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Discussion on Lame front & rear lower leg on same side

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Denise
New Member
Username: Superuke

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Thursday, Nov 3, 2005 - 3:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi. I'm looking to see if anyone has any info that may help my horse. He was used as a pack horse to carry a light load into the mountains where he has travelled many times (always as a riding horse though) He was fine the first two trips in. On the third trip the first day he started to come up lame on his front right foot. His front leg from the knee to hairline swelled and was terribly painful. The next day the front was fine and it had moved to his back leg from the knee to hairline on the same right side. The next day both legs were fine. The next day both front and back on the same side were swollen and incredible painful. He has been this way since Sept. 16th, and spends the majority of his time laid out completely flat (resulting in many bedsores)Slowly he is spending more time standing (possibly half the day now) He has been to a couple different vets who had no idea what was wrong, and both of the vets phoned numerous other vets for info, and both came up with absolutely no ideas. I really wish someone had heard of something similar or had somekind of idea of what I should be doing with him. He has been sole tested; blood tested; cancer tested; tested for blood clots; temp/heart rate checked; all types of injuries including shaving legs; checked for sole abscess'; no puss in any swelling; NOTHING - I would appreciate any ideas or help anyone can offer. He is on antibiotics and bute.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14044
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Nov 4, 2005 - 7:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Welcome Denise,
what we need are the results of the physical exams and the laboratory work done even if normal. When you say "nothing was found" you do not appreciate the meaning of a normal result: this helps us rule out common diseases. Also where were you riding when this started? With such information we should be able to help. Because it is likely to be a lot of information keep it short, just the facts and with the lab tests we also need the normal values.
DrO
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Denise
New Member
Username: Superuke

Post Number: 2
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Friday, Nov 4, 2005 - 12:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for your reply/help. I have contacted both vet clinics and have asked them to fax the info to me. As soon as I get it I will forward it to you.
This horse normally is on the range at my Mom & Dads (northern BC at the base of the Rocky Mtns) and had been for a few years with NO health problems - ever of any kind. He was then borrowed by my sister/brother in law to take to the mountains which is about 2 days further ride into the Rocky Mountains from my Mom & Dads home ranch. The one thing different in the area is the feed. The mountains have a lot of vetch and different mtn grasses than the rangeland at my parents.(I really wonder if feed is the issue) The travel isn't much different - they follow a road/seismic line in all the way which has only a couple spots of mud, crosses the Halfway River and has very few small hills (you travel through the vally all the way)As I said he is getting better from what he originally was, but winter is now here and he still has a very long way to go if he is going to get better. We have put him into our shop (which has wood heat when needed) and are prepared to keep him there until spring if necessary. Do you recommend a temperature to keep the shop at? In northern BC we can easily get spells of -20 - -30 and colder for long periods of time and I'm worried about him freezing his lower legs. Thanks for any help.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14053
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Nov 5, 2005 - 11:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Denise as long as it stays dry and above freezing the legs and out of the wind, I don't think he will be adversely effected by the cold.

We are not able to respond in a timely manner to emailed items, if you could post the results up here I will review them. Also what were the colors of the legs effected and the two that have remained swelling free.
DrO
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Denise
New Member
Username: Superuke

Post Number: 3
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Saturday, Nov 5, 2005 - 2:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My horse is a palamino. When they shaved his legs looking for injury and bruising at the beginning, in the first clinic, there was no abnormal colouring. The non-swelled legs were normal as were the swelled legs. Now the hair is grown back so it is difficult to tell. They both moved his swollen legs around for fracture type injury but all seemed ok. Something that was strange though is when the second vet put my horse under and dug a hole in the bottom of his foot to check for absess', where the white lamina line was it was purple/red bruising colour instead and the bottoms of his feet were rock hard and he had a terrible time with the hoof knife to actually dig a hole in them. At that point he inserted a needle to pull fluid from up inside but it came but just blood. He also inserted a needle into the swelled area on the legs and only pulled out blood as well. The swelling is hard - not fluid type that would leave an imprint. The vet said a lot of his symptoms looked like laminitis but none of the vets here or anyone they phoned had ever heard of it being in a front and back foot on the same side. I believe that is when he went inside and checked for blood clots, and then said we should do a blood test. The first blood test showed some abnormal cells and a high count of white blood cells and so he recommended another blood test to be sent to Saskatchewan testing for leukemia (which was negative). To date my horse has never lost his appetite and drinks a normal amount of water. I requested info from the vet clinics yesterday - one vet(the second vet who did almost all of the work)phoned back and told me that he hadn't yet had time to relay results from one of the blood tests (done at the same time as the cancer test I think)but that the test showed my horse had abnormally high amounts of sugar and enzyms? in his system. He said he would forward the results as soon as he had time (apparently he is swamped with preg testing cows at the moment but thought in the next day he could send me the results)Have you ever heard of anything that results in swelling on a front and back foot on the same side?
Thanks so much for your time and your help.
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Karol Ann
New Member
Username: Turning

Post Number: 5
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Saturday, Nov 5, 2005 - 5:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Denise,

Can't even assume to know what is causing your problem, just wanted to mention we rescued an old horse that was foundered front and back on the same side.

