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Hey guys,
I have a 11 year old (12 in April) 17.1hh dark bay ottb gelding. He raced in large races, mostly at Churchill Downs. He raced 43 starts with a total winnings of just under $16,000 up through the race at the age of 9. Since then, he has been a lesson horse until I purchased him in August. Due to poor nutrition with his previous care taker, I "started him over" and got him on a complete grain, built his muscle back, and started him into eventing. Now he is all personality and a lot of strength. He is the type of horse that is silly and goofy but wants to please me with all is heart.

In August, we had his hocks injected to help with the arthritis that he unfortunately developed when racing (that was the only injury he got from racing). With the arthritis, sometimes he suffers from shivers in his back right leg, but only when he is standing still for a while. Up until the end of January, he was very happy with my new saddle that fit his "shark fin withers" much better, maintenance Cosequin, hock injections, and great grain.

However, suddenly at the end of January, his shivers became much worse, his body very sore, and was lame. This was not due to over work because for the past two weeks before this, we were doing very light work due to my heavy work load at college. The vet prescribed him muscle relaxers and bute as well as Pentasin (which is an injection into the muscle for the joints, similar to Adequin) and he began to improve. Although his muscle soreness only reached about 50% improvement. On the 5th shot on Pentasin the week before last, he had a big local reaction to the medicine, however has fully recovered. Now, he is on the low dose of muscle relaxers and a moderate dose of bute, and although he is acting much better he is still very body sore...

Blood work came back negative with only a low level in total proteins. (which we are getting a multivitamin to help). Detailed blood work came back negative for any diseases (ex: lyme disease).

The vet wants to run a muscle biopsy however I am thinking that he is tight and in pain do to something internal rather than simple muscular because with all the medication, he is still sore to the touch. I know that ulcers are claimed a lot more than they should, however I am thinking that he is so uncomfortable with how the medicine is hurting his gut that he is clenching and making himself sore by trying to get comfortable.

What do y'all think?? I am really upset without being able to ride my sweet boy ):
 

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I say an 'all encompassing' approach may work best for a 'war horse' like yours.

I'd treat him for ulcers just to be careful (What else does he get to eat besides the grain?)

I'd also look into doing a low-carb/ high fat ration if at all possible (there is no cure/ treatment for shivers but some PSSM like diets have been recommended in the past.)

If he'll let you, look into massage/ acupressure/puncture for his body as this can have wonderful results.

Also see how he acts when turned out, maybe he's doing something that is aggravating it.
 

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Thats actually what I was thinking of doing. I just learned the accupressure points to look for ulcers and will do them in the morning. We are going to start weaning him from the medicines tomorrow.

He was getting Triple Crown Complete, and Cocosoya Oil to help with some muscle effectiveness and development, and the cosequin. Then we stopped the cosequin to start the pentacin. We also started to give the muscle relaxers and bute then so he has been getting molasses or apple sauce in his grain to make it easier to eat with the medicine. -- I am going to be getting him Microvet to help with the low protein.

So, the goal is looking as such: grain, cocosoya oil, mivrovet and then a ulcer treatment..

In the field he is quite the rough houser and likes to play "mouth tag" with his buddy but it was not so fun for his body haha so he is turned out by himself, but next to another buddy of his. He is quite bored in the field and wants to run when I take him on walks in the cross country field, but the moment I run my hand down his back as a soreness test, he acts as if I am touching him with fire ):
 

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Well the symptoms started AFTER the medication, so seems unlikely.

Wouldn't hurt to treat him for ulcers though.

I wouldn't do anything yourself unless you're trained.

I wonder if he has some obscure injury. I would do as the vet advises though holding himself tightly due to something hurting is a good thought to look into.
 

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I would have a good Equine Chiropractor work on him and I would try for as much turn-out as possible. Depending on where you are at, that might be pretty tough this winter since half of the country is under snow.
 
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