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Discussion on Strange intermittent lameness

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Lauren Willis
Member
Username: Lwillis

Post Number: 6
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Sunday, Jun 19, 2005 - 8:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here is a strange one. I have three different vets confused and 8 months stall rest behind us and we still can't figure it out.

These symptoms started up last year and we've taken x-rays and ultra sounds galore. We found some sesmoiditis, but weren't sure if that was the problem or not. To be conservative, we put him on 8 months stall rest and a serious of Tilgren. He was never lame once during that 8 months. (at least not in front of anyone)

We have been slowly legging him back up for the last two months and then yesterday we are loping along just fine then we break to the walk and about 5 steps into it, he is debilitatingly lame on his front leg. Can't put pressure on it and can't walk. So I wait 10-15 minutes hoping to just be able to get him back to his stall and then presto! He is fine. (these are the exact same symptoms he started with 10 months ago.)

Next day I take him out and trot up and down the barn isle and he is sound. I saddle him up and start to walk up a very slight incline to the arena and then suddenly out of no where he stops because he is so lame again he won't put pressure on his leg. Again, I rest him 10-15 minutes and he walks out of it cautiously, but much better.

The next step that I'm told is an MRI, but you have to put them completely under for that, and I'm not looking forward to doing that.

Has anyone ever heard of anything like this before?
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 729
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Monday, Jun 20, 2005 - 12:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I know this sounds crazy, and probably is, but just had to ask as it was the first thing that popped into my mind...do you live where it is rocky? I've seen horses step on a stone and act very lame just briefly. I was wondering if there was any way this could be a possibility?

I also had a horse that banged her foot on a pipe fence and I guess hit the equivalent of our "funny bone" as I thought she had broken her leg. After about 10 mins. she was fine. So, I wonder if it's a nerve in her lower leg that is somehow being pinched with a particular movement and causes her foot or lower leg to "go numb" for a bit.

Not much help, I'm afraid. I'll be looking forward to reading what Dr. O thinks it could be. Weird.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13185
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Jun 20, 2005 - 10:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The recurrent nature on the same leg suggests not a traumatic event, I think. I would be looking for a muscle spasm (unusual on the front leg) or perhaps some mechanical event like a luxating tendon. Lastly I have seen some OCD lesions that behave this way: you hit them wrong and the horse is very lame for a short period then it resolves till the next event. Someone has to be there to localize the problem while the horse is lame.
DrO
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Lauren Willis
Member
Username: Lwillis

Post Number: 7
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Monday, Jun 20, 2005 - 11:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you DrO

The hardest part has been having him lame when a vet is available.

Could you tell me more about a luxating tendon and OCD lesions?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13191
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 - 9:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Concerning OCD see, Equine Diseases » Lameness » Joint & Bone Diseases » OCD and DOD in Horses.

On a luxating tendon or it could be a ligament, this is where it leaves its normal track causing mechanical dysfunction and pain. In your case we would suppose that it can also jump back causing the lameness to disappear. I cannot think of any known examples of this in the front though in the rear there are several that involve the patella. These are all just conjectures and not useful from a therapeutic or prognostic standpoint.
DrO
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Lauren Willis
Member
Username: Lwillis

Post Number: 8
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 21, 2005 - 9:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

DrO, I really thank you for your conjectures, as we are really in a guessing game to try to figure out where next to look.

I was just yesterday reading about patellar luxation and was wondering why it couldn't apply the the knee of the horse on the front leg. Can you speak to that please?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13195
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 22, 2005 - 8:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well there is no similar structure to the patella in the knee or even the whole front leg. Sure there are many tendons and ligaments that cross joints that if they luxate out of their tracks would cause acute problems but I don't remember seeing such a case nor even a case report, it just accounts for the on and off nature of your problem. The diagnosis would be based on the vet palpating it while it was out of place.
DrO
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