Laminitis again along with other problems

Sarah04

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My pony is 18 years old and has come down with lami again. He already had sensitive thin soles, Arthritis in hocks , ems , Cushings and liver damage so will be on pain relief for the rest of his life along with prascend. He had xrays yesterday and one foot is worse than the other which is visible when you look at the hoof the sole is pushing through slightly and he's walking heel first in that foot. He is now on box rest for 2-3 weeks and will need heart bars. He is retired now as was not enjoying been ridden . I have the hard decision of deciding what to do next for him. Once he is as good as I can get him he will just live in a field on restricted grazing but is that fair if he is always going to be a bit sore in his feet.
 

kinnygirl1

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Sorry to hear this... Really only you can make the call but certainly if you feel his quality of life is compromised significantly by his various conditions and that he living with pain, nobody would judge you for calling it a day and letting him go before anything gets worse. It's such a difficult position to be in.
 

LeneHorse

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18 is not that old but he has a lot of issues and the management for some of his problems may not favour the others. Eg the pain relief for the arthritis could exacerbate the liver damage. Not an easy one. What is his daily dose of prascend? If he has recurring laminitis his cushings may not be under control. Poor you and your poor boy :(
 

splashgirl45

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how horrible for you, all i can say is to look at his quality of life (not quantity) if you feel he is comfortable and happy in the field then carry on for as long as you can...if not i am afraid i would call it a day....not an easy decision but quality of life should be your yardstick...hugs!!!!!
 

Leo Walker

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He had xrays yesterday and one foot is worse than the other which is visible when you look at the hoof the sole is pushing through slightly
Do you mean his pedal bones have sunk? If so have him PTS now and be glad that you can save him a lot of misery and pain.

Mine was only 6 and I fought for 4 months to get him right, but in hindsight I really wish I hadnt :(

Quality of life is a huge consideration. Will your horse really have any?

The other thing is once the have laminitis then its going to get them in the end. Its just a case of will it be 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 years, 2 decades. But the outcome will be the same.
 

noblesteed

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I do sympathise with you. My horse is also 18 and keeps getting mild lami on and off this year. It's been a balancing act with him for the past 5 years as he got lami quite badly while on loan when I had my son, but I now have it down to a fine art of muzzling, bringing in, starvation paddocks, feed, checking pulses/heat etc. He also has arthritis in his hocks, which were medicated with steroids until that gave him lami. I have found that I can keep him going, riding a few times a week through winter with pain relief for his hocks (devils claw is currently doing the job) however this spring he started with mild lami. It was in march, the grass had barely started to grow :( I had him tested for cushings but that came back negative.
I have just managed to get him sound from the mild laminitis in the past week, but I daren't put him back on the pain relied for the arthritis in case it masks the onset of lami and I fail to catch it before it gets bad. I rode him gently 3 times this week and it's really sad because he wants to go forward as he's feeling healthy, then he hurts his hocks! He's not up for a slow plod, he wants to go as fast as he can, and will spook and spin if not ridden forwards. He loves to school but he's not sound enough in his hocks for it, likewise he can't jump. But he's not ready to retire as he gets really bored, bargy, grumpy etc. It's so tough, I don't want him in pain and had considered retirement, but he's not happy when not in work! I just can't win!
 

paddy555

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is that fair if he is always going to be a bit sore in his feet.
I have a 29yo who is prone to laminitis. I manage to control it but if she starts to get foot sore I put her in easyboot RX's. You can leave them on all day and mine canters around in them. They make so much difference to comfort. I would try those plus a really correct trim to try and improve the feet rather than heart bars before making a decision what to do long term. You may find you can control the situation and keep him out of pain.
 

Sarah04

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7 December 2013
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Thanks for your replies. He is my first pony who I have have owned for 3 years and he's taught me so much and cost me a fortune lol so it's very hard to decide what to do for the best. He's on box rest with 2 of my 5 Shetlands keeping him company. His eyes are puffy and he has huge fat pads and crest (which hes always had) due to the ems. I cant exercise him for the ems due to his lami , bute for his arthritis may damage his liver more and his cushings tablets make him lethargic and depressed! But When turned out he's happy as long as he's got food and his best friend. I have got hoof boots for him so maybe he could wear them instead of heart bars?
 

NOISYGIRL

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Mine is 38 and has been muzzled when turned out for the past 12+years

After the 3 weeks box rest see what he is like. I used keratex hoof hardener for his soles when he had osteoporosis of the pedal bone to thicken his soles. Ask your vet before using it just in case it wont' be any good for yours at the moment.

Have you had his ACTH levels checked recently ? When did he start meds for cushings ? did you start the dose straight in at what the vet said to give ? Mine went through the veil, I didn't know what it was until I was on a cushings facebook page. They say to start the dose off really low like 1/4 and increase after couple of weeks to half and so on til you get to the dose the vet said. You could try reducing the dose for a while so he becomes more of himself, did he have cushings before the lami?
 

Sarah04

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He is on half a tablet but hasn't been taking them for a while due to side effects and his last bloods which were borderline off the tablets so vets said would be ok to try him off them. I think what's started this bout of lami is a move into a different paddock and the new spring grass. I spoke to the vet this morning and in one foot the pedal has dropped slightly. I think the ponies are getting a little bored now as use to been out 24/7. His results have always been pretty borderline.
 

ester

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I would definitely start with checking his acth levels, they I would have a frank chat with my vet about how bad those X-rays are. I have to say I don't think I would put my oldie through anything but the shortest of laminitis recoveries as getting them pain free is so difficult.
 
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