Opinions?

equi

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Vet is involved before I go further.

In May my 20yo horse took an abscess, he had it drained and recovered well. I brought back him back into work (by Work I mean a few walks about the arena/fields and trots with about 5 mins of canter, which is basically all we do - we do t jump) and he was fine but felt weak. I had the same vet out to make sure he didn’t have any issues ongoing from the abscess. He was trotted up and that was fine, feet and ligaments all fine, but very lame after flexion on the LH so booked in for xrays. I muzzled him last week cause he’s got a bit tubby so he’s loosing weight and got a bit more spark back, but I wasn’t to ride until our xrays. We went to the clinic and xrays were clear with no real arthritic changes noted (both fetlocks) ligaments checked again etc and on the trot up vet said he looked a lot more free and stronger (horse is dragging me about this week!) - however on flexion he was still lame. Vet will inject the fetlock but he needs a bit of weight off first so he has sent us home for a month and advised zero exercise.

Now I’m willing to do anything for my horse, but I’m uncertain if the flexion test is accurate or not. He’s 20, doubt he would pass flexion ever nevermind when he’s a bit weak after having an issue and not being in work. He seemed sore on his rump after last weeks flexion and I had to get him a massage which helped.

Just musing really - what worth are flexions? This is a new young vet, Do I go back to my own vet? I’ll not be riding him for another few weeks it seems :/

Ps waiting results for cushings etc too.
 

ycbm

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If he's not lame then I would ignore the flexion test in a 20 year old. If he is lame, then I think you need nerve blocks to tell you exactly where the lameness is coming from.

I certainly wouldn't be avoiding exercise on a sound overweight 20 year old, it's not good for a horse of that age and it's unfair to keep him short of food to lose weight when he could lose it working.

I'm not sure why the vet is injecting fetlocks without seeing anything significant on x-ray.


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sportsmansB

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To be honest, if hes 20, back to feeling well in himself, not obviously lame on a circle, and you work him within his comfort zone (which you seem to do) I wouldn't be too worried.
Many much younger horses wouldn't pass a strenuous flexion either.
Unless you want to get him nerve blocked to be sure of the location of the lameness I don't really see the value in medicating what appear to be reasonably healthy fetlocks just for the sake of it.
Worth chatting over the timeline and xrays with your normal vet, assuming they are reasonably sensible
 

be positive

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It sounds as if the vet is following the text book rather than looking at the horse in front of him, not many 20 year olds would pass flexion tests and like the posters above I cannot see what good medicating a joint will be if it is just being done because it can be, many older horses would benefit from more exercise, getting them fitter, the weight down and seeing how they go, unless you have a full workup with nerve blocks there is little to be gained with the plan this vet has.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I'd be more inclined to have a Cushings test done than an injection into the fetlock, especially without full diagnostics having been done. I would want to exercise the horse to encourage weight loss, rather than just restricting food. I would at the very least want a 2nd vet opinion.
 

equi

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Ok from respected people like yourself my minds made up I think I may seek a second opinion from my own vet who’s a little more horse in front of me type.
 

equi

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I'd be more inclined to have a Cushings test done than an injection into the fetlock, especially without full diagnostics having been done. I would want to exercise the horse to encourage weight loss, rather than just restricting food. I would at the very least want a 2nd vet opinion.
Should know the results of cushings test by the end of the week though it was a formality requested by me, he’s got zero symptoms.
 

Carrottom

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I was told by a vet that the flexion tests on hind limbs could not tell you which joint was the problem (fetlock, hock or stifle) as all would be flexed to some degree.
 

PapaverFollis

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I'm not sure of the veracity of this but I was told recently by a farrier that in his experience older horses with joint soreness often have cushings/PPID. If that is the case then definitely worth waiting on the cushings result or seeking a second opinion.
 
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