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Discussion Starter #1
So, I bought my horse two years ago, she was a reining horse. She was 13 at the time, now 15. Shortly after purchasing her, she was sore in her legs often. We had the vet out and he said that she would be good for a pleasure horse, but no hard riding.
She was good for a year riding her off and on, but then she started becoming sore basically all the time, with rarely a day that she wasn't really sore. (I'm talking lame, head bobbing)
We had the vet out again, he flexed her leg then got me to trot her out, and it was insane how lame she was. It was like she was limping badly. He said that she had arthritis and should probably be retired.
So, that's when we decided to just retire her to be a pasture pet :]

So she hasn't been ridden in almost a year, and she seems to be better, if that's possible. Her legs always used to be hot all the time, but her's haven't been hot in awhile. Although, sometimes they do get hot if she runs around alot.
Today I took her out to a bigger field to go for a walk, and she was so excited. I started jogging, and she went into a huge trot, swinging her head around. I let her go so she could run around. She went cantering around up and down the hill.

Is it possible that her arthirits could have been reversed due to rest? Maybe she could be lightly ridden again?
She seems like she wants a job, she always liked going for rides before.
Do you think I should call the vet to come see her again? Or, would that probably be a waste of my money when it will be the same conclusion?
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This is the cutie :]
 

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Arthritis does not go away, it gets worse. Depending on its severity, it can be managed but your horse sounds unfortunately bad. If she has not been ridden and she seems to be a little more comfortable, then in my opinion she should be retired. Riding her will make her worse. Maybe taking her for walks might help her from being without a job.
 

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Arthritis will not reverse. Light exercise, full-time turnout, NSAID's, and a joint supplement can make the horse feel better, though. But are you positive it was arthritis to begin with? Did the vet take radiographs? That's the only way to diagnose it with certainty.
 

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Arthritis will not reverse. Light exercise, full-time turnout, NSAID's, and a joint supplement can make the horse feel better, though. But are you positive it was arthritis to begin with? Did the vet take radiographs? That's the only way to diagnose it with certainty.
No, she was never actually diagnosed for arthiritis. He just assumed that she had probably developed arthiritis early due to the stress on her joints from raining. What is NSAID's?
We had tried her on Bio-Iso-G (glucosamine, yucca, devils claw) for a year when we were riding her, it seemed to work for the first while, then it stopped working.
I don't mind not riding her, saving up to buy a riding horse. But, if she is comfortable, she would probably like going for some short rides every once in awhile :]
 

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OP, it's definitely worth bringing the vet out for. Get a full soundness exam done and a radiograph (thanks bubba, I didn't know about that!) and see if she really does have arthritis or if it was something else.
 

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NSAID: Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug. Think bute. Mostly for pain management--they won't cure anything, but they can make a horse more comfortable. And contrary to popular belief, for the vast majority of horses, a low maintenance dose of daily bute is safe and will not cause ulcers.

If she is sound and comfortable, you could certainly try some light riding. If she gets worse at all, or seems to be in pain, I would get the opinion either of the original vet or a different one, and this time do a full lameness exam, radiographs included.
 

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^^ Thank you! I haven't tried bute yet for her. I forgot, that was also an option that the vet said. It wasn't bute though, it was something else which had to be injected the night before riding. He said that it would probably work to relieve the pain, but it would cause her to deteriorate faster in the long run.

I was thinking of getting the opinion of another vet as well... it wouldn't hurt anything. Who knows, it could be something with a easy solution! *being hopeful*

I was just thinking of walking around on her bareback a little bit in the field, but I always feel like I'm a bad owner if she is still sore :[
 

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I'll bet you're over joyed!

Arthritis means inflammation. It is possible that she had inflammation in her joints that has resolved without any of the bony changes that will cause permanent lameness.
She could have also had something else that wasn't diagnosed at that time & it healed with rest.
Yes, get x-rays to be sure but I see no reason to not lightly ride her as she tells you she is capable of doing. You may want to hold off on cantering up & down hills though, for now.:wink:

NSAID=non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (bute, aspirin, banamine)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll bet you're over joyed!

Arthritis means inflammation. It is possible that she had inflammation in her joints that has resolved without any of the bony changes that will cause permanent lameness.
She could have also had something else that wasn't diagnosed at that time & it healed with rest.
Yes, get x-rays to be sure but I see no reason to not lightly ride her as she tells you she is capable of doing. You may want to hold off on cantering up & down hills though, for now.:wink:

NSAID=non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (bute, aspirin, banamine
Thank you, that could be possible that she has gotten better from something undiagnosed too. But, she isn't completely sound everyday.. once in awhile she is sore, but it's been pretty rare lately. When she trots, she looks like an energetic dressage horse all ready to go! haha

Haha, I don't think I'd be cantering up and down hills ;] I'm hoping for just walking shortly on flat ground :] We have moved her to a place without an arena now though, so the ground might be a little too hard. But, the snow gives a little support right now.
I am just all excited, crossing my fingers that she is possibly better!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Tommorow I will have to do the little test that the vet does for lameness. Stretch her leg then trot her off to see if she looks good! :]
 

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Discussion Starter #13
^^ I didn't realize that, thanks. I thought they just stretched the leg.
I will just trot her a bit in hand then to see how she looks :]
 

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There's actually a proper way to do the flexion test. I wouldn't attempt it without having the vet show you the exact positions and lengths to hold.
Yes, don't try it yourself.
I know I'd flunk most flex tests & I don't have any problems I'm aware of.
 

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The best thing to do is get some xray and KNOW what you are dealing with. Arthritis CAN be managed and in fact is is better for the horse to be moving anyway. There are joint injections than can help as well as better joint supplements that can help (I love Corta-Flx)

All you are doing is taking stabs in the dark. You need to know exactly what the problem is so you can make an informed decision. chances are, after a good rest like she had, she will be rideable with joint and pain management and within reason. she may even improve when you know what you are dealing with and can treat it directly.

Also would like to mention that rubber shoes can really help arthritic horses be more comfortable in work.
http://plastichorseshoes.com/
 

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Discussion Starter #17
^^ I thought xrays just showed bone, not arthritis?

She was awesome today! I trotted her on hard pavement and she was completely sound, and looked great. After, she wasn't even hot in her legs. :D
I should probably get a vet to figure out what it is for sure though.
Buying another horse is more expensive than a vet bill if she ends up being good :]
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Xrays show bone AND damage to the joint aka arthritis.
Okay, thank you! I will have to consider getting her an xray.
 
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