Kissing spine in old horses

sarahbell

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I have a 19 year old horse , diagnosed with kissing spine about three weeks ago. His only symptoms were RF lameness on the circle and pain on palpitation of the spine ... nothing as dramatic as some of the threads I have been reading . My dilemma is whether I should put him thru surgery . Has anyone had a horse this age go thru surgery and if so - with what success ?
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hellybelly6

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A friend's horse had injections for KS, he had these a couple of times and physiotherapy and went back to jumping him 6 months or so later.

My horse last year had surgery at the age of 14 for a split tendon.

At the age of 19, he may well have arthritis in the area and the only way to find this out is with an x-ray and take things from there.
 

Bounty

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We have a 10yo that we have just put through the surgery. In all honesty, if he wasn't relatively young and hadn't been so successful in his career, we wouldn't have done it.

I have a 6yo who can be a bit 'iffy' in temperament who has a question mark hanging over her about KS (can't investigate yet as she is on box rest with a tendon injury), but if she were to have Ks severe enough to need surgery then I would certainly not put her through it
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sarahbell

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HI , thanks both - He has been x-rayed and has bony changes on one vertebra with another two touching . Sven says he is suitable for surgery . He had his spine injected two weeks ago and has had two physio sessions as well - now sound on circles at trot on the lunge ( but no weight from me or a roller ) . Troouble is - I dont want another lawnmower ( I already have one horse whose main job this is ) and yet I dont want to PTS either ...
 

Bounty

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It is tough, I don't envy you
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I think you have to consider how old your horse is - whether he is a high mileage 19 or a fit, young 19 that doesn't feel his age, if that makes sense?

Also, being an older horse it may be much harder to maintain the muscle he needs over his back. As horses get old and their backs begin to hollow impingement is even more likely, but, then again, as long as you are aware of this and keep on with the pessoa and good schooling this may be something that never applies to him!
 

hellybelly6

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How fit is he health wise?

He seems to be doing well so far. Carry on and see how he gets on, crossing fingers and toes.

I would speak to your vet who will know the horse and his history if things do not improve and would consider surgery as a last resort if he were mine.

Positive vibes for you ...
 

sarahbell

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Hi both,

He's high mileage ( ex 4*) - but never sick or sorry . I have had him six years- not a lame step until now . Always enjoys his work - dont think he'd appreciate retirement - he is the genuine competition horse . Think I'll press on with lungin for a month or so and see what that brings ... thanks very much for your help - really appreciate it .
 

hellybelly6

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No problem, your welcome. Its not a nice situation to be in and I do not envy you.

I really hope he becomes more comfortable soon.
 

Bert&Maud

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My 16 year old horse was diagnosed with KS 18 months ago. He was still fine for light hacking, but no longer able to do any RC level dressage or schooling, which is what I enjoy doing. I decided that as he would be 17 (or 20 in your case) before he was fully recovered from the op (all being well) I would not go down that route when he was still fine for light work and would not have been competing for many more years anyway. I've put him out on loan to a lovely lady who wants to trundle around the countryside and he's fine! I visit him regularly and ride him occasionally, and when the day comes that he tells me that he's not comfortable hacking any more he will be PTS.
 

dixie

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[ QUOTE ]
A friend's horse had injections for KS, he had these a couple of times and physiotherapy and went back to jumping him 6 months or so later.

At the age of 19, he may well have arthritis in the area and the only way to find this out is with an x-ray and take things from there.

[/ QUOTE ]

DITTO - Surgery is not always the first answer - something I feel Sven considers the first option maybe??? I don't know the guy personally but he does seem to operate on a high %.

My friends horse is 12 and was diagnosed with KS (grade 2/3), has had injections and pessoa work and is now back to his former glory in about 8 months or so. Although of course not every horse is the same.

I don't envy you your decision
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