I don't know what caused it and our blacksmith said it's highly unusual, but if it helps any, there's at least one horse in the world that managed to do it.

Hope things look up for you real soon. All my best,

kat
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14058
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Nov 6, 2005 - 7:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think you misunderstood my question Denise, does your horse have socks or stockings and which legs?
DrO
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Denise
New Member
Username: Superuke

Post Number: 4
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Monday, Nov 7, 2005 - 5:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi DrO,
Sorry I did misunderstand. On his non-swelled side they are both honey-coloured to foot. On his swelled side, the front is honey coloured, and the most swelled and most painful is the rear side and it is a white sock.
I got results back from the first vet clinic and please bear with me if I get something wrong - it is handwritten and difficult to read so here goes (I have shortened much of this page):
Oct 4/05 Lameness in both right legs; since onset serum has began to ooze from skin on radial side of RF just proximal? to fetlock; marked swelling in plantar? aspect of both lame legs in distal cannon and @ fetlock; edema in cataneors? tissues and swelling in flexor structures; suspect suspensory ligaments; started on bute (spelled out) 2g injection O (with x through it?) (10ml); recommended 10-15 minutes with cold hose per day; apply DMSO Gell after hosing; bute 2 gr bid X2 then 1g bid;
Oct 12/04 No change; starting to have pressure point sores from laying on opposite sides; what next??
oct 13/04 PC to Dr. in PG; had no additional ideas; perhaps stumble in trailer; imaging next u/s & xray; Quadrisal as oral NSAID??

Hope this is useful in some way. Thanks.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14070
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 8, 2005 - 9:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Since the front leg is pigmented the sunlight activated diseases (toxins, liver disease, and some autoimmune disorders) of the legs don't seem likely. Without any wounds, and it appears that they have looked very closely, and with a front and a back effected the problem sounds like a primary infection though the presentation would be uncommon.

Since we seem to be having trouble getting the clinical information in a timely manner let's try a different cours: can you list all the treatments you have and are currently giving, the date they were started and stopped and the dosage?
DrO
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Denise
New Member
Username: Superuke

Post Number: 5
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Thursday, Nov 10, 2005 - 12:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I finally got some info from the second vet. I will post it below. Basically the only treatment my horse has gotten was and continues from the first vet visit originally back from Oct 4/05 is: 1 sm scoop of bute once daily; DMSO rubbed on his legs once daily; 12 pills of the Novo-Trimmel(that is from memory so the spelling may not be accurate) once daily and soaking legs with cool water. We have been putting Zinco-derm on the bed sores. Yesterday I had our farrier out to look at him for additional ideas, and he felt it wasn't a foot or injury problem for sure. He sole tested for tenderness and injury, looked for signs of founder and said he felt the problem was something internal causing the swelling and that he had never seen anything like this either. (He was a farrier on the race tracks in Switzerland for years)
I contacted the owner of a Herbal Equine Supplement and he had me test for different points on my horse. One pressure point in particular at the front chest of my horse was really sensitive. He advised me to take my horse off the bute and antibiotics and try the Kidney and Immune builder. I have done this for 2 days so far and I haven't noticed any change in my horse for better or worse. I was reluctant to try herbal supplements, but at this point I'm willing to try something new.
Results from second clinic(also faxed and hand written so here goes - the ? marks are when I'm not sure of something):
PCV: 32-1 N=32-52-1
Red Blood Cell Morphology: N (with circle around it);
WBC Count: 9.0x10 9/L - WBC Morph - V.A Typical Nertn - Non-Reactive - Weak?- Spilling Cytoplasm -
Platelet Count: A typical Lymphs - VL. Nucleous - little cytoplasm - round Weoplas?
Neutrophils: 74%; Absolute Value 6.6; Normal % 30-65; Normal Abs. Value 2.7-6.7 Bands - nothing posted; Lymphocytes: 18%; ABV 1.6; Normal % 25-70; Normal Abs.Value 1.5-5.5; Monocytes: 4; ABV 0.36; Normal % 0-7; Normal Abs. Value 0.0 - 0.8; Eosinphils: 1%; Absolute Value 0.09; Normal % 0-4; Normal Abs. Value 0.0-0.925
Comments: WBC Morph- V Atypical - perhaps Neoplashz Lagnephoceyts (not sure on those two) - perfectly round [ little cytoplasm
Next Sheet Oct 14/05:
ALB=22g/l Ref Rge. 25-39 Indic.Low
ALKP= 332 U/L Ref. 10-326 - High
AST=490 U/L Ref. 100-600 - Norm
UREA=3.0 mmol/l Ref. 3.6 - 8.9 Low
Ca=2.53 mmol/l Ref 2.60-3.22 Low
CK=466 U/L Ref 10-350 - high
CREA=67 umol/l Ref 71-194 - low
CGT=38 U/l Ref 1-87 - Norm
CLU=14.04 mmol/l Ref3.56-8.33 high
LDH=1457 U/L 250-2070 - norm
TBIL=20 umol/l Ref 0-60 norm
TP=76 g/l Ref 56-79 - norm
GLOB=54 g/l Ref 24-47 - high
Na = 143 mmol/l Ref 133-150 - norm
K = 5.4 mmol/l Ref 3.0 - 5.3 - high
CL = 109 mmol/l Ref 97-109 - norm but just at the mark into high

