Had vet today and could do with some advice

asommerville

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Took my mare into the vet today, she's just not right behind, sometimes stiff, sometimes lame.

She was x rayed and was diagnosed with severe arthritis, bony changes in both hocks. The vet suggested a courseif unjections(cannot remember the name) but muscular injections, and changing shoes, heart bars in front and shoes behind that will offer her more support.

With these shoes in her hund feet he has said she would have to stay in until the fields dry up as mud will pull them off.

My dilemma is that at 19 my mare I lightly ridden, by her sharer. For years she has had problems with her front feet, with flat feet, low heels, thin soles and is not a candidate for barefoot.

I am loath to mess about with her shoes and I really don't want to have her standing in, I don't think it's fair on her. I asked the vet about retiring her and he said that quite often horses get worse when they are retired.

I just don't know what to do.
 

ester

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I can't see how keeping her in will help her?

At her age is it not feasibly just to keep her on bute to keep her a little more comfortable rather than changing shoes etc?
 

Pearlsasinger

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I would talk to the farrier about the shoes and ask his opinion about turnout. I would be very reluctant to keep a 19 yr old arthritic horse on box rest or similar for any length of time.
Have you thought of using magnetic boots? I have had very good results with them with one particular horse.
 

Cinnamontoast

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Did he say Adequan injections, series of 7? Mine had those, zero difference apart from an aversion to me being behind him now! The cortisone into the hock made lots more difference and I insisted on it.
 

Hetsmum

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The vet suggested a courseif unjections(cannot remember the name) but muscular injections, and changing shoes, heart bars in front and shoes behind that will offer her more support..QUOTE]

Cartrophen? (sp?) My lad had these. Can't say they made much difference TBH but each horse is different. He has had hocks medicated (in the joint) too and Tildren. By far the best treatment has been to turn him out as much as possible. 24/7 in the summer and 12 hour days in winter. Gentle exercise as often as possible. He is much younger though and hocks will (hopefully) fuse. He has good days and bad and is certainly better after hocks medicated but it doesn't last long and I have made the decision not to do it again. We will go the bute and hope it fuses route.

I too would speak to your farrier. Heart bars? Not sure of the benefit but then I am not a vet or farrier! I definitely would not be keeping horse in. Can't see the benefit of that whatsoever.

At 19 is low level bute not an option to keep horse comfortable?

Good luck......x
 

be positive

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I think he probably wants lateral extension on the hinds but why not wait until the mud goes before putting them on rather than keeping her in, it will be better for the arthritis if she is out and moving, although the livery I had that was in them went out in the mud with no problem, if heartbars are put on over reach boots should prevent them being pulled off.
 

deb_l222

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I'm certainly no expert but I always thought heart bar / full bar shoes were to support the hoof???? I would definitely speak to your farrier about that one.

My mare had pretty bad arthritis in both hocks but we managed for years with magnetic boots, bute (danilon) as and when needed and low level exercise. She was a monkey though and loved her stable but it definitely made her seize up more (much better to be moving).
 

asommerville

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Thank you folks, it is catrofen (sp) your a star!! I can go google it now!! I am really reluctant at her age and having played about with so many different types of shoes over the years to change things again ESP considering the amount of work she does (ie not much) tbh the big horse owes me nothing and as long as she is sound enough to go out in the field I'm happy.

It's really difficult when your on your own to think of all the questions to ask!

I would rather take her back shoes off (ifposs)and manage her on bute as long as she can go out, last time the blacksmith was here I asked if there was anything that we could do for her front feet and he said it would cost about another £100 on top of the shoes and really at her age and if she was sound then not to worry, it's only now the vets involved that there are all these other options.

The problem as well ismthatbthe mud just wrecks her feet, if I would do itnthenfarrier would want her kept in 24/7 in winter but I won't, she gets out for a couple of ours every day but the dilemma now is hat the mud wrecks her feet but standing in causes the arthritis to fare up - probably the dilemma of loads of horse owners I know!

I think I will send him an email with some more questions
 
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I'm for the middle road here, nothing radical, I'd certainly try all sorts of things before "shoes to support", it just makes no sense to me. Is it possible to make her a pen she can go out in to to wander about, see what's going on on days when she can't go out to field.
I'd put her on boosted minerals [pro hoof], and linseed, lo sugars, ie the barefoot diet. See if her feet improve.
Some in-hand walking on a level road as long as she is not struggling, 20 mins per day, to monitor her day to day status.
I would resist special shoes behind. Weather is going to improve, are the fields reasonably flat, or are they very steep, I know that can be a problem with older horses.
 
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Goldenstar

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Could you just manage her with pain relief ?
I have used cartrofen in the past and think it dubious whether it will significantly help a nineteen yo with severe arthritis.
 

asommerville

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There's not really anywhere where I could create a turnout pen for her unfortunately, the vet asked that too. Thankfully she is on a barefoot duet, which has defi Italy helped her hoof quality. I will ask the vet about managing her on danilon, I feel like I'm scared to make a decision in case it's wrong!!
 
