Lame - where, why, what to do

JanetGeorge

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 June 2001
Messages
7,002
Location
Shropshire/Worcs. borders
A nice 6yo gelding, brought on quietly. Been 2/10ths lame for about 8 weeks now. Has had 2 weeks box rest on bute, no change. Been seen by own vets - plus 2 days wih the consultants. Nerve blocked, x-rayed etc. Nothing! Physio has checked him out thoroughly - couldn't find anything. So he's coming home today to try another 2 weeks box rest! It's his near hind - that's ALL we know. Any ideas?? I've NEVER had a lame horse before that didn't get better, or worse, or who showed NO indication of what the problem was.
 

PorkChop

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 June 2010
Messages
10,655
Location
Scotland
Having had a similar problem recently all I can do is offer you my thoughts!

I am using a Vet at the moment, who is well thought if, that is adamant that hind leg lameness with no obvious trauma always stems from the back.

I presume you have had back x-rays done? Have you had the back scanned? Mine turned out to be problems with the facet joints, only really shown by scanning.

But you know how it is with horses, it could literally be anything. I still occasionally do a bute trial, however it is often not very conclusive at all.

If back comes back completely clear I would be looking at hooves.
 

Cowpony

Well-Known Member
Joined
17 May 2013
Messages
2,418
Yep, second this. I've had two horses with mild lameness which the vet couldn't get to the bottom of. One had kissing spine, the other a SI problem.
 

JanetGeorge

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 June 2001
Messages
7,002
Location
Shropshire/Worcs. borders
lol, I've had two with KS, one with an old SI - my physio found them all at first go. She went over this one with a fine tooth comb and couldn't find it. Vets think no point in looking at back at present - and I tend to agree. The wierd thing was Wednesday was 'end' of w weeks box rest (wouldn't have DARED try and transport him without the 30 minutes in the manege when he bucked and galloped pretty much non-stop the whole time - and was hardly lame after. Next day, an hour on the trailer. And did lunging and trot-ups for the vet. Next day more of it - and he didn't get any worse!
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
38,093
A one sided pressure on the spinal cord in the neck vertebrae could possibly cause exactly what you're seeing Janet?

The nerves for the hind legs are in the outside of the bundle and if he's got pressure on one part maybe it would affect only one leg. That wouldn't get any worse with him having a hooley, or any better from box rest, and bute would not touch it.

I'd be looking at neck and back x rays and then a whole body scan. Hopefully the horse is insured!
 
Joined
22 June 2013
Messages
8,400
I think you will need to turn him away for three months, rugged to keep everything warm. Maybe long reining up gentle slopes for two weeks before trying again.
But if there is someone with expertise in the head /neck technique [I forget the name], I would have this done asap.
 

only_me

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 June 2007
Messages
13,950
Location
Ireland
Is it possible it's a soft tissue injury deep in sacroiliac? Can be hard to find, even woth physio. Might be worth putting him out in field for couple of weeks, see if the constant movement loosens things up.
 

Slightlyconfused

Well-Known Member
Joined
18 December 2010
Messages
9,765
I have two or three thoughts on this.

One chuck out in feild till after Christmas to see if just time off and gentle movement helps.

Two Get a bone scan to see if there is any hot spots.

Three how are his muscles? Is he tense in his work? I have known pssm to cause lameness (through my research on my own horse after he tied up and he felt tense behind before that) and once on the right vit e and balancer/ diet has come sound.
 

canteron

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 October 2008
Messages
3,306
Location
Cloud Cockoo Land
Another one for chucking in the field for a bit - I have a mare who had a similar thing on the off foreleg. 3 months in the field 24/7 helped a lot. I sometimes think after the initial week or so of box rest, if it isn't clearly helping, then it is possibly hindering?
 

tristar

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 August 2010
Messages
4,902
i`ve had two like this, never found the cause of the one, the other did something kicking out whilst in mid buck at 100 miles and hour, and was lame same day, i box rested for 1 day then kept in a yard on restricted movement, he was lame walking and resting it most of the time, he was sound two weeks later, the other had the vet who could find nothing, he was sound later, i neither case could we see or find anything.

but they are both fine now
 

paddi22

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 December 2010
Messages
5,697
id 2 similar, one had si and the other had sciatica.


id agree with goldenstar, the inflammation tests are well worth doing. i had one that was a complete mystery what was wrong with him, the inflammation tests were the only thing that showed an issue was somewhere. we tracked it down eventually but he had to go to a hospital to get a full work up.
 