Hopefully this makes some sense to you!
Thanks.
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Denise
Member
Username: Superuke

Post Number: 6
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Thursday, Nov 10, 2005 - 1:00 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Kat,

Thanks for the post. It's great to hear that my horse is not the only one out there in this big ol' world with this strange problem. How did you know for sure it was founder in your horse?

I appreciate your time and help.

Denise
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Karol Ann
Member
Username: Turning

Post Number: 6
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Thursday, Nov 10, 2005 - 2:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Denise,

In answer to your question, Old Shah came with the place, so I don't know what happened, but I had my farrier come right out as his hooves were curled up from neglect and he had to brace himself to stand. My farrier noticed it while working on him and said it was very unusual that a horse would founder on the same side.

Asked the vet about it when he came out to access the damage (founder, abcesses, heaves, extreme malnourishment) and he said he didn't know what could have caused it, but the horse wouldn't make the winter anyway. I'm happy to say that was almost nine years ago and the old man is still going strong.

Farrier was in last Sunday to do the group and since it was fresh in my mind, I asked him again if he ever figured out what caused it. Just shook his head and said it wasn't normal, so I can't tell you any more than that.

The horse was crazy when we came. He was marooned in a dark corner stall that had piles of frozen turds that reminded me more of camel humps than a stall floor. Maybe that contributed to it, maybe it didn't. I don't know.

Judging from the shape the buildings and fences when we came, I have always looked at the black walnut on our knoll with the utmost suspicion..... but that's as close as I can come to having an idea of what happened. Considering Old Shah's physical and mental condition when we came, it appears the former owners were yahoos that fell into horses and never worked at trying to do it right. If that was the case, it's anybody's guess what brought it on or why the same side.

Keep at it. I can see you're trying really hard and life tends to reward effort.

All my best,

kat
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WTG
Member
Username: Angel77

Post Number: 71
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Saturday, Nov 12, 2005 - 12:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Karol Ann,

It is so wonderful to hear about the miraculous stories. I am so glad to hear that you saved this poor horse. It seems you have done everything possible to help him. Sometimes that is all we can do and pray a lot. It is nice to know there are so many people who truly care.

Dear Denise,

I am so sorry your horse is having problems. Dr.O will advise you medically.

I once had a horse that had been turned out in the arena while I was out of the country. Subsequently he fell down and skidded about 20 feet. Thank God the footing in the arena was nice and soft but he still injured his left side. My horse still had to undergo numerous acupuncture, massage, time off and 5days on 2grams of bute daily 3 days off bute and then 5 days on bute again until he was back to his usual self. This took about 2-3 weeks.

Maybe I missed it in your post but does your horse have a fever?

My heart goes out to you both.

Good Luck!!

WTG
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14099
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Nov 12, 2005 - 10:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Denise,
Hmmm...most of your elevated enzymes are probably from lying down and tissue inflammation and some of the cell cytology information is perplexing: are they saying they may see cancerous white blood cells. The herbal guy does not make a lot of sense to me frankly.

In the meantime I would discuss with my vet about stopping the DMSO, some horses react to it with inflammation, and changing antibiotics to something with a wide spectrum. The bute really should be given twice daily and aggressive doses considered. Then if there is no improvement in 3 or 4 days I would consider beginning antiinflammatory dosages of dexamethasone, while continuing the antibiotics, with increasing doses until I got a response. The idea is that though your problem appears inflammatory it still is uncertain whether it is infection or one of the many autoimmune disorders.
DrO
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Denise
Member
Username: Superuke

Post Number: 7
Registered: 10-2005
Posted on Saturday, Nov 12, 2005 - 5:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi there,
When they did the first blood tests is when they noticed some abnormal cells. The second vet thought that there was a good chance it could be leukemia but when the test came back it was negative, so I think they ruled out cancer at this point.
My horse is starting to put a lot of weight (possibly half) on his sore front foot, and just in the last day or so has started to put weight on his swollen back foot - this is a first since he got sick, so somewhere along the line he is getting better, and why or how I'm not sure of.

Thanks for your advice - it's good to hear someone actually suggest something to try. There's nothing more frustrating than having no general sense of direction to go.
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