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There's not really anywhere where I could create a turnout pen for her unfortunately, the vet asked that too. Thankfully she is on a barefoot duet, which has defi Italy helped her hoof quality. I will ask the vet about managing her on danilon, I feel like I'm scared to make a decision in case it's wrong!!
Best to go with gut feeling sometimes, as I say, to my mind start with minimum intervention, you really can never be sure what is the optimum treatment.
 

littleshetland

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Cartrophen can have miraculous results with some, and not much difference with others. Same with adequan It is not compatible with bute / Danilon. Steroid injections into the joint will probably be the most effective (speak to your vet) but they do only last for a limited time. If she's got flat feet and sensitive soles, shoes would probably be best ,failing that, 'Old Mac' boots or something similar have worked well for me in the past, speak to you farrier.
But perhaps, if she's not competing or in very hard work Danilon can be a godsend...
 

Zero00000

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Ive never used it, but read lots, how about trying turmeric?

Cant add to any of the post as I have no experience with arthritis myself.
 

littleshetland

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Yes - why not? they're fantastic for working them in as well. The OP said her horse has flat feet and sensitive soles, so turning out on soft ground probably won't be too uncomfortable for the horse. On hard/stony ground boots are a fantastic option, you can go anywhere and do anything in them.
 

khalswitz

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The thing you have to remember about Tilden/cartrophen is that they have to be given in a certain order. If you go straight to steroids and it doesn't work, you can't go back and try these - I had a long chat with a lameness specialist about this, and whilst I can't remember the physiology behind why off the top of my head I so remember the take home message . So if insured or have the money to go through then, trying these first gives you more options. They may not be successful every time, but if they are then it also saves steroids for later down the line.

My friend turn out in heart bars in mud and have no problem. Her horse has them for hock problems too, and seems to help. She sticks overreaches on in mud but otherwise lives out 24/7 in them.
 

McCauley

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You beat me to it Zero0000!! Tumeric may well be a good thing to look into using for your horse.

Echo MrsD123's post on this one,...i'd be going 'middle of the road' with any future treatment/management. The better weather is (hopefully) on it's way so will come some way to allieviating the 'mud problem', fingers crossed.

It's a tough call, but in my humble opinion (and experience) i'd have no quarms whatsoever of managing her with a regular painkiller (bute, danilon, etc) in the long term.

I did this with my old boy who developed ringbone for the last years of his life and just took it day by day as to how much i gave him. If it was soft underfoot in the fields, he managed with a lesser amount. If it was firmers underfoot he got more, but still enjoyed his retirement with some help from the painkillers.

Hope you sort it all out in your own head as i know it can be a worrying time and you just want to get this right for your horse..

xx
 

asommerville

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This forum is a godsend my head is fried, really hard when standing in front of the vet who says do this and do that not to jut nod and agree, it wasn't until last night when I was sitting down thinking about it that I could get what I want to do with the horse clear in my head.

Ultimately I don't want to mess about with different shoes, the poor horse has had them all on over the years.

I have not read anything about cateophen actually working, the vet sis say that if it didn't they would consider steroid injections, at her age she doesn't owe me anything as long as she's sound to go out in the field.

I'm going to email the vet today with what I would rather do x
 

asommerville

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I would talk to the farrier about the shoes and ask his opinion about turnout. I would be very reluctant to keep a 19 yr old arthritic horse on box rest or similar for any length of time.
Have you thought of using magnetic boots? I have had very good results with them with one particular horse.
Pearlsasinger can I ask what kind of boots you used?
 

unbalanced

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I lost mine to arthritis a few weeks ago after four years ago. She had spavins. She was treated medically with tildren, adequan and steroid injections and my vet wasn't concerned about the order as we had repeats of the steroids and tildren just before the insurance ran out. She had adequan after the first lot of steroids but before the second. My vet was a lameness specialist.

I kept her barefoot with as much turnout as possible. Part of the reason I lost her was when the muddy ground was making her worse and keeping her in was making her worse. Turnout is the most essential thing. If she was in overnight I mostly used stable bandages or magnetic chaps.

I fed riaflex, tried turmeric, and kept her on linseed but that was for her feet. She was very stiff off riaflex.

Regular suitable exercise is crucial. I hacked and had lessons with a classical instructor. I also worked her in hand.

She didn't need regular bute, only if we'd done a long hack or something like that, until very recently. By the time she did need it it made very little difference. Had it worked I would have been happy to keep her on it.

