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Discussion on Sore hip lameness

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Sharlene Roberts-Caudle
Username: Roberts

Post Number: 14
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 3:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My vet diagnosed my 17 year old Arab's left hind lameness as coming from his hip. He looked at each hoof, used hoof testers (there was soreness in that hoof), palpated legs, then looked at him in the round pen at the trot in both directions. It was obvious which leg. He explained that he looked at Eagle's way of going, from the hoof up, and from everything in the exam and watching him trot, he concluded the problem was in the hip, whether arthritic changes in the joint, or muscle injury, he couldn't tell without radiographs of the joint, but the treatment (6 months pasture rest, preferably no running about with buddies) was the same. The history of the injury: One day before a multi day ride a new blanket broke and hung up around his hips. My husband said that he ran around for an hour before my husband could get the blanket off. He seemed to be fine after that, and on Saturday I rode 50 miles and he was very fine. On Monday I rode him 50 miles, just before the finish I noticed that his heart rate was about 10 bpm higher than normal for trotting, but walking was fine, and recovery was quick. At the final vet inspection the vet told me that Eagle was a little off on his left hind, and to watch him. At home, after a week I rode him and he still showed an elevated heart rate, so I quit. I checked him every week for 2 months. Once he seemed fine, so we rode 8 miles, up and down hills, and then 2 days after that he showed the same symptoms. All four legs and feet have looked and felt the same, no obvious differences. If the problem is in the hip, I think he probably injured his glute muscles when he ran around with the blanket, and then the ride exacerbated them. Dr. O, can you give me an opinion on the exam and recomendation? The veterinarian seemed very competent and explained his reasoning to me fully. Can you give me any other ideas for treatment? I asked the vet about chiropractic, and he said it would be a good idea. How about massage? Would these help, perhaps, or just make him feel good.
Thanks for your thoughts--Sharlene
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Christos Axis
Username: Christos

Post Number: 856
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2005 - 6:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Was there a pain reaction to pressure on the hip area, Sharlene?
Were any nerve blocks applied to the rest of the leg?
I am not a vet, but it sounds wierd that somebody can localise lameness by looking at the trotting horse.
Still, I believe pasture "rest" is no treatment for an injury and 6 months is generally a bit too short for bone or tendon and a bit too long for muscle injuries.
I'm very interested in DrO's opinion on this.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 12999
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 1, 2005 - 8:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I guess my question to the veterinarian is: what exactly did you see in your exam localizes it to the hip and why did you set aside the reaction to the hoof testors? I will occasionally "tenatively diagnose" a shoulder or hip joint lameness when the lameness is characterised more by a shortness in stride than pain on weight bearing. Pain on weight bearing is subjectively evaluated by the degree of increased excursion in head or hip bob. Of course I have ruled out all else I can by exam.

I do agree the history suggest something with the blanket but it is just a suggestion. Until we know what is wrong we will have to wait for a prescription for useful treatments.
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