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Discussion on OCD and arthritis in 3yo filly

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Kristin J
New Member
Username: kristinj

Post Number: 1
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Thursday, Apr 8, 2010 - 6:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, I have a beautiful palomino filly. She just turned 3 last week. About 2 months ago she started limping on her right hind leg. I watched it for a few days, no obvious swelling or injury. After a few days, she managed to step on an irrigation pipe and break it, cutting her front foot. She went to the vet, no breaks, just bruising, and they didn't know why her hind leg was lame. She came home on butte and stall rest for a month. After a month, she was somewhat stiff, all over and still lame and I took her back in for lameness work up. They did blocks and xrays and diagnosed her with OCD in both stifles, R leg worse than left, and also jeuvenile arthritis. Options are: surgery for OCD with approx 60% chance of working and then manage the arthritis, do nothing and give her supplements and probably put her down w/in a yr., or put her down now. The surgeon feels her prognosis is guarded. Surgery is $2500 plus whatever else comes up. Surgeon said typical success rate is 70% with this surgery, but her OCD is pretty bad. My concern is she was born with a club foot that looks pretty normal now, she already has arthritis, and her conformation isn't great, and I'm afraid she will always have problems and never be sound enough to be used. I don't want to spend all that money on surgery and then put her down anyways. But she is very sweet and has a good mind and I think would be a good all around trail/gymkhana prospect. Also, she was started last summer and lightly ridden until fall, never acted lame, but the last time I rode her she was very agitated and actually tried to buck, which she had never done before (maybe she was in pain???). My husband thinks she will cost a ton of $ and never be sound and wants to put her down. I'm unsure. She is out to pasture with her buddies and is obviously lame, even at the walk. Any advice would be great. thank you
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 24660
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Apr 9, 2010 - 1:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Welcome Kristin,
There seems to be some confusion as you have been given to different prognosis: 60% and guarded which I typically take to mean less than 50%. I would recommend you have the history and radiographs sent to a University to be reviewed by a equine orthopedic surgeon. If he gives you the same guarded prognosis why not just turn the filly out in the pasture and keep her on the thin side and see what happens while you find a horse that can meet your current goals?
DrO
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Kristin J
New Member
Username: kristinj

Post Number: 2
Registered: 4-2010
Posted on Friday, Apr 9, 2010 - 6:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, thank you for getting back to me. The way the vet put it was, "I think there is approx a 60% chance the surgery will work and your horse will be sound for riding/competition, however, if you decide to do surgery, I want you to go into it knowing that her prognosis is very guarded". He feels she is in pain and supplements could probably keep her comfortable for a year or so, but without the surgery, she should be put down. And if we are going to do supplements for a year and then put her down, why wait, it will just be harder on us and our kids. She was seen by a very well respected vet in our area, however UC Davis is about 2hrs from us and I could get a second opinion. I just requested a copy of her films and chart yesterday. The vet also said had she responded to the stall rest, he feels her odds might have been better but since she was pretty much the same, he wasn't super optimistic she would ever be sound. And if she has surgery and is say 80% sound, well I don't want to be on her and always wonder if she's hurting or have one of my kids on her at a rodeo and she starts to hurt and ends up in a wreck. I would definitely do the surgery if the odds sounded better, but I hate to spend all that money and end up putting her down anyways. And I don't really know how the arthritis diagnosis plays into all of this. Some articles I've read, OCD and arthritis seems to go hand in hand and others talk about arthritis just getting worse and worse. Yet a few articles suggest OCD can improve and so can arthritis, with supplements. So, I get more confused and unsure as to what to do, everytime I read about this stuff. Kristin
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 24670
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Apr 11, 2010 - 10:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It is true that OCD and arthritis can have very variable courses depending on the specifics of each case so as you read you should consider the range of possibilities and not look at any single case as representative of all cases. Let's see what UCal says and decide what to do then.
DrO
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