I tried her in lateral extensions bit she was better barefoot. Shoes increase the concussion to the joint and she was happier with them off, but like yours had thin sensitive soles. This was down to cushings. Boots worked for a while but in the end when her feet got worse it was a factor in saying goodbye as I knew it meant the cushings was worse too. I would rather lateral extensions to regular shoes for an arthritic but prefer unshod. Another factor is that my pony started to kick out when shod - it is hard for them to hold their feet up high for prolonged periods and hurts their joints when the nails are bashed in. I had to give two bute just to get the shoes on.
Good luck whatever you decide and pm me if I can help - I had four years of managing the condition x
 

ester

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If she were mine at her age I would be tempted to give her steroid/HA injections to bring down the joint swelling (not hugely complicated or expensive, done pretty routinely and works for a fair few horses so worth a try to see if they work for her) and then manage her on danilon.
 

khalswitz

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I lost mine to arthritis a few weeks ago after four years ago. She had spavins. She was treated medically with tildren, adequan and steroid injections and my vet wasn't concerned about the order as we had repeats of the steroids and tildren just before the insurance ran out. She had adequan after the first lot of steroids but before the second. My vet was a lameness specialist.
PSGAGs (sometimes noted as DMOADs) like Adequan and Cartrophen show reduced anti-inflammatory properties when steroids are present - although they should still act to help with soft tissue joint injury. Like I said I can't remember what the physiological nteraction is, but it's certainly a 'thing'.

PSGAGs also show highest efficacy when minimal cartilage degeneration is shown - they help 'heal' the joint, but in further degenerated OA they aren't as effective. However that is when corticosteroids are at their most effective. So really they aren't suited for the same degree of OA, hence why not all horses respond to adequan/cartrophen.
 

asommerville

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I will pm you unbalanced thank you

So if there is already a big degree of bone change is the cartrophen actually going to make a difference, obviously vet is going for the textbook way to treat this- which I don't think will help my girl
 

khalswitz

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I will pm you unbalanced thank you

So if there is already a big degree of bone change is the cartrophen actually going to make a difference, obviously vet is going for the textbook way to treat this- which I don't think will help my girl
I'll stress I'm not a vet, but my vet told me (and he is quite a blunt, off-the-textbook kind of vet, and having done the preclinical vet med course myself he chats very openly about mechs of action etc with me and goes into a lot of depth) that the PSGAGs are MORE efficient in low level cartilage change. Doesn't mean they're not in higher level, hence why a lot of vets prescribe, but in extreme cases he often goes steroid first - however the textbook way to treat is to start with HA/PSGAGs, and work up.
 

Bertolie

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My 20 year old gelding was diagnosed with bilateral hock arthritis last year. He had the steroid injections at time of diagnosis and has not required any more so far (7 months). He is on a veterinary joint supplement whilst covered by insurance but will look for a cheaper alternative soon. He is also on Progressive Earth's herbs4mobility and turmeric. All this has kept him sound. During the winter he was stabled for long periods of time due to the weather. I had my reservations about this but he was actually better stabled than being turned out as he was visibly struggling with the mud. During these periods he would get half an hour out on the yard to stretch his legs. I have a stock of Danilon for him if required (night before a long hack or before farrier) and my vet would have no problems with him being on a long term low daily dose if needed to keep him comfortable.
 

paulineh

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I have a mare with Navicular, side bone and damage to the coffin joint
(Diagnosed with an MRI) in2012. After going down the medical route and remedial shoeing I removed her shoes last June. To start with she was trimmed by my Farrier but after having a bad winter I found a good Barefoot Trimmer , on Monday she will be trimmed by my trimmer for the 3rd month. I have been using special pads (Sole mate) in some boots and we are now walking out without boots or having to have her reshod. She is sound in walk and on the soft ground nearly sound in trot. She is also happy to go galloping around the field with the rest of my gang.

I have her on Turmeric etc , Magnesium and Sodium Bicarbonate (All good for bare foot).

I would do two things at the moment , Firstly I would give Nikki from Rockley Farm http://www.rockleyfarm.co.uk/ a call and would also give her a Danilon when you want to ride her.
 

putasocinit

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Mine has bone spavins and is barefoot, the vet specifically said not to put wedge shoes on him, he did have the corticosteroid injection when coming off box rest for a stifle injury but with exercise he has not had a ything else since 5 years on and he is fine now. I do make sure his hind feet are nice and short with a good roll to assist with breakover.
 

Marydoll

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I think youve had vet input now get farrier input, see what his thoughts are and then get him and the vet to discuss a possibly revised plan with your input there as well. my horses that had on lateral extensions were turned out in mud for years and never made any difference to shoes being pulled, did they pull a shoe, yes occassionally as did my others with normal shoes on.
I personally wouldnt keep an arthritic horse in for any length of time as it causes more problems in mobility and management.
I think youre quite right to look at all aspects of managing your horses arthritis, vet input is just part of the jigsaw.
Tbh i think youre probably looking at medication for keeping comfy enough for work with danilon or bute, my oldie kept going for another 4 years in work after starting her meds and is a retired 30yo now
 
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