Advice please -young warmblood severe arthritis lower neck

flutini

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17 February 2013
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Any help appreciated Looking for any advice or experience dealing with similar to help my rising 5 warmblood mare who was 2 weeks ago diagnosed with severe arthritis in c6/c7.
After becoming increasingly aggressive to the point of dangerous we looked into a pain element after she had such a positive reaction to bute. I and physio believed to be her neck xrays confirmed and horse has had cortizone injections and is under a specialist orthopaedic vet from Halifax who I’m told would give her best chance despite not being at all local he’s said they will either work or they won’t and as my problems with her we’re not just affecting her ridden she had even begun attacking her feildmates I will sadly have to let her go. she has no associated lameness or neurological problems and the issue seems isolated to the single joint suggesting a trauma as no other xrays showed anything though I’m unaware of anything specific and have had her from weaning. We have an excellent physio also who will be seeing her to advise further but I’m just looking for anything which may assist her or experience of others?? vets unsure injections will give her relief for long enough periods but said it was definitely worth a chance. I’ve put some history on her mare was bought with intention of keeping her for life And I searched the country for her she’s a pink papered 15’2 palomino warmblood of Concorde Ramiro z lines and realistically despite big ideas early on I had simply before this decided I wanted a horse for riding club level all rounder and have already decided on diagnosis I would never risk jumping her though the vet says it would be fine. I just want to give her every chance possible


She has always been quite a backward thinking stubborn but clever mare shown from yearling at county level with success considering my own inexperience in showing young stock always unphased by her surroundings . since broken as a 3 year old despite various baby strops over the years on the ground and needing a experienced handler. To my surprise until very recently has never put a foot wrong under saddle hard work to get forward in school just quite ingnorant to aids but on the roads she’s forward and a complete angel on the very busy main roads by the yard. Only ever had myself off (my fault) on the first time for both of us out with the hunt (unprepared for how excited and forward she’d become with her usual sluggishness ) but she allowed me straight back on

sadly throughout she will have had the arthritis it appears so I think despite her recent bad tempered attitude there is a genuine horse and I’d love to see that side of her
 

Red-1

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If it is the vets at Shelf in Halifax then I think they are very good. I guess all you can do is see how the injections work, but if that is all they can offer and that does work then I guess the only other option is PTS.

I am sorry, it is especially awful when it is such a young horse. I guess in a human the specific joint would be fused, I think they did used to do that for horses, but they stopped recommending it as an operation.

If it is the vets I am thinking of then I would trust their opinion.

I believe Hopscotch Bandit has knowledge of this operation and why they no longer do it, maybe PM her? Apologies if I am thinking of the wrong person.
 

ForbiddenHorse

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24 April 2013
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Sorry to hear about diagnosis. My gelding has just turned 10 and was diagnosed with the same as yours in November 2018, however he also has spinal cord compression which is usually worse than arthritis. His arthritis was grade 4/5 for 5 being the worst. He had his neck medicated in December 2018 and is now coming back into full work.

I was sceptical, thinking it wouldn't work and he'd be retired but he is a completely different horse. We started with just long and low, he now finds it so easy and naturally then gradually increased his work. His canter has gone from 4 beat feeling so wrong to a lovely nice natural canter and hes so happy in himself.

I’ve started giving him MSM daily and HCL Glucosamine hoping it may help. I am prepared to inject him yearly if it makes him comfortable.

I am surprised the prognosis is so poor for just neck arthritis? Is it graded 5/5 and has she been checked for ulcers? That would explain the aggressive nature. If she had neurological problems due to spinal cord compression i'd understand but after shes had her neck medicated and correct work she should build muscles up nicely with a good physio helping along.
 
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I have a nearly 10 year old warmblood who has just been diagnosed with c6-c7 arthritis and both hocks. He has obviously coped very well with the hocks as the right is about 2 thirds fused and left is beginning to yet he has not been lame. In time I’ve had him he’s never been quite right behind but not lame so when he became aggressive in the neck/shoulder region he was bone scanned. He has Concorde Ramiro z in his bloodlines too.

