any idea what's causing this muscle reaction?

boats

Member
Joined
18 April 2014
Messages
20
Visit site
I have an ISH turned out 24/7. He worked hard last year doing low level eventing and rc shows and then had a long break, with shoes off, over winter and came back into work late jan with mainly hacking and canter fitness work, to get him in shape for hunter trials.

He has always been a horse who doesn't like being groomed or fussed over, but his behaviour changed over the last few months and he tries to seriously bite if you touch his stomach, rug him and even put headcollars on now. He is a gent of a horse so this is completely out of character. Saddle is a good saddle, fitted by a proper fitter, his teeth and back have been done and hes been checked by vets and physios, had bloods run, wormer checked etc. He is quite an introverted, worrier horse, who is boss in the field so it isn't a case of him getting kicked by others. Generally, he is impossible to keep weight on and doesn't seem to build muscle, even doing tons of low and low and lunging over poles etc. He finds canter tricky due to his conformation, but his work attitude is great and he has been working well. He is out 24/7 and fed twice a day with baileys endurance mix, which has outshine included in it, copra and beet pulp along with a splash of oil. I'm at my wits end trying to figure out what is causing the biting as its so out of character. Vet doesn't think its ulcers as nothing in his management system would suggest it.

has anyone ever experienced anything similar? its baffling me as my other lad has the exact same lifestyle and is an poor doer exracer and he is in great shape. it doesn't make sense at all. If anyone had any ideas i'd be really greatful!
 

Auslander

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 November 2010
Messages
12,591
Location
Berkshire
Visit site
There's nothing in my horses management regime that would suggest ulcers, but he still has them! i would be very tempted to get him scoped, if I were you
 

boats

Member
Joined
18 April 2014
Messages
20
Visit site
yeah my gut says its something like that! is there any way of doing a trial run with gastroguard or something to see if it improves. or is it better to scope first?

would ulcers cause a horse to have difficulty relaxing in canter? he has a canter issue that should have improved by now. trot is lovely and relaxed and then canter just becomes tense. is there a chance its linked to sore muscles?
 

VioletStripe

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 July 2008
Messages
4,279
Location
Kent/Sussex Borders
Visit site
I'm tempted to say ulcers also... my vet warned me that they get blamed for a lot, when actually they're not as common as a lot of people suggest, however it sounds similar to my boy who was diagnosed with them! If not, have you considered putting him on a pre/pro biotic? Did wonders for a horse on the yard I'm on.
 

Kelly1982

Well-Known Member
Joined
2 January 2005
Messages
3,660
Location
Kent
Visit site
I'm going to have my boy scoped for ulcers, spoke to my vet and she said he has all the symptoms.

He has always struggled with canter and when I got his symptoms under control the canter was 10000x better.

His symptoms have flared up again recently and his canter has gone back to square one so IMO I do think there is a connection.
 

boats

Member
Joined
18 April 2014
Messages
20
Visit site
just thought i'd update this thread with the info from vets hospital. I was 100% sure it was ulcers and all behaviour would suggest it was, but vets hospital scoped and did full work up and there were three issues - 2 back ones and osteoarthritis in hocks. Loss of weight and narkiness was due to pure pain in the end and not stomach related! just thought it might be useful info for anyone thinking their horse might have ulcers. I know it most cases it turns out to be ulcers as they are so common, but not always it seems. I was tempted to avoid vets and try and treat at home, but im glad i bit the bullet and got him checked out fully. the details of what the vets found are below. horse got treated and hopefully will recover well.

Radiographic Examination
- Radiographs of the thoracic and lumbar spine revealed a lytic lesion on the caudal T16 and cranial T17 dorsal spinous process, and sclerosis of the caudal T15 and cranial T16 dorsal spinous process. No further abnormalities were noted.
- A dorsolateral oblique view of each tarsus was performed. No abnormalities were noted.

Diagnosis
- The hindlimb lameness appears to be associated with pain from the tarsometatarsal (TMT) joint region.
- The pain associated with palpation of flexion of the thoracic spine may be associated with the lesions seen radiographically.
- No evidence of gastric or oesophaeal ulceration were seen.

also wanted to thank auslander for their pm's! I lost my password so im late getting back online but really appreciated the pms and wanted to say thanks.
 
Last edited:

gunnergundog

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 August 2010
Messages
3,274
Visit site
Glad you now know what you're dealing with. Can I ask what the proposed treatment plan is going forwards with this horse please? Particularly interested in the spinal issues. Thank you.
 

boats

Member
Joined
18 April 2014
Messages
20
Visit site
il cut and paste the details below

Clinical Examination
- Bright, alert, responsive.
- Mildly elevated respiratory rate.
- Poor quality hair coat and loss of muscle over the topline and gluteal regions.
- Resented palpation of the thoracic and lumbar spinal regions. Very reduced lateral and dorso-ventro flexion of these areas.

Gastroscopic Examination
- Under standing sedation, the gastroscope was introduced via the left nostril. On viewing the larynx, a grade 4 (complete paralysis) of the left arytenoid cartilage was noted.
- No abnormalities of the oesophagus were noted.



Treatment
- Under sterile conditions, both TMT joints were medicated with 7mg of Triamcinalone acetonide.
- A full surgical preparation of the back was performed. The areas adjacent to the two areas of concern (T16-18) were medicated with a mixture of Triamcinalone acetonide, Dexamethasone and sterile saline.
- Mesotherapy using lidocaine was then performed from the withers to the lumbar region.

Prognosis
- Prognosis for return to full athletic soundness is fair in this case depending on initial response to treatment. Osteoarthritis of the distal tarsal joints is common and progressive condition. Horses and ponies differ in their response to therapy but many can return to performance at the same or slightly lower level.
- A better idea of prognosis will be known at revisit in 4-6 weeks depending on response to treatment.

Rehabilitation programme:
- Box rest for 2-3 days with hand-walking to grass if necessary.
- For the next 6 weeks, he should continue to be worked in a long and low outline. Working him long and low will extend the spine and stretch his epaxial muscles to minimise contact between the dorsal spinous processes. Ideally, warm up should involve 15-20 minutes of walking and stretching (working long and low) prior to trotting and collection.
- It is also recommended to feed on the ground to improve back stretching while eating.
- Horses with distal hock osteoarthritis tend to benefit from regular exercise of a consistent level. Any increase in level or type of work should be introduced gradually. Being ridden 4-5 times weekly is preferable to only "weekend work". Schooling over poles on the ground, to encourage him to engage his hocks correctly will help the condition may be introduced at this time.
- Building strength in the hindquarters to will help minimise strain in his hocks and back. This can be done with cavallettis or ground poles and hill work.

Re-visit:
- Please arrange for a revisit at the hospital for a re-examination in 4-6 weeks. A new rehabilitation programme will be given at this time.


hope this info helps!
 

Queenbee

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 August 2007
Messages
12,020
Location
Cumbria
Visit site
Deleted, just saw this was an old thread! But really pleased for you that you got to the bottom of the issues and now have a game plan... Fingers crossed it all works out :)
 
Last edited:
Top