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Discussion on Where to start? Parking out, on/off lame, etc.

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New Member
Username: pinehurs

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2007
Posted on Friday, Dec 7, 2007 - 11:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

OK! I don't know if any of this relates to each other, but I'll go ahead and list all the oddities of my critter:

We had him (KWPN 8 yr old gelding) come to us who was lame. He was formerly doing 3' on the A circuit; came up lame & they gave him a year of light work. He came to us showing lame only when going to the right. The tighter the circle, obviously, the more siginificant the lameness showed. X rays were clean.
Extended time off & starting back to training slowly seemed to fix it...after a few months back into jumping, came up mildly lame again. Never any heat or swelling; we're thinking along the lines of deep digital flexor injury or something??
Under saddle seems sound now when working in any direction, but if lunged (which we do only to show vet this particular off-ness) will show lameness when going to the right only.

Will occasionally (not often) swap out behind (feels almost like loses his back end underneath him) to a degree both ways, but more often when going to the LEFT at the canter. Typically when asking for collection.

Flaw under saddle is getting on the forehand and strong. Never runaway type strong, just I can't hear you asking me to brake strong.
Has a heart of gold and a great work ethic. LOVES to work, loves a challenge...very honest & always tries to please. Seems a little ADD in that you always need to keep him occupied or he'll pay attention to everything else going on. Gets anxious at the shows & very strong...never bad or misbehavior, just heavy and headstrong.

He has ALWAYS pawed on the crossties, at dinner time, etc., but is one who loves people, loves attention, loves treats, etc...could very well be a learned habit for attention?

After a workout he will often stand parked out behind. Sheath is clean, no bean, no issues with urination.

No palpable soreness along his spine from what we can see; we had the chiropractor come out today to give him an adjustment to see if that will help.

Will occasionally lightly drag his toes starting out, and works out of it. First 15 mins of the ride are getting him moving forward and loosened up. He is always a little stiff through the ribcage & neck, and takes a while to get him working flexing and bending and collected.

Has a shiny coat, healthy appetite, is out on pasture 8 hours a day and in stall with hay overnight. We have great show vets that have sort of scratched their head at him.
MRI is an option for looking further into the intermittent lameness...but is it worth the expense for a MILD lameness that only shows itself once in a blue moon or when being lunged?

Ideas?? Ulcers? Tendon injury? Hocks?? Anything that comes to mind hearing these things??
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Username: paul303

Post Number: 995
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Dec 8, 2007 - 12:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Early navicular? I had a mare that showed only a slight head bob to the right on a lunge. It drove me crazy because I was the only one that saw it. Two years later, after the head bob became constant, a full work up was done and she was diagnosed with navicular and the RF was the worst.
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Diane E.
Username: scooter

Post Number: 1562
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Saturday, Dec 8, 2007 - 3:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

A couple things come to mind...stifle issues or long toe long heel causing heel pain and toe dragging.

I had one gelding that would "drop out" behind and drag his toes, swap leads behind occasionaly and it turned out his toes were too long corrective shoeing fixed it. Hard to say could you post pics of him and his feet? that might help. Of course it could be something completely different
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Vicki Zaneis
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 556
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Saturday, Dec 8, 2007 - 3:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Have had such problems that went on seemingly forever, all eventually cured by a great farrier who simply put balance to the foot and respected the individual horse's natural way of going.
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Elizabeth Kaufman
Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 204
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Saturday, Dec 8, 2007 - 6:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Pinehurst,

Did they never perform a full lameness eval. with nerve blocks? That would probably help isolate this. Off the top of my head, I might suspect a suspensory ligament issue, but that's only because of my own experience and the clean X-rays. I would suggest a full exam at a good facility.

Good luck with him. Sounds like a great guy.

- Elizabeth
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: dro

Post Number: 19674
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Dec 9, 2007 - 8:37 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Welcome Pinehurst,
Elizabeth has it right, the post does not contain information that allows for a accurate diagnosis. For more on the process of diagnosing lameness see, Diseases of Horses » Lameness » Diseases of Horses » Lameness » Localizing Lameness in the Horse.
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New Member
Username: amandad

Post Number: 4
Registered: 1-2006
Posted on Monday, Dec 10, 2007 - 12:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a dutch gelding with a very similar personality. I bought him a year ago with full x rays. Completely clean. He looked off sometimes. He'd carry his left hip high and was stiff. He would stand parked out after a ride too. We did same thing. Chiro, ulcer meds., lunging first, shoeing changes, checked for beans etc. I finally got a specialist to see him who did abdominal and rectal ultrasound to look for possible stones or masses. We found nothing. She finally suggested EPSM. So we changed his diet to alfalfa cubes, rice bran, and oil and he became a different horse. It took us eight months to figure out after extensive vetting that it was diet related.

If a block does not rule out any lameness then it's worth trying. My guy can also be very looky unless he is kept busy when you ride. I think it's nervous tension when his muscles are tight. I keep him busy suppleing throughout the warmup. It is also his left side that is most affected and some horses will display uneven sweat patches. We have other warmbloods in our barn who are also like this. It is way more common that most people think.
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Gail Anderson
Username: gailkin

Post Number: 95
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Monday, Dec 10, 2007 - 3:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

All the "problems" you describe are typical of the types of issues horses have from shoeing. Why not pull his shoes and get a good barefoot trimmer i.e. not a Strasser advocate and one who is up on the current info not to take off sole, shorten the toes, allow the hoof to remodel and callous, etc. It makes all the different in a horse's movement. I do my own horses' feet, but my good friend is a trimmer. The last horse I helped her with, the owner had had for 20 years (he was 22) and the horse had had every kind of shoeing possible and the best of vet care. He always had these little stumbling, movement issues and soundness issues. She had stopped riding him, but he was her favorite horse. After pulling his shoes, he did what many long time shod horses do--shook his feet at each step and was not willing to move at first. They are not used to feeling the circulation in their feet. There was no heat or swelling so we went out and booted him with some additional soft padding. Two days later the boots were removed and he was able to move around fine on his own, eating well, etc. The next eve she called the trimmer to say that she had just turned him out in the round pen and for the first time in his life (she had him 20 years) he went bucking and running and playing in the round pen! Now it has been almost three months and my friend told me the last time she went out, she went into the barn and he came running into his stall from his pasture, reached out over the dutch door, draped his head and neck over her shoulder and pulled her close to him for a "horse hug." It is amazing how the horses know when they are being helped. Going barefoot is not a quick fix, but I have seen so many horses become sound even after broken navicular bone, collapsed hocks and unable to stand, etc. I would try barefoot first before I went into lots of neurological testing or other diseases. Even a friend's 19 year old retired dressage horse who went barefoot last year could not believe the change in movement of her horse. It is certainly worth a try and will not be an invasive procedure. You will probably need front boots if you intend to ride him much. There are lots of good barefoot websites if you want to find out more info which will help you make an informed decision. Good luck. Gail
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: dro

Post Number: 19686
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Dec 11, 2007 - 7:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Amanda for a way to diagnose EPSM beside trial and error see the article Diseases of Horses » Lameness » Muscle & Tendon Diseases » Rhabdomyolysis: Tying Up, Shivers, PSSM, EPSM.

Gail, I do not see anything in the post to suggest the shoes "are" or "are not" a problem. I am uncertain what you mean by a lot of testing but a physical exam and localization of the lameness is the first step.
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