Looking back there were some early signs which I missed, he would drop a shoulder every now and then and appear to do a little stumble up front.

He has now had his neck medicated for 5 weeks and on the whole he’s much more comfortable. Have concentrated on riding long and low which isn’t his forte so hoping going back to basics will help him. He had hick hocks medicated this week and is currently on box rest but since going in he has become very agitated around the next again. He’s not a great loader and we had he’ll of a time getting him back in my friends box after treatment. I’m hoping once he’s allowed turnout again next week and gets back to stretching himself out the neck will calm down again but am worried that this is a sign the steroids in his neck are not having much effect. If they don’t the vet has said there’s no different medication she can put in there.

If everything settles down and I get back on track with the riding the vet said I shouldn’t have problems with jumping but will with dressage. I get the whole head carriage for dressage bit but would have thought the landing from jumping would be as big an issue.

Has anyone had any luck with joint supplements for this as he’s not been on any. Vet said to save money for future injections but I feel I need to give him every chance and put him on something
 

hopscotch bandit

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2 February 2017
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Any help appreciated Looking for any advice or experience dealing with similar to help my rising 5 warmblood mare who was 2 weeks ago diagnosed with severe arthritis in c6/c7.
After becoming increasingly aggressive to the point of dangerous we looked into a pain element after she had such a positive reaction to bute. I and physio believed to be her neck xrays confirmed and horse has had cortizone injections and is under a specialist orthopaedic vet from Halifax who I’m told would give her best chance despite not being at all local he’s said they will either work or they won’t and as my problems with her we’re not just affecting her ridden she had even begun attacking her feildmates I will sadly have to let her go. she has no associated lameness or neurological problems and the issue seems isolated to the single joint suggesting a trauma as no other xrays showed anything though I’m unaware of anything specific and have had her from weaning. We have an excellent physio also who will be seeing her to advise further but I’m just looking for anything which may assist her or experience of others?? vets unsure injections will give her relief for long enough periods but said it was definitely worth a chance. I’ve put some history on her mare was bought with intention of keeping her for life And I searched the country for her she’s a pink papered 15’2 palomino warmblood of Concorde Ramiro z lines and realistically despite big ideas early on I had simply before this decided I wanted a horse for riding club level all rounder and have already decided on diagnosis I would never risk jumping her though the vet says it would be fine. I just want to give her every chance possible


She has always been quite a backward thinking stubborn but clever mare shown from yearling at county level with success considering my own inexperience in showing young stock always unphased by her surroundings . since broken as a 3 year old despite various baby strops over the years on the ground and needing a experienced handler. To my surprise until very recently has never put a foot wrong under saddle hard work to get forward in school just quite ingnorant to aids but on the roads she’s forward and a complete angel on the very busy main roads by the yard. Only ever had myself off (my fault) on the first time for both of us out with the hunt (unprepared for how excited and forward she’d become with her usual sluggishness ) but she allowed me straight back on

sadly throughout she will have had the arthritis it appears so I think despite her recent bad tempered attitude there is a genuine horse and I’d love to see that side of her
There is new research coming to light suggesting that there is a congenital defect in a lot of WB/TB's at C6/C7. https://thehorsesback.com/c6-c7-malformation/
Mine has an issue with C4, C6/C7 and T1 with the C7/T1 junction having a huge process which has got much larger over the last 3 years. She's not a candidate for steroid injection this time around but an expert in this field has assessed her thoroughly with a full neuro assessment and xrays and said she is happy and comfortable in herself and to keep hacking with a daily bute which she's had for a number of years. They don't feel it would be beneficial to pump her full of steroid as there is too much to deal with in her neck. She strides out hacking and is never resentful of her tack or being ridden so I hack her 3-4 times a week for anything from 20 mins to 1 hour at a time. She gets daily turnout, has a play in the field, spends all day grazing so never has a problem with her head at floor level. She gives no indication of being uncomfortable but doesn't have full range of movement on her daily carrot stretches.
 
