Lameness- what would you be doing?

ellis9905

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So I've been very lucky in my time keeping horses that I've never really had to deal with a lame sick or sorry horse... And now my daughters pony is lame I feel completely useless and constantly second guessing what to do!!

Pony came down to stable Tuesday eve and didn't want to stand square / bear weight on near fore... I checked him over and the only obvious thing was a sharpe stone was wedged under the corner heel of his shoe- removed this and immediately pony stood square and would put weight back on leg. Trotted him up - wasn't noticeably lame in walk but was in trot..I wasn't overly concerned as put it down to the stone.Pony wasn't worked then tuesday eve. Pony lives out so was turned back to field with his field mate.. Happily walked off to munch hay

There is no heat, lump, bump or swelling anywhere, there is no raised pulses.


Wednesday pony came down after school happily, daughter intended to ride.. In walk pony looked fine, in trot lame- clearly the foot that had had the stone wasn't right- yard owner came and looked and said she thought it looked like maybe something was 'out' possibly over his back end. She said if he had been honing around to give him couple of days rest and see if it came good.

Still no obvious injury issue.. No heat, bruise to see, lump or bump.

Friday morning the farrier was out to the yard so I decided to start by asking him to look at the ponies foot, he tested the hoof with the pincers.. No reaction to any pressure, no heat, raised pulse or anything. Farrier said foot was a little long ( pony was due new shoes in 10days) but he couldn't really see any reason for lameness- he removed the shoe , trimmed the hoof and told me to poultice for a few days to see .

I've box rested the pony now from 7am Friday morning until now- have tubbed his foot for 10 mins in Epsom salts before each new poultice applied and have wet poulticed 2x Friday, 2x Saturday .... There has been no sign of anything.. No soft spot no discharge, no discomfort.

The farrier is back out to the yard on Tuesday and will put a new shoe back on then.

I have the back lady ready to come out as soon as the shoe is back on.


So I guess my questions are:

I haven't trotted him back up since Friday morning- so how often would you, to see if he's still lame- daily?

Pony usually lives out and is getting stressed when he's left in and everything out ( tho field mate has been coming in at night to keep company) can I dry poultice today wrap the hoof well and turn him out for a few hrs today?

What would you be doing as next step??
 

Nudibranch

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If the bruise was going to abscess I'd suspect it would take longer to develop. Tbh I'd stop poulticing for now, turn him out and trot up daily. It may be just a painful bruise which will resolve itself, or it may abscess eventually. Poulticing softens the hoof so I'd not do it unless you suspect it's ready to come out.
 

WandaMare

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I would box rest for a few days and if no improvement then ask the vet to come and see.

I wouldn't trot him up at all until his shoe is back on. If he is moving freely around the stable then I would probably take him out for a few short sessions grazing in hand but I wouldn't turn out.

I wouldn't turn him out until the shoe is back on. If he is still lame on Tues when reshod then I would ask the vet to come and have a look.
 

Red-1

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If the pony is comfortable in walk then I would leave it until the shoe is back on, on Tuesday, to trot up.

Yes I would consider turning out with hoof dry poulticed, as long as the pony is comfortable in walk, and not on three legs in trot.

If the pony is still lame after a week of box rest and poulticing, and the Farrier still can't find an abscess, then it is time to call the Vet IMO.

I would not have the back lady before the vet. I would expect the vet to block the foot to ensure the lameness is indeed in the hoof, and would also consider X rays. Once you have identified what the problem is, only then can you plan on how to proceed.
 

ellis9905

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Updated...

Got to yard this morning, ponies leg was puffy and warm .. Really started to fear the worst!! Decided to cold hose the leg to try and reduce any heat as a first step- cold hosed for 5 mins .. When towel drying the leg I obviously disturbed a scab!! Upon much closer investigation there was an overreach cut that had obviously been left a few days and had started to go yukky - nicely hidden by his feather!

Feel so bad that I and others missed but but also immensely relieved that it's something relatively simple and not tendons or anything!

Cleaned it up- cut back hair, syringed salt water solution over it, all the yuk soften and cleaned away.. Heat was reducing in the time I was treating it. Have put a barrier cream and bandaged for now.

Now question- Would you turn him out? And if so would you cover the wound or let the air get to it and dry it?

Will call the vet in morning to see if they think he needs antibiotics.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I would keep him in an ring the vet as an emergency tbh. I lost a mare to septicaemia following cellulitis and we never did find the original wound that was the cause of all the rouble, she was clean legged, so we didn't even have to search through feather.
 

Equi

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Id have thevet out today to be honest. If the infection gets into the bone your horse is as good as done.
 

rachk89

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Yup get the vet. It's an infection and needs antibiotics now. Waiting isn't an option sadly. He will just get worse probably before he gets antibiotics.

I personally don't touch things like that either i get the vet out. I have limited knowledge on this kind of thing and don't want to make it worse so i just get the vet. I know others are more confident but i just ain't. If it needs cleaned everyday then I have them show me what to do so i dont do it wrong then I usually have someone check for the sake of my sanity.
 

ester

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I too would ring the vet now instead of the morning if leg is puffy and warm no point in letting the infection develop any further particularly as it has obviously been brewing a bit already anyway.
 

SusieT

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vet today and tbh had you called them rather than waiting you might have found this sooner and saved yourself a sunday call out...
 

Red-1

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I think you have had a lucky escape TBH. Your first post said there was no lump, bump, heat or swelling, or injury evident. This was obviously incorrect.

Now the vet is involved I hope it all heals well and quickly.
 

ester

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good good :).
Frank has had one fat leg in the last 11 years, no idea what from as there really wasn't anything to see and a few days antibiotics he was right as rain again. knowing how much scab he can develop from even an insect bite it is possible there was nothing to see to start but it has developed with the infection now. Hopefully right as rain soon :).
 

rachk89

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I think you have had a lucky escape TBH. Your first post said there was no lump, bump, heat or swelling, or injury evident. This was obviously incorrect.

Now the vet is involved I hope it all heals well and quickly.

Well to be fair that can happen. Mine did the same thing one day he was lame no injury evident or heat swelling etc. I left him til the next day stabled and the girls at the yard checked him in the morning and he was still lame but nothing else. Couple of hours later it was swollen so I made the vet go and see him that day (that took a lot of arguing). It was cellulitis from an unfound cut but I think it was caused by a small cut on his hoof. We never did find it though so that's a theory.
 

Red-1

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Well to be fair that can happen. Mine did the same thing one day he was lame no injury evident or heat swelling etc. I left him til the next day stabled and the girls at the yard checked him in the morning and he was still lame but nothing else. Couple of hours later it was swollen so I made the vet go and see him that day (that took a lot of arguing). It was cellulitis from an unfound cut but I think it was caused by a small cut on his hoof. We never did find it though so that's a theory.

You are right, I think I was frustrated with the whole thing of on-line diagnosis. Sorry OP, glad it is all sorted now.
 

rachk89

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You are right, I think I was frustrated with the whole thing of on-line diagnosis. Sorry OP, glad it is all sorted now.

It's alright. I was mega confused as to why mine went lame and was gonna call the vet but more experienced people told me to leave it as he had more than likely bruised his hoof which was possible too. Horses like to surprise us at times with random illnesses mine has done that to me again now. Thankfully it's not his leg again.
 
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