Thursday, September 8, 2016

Leah is Lame


Bad news for me.

According to Dr. Porter, who is an expert on lameness issues & chiropractic, Leah is lame.

She wouldn't do any chiropractic until the issue is addressed. She said she does need chiropractic, but until the actual problem is solved, it would just fall to pieces--so it would be a waste.

She suspects this has been a long-term lameness that has only now become apparent since I just started using her heavily. She says it's in her right/front leg--which is why she didn't want to move right and put pressure on it.

She recommended I get a lameness test done on her and some x-rays. Depending on what it is, there may be ways to help her.

It explains a lot.

Next step: lameness test.


13 comments:

  1. Oh I am sorry. I hope that it's not serious but it does explain a lot.

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  2. Was there nothing apparent in her way of going that you or the three R's didn't pick up on? Some horses are really stoic and don't show pain in a way we would recognize. I'm wondering if it isn't a limb lameness but a shoulder problem.

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    1. We've known there was a problem, but we all thought it was in her upper neck. We guessed muscles and chiropractic. However, the chiropractor didn't think it was that. She suggested it was in the leg--she didn't discount the shoulder though. I'm so confused right now, Shirley! My head is spinning. She is a very well respected chiro--very well respected. The best in our area according to everyone I've spoken to. She picked up on it right away--at the walk. I didn't see it, nor did my trainer. At the trot, it more obvious--going right. But she also didn't like the way she carried her head going left. She said it was very strange. Regina was there and she saw it all once Dr. Porter pointed it out. She showed me afterward. Honestly though, it's above my understanding. I've made an appointment for next Thursday for a lameness evaluation.

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    2. I've also got a call in to my farrier to do some hoof testing and possibly pull her shoes in case we need x-rays.

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  3. I'm sorry you got bad news. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

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  4. I'm sorry you got bad news. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

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  5. Well that explains some of her issues. Once you get the X-rays and see what the problem is. I hope there's a treatment for her that will solve her lameness. Good luck.

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    1. Thanks! I have an update now--so things have changed a little bit.

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  6. Well crap! I'm not surprised though, so many times it's pain when we suspect attitude. My boss is a lameness specialist, having taken LOTS of furthering education in the last 10 years or so. Neck & back pain is quite common, however about 85-90% of the time it is below the knee - rarely in the shoulders, occasionally a stifle. Having said that, you'd mentioned laminitis. There is a very particular stance that foundered horses take, they will rock back on their hind feet (because it's VERY RARE to be in the back and not the front)to take weight off their fronts, and when they turn, it's kind of a shuffle as they cannot bear weight on one foot at a time to just turn normally. Once you see it, you'll always recognize it. Why would your farrier want to soften her feet and then recheck for foot pain??? Don't think I've ever heard of that before - if they check with hoof testers for pain, they can ALWAYS detect pain, hard feet or soft. Regardless of the diagnosis, you might ask your vet to draw 2 samples of blood. 1 in a red top/serum separator tube and 1 in a purple top tube. They need to spin and separate the plasma and serum within 4 hours or less preferably and send the samples to the Cornell University Lab in Ithica, NY - their lab is fantastic for endocrine testing. Have Leah tested for ACTH, Glucose and Insulin levels. She might be a horse with metabolic problems and with the right drug you can prevent founder. This time of year is especially bad and even horses who are considered normal can be as much as 3x higher than normal. Does she have specific fat deposit zones? Cresty neck, girth area, tailhead? She could either have PPID (Cushings) or have Equine Metabolic Syndrome. These tests aren't cheap, but for possibly $150-$200 you might prevent a serious episode of founder. You do not want a foundered horse. Trust me on this! If she tests normally, then you've ruled that out. No loss.

    But seriously, a good lameness doctor will usually be able to pinpoint the source of pain if they have the right diagnostic tools. Make sure they come prepared with both ultrasound and x-ray - hopefully they're both digital so you'll see everything right then. I hope it's a simple issue and an easy fix. Make sure you ask for a neurologic exam too. Many vets don't include this in regular lameness exams, but in subtle lameness issues, many times it can be neurologic. I hope you get some answers soon!

    And thank you, our ride went very well. One one occasion, I had to get off and let Jessica ride Eagle. It was a "come to meet Jesus" moment, but needed to be done. Then I got on and we had no more problems. :) I was soooo relieved!

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    1. WOW! That is great information. Thank you. I've decided, for now, to go the minimalist route. She's getting better, rather than worse, so I have time to do some foundational things. A controlled grass diet isn't going to hurt her in the meantime. She's also getting lots of tying practice, stretching, bending and massage. I am scared of founder, but I don't think we're heading there now that I'm restricting her diet. She has a cresty neck and she was pretty obese in the girth area, but that was the first place she lost weight (girth). I feel like most of her problem is because I let her out on pasture too much in early summer. She loves to eat and it's hard for me to restrict her--or at least it was hard. After this, it will be easy to say no to her.

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  7. OMG!! I just saw how long my comment was...sorry.

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  8. Sorry, forgot one thing. Boehringer-Ingleheim is having a special right now. They will pay 100% of the testing costs and the overnight shipping to Cornell. Have your vet check into it. Even if they charge you, it should be a reduced fee. Goes through the first part of November I think. They are the company that manufactures the drug, Prascend (pergolide) that treats horses with cushings. Bye! :)

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