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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to move this here. See my other thread for reference: Breed Guesses Please

I finally got the call, and it's not good. Floyd has a severe case of ringbone. Dr Elliot said it is the worst case he's seen in 10 years. Encouraging, right?

Basically he told me it's very very very bad. He doesn't know what the outlook looks like at this point. He's a little confused as to why he appears to be lame on both front legs. The ringbone is only in the right, and the other leg has no radiographic abnormalities. He wants us to get his feet trimmed as soon as possible as there's a ton of pressure on his heels and he said instead of a 90 degree angle, Floyd's hooves are at negative angles. And i guess we're gonna go from there, see how that improves him. Keeping him on the Bute. He wants me to turn him out for most of the day so he's not standing around on that leg, get some circulation going.

He basically told me surgery may be the only option, to put some kind of pins in to relieve pressure. I don't know if i can afford that for a rescue horse. Does anyone have any words of advice for me?

I cried. Why does it have to be the really nice horses that this stuff happens to? I couldn't even get past the shock enough to ask the proper questions, i'm gonna have to request to speak with him again. I just couldn't get my mind to process what he was telling me in order to ask things that i started to ask myself as soon as i hung up the phone.

Anybody have a Ringbone horse? A really bad one?

He is sending me a disc of the rads, but they're coming by snail mail so i dunno when i'll get them to share here.
 

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oh wow, I'm sorry to hear that. I don't have any experience with ringbone, but just wanted to wish you luck, I hope it all works out for you.
 

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Oh no! I am really sorry. I don't have any first hand experience with ring bone, so no help there... Where are you located? You mentioned the auction and the amish, are you in PA? I know you said you'd like to find a better farrier and I could recommened a few depending on where you are. Sending lots of good thoughts!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I am in Northeast Ohio. About a 10 minute drive from the PA line.

I am pretty emotional right now, i got attached to him very easily. I hate feeling helpless.

I need to call the vet back and ask him point blank - is he in a TON of pain? Am i gonna prolong his pain trying to fix hi only to find out i can't? Would putting him down be more kind? He made this sound so terrible, it shocked me into silence and now i have a thousand thoughts running in my head.
 

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Ringbone is basically arthritis and so it is progressive. Depending on the severity (I don't know what cases of ringbone your vet has seen) it is treatable with a course of Adequan, usually also Legend and full time turnout. He is probably lame on the other leg from compensating, and if his feet are very bad that could also be the case.
Be careful when rotating the hoofs back to a "normal" position as any drastic change can cause severe inflammation of the ringbone and potentially lead to founder. As bad as they may be, it might take 6 months to get the feet "normal". Get him trimmed/filed slightly every 4 weeks if you can to speed the progress.

It really depends on the severity - but all you can do it treat it and try to slow the progression. The horse is going to end up having to be put down from this - you just have to decide when and how much treatment (read: money) you want to put into him first.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I realize this is not something curable, but I'm finding it hard to drill it into my head that it is this bad. He isn't completely out of shape, like he's been standing around for months on end. I find it hard to believe that somebody would be able to work him the way that he is, but he had to have been having some exercise.

The vet basically told me it's such a bad case that he may not even be comfortable on pasture. So basically i have to wait and see if he's even gonna be able to be comfortable once his feet are fixed. I called him back and talked to him some more. From what i understand it's an upper ringbone. He didn't give me many details but he's copying the discs to send to me right now and they'll go out tomorrow.

He seems to be very conservative about this. He just wants me to keep him on stall rest, no walking, until the bute really starts to kick in and then he can be turned out for a half hour at a time if he's feeling okay. He doesn't want me to do anything else.

I can't help but think, wouldn't cold treatments a couple of times a day at least ease the pain and inflammation too?

What do YOU guys think? Should i go out of my way or is it not gonna make any difference? I was thinking liniment wraps at night, and hosing him down a few times a day. It can't hurt can it? I would think circulation would be a good thing, which the liniment would help with. Thoughts?
 

