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Ruhorserider

Lameness

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So my 28 year old Appaloosa gelding appears to be permanently lame. :-(  Or maybe I am just really really discouraged right now.

Basically about a year ago he was fairly lame on one of his front legs.  Vet came out, did some x-rays and recommended injection into the joint.  Said that it could work for anything from not at all to up to a year.  He became completely sound for a full year!  But almost exactly at a year mark he started "head bobbing" at a trot again.  This time the vet recommended injections into both front feet.  

Well, now it's been almost 10 weeks and he is still not 100% sound.  He will go 3-4 strides okay, but then the head bobbing starts up.  Not as bad as before, but still.  Even more alarming, he started tripping a lot.  We rode for 5-10 minutes today and he tripped twice pretty hard at a very light trot. 

To give you more information he is ridden lightly 2-3 times a week on the trails.  We ride English. He likes to go, otherwise I would just stop riding him.   He normally is very forward and will try to break into a canter at times.  He hasn't tried to do that ever since early May when he became lame again. 

Any thoughts are welcome and appreciated.  The stable's owner is worried that with all the tripping it might be no longer safe to ride him.  We are calling the vet this week to have her take a look of course.  So I am just looking for your thoughts and opinions.  

 

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Which joints were injected? What did the vet say is causing the lameness? Arthritis? Is the horse turned out or kept in? I'd wait for the vet's opinion before riding. And riding him when he's still stumbling is dangerous. Been there, done that and got a broken collarbone to show for it.

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I agree with you both on not riding until the vet comes out and looks at him some more.

Both fetlock joints were injected.  X-rays showed some arthritis, but she also said she's seen much worse and still was able to get some pain free, useful years out of those cases.  But I understand, every horse is different..

He is kept in the stall  with turnout.  Right after the injections we were instructed to keep him on stall rest for 2 weeks, then hand walk for 2 weeks, then light 15 minute rides for 2 weeks.. Did all that as instructed.  Essentially repeat of last year's regimen.  Except last year it actually worked :-(

 

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Have you tried more time in turnout? Did the vet rule out hoof issues? Have you tried different shoeing, trimming?

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Tried more turnout.  It actually kinda backfired.  He is a bit goofy, started kicking and racing around.. wiped out all together.  Got up okay after that, but we've been putting him into a smaller enclosure to try to discourage too much silliness.  He doesn't appear to be lame when he is trotting on his own on the grass, but he also does not do it for long so it' kind of hard to observe. 

The vet ruled out  hoof issues, but did encourage the ferrier to trim the angle on the front toes more.  So he's been doing that, as instructed. 

Also did some blood work to rule out some kind of systemic problem, just in case!  

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Is he in shoes? It really sounds like it could be hoof related because you said he trots sound on grass. How about uphill or downhill? If he has heel pain, he will be more lame going downhill. If he's barefoot, have you tried hoof boots?  Sorry, but there are so many possibilities.

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