Pulses!

Wagtail

Horse servant
Joined
2 December 2010
Messages
14,816
Location
Lincs
Visit site
Just a quick question. I had always been of the opinion that normal foot pulses are very hard to find but you CAN actually feel a faint pulse on a normal horse that does not have laminitis. What do you think? Am I wrong? Horse in question is not overweight (can see ribs when he moves), not cresty. Is footsore on hard surfaces but has not long had shoes removed as heels underrun and low, and feet extremely flat, so I'd expect that. He trots willingly on soft surface and was not difficult to trot on hard surface. Only asking because physio said he had laminitis and he's therefore now been confined. I'm now thinking if he DOES have lami then they all do and need to come off the grass!
 

Nugget La Poneh

Well-Known Member
Joined
28 May 2012
Messages
2,477
Location
Cheshire
Visit site
MY old vets said that it you have the knack, you will always find the digital pulse - bit like humans. But if you normally can't find one, and you suddenly can, then that is the biggie. I sometimes get confused when Nugz is eating as his tiny body movements mean the various ligaments/tendons around the pulse point 'twitch' like a pulse!
 

Wagtail

Horse servant
Joined
2 December 2010
Messages
14,816
Location
Lincs
Visit site
MY old vets said that it you have the knack, you will always find the digital pulse - bit like humans. But if you normally can't find one, and you suddenly can, then that is the biggie. I sometimes get confused when Nugz is eating as his tiny body movements mean the various ligaments/tendons around the pulse point 'twitch' like a pulse!

Yes, it's very frustrating sometimes trying to find the pulse and they keep shifting their weight about. My TB has stronger pulses than the horse in question though but I know him well and that's normal for him. I just wish I knew what was normal for this boy as it would be awful if he is muzzled and confined for the rest of his life when it's just normal for him. Both myself and his owner have been through the mill with laminitis before, so she is obviously really worried about her new boy.
 

peaceandquiet1

Well-Known Member
Joined
16 May 2010
Messages
1,879
Visit site
hi Wagtail yes there will always be a faint pulse but if the foot is congested it will be "bounding" and relatively easy to find. There is a definite knack to it though. OH is a farrier and I always trust his findings over my own.
 

amandap

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 June 2009
Messages
6,949
Visit site
A bounding pulse is indicative of inflammation. Mine all have various strengths/ease of finding of pulses. Better safe than sorry but Physios are not qualified to diagnose! ;)
 

Wagtail

Horse servant
Joined
2 December 2010
Messages
14,816
Location
Lincs
Visit site
No the pulses are certainly not bounding. My mare suffered from LGL on and off for two years and so I became proficient at finding and monitoring pulses. These are nothing like what she had. Oh well, we will treat him as laminitic for a few days, just to be on the safe side and then gradually reintroduce him to the grass. The grass here is still very short but the recent rain and sunshine has given it a real boost.
 

Wagtail

Horse servant
Joined
2 December 2010
Messages
14,816
Location
Lincs
Visit site
A bounding pulse is indicative of inflammation. Mine all have various strengths/ease of finding of pulses. Better safe than sorry but Physios are not qualified to diagnose! ;)

True. My worry is that he will be unnecessarily confined and separated from the others. But then laminitis is not something to be taken lightly.
 

charliejet

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 May 2007
Messages
181
Visit site
Currently dealing with lami myself :( so I do think its always better to be cautious and treat as lami to be safe but if in doubt i would be getting Vet to check as its not really for the physio to say. As you say better to know for sure than restrict the horse if its not necessary. My general thinking though is that if the raised pulse goes away when you take the horse of grass then you have your answer.
 

Wagtail

Horse servant
Joined
2 December 2010
Messages
14,816
Location
Lincs
Visit site
Currently dealing with lami myself :( so I do think its always better to be cautious and treat as lami to be safe but if in doubt i would be getting Vet to check as its not really for the physio to say. As you say better to know for sure than restrict the horse if its not necessary. My general thinking though is that if the raised pulse goes away when you take the horse of grass then you have your answer.

Sorry to hear you are dealing with this horrible disease at the minute. It really is such a worry and a real rollercoaster! You are right, I will just monitor his pulses every day and if they stay the same despite soaked hay and being confined then I think we will know that it is normal for him. If they go completely then we will know that he really did have the start of laminitis.
 

amandap

Well-Known Member
Joined
23 June 2009
Messages
6,949
Visit site
Last edited:

charliejet

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 May 2007
Messages
181
Visit site
A rollercoaster describes it well!! I have 2 with PPID one of which also has EMS and had been doing brilliantly but the sunshine and rain caught me out this week, as I had to reduce her exercise but I thought she was OK until I had her shoes off ( she get regular breaks from shoeing and normally copes fine just need to boot for riding) she is very sore and has strong pulses last night and this morning had only been on rubbermatting and woodchip after farrier was out so wont just have bruised them. Vet is coming this afternoon anyway for a back / neck problem (poor horse is not having a good time just now!)

I will keep my fingers crossed yours doesnt have laminitis.