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my sister's horse had severe ringbone and there are a few things that can be done to both ease the pain and slow down progression w/o going the surgery route. natural trimming or corrective shoeing is an option depending on the horse, the farrier, and vet recommendations. in some cases i prefer barefoot trimmed specific to ringbone, however in some cases shoes offer a better option for the horse.

in addition, i've had good success with magnetic pastern bands improving circulation and reducing signs of lameness and discomfort in the horse. in conjunction with that, there are a few supplements that have made a very large difference - including jet breath (typically used for oxygen intake in race horses). jet breath b/c of the increased amount of oxygen to the blood as a nice side benefit helps actually break down calcifications (essentially what ringbone is) bc the increased circulation and oxygen. it's not something that it is advertised for, but when i put my TB on it who had a breathing problem, i noticed his large, solid, calcified splints from the track started to get smaller. now they are totally gone with no signs of any calcification whatsoever.

there's also a few other supplements specifically for ringbone that can help. if you check out equisupps.com (or email terry through that site for help) there's a ton of option. i def recommend talking to terry b/c through the rescue she's seen results on all different kinds of supplements.

good luck!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you guys for the links. I was doing some research and I don't seem to be finding much helpful, they all say the same thing. I really want to see the rads. Once i get them i am going to ask my ex-boss (just lost my job at a vet clinic due to the economy) to look them over for me if he'd be so kind.

I talked to my fiancée and surprisingly enough he was asking me questions about the surgery, that i can't answer obviously. So that is not completely out of the question at this point. He's such a nice horse, I don't know if i'd want to put him through that or not but he is so young it's a shame.

Dr Elliot did say he was going to have somebody at the equine specialty hospital (where I guessing they do the surgery) their opinion about this case and what the options are. I'm going to look into supplements and at least get him on those.

The search for a good farrier is not going well. I've left messages on 3 answering machines - but these are all outside of my county and i have no idea if they'll come out here or not. I would like to say money isn't an object, but having just lost my job this is all happening at a very bad time. My farrier is great, but i haven't even been able to get a hold of him to find out if he has any experience with this. He's due to come out and trim my girls in two weeks, but i can't wait that long to talk to him especially if i can't find another option. I guess that's the downfall of having a farrier who doesn't believe in electricity hence no telephones. I think i would like to go the barefoot route if it's possible, unless they think shoes would do him good. With his feet in the condition they're in... ugh.

I need to try to find a job asap, unemployment won't get me very far with all this going on.
 

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Ugh, I can only imagine how stressful this must be! My fiance lost his job 11 months ago. The economy SUCKS! All you can do is gather all the info, see what the vet recommends, and do what's best. Does your vet know of any good farriers that are experienced with this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ugh, I can only imagine how stressful this must be! My fiance lost his job 11 months ago. The economy SUCKS! All you can do is gather all the info, see what the vet recommends, and do what's best. Does your vet know of any good farriers that are experienced with this?
He gave me one number, but it's a farrier local to them, and they travel over an hour to see my horses (which is VERY expensive for me, they get their monies worth for coming this way lol). I live in *thee* middle of the nowhere. So he wasn't sure if he'd come out or not. I left him a message. He comes highly recommended. I'm sure he'll charge me an arm and a leg for traveling out here, but maybe he'll come. I'll take it at this point, i don't care. I want them done ASAP, like in a day or two, if possible. I'll pay whatever i have to pay, i'll bribe! i don't care right now. Fingers are crossed i'll hear back from at least one of them.
 

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I can offer no advice because I've never had to deal with ringbone but I would wait to see what he is like after you have his feet worked on. Give him a bit of time to adjust once his feet are done. I wouldn't even worry yet about putting him down. Get the farrier and take everything else one day at a time. If you notice him going off his feed or dropping weight or if he starts to lay down all the time and shows no indication of wanting to get up or move, then you'll need to think about putting him down. If you cannot afford the surgery, then just put that out of your mind and keep him comfortable any way that you can without bankrupting yourself.
 

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Sending hugs... I feel awful for you guys! I had a horse on trial before I got Danny, who turned up with Ringbone in the PPE during the trial. I was so scared that I sent him back immediately. I was completely heartbroken after just a few days with him! The good news is that he's happy today, in his new home, with people who love him and are taking care of him. For now, that's all that counts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sending hugs... I feel awful for you guys! I had a horse on trial before I got Danny, who turned up with Ringbone in the PPE during the trial. I was so scared that I sent him back immediately. I was completely heartbroken after just a few days with him! The good news is that he's happy today, in his new home, with people who love him and are taking care of him. For now, that's all that counts.
Thank you. It is terribly hard. My mother cannot comprehend my way of thinking. She basically hinted that i should send him to the auction. Yeah, mom. I'll be the 3rd person he's been shuffled to that fails him. I don't think so. He'll live his days out happily here, no matter if they add up to 3 months or 10 years.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I can offer no advice because I've never had to deal with ringbone but I would wait to see what he is like after you have his feet worked on. Give him a bit of time to adjust once his feet are done. I wouldn't even worry yet about putting him down. Get the farrier and take everything else one day at a time. If you notice him going off his feed or dropping weight or if he starts to lay down all the time and shows no indication of wanting to get up or move, then you'll need to think about putting him down. If you cannot afford the surgery, then just put that out of your mind and keep him comfortable any way that you can without bankrupting yourself.
Thankfully, i purchased a different kind of Bute than the apple flavored i had on hand. He smelled that stuff coming a mile away! This other is molasses flavored and he also hates it, but he is a good boy if i mix it with a little water in a syringe. I add a little Karo Syrup to it to make it a little sweet and thicker, and he doesn't even raise his head away from me. He just gives me a look like "Why, why, whyyy" haha!! He is definitely doing way better on this, since i'm actually getting it down him, than he was on the other. Yesterday he wanted to lay down all day, and i was worried about him. Today is a lot warmer, and he's resting his head on the top of his stall wall to get the breeze from outside. He seems way perkier.

