Update: Horse not right

IsabelleJ

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I posted here a while ago about my horse Sidney. Original thread I have had the vets out twice now. The first time they did a gastroscopy, to investigate whether he had gastric ulcers (he didn't.) They also checked his teeth and took some bloods. Results from the bloods came back - red and white blood cells were abnormally high (I think, or low, can't remember which!) so was given some Equisup to help perk him up (he has now been on this for 4 days, does seem a bit perkier but the underlying issues are still there.)

After ruling out the ulcers, I started to wonder if maybe Sidney was slightly lame, and then started to put together a list of some issues that he has always had, but that I hadn't thought of in the context of lameness before. He has always had difficulty striking off in canter, and maintaining canter. He hates going down hills or through thick mud, stumbles a lot, and skids about on concrete. He also, in the last few months, has been dragging his hind feet a lot, which really shows on the front of his hind feet.

Today I had the vets out again, specifically to see if he had any lameness issues, and to take more bloods. They think that he has some kind of virus, but need to narrow down what exactly it is. Sidney was poked, prodded and manipulated, trotted up, flexioned, lunged and ridden! The verdict was that he is very lame on one of his hind legs and lame on one of his front ones as well. This may be something that has developed over time, so the symptoms from the last 18 months may be relevant.

He is to go to Liphook to have bone scans, and I am so upset that I let this happen to my boy! (To be fair, to the best of my knowledge he was sound, but uncomfortable, two weeks ago when I took him out of work.) Does anyone have experience of bone scans? I am quite nervous!

Just wanted to update the thread, and say thank you for everyone who posted. Fingers crossed it turns out to be something relatively simple to fix, but I will do whatever it takes to have my boy back!

Isabelle
 

Cliqmo

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Fingers crossed for you!!! Can I ask what type of 'back lady' it was that you used? Only because different people have different ways of checking for/identifying pain so something could have been missed ??
I really recommend using a McTimoney registered chiropractor as I've had amazing results with my horse who featured many of the same behavioural changes that you stated previously
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Llwyncwn

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Im so glad you are getting to the bottom of it and, dont blame yourself, until you experience these things how on earth can you be aware? As you look back over time you will see that he was shouting louder and louder in the hope that you would hear him, you have now
smile.gif


I have no experience of bone scans, but surely if spavin is suspected, simple x-rays will be taken which will show any changes to the hock and whether they are already fusing. If this is the case there are many treatments available. If this is the route you decide to take, please PM me and I can tell you the options and route we took on 3 of ours.

Do check with the vets about bone scans and dont be afraid to ask why. When is Sidney booked into Liphook?
 

_jetset_

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Please don't blame yourself... we are not vets and even the vet did not suggest lameness!

Well done for thinking around the box and getting to the bottom of his behaviour though, his task is complete, you have now realised what he was trying to tell you.

I am keeping everything crossed for you and please keep us updated!
 

IsabelleJ

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Hmm, as far as I know she is just a normal physiotherapist. I get so confused, there are Bowen people and McTimoney people, really hard to figure out what to do! Will investigate that when we know what is wrong with him, bless him!

Isabelle
 

IsabelleJ

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At the moment they don't suspect anything in particular. They can't isolate where exactly the lameness is coming from (could be the legs or the back) so, as I understand it, the scan is to determine where the problem areas are so that they can investigate more fully. The vet said it would probably be about 2 weeks until we go to Liphook, so in the meantime Sidney is living the life of Reilly, out in the field with no work! (Unfortunately that means that he will be wearing a grazing muzzle, which I am sure he won't be impressed with!)

I will certainly be in touch if it does turn out to be bone spavin, thank you
smile.gif


Isabelle
 

IsabelleJ

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Thanks JetSet, I will really have to just go with my instincts in future when I think that something is wrong! It's so worrying that, looking back over the last 18 months I can see some small signs that might be connected to the lameness.

Bless them, they are so good and generous, he is the sort of horse who won't say anything and will just carry on until the pain is really unbearable. I felt absolutely AWFUL having to ride him yesterday!

Isabelle
 

Patches

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I'm sorry to hear about Sidney's troubles.

I hope he's feeling better soon. No advice re the bone scan as I've never had one done.
 

bailey14

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Sorry to hear about Sidney. It sounds like bone spavin to me, especially the dragging of the toes, striking off, but more so maintaining canter, going down hill. The stumbling could be caused by poor shoeing for which the toes are allowed to grow too long and maybe asking your farrier to roll the toes to improve the 'rollover' as I believe it is called, may help. If he has lameness or back/leg pain going through thick mud will create a drag effect, excarcerbating the pain. Like one of the previous posters said, I cannot understand why xrays are not the next point of call, why a bone scan which is invasive and time consuming not to mention expensive.

However it may be that the vet thinks your horse could have suspensory origin desmitis which is hard to differentiate between that and bone spavin, and the scan would make sense in that it could determine which (if any) condition the horse suffers from.

This link is about suspensory desmitis

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/90758.htm

This link is about bone spavin http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/care/402/68907.html

And this link is about bone scans cfile=htm/bc/90758.htm

http://www.equinepi.com/faq/ns.html
 

Moggy in Manolos

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Sorry to hear about Sidney, please don't blame yourself, retrospect is a marvelous thing. You look back and things fit, where as at the time they don't, please don't think about what if's, its not good (i too need to take my own advice here!)

It really is a shame animals cant talk but you are doing your best by him, i hope the bone scans go well, i am afraid i have no experience to share, but good luck with it and keep us posted x
 

IsabelleJ

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Thanks for the links, Applecart.

And thanks for the good wishes, everyone. Someone has just confused me totally by suggesting that I have shockwave or H Wave treatment before the bone scan to see if that will clear it up. As I understand it, the x ray could show up bone changes that are not actually significant, while the bone scan will show us what areas are actually in pain.

At the end of the day, I love this horse. Whatever can be done to get him well, even if it's only well enough to retire to a field, will be done. And I just wish that he'd bonked me on the head and yelled "Mum, it hurts!" sooner!

Isabelle
 
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