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hopscotch bandit

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As an aside (sorry to deviate from the OP somewhat) there is very interesting reading in the article enclosed in the above link 'Eight Belle's breakdown: a predictable tragedy'. It's interesting in respect of Eight Belles having the same genetic predisposition for unsoundness that so many of the horses had in her family tree, and broke down in a part of her body that the horse who was a the top of her family tree was weakest. I won't mention any names in case I get into trouble but it makes for harrowing but very interesting reading.
 

Red-1

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As an aside (sorry to deviate from the OP somewhat) there is very interesting reading in the article enclosed in the above link 'Eight Belle's breakdown: a predictable tragedy'. It's interesting in respect of Eight Belles having the same genetic predisposition for unsoundness that so many of the horses had in her family tree, and broke down in a part of her body that the horse who was a the top of her family tree was weakest. I won't mention any names in case I get into trouble but it makes for harrowing but very interesting reading.
I have read that and found it interesting. My heart horse Jay Man, who I lost at 12 years old 2 years ago, became a wobbler, but the X rays showed not too bad restriction in his nerve channel. We tried treatment with steroids, not effectively, but were never really sure where the issue stemmed from. This would make sense, as he always hated working down hill, and had really loose paces (which dressage judges loved). In the end I had to PTS as a stiff wind would have blown him over, although if I lunged him he showed as sound with great paces.

It was a hard decision to let him go when he looked so well, but I do think it was the right thing to do.
 

hopscotch bandit

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I have read that and found it interesting. My heart horse Jay Man, who I lost at 12 years old 2 years ago, became a wobbler, but the X rays showed not too bad restriction in his nerve channel. We tried treatment with steroids, not effectively, but were never really sure where the issue stemmed from. This would make sense, as he always hated working down hill, and had really loose paces (which dressage judges loved). In the end I had to PTS as a stiff wind would have blown him over, although if I lunged him he showed as sound with great paces.

It was a hard decision to let him go when he looked so well, but I do think it was the right thing to do.
That's so sad but it sounds like you made the right decision in your horses case. My horse isn't bad enough to pts but if she does have a serious ataxic episode I will let her go. I was greatly reassured by the specialist vet (who is an expert in this field) who said that he felt my mare was very happy and comfortable and to continue hacking her as I was. Although she shows as neurological during the assessment when walked down a hill when they held her head high in the air and slightly neurological when done a tail sway test this doesn't come through day to day, in her handling or her ridden walking.
 

Red-1

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That's so sad but it sounds like you made the right decision in your horses case. My horse isn't bad enough to pts but if she does have a serious ataxic episode I will let her go. I was greatly reassured by the specialist vet (who is an expert in this field) who said that he felt my mare was very happy and comfortable and to continue hacking her as I was. Although she shows as neurological during the assessment when walked down a hill when they held her head high in the air and slightly neurological when done a tail sway test this doesn't come through day to day, in her handling or her ridden walking.
Mine was like that after steroid treatment, he just did light hacking, but I had to cut it down from 1 1/2 hours to 40 minutes or so. Then one day he fell down 3 times out on a ride. The first one I put it down to a slip that turned into a trip, the second we were on a rocky section of track so I blamed a stone (he was fully barefoot to help propreoception), the final time it was on the smooth tarmac and there was no excuse so I had to face facts, got off and he had 6 months fully retired. In the end that did him no favours and he looked a danger in his stable, but still lunged totally sound (which I did to attempt to keep some muscle tone to try to keep him as stable as possible).

Jay Man owed me nothing and could have stayed here in fully retirement for another 20 years for me, but it was not to be. Still miss him like crazy, and I feel for my lovely new horse, who is great, but not Jay.
 
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