Last edited:

paddy555

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 December 2010
Messages
7,809
Three how are his muscles? Is he tense in his work? I have known pssm to cause lameness (through my research on my own horse after he tied up and he felt tense behind before that) and once on the right vit e and balancer/ diet has come sound.
there are several comments in your posts which point to PSSM/muscle as something to rule out. Horse is 6, unsound for 8 weeks, (in those 8 weeks it has got a lot colder) box rest is the worst thing possible for them, galloped in the manege and sounder, movement at vets and no worse. PSSM is often misdiagnosed as several other things or as in this case vet's cannot find anything.
To try and get an idea I would get him off box rest, let him wander as much as possible (day and night if you have the facility for it) , put a 450g rug on (or make up to 450g),
and exercise daily preferably at least 1.5 hours a day on walking exercise (ridden or led) and use at least 2 exercise sheets. Whilst the diet and high dose vit E may not be in place I would expect this to give you some indication if PSSM is worth considering. They need to be warmed up very slowly and cooled out equally slowly. I would expect the first 45 mins of ridden walking to be rubbish, horse barely sound, on the forehand and horrible to ride. After a hour I would expect a reasonable walk and for progress as the ride progresses. On the second day of ridden exercise I would expect a decent walk much more quickly and progress after than. I would leave him in a 450g rug for 24 hours before ridden or led exercise starts so he can just wander in it and loosen up. I would expect an answer within about 4/5 days from trying this.
Not all PSSM horses need this amount of heat but some do, mine do and this is the optimum weight of rugging and exercise sheeting I have found. 250g on one of mine is not enough. 450g and he cruises along!
 

JanetGeorge

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 June 2001
Messages
7,002
Location
Shropshire/Worcs. borders
A one sided pressure on the spinal cord in the neck vertebrae could possibly cause exactly what you're seeing Janet?

The nerves for the hind legs are in the outside of the bundle and if he's got pressure on one part maybe it would affect only one leg. That wouldn't get any worse with him having a hooley, or any better from box rest, and bute would not touch it.

I'd be looking at neck and back x rays and then a whole body scan. Hopefully the horse is insured!
But why would it just start - at 6 years of age with no known injury? And no, I can't afford to insure all mine (I AM down to 58 - but still insurance would be totally pointless.)
 

Slightlyconfused

Well-Known Member
Joined
18 December 2010
Messages
9,765
there are several comments in your posts which point to PSSM/muscle as something to rule out. Horse is 6, unsound for 8 weeks, (in those 8 weeks it has got a lot colder) box rest is the worst thing possible for them, galloped in the manege and sounder, movement at vets and no worse. PSSM is often misdiagnosed as several other things or as in this case vet's cannot find anything.
To try and get an idea I would get him off box rest, let him wander as much as possible (day and night if you have the facility for it) , put a 450g rug on (or make up to 450g),
and exercise daily preferably at least 1.5 hours a day on walking exercise (ridden or led) and use at least 2 exercise sheets. Whilst the diet and high dose vit E may not be in place I would expect this to give you some indication if PSSM is worth considering. They need to be warmed up very slowly and cooled out equally slowly. I would expect the first 45 mins of ridden walking to be rubbish, horse barely sound, on the forehand and horrible to ride. After a hour I would expect a reasonable walk and for progress as the ride progresses. On the second day of ridden exercise I would expect a decent walk much more quickly and progress after than. I would leave him in a 450g rug for 24 hours before ridden or led exercise starts so he can just wander in it and loosen up. I would expect an answer within about 4/5 days from trying this.
Not all PSSM horses need this amount of heat but some do, mine do and this is the optimum weight of rugging and exercise sheeting I have found. 250g on one of mine is not enough. 450g and he cruises along!
It was warmer this morning so I dropped mine down to his medium with no neck but when I rode him this evening I could tell I should have left him in his heavey weight as he was stiff/shufflely behind for the first twenty minutes of his walk tonight.
 

paddy555

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 December 2010
Messages
7,809
It was warmer this morning so I dropped mine down to his medium with no neck but when I rode him this evening I could tell I should have left him in his heavey weight as he was stiff/shufflely behind for the first twenty minutes of his walk tonight.
yes it is just soooo noticeable the difference it makes.
 

ycbm

Well-Known Member
Joined
30 January 2015
Messages
38,093
But why would it just start - at 6 years of age with no known injury? And no, I can't afford to insure all mine (I AM down to 58 - but still insurance would be totally pointless.)
Because you don't know what he's done when you haven't been looking. I have a friend whose horse was found dead in the field with a broken neck.

OMG 58!!! No, insurance is pointless on more than two, imo.
 

Spot_the_Risk

Well-Known Member
Joined
10 May 2007
Messages
7,583
Location
Devon
My 7 year old has just had three months in the field since he injured me in August, ridden for ten minutes in walk five days ago, today he's lame on the NH...
 
Top