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Discussion on Stifle or hock lameness in left rear

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joann mitcham
Member
Username: joann

Post Number: 57
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2008 - 9:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, sorry this is the only place I thought I could try to get help on what I should do about my Arab mare. She has some problem in this leg but no swelling or heat that I can see. If I ask her for the leg she holds it up for longer then usual and I think any discomfort is coming from the hock. I give her Bute for comfort but ready to call vet. Tell me what I can expect from my vet. Does anyone think a Chiropractor would be and option in case its her back? She cannot be ridden and has free range on our property. I don't think stall rest would be an option and she does get around but she is not right. Suggestions, please. I did the bog spavin test but she really wasn't happy with me trying to make her move. My farrier thought it was a stifle problem. Sorry, very perplexed and searching. Joann
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Lee
Member
Username: paul303

Post Number: 1093
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, May 11, 2008 - 10:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It's hard to get a feel for what is going on. Why can she not be ridden? Is it due to some other lameness problem? How old is she and what has she spent her life doing?

Lots of elderly horses have hock problems due to arthritic changes. They will give their rear legs willingly enough, but will then lift the leg exceedingly high and "ritch" around on the supporting rear leg trying to get comfortable. When the leg is released, they will make a number of attempts to return the foot to the floor and jerk it back up until they can get the leg straight and back under them. The "flexion" test is done this way to check for problems.

It doesn't sound like a stifle problem if she can flex that leg around and move it forward and back. Does she have trouble backing up?

Your vet might want to see her move, watch the behaviour you describe, try a flexion test, and maybe recommend x-rays. If this turns up no satisfactory answer, you have the option of going for the more technical testing. But there is probably a really good chance that your vet will know right away what is happening.

Chiropractors might have their uses, but from what you describe ( "in the hock" ), I don't think you'd want to START there.

Best to get your vet in, and put your mind at ease. Good luck.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 20648
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2008 - 7:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I agree with Lee, the number one indication for the veterinarian is when you don't understand why your horse is not acting right and no I don't see how chiropractic might help.
DrO
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joann mitcham
Member
Username: joann

Post Number: 58
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2008 - 2:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you Lee that was an excellent description of what she is doing. She really doesn't want to move off when asked by me and I haven't tried riding her. For the most part she walks around our acreage all day and is often pushed around by my other elderly mare. She's 16 y.o. and not used a lot and has had one serious fall over backwards and down a hill (I wasn't on her)sevral years ago. This could have left her with a residual problem but it never came up a few years ago. She's barefoot and has been since 02.I've buted and gave her epsom salt wash but that's all. She is overweight but since I can't work her I think she's holding her own with my cutting back on feed. Does backing show other signs and symptoms. Sorry, I guess I'll give my vet a call. Thanks all
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 634
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2008 - 6:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

There is a Vet/chiropractor who does back adjustments in our area for the sacroiliac, which he believes goes out with falls, or flip-overs. The race horse folks use him a lot and that is where he did a lot of his Vet. work -- near the race track in California, but now resides in Ocala. Sometimes it is good to try alternative measures when all else has failed, but some of the alternative treatments could potentially cause damage also.
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Lee
Member
Username: paul303

Post Number: 1094
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, May 12, 2008 - 7:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Glad to hear you're giving your vet a call, your vet can really narrow it down with preliminary exam. Then you can decide how far to take it. Usually a horse with a severe stifle problem has trouble backing up. If you have a bad stifle that is "out", believe me, you know it. My mare's back leg was extended and stuck out to the side and she couldn't move it. There are, lesser degrees, of course, but it still doesn't sound like your mare. I believe your vet will not have much trouble with a diagnosis.
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