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Discussion on Severe Pastern Pain

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Linda
Member
Username: mtca

Post Number: 27
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, Oct 7, 2010 - 2:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O:
My 26 year old mare has been arthritic for years in the hind legs. She has been on Adequan IM for about 5 years, monthly. On Sept. 23rd she really started limping in the front legs and we thought she may have a hoff abscess. Our veterinarian came out last night and said her ligaments/tendons of her front feet are breaking down. Her ankles are sore and he said that she may go through a period of time up to 45 days of pain when she walks. I had been giving her 2 grams of butte a day since the 23rd of Sept. till yesterday 10/5. He tried her on Previcox ¼ pill this morning and without her Butte she got to the point where she could not walk at all, she would just stand there (she was hoof tested, no pain at all). At 4:00 today she had 1 gram of Butte and within an hour I was able to get her back to her stall. She has been eating and drinking. Has anyone experienced this on the front legs and did your horse get better with time? It has been 14 days today that she is so bad. Don’t get me wrong, she has been gimpy on and off but this is to the point of hardly being able to walk.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 25234
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Oct 7, 2010 - 4:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Linda,
it is not clear from your posts what is going on. What does the veterinarian mean when she says the tendons and ligaments are breaking down: what symptoms lead to this conclusion, exactly which structures are involved, and why does the vet say this is happening?
DrO
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Linda
Member
Username: mtca

Post Number: 28
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Saturday, Oct 9, 2010 - 6:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you for getting back to me. Sandy is 26 years old. Our vet Dr. Tom J. hoof tested her and she had no tenderness in either foot. When he
palpated her pasterns she was sore in both. He said her ligaments have lost their elasticity and the superficial and deep flexor tendon are not
holding her cannon bone and Proximal Phalanx and the bones in the pastern are sagging. He felt it is probably due to her age. The thing that
concerns me is the amount of pain she is in. She has been stiff and slow moving but now she just hurts all the time. As I said she is eating her
hay, grain and drinking water. She moves better on her own but is really hard to lead as she is in pain. This morning he had us give her ¼ pill of Previcox and 1 gram of butte for the pain. She is worse on her left front foot.
Sandy's front legs
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DianE
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 7213
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Saturday, Oct 9, 2010 - 11:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Her leg almost looks like when my old mare bowed her tendon...especially the left. Did this come on suddenly? Have you tried stall rest, and wrapping/poulticing? Does she weight her heel all the time? My mare Flash bowed her tendon when she was 29 and re bowed it this spring at 31 Your description sounds a bit like her...my vet didn't call it right. Her story is under flexor tendinitis if you are interested

This is how it all started...a simple slip in the mud

http://www.horseadvice.com/horse/messages/4/310867.html

http://www.horseadvice.com/horse/messages/4/311459.html

There is a part 2 also under the same header.

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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 25239
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Oct 10, 2010 - 9:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Linda,
I would not be able to say whether his diagnosis is correct or not from the image. It is difficult to interpret stance from an image not taken as a true lateral and includes the body. Slight rotations of the camera are impossible to detect together with the fore-shortening caused by the angle. That said the pastern, ankles, and cannon are within the range of sound horses I have known. It is true the flexor sheath starting at the top of the ankles down are full but we do not know the conditions of the tissues underneath and some horses with past injuries that are now sound will look like this.

So if we assume the diagnosis is right and your horse is experiencing a chronic breakdown of the supporting tissues of the lower leg and apply it to your original post looking for more information, the question is how much of this is irreversible (chronic) damage and how much is reversible (acute) damage? Apparently your veterinarian feels there is a a lot of acute damage as he is expecting improvement over the next 45 days. I see nothing to contradict (or support for that matter) this pronouncement.

Try to understand that there is no "typical case" in such a disease each case will be different depending on the mixture of degeneration and acute injury. You may be able to get more information by ultrasound of the diseased tissues and quantifying the lesions. In the meantime it strikes me that in all cases NSAID's and stall rest are the best treatments for this diagnosis.
DrO
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