Thankyou amandap, I use both those sites they are very good, had loads of help from andrea :)
 

Pebble101

Well-Known Member
Joined
19 November 2001
Messages
1,853
Visit site
I asked a vet about this recently. His response was that in the absence of other symptoms it probably isn't an issue - if you trot your horse along the road and then take the pulse again it will have increased. He said one of the best ways to see if your horse is at the start of a laminitis attack is to turn it on concrete in tight circles. This puts strain on the laminae and the horse will feel it.
 

Wagtail

Horse servant
Joined
2 December 2010
Messages
14,816
Location
Lincs
Visit site
Here're two links with pointers but any change to the normal gait should flag up a possible problem, especially changes to ease of turning. Sadly, good weight or lack of crest etc. are no guarantee the horse is immune. Been there, done that!
http://www.thelaminitissite.org/laminitis.html
http://www.safergrass.org/pdf/laminitissigns.pdf

Thanks for that.

ps. Fingers crossed and I hope charliejet's horse recovers soon and well.

A rollercoaster describes it well!! I have 2 with PPID one of which also has EMS and had been doing brilliantly but the sunshine and rain caught me out this week, as I had to reduce her exercise but I thought she was OK until I had her shoes off ( she get regular breaks from shoeing and normally copes fine just need to boot for riding) she is very sore and has strong pulses last night and this morning had only been on rubbermatting and woodchip after farrier was out so wont just have bruised them. Vet is coming this afternoon anyway for a back / neck problem (poor horse is not having a good time just now!)

It does seem that some horses get one thing after the other. My mare was the same. So sad that I finally had to give up the fight.

I asked a vet about this recently. His response was that in the absence of other symptoms it probably isn't an issue - if you trot your horse along the road and then take the pulse again it will have increased. He said one of the best ways to see if your horse is at the start of a laminitis attack is to turn it on concrete in tight circles. This puts strain on the laminae and the horse will feel it.

He is a little footsore on hard ground. We did do some tight circles which is when the physio remarked how foot sore he was. She took his pulses immediately afterwards, so maybe they were more pronounced when she felt them. As I say, it took me ages to find them an hour later and when I did, they were very faint. Hardly there at all.
 

be positive

Well-Known Member
Joined
9 July 2011
Messages
19,396
Visit site
Just a quick question. I had always been of the opinion that normal foot pulses are very hard to find but you CAN actually feel a faint pulse on a normal horse that does not have laminitis. What do you think? Am I wrong? Horse in question is not overweight (can see ribs when he moves), not cresty. Is footsore on hard surfaces but has not long had shoes removed as heels underrun and low, and feet extremely flat, so I'd expect that. He trots willingly on soft surface and was not difficult to trot on hard surface. Only asking because physio said he had laminitis and he's therefore now been confined. I'm now thinking if he DOES have lami then they all do and need to come off the grass!


It sounds to me as if he is foot sore due to having the shoes off and the flat soles, hardly surprising really, the laminae may be slightly inflammed due to the foot changing rather than laminitis as such, he obviously needs to be made comfortable but I would be more concerned about how he is coping without shoes in general that panicking to starve him at this stage.
The pulse will be stronger after some activity, it may well also be stronger as his feet are adjusting and the blood supply is getting better.
 

HaffiesRock

Well-Known Member
Joined
26 August 2011
Messages
4,390
Visit site
It is a difficulty one. I can't feel pulses in either of my ponies and do tend to check them daily. My last pony you could feel hers faintly all the time but she was a lami prone (when she had an attack you could see it bounding it was that strong) so I'm not 100%. All I would say is any change in what is the horses norm is what would worry me.

I hope all the poorly neddies feel better soon.
 

Wagtail

Horse servant
Joined
2 December 2010
Messages
14,816
Location
Lincs
Visit site
It sounds to me as if he is foot sore due to having the shoes off and the flat soles, hardly surprising really, the laminae may be slightly inflammed due to the foot changing rather than laminitis as such, he obviously needs to be made comfortable but I would be more concerned about how he is coping without shoes in general that panicking to starve him at this stage.
The pulse will be stronger after some activity, it may well also be stronger as his feet are adjusting and the blood supply is getting better.

Thanks, I have to say that is my take on it too. His shoes were removed on the advice of my farrier due to him having such underrun and low heels. This was around 8 weeks ago. He has had time off since then and was trimmed again last week. His soreness has been since the trim. Looking at his feet, I would absolutely expect him to be sore. It will take some time for his feet to come right. At the minute he is in the sand turnout on adlib soaked hay.
 

Wagtail

Horse servant
Joined
2 December 2010
Messages
14,816
Location
Lincs
Visit site
It is a difficulty one. I can't feel pulses in either of my ponies and do tend to check them daily. My last pony you could feel hers faintly all the time but she was a lami prone (when she had an attack you could see it bounding it was that strong) so I'm not 100%. All I would say is any change in what is the horses norm is what would worry me.

I hope all the poorly neddies feel better soon.

I have been and felt all of the horses. Two of them I couldn't feel a pulse and the other three were the same as the OP horse. My geldings were slightly stronger, but they always are even through the winter. He's completely sound and not at all foot sore, even though he's a barefoot TB.
 
Top