Amber is lame

Amber Prosecco

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Just want to say Toby was awesome. Vet rang while I was schooling. I stopped, dropped reins, grabbed phone and talked to vet for at least 20 minutes and Toby never moved a muscle. Then at the end of the call I burst into tears and hugged him and he stayed stood like a rock. And after a while I got off and led him back to the stable. Once in there he ignored his hay and just gently snuffled my hair. How do they know? Horses are such beautiful souls.
 

Red-1

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Just want to say Toby was awesome. Vet rang while I was schooling. I stopped, dropped reins, grabbed phone and talked to vet for at least 20 minutes and Toby never moved a muscle. Then at the end of the call I burst into tears and hugged him and he stayed stood like a rock. And after a while I got off and led him back to the stable. Once in there he ignored his hay and just gently snuffled my hair. How do they know? Horses are such beautiful souls.
Sounds like he is a keeper after all of this.
 

Baywonder

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I am so sorry it wasn't better news from the vet. :( At least Toby is looking out for you - he really does sound like a lovely boy. :)
 

Amber Prosecco

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What I dont understand is how a horse can have so much pathology in the navicular bone that vets have written her off and yet to be so subtly lame that you need a fairly detailed lameness assessment to even spot it? Just makes no sense.
 

DressageCob

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I’m gutted for you. I was really hopeful for better news.

horses are such troopers. Amazing how she masked that level of problem and was only subtly lame.

I’m glad Toby is working out for you so well. I think you’ve been lucky there. Sounds like he is a lovely person, and not lacking in talent either!
 

Bernster

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This sucks. I assume they’ve thought of everything but yes it does sounds crappy that’s it’s so subtle but also so bad that she’s either retired or a light hack.

Its gutting as you have the certainty but it is such crummy news. I’m sure you’ll be feeling very blue for quite a while but you’ve done the right thing by her.
 

Roxylola

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What I dont understand is how a horse can have so much pathology in the navicular bone that vets have written her off and yet to be so subtly lame that you need a fairly detailed lameness assessment to even spot it? Just makes no sense.
First, I am so so sad to see your latest news. I can imagine how utterly devastated you must be. Assuming the above is not a hypothetical question, and I agree it's very odd, it crossed my mind reading it to check she definitely isnt bilaterally lame? The only other thing I can think is are the vets coming from the point of view of being sound as in fit to return to eventing? Because obviously the stresses on the feet and joints when jumping are obviously much greater than pottering about. I'm guessing though - not an expert
 

Amber Prosecco

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She's not bilaterally lame - she was blocked and when that foot was numb she was 100% sound and happy.

The vet was assessing her ability to return to work- as in eventing. She could hack maybe if they medicate the joint or something. But she wont stand up to 'work'. She's not much fun to hack really though.
 

Roxylola

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Yeah I thought after I posted that would have shown with nerve blocks. Would you consider a foal off her? I remember you saying you didnt exactly love hacking her 🙁
 

NinjaPony

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I’m very very sorry. Found myself in this exact position nearly 10 years ago, and it was devastating. My mare was also only subtly lame, and it wasn’t until the mri that the extent of the damage was shown. She was in a very bad way internally but you wouldn’t have known it. It’s cruel and unfair and very difficult to accept. Take some time for yourself to process it all and get support if you need it.
 

maya2008

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My arthritis/navicular mare never came back into work at all, but she was so lame it was treat her or shoot her. We treated, with the aim of field sound. She is still happy, several years later, nannying the young ones and enjoying her retirement. I wasn’t sure she would retire happily, she loved her work so much, but she has adjusted. I know you adore Amber - I just wanted to say that the daily cuddles are worth everything, and that you don’t have to lose ‘her’ even if you cannot ride her any more.
 

Amber Prosecco

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Well the question is - have you tried medicating the joint ? Or are the soft tissues torn also? As it is important to judge the horse not the images -
The vets view was based on MRI along with clinical presentation and history. Ie lack of any improvement despite a long period out of work.
 

TPO

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The vets view was based on MRI along with clinical presentation and history. Ie lack of any improvement despite a long period out of work.
Does she maybe need more movement than "turned away" provided? If it is "only" bone and no soft tissue involvement/degradation then would a "proper" barefoot rehab possibly work?

Do you have photos of her hooves shod and as they are now? I think I read that you pulled shoes to turn away but I have a habit of making stuff up in my head...

I'm not saying that this is what you should do but just it's an option that some vets (my old practice) have no interest or knowledge about and write it off completely. I'm also not saying to try every option. I imagine that everything is still very raw for you and it's hard to make decisions at times like this. Just, if it is "only" bone there may be some options worth pursuing if you decide that the right choice for you
 

Amber Prosecco

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There's tendon damage too. And some other issues that I can't remember/didn't really understand. I need to get the report to process it. I have asked my vet about Rockey farm before and he was a bit dismissive which was disappointing. But the vet who rang me yesterday was my 'other' vet - the other partner in the practice who I have used before too and knows Amber well. He was much more open about Rockley farm/barefoot rehab but felt the degree of damage and the desired outcome (ie more than just a light hack) were too far apart. 3 vets at Pool House were involved in reviewing the MRI too. So that's 5 who have given/agreed with a very poor prognosis. But people can be wrong!

Re barefoot - she hasn't had 'proper' barefoot rehab but she was barefoot and managed as per the Feet First book to to BE90 until she fell SJ. She was in full work and at full competition fitness barefoot. She was only ever in shoes after that during the eventing season and barefoot the rest of the time. So I cant see how/why a track would do more than that really. I need to look more into it.

But you're right, it's too raw to make decisions. All options remain on the table from my point of view. But I need to just to take some time out before deciding what comes next.
 

ycbm

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Soft tissue injuries are probably more likely to be fixable with a barefoot rehab than bone issues. And if there are soft tissue injuries then there's no proof the bone is causing the issues unless it's very severely damaged.

The lack of improvement during turnout isn't necessarily indicative. The last rehab I did was still landing toe first after turning away for several years. With a structured program of hand walking on roads he was heel first in weeks and sound to ride. He turned out to be a compete mental lunatic, but that's another issue!

It does seem that there's an awful lot of damage from what the vets are saying, but if you have the money and adore the horse, I'd still see what Rockley or another track livery with proper surfaces might achieve in 3 months.

I'm so sorry it wasn't better news AE. It's always been clear how much you adore her.
 
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What I dont understand is how a horse can have so much pathology in the navicular bone that vets have written her off and yet to be so subtly lame that you need a fairly detailed lameness assessment to even spot it? Just makes no sense.
I’m so sorry to read about the bad news AE, look after yourself!

In response to the above quote, my previous 6 year old was given almost an identical diagnosis as Amber, extensive changes, soft tissue damage and no return to work, however was only ever 1-2/10ths lame at the worst; I think this makes it all the more of a shock as you don’t think the results will be so damning.
 

Amber Prosecco

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Soft tissue injuries are probably more likely to be fixable with a barefoot rehab than bone issues. And if there are soft tissue injuries then there's no proof the bone is causing the issues unless it's very severely damaged.
Vet said there were several issues of variable relevance found. He said that was the problem with an MRI - a lot of incidental findings. But in his view the significant pathology was the dasmage to the navicular bone. The tendon was 'some localised issues' but the bone was the main problem. Maybe that is why he was less than optimisitc about barefoot rehab? He seemed well disposed in general to it but not in this case.
 
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