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My galloway has been lame for about 3 months, and has been one of the most frustrating horse ordeals I've been through. Basically-

He showed up lame after a thunder storm one night. He has been very fit in the past, but hasn't been worked seriously for the last year or so, but has been well maintained. We found a slip mark in his paddock, so there is potential for injury there.

Got a 1st vet out- they thought it was minor soft tissue damage in foot or shoulder. His legs have been clean and normal, and no heat, swelling, pain or elevated digital pulse in the hoof. They had him on bute/ rest for a week.

Then had a 2nd vet out- he said it was far more likely to be in the shoulder, based on the way he was landing. At this stage, I should mention that the lameness has been most evident when on a small, counterclockwise circle, with barely any lameness showing up when working clockwise or in a straight line. Was put on bute for another 9 days, with still no improvement.

Then had a chiropractor out. He said the problem was referred pain from his hind end, and was showing up in the opposite shoulder.

Had our farrier out again to shoe him- we put hind shoes on (so now fully shod), as he was dragging his toes on the hind end, and wearing his feet down unevenly. A few weeks on, he is no longer dragging his toes, and the movement from behind has improved significantly.

At around the same time, we had a 3rd vet out (referred from the 2nd vet and chiro), who went down the same path as the 1st vet, and thought it was a problem in his near front hoof. Did a nerve block (he seemed to think he was significantly improved after the first block in the hoof- we disagreed, as he seems to work out of the lameness, and at this stage had been moving around a lot). Then came back and did x- rays, found absolutely nothing, including no signs of laminitis or other bone issues.

We then got our chiropractor out again (who has really only been the one to give us a straight diagnosis of what he thought it was). He was able to make what I would say a 60-70% improvement, mainly working through the hind end. His movement was better still, and looked sounder.

We then put our horse in a stable, and has been there for 3 weeks (advice of the second vet) and has been walking on a concussive surface nearly every day (advice of chiro) to strengthen his muscles.

At this stage, we have noticed about an 80-90% improvement from where he was.

On the advice of a friend, we then had a Scenar Therapist to look at him. Her advice appeared to agree with the chiropractor- she said that he had tight muscles along his topline (especially around his mid back), which could have been causing that small amount of twinging just giving him a bit of a shortened stride.

This helped a lot, and I would have said he was back to 100%- got on, had a fairly gentle ride, lots of long and low over the back, gentle movement and stretching, with a long warm up/ cool down. He felt fantastic, and seemed to be back to normal responses, with no reluctance or signs of pain.

However- after 12 hours in the stable overnight, he has returned to having a shortened stride, and (although almost unnoticeable head bob). As I mentioned, he does seem to work out of it, but I just don't know what to do, or who to believe anymore, on account of the ridiculous amount of conflicting advice. At the moment, I'm going with the idea that it might be recurring tightness and soreness (tying up, in effect) along his back.

If you managed to stay with me all this time (thanks so much for reading, well done haha!!), please feel free to hypothesize or give me any answers or suggestions you may have! If anyone has heard of this kind of situation before, it would be amazing to hear some answers.

Thanks so much!! :)
 

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Is there an equine vet clinic that specializes in diagnosing lameness that you can take your horse to? Sounds like lots of opinions but no firm, proven diagnosis and course of treatment. I wouldn't fiddle around, I would go where I could a proper testing, evaluation and treatment.
 

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The 3rd vet we had out for him is a lameness specialist, very much up there in terms of knowledge, and travels around the world for those reasons. Thanks anyway :(
 
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