I'm trying to think positive. When i am with him, even if we're just hanging out, i feel hope. He is just so bright and happy, and such a lover.

My mom, and my aunt both, about had heart attacks when i told them news and threw the surgery out there as a future option we may go with. My aunt says "You took in a horse for free that somebody through away, and you're gonna spend thousands of dollars on a surgery? You could buy a great horse for that amount of money in this market." Some people just don't understand.

Let me ask you guys this, on top of everything else. Would you consider surgery of this magnitude for a horse you've only had one week, that you didn't even pay for?

At this point i'm trying to learn everything i can about it, in the event that the specialist says that's his only hope. I don't have that kind of money, but i would figure it out if it came down to it. Am i crazy?
 

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Let me ask you guys this, on top of everything else. Would you consider surgery of this magnitude for a horse you've only had one week, that you didn't even pay for?

At this point i'm trying to learn everything i can about it, in the event that the specialist says that's his only hope. I don't have that kind of money, but i would figure it out if it came down to it. Am i crazy?
For me, it would totally depend on the situation of the specific horse. What are his chances post-op? What kind of recovery is he looking at? What kind of financial strain would it put me under? If I did the surgery, could I still afford possible emergencies later on? I know you want to do everything you can for him, and it's smart to educate yourself about the options. No, it's definately not crazy to keep the surgery on the table as an option, but just be realistic about it too. Best advice I can give is to make sure whatever you decide is in his best interest, not just because you're attached to him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Question guys...

I'm sitting here about to order some joint supplements, and i remember i have some that has never even been opened. It's Grand Flex. However, it has a "best if used by" date on it of... 11/07. I remember i had stocked up on it, and then she passed on in 2009. This one has never been opened. Do you think i should just try to use it since i have it on hand? Google hasn't really helped me in finding out the actual shelf life of this stuff. I know it's not the best brand you can buy, and i only used it as a preventative for my old mare.

I'd hate to throw it out, but i'm kinda afraid to give it to him?
 

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It probably won't "go bad" but it most likely lost a lot of its effectiveness. I don't know what the ingredients are in that one. Check out smartpak's comparison guide. I use the joint, hoof and coat combo pellets.

Question guys...

I'm sitting here about to order some joint supplements, and i remember i have some that has never even been opened. It's Grand Flex. However, it has a "best if used by" date on it of... 11/07. I remember i had stocked up on it, and then she passed on in 2009. This one has never been opened. Do you think i should just try to use it since i have it on hand? Google hasn't really helped me in finding out the actual shelf life of this stuff. I know it's not the best brand you can buy, and i only used it as a preventative for my old mare.

I'd hate to throw it out, but i'm kinda afraid to give it to him?
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Floyd got trimmed today. I had my regular farrier do it, he needed at least a start to a trim and the vet advised i get it done ASAP and just use my regular farrier and then go from there.

I am not going to believe that this is all we can do for him, as the vet wants me to. Yeah he won't be usable and everything, but i'm not just gonna toss him out to pasture and hope he feels better.

Along with the bute as prescribed, i am doing or am in the process of starting the following..

*Liniment wraps. I'm doing these once a day for a few hours.

*Feed Supplements including a Glucosimine, Chondrotin, MSM, etc.

*I'm looking into some natural pain relievers/antinflammatory such as Devils Claw.

* Magnetic Therapy - I have ordered him a little horsie anklet

Am i missing anything?

And, oddly enough, i found a very old gash on his leg. I barely noticed a scab, and when i put warm water on it this was the result. What do you think of this?

It was certainly old, but it's still icky inside. And it's pretty deep. I'm wondering if this wasn't the injury that caused his issues. This is right where the vet says the ringbone is.

ETA: I tried to shave that, but Floyd was having NONE of that. It was stormy and windy, so he was kinda freaked to begin with. I'm gonna try again tomorrow, i just want to see how big/deep it is. I'm gonna try warm compresses to see if i can draw anything out of it.
 
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