a big believer.
The X-rays were done at his vet check. The joint supplement I have him on right now is MSM and I didn’t notice a huge change, but it seems to help a little. They didn’t find any arthritic changes in the stifle, but it’s entirely possible that the problem is higher up, but I’d have to do joint blocks to figure that out. I’ll probably get radiographs of his back and if he does have KS I’ll put him in for surgery, and if he doesn’t, I’ll do another full lameness exam with radiographs of both stifles and then I’d block his stifles and see if he still has the hitch. Thank you so much!
 
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