mystery "lameness"

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by qtrpony, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. qtrpony

    qtrpony Registered

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    I am at the end of my rope with what to do with our medium pony. We have owned her a year and she has moved the same way the entire year we have owned her. I viewed videos of her ridden prior to us owning her and she looked the exact same then..so this is not new. But my gut just says something isn't right. We have had 3 vets plus a chiro examine her and still no answer.
    -drags both hind toes equally at the walk, in her pasture, under saddle on grass and in arena, does NOT drag them when ridden or hand walked on pavement (lazy or....)
    -tracks up equally at the walk and trot
    -she twist her hind feet when she walks in deep sand, toes go inward hocks go outward with each step. does it on both hinds.
    -at the trot her hind legs cross underneath her midline, its very obvious. if viewed from the back as she trots away in a straight line they both swing in a lot. still tracks up nicely and lands flat (not toe first) and does not drag.
    -her trot is "fancy" we have been told, but to me it looks odd and nqr. maybe because I am used to seeing school/lesson horses who plod along but ours really bends the hocks high (is not stringhalt) it is not that long sweeping motion in the hind, but an up/down motion, however she doesn't short stride at all. its very floaty.
    -at the trot she sways her head side to side, in rhythm with the trot. its very subtle but its there (this could be the riders hand I guess)
    -she goes into trot and canter willingly.
    -she really hate going left. even at the walk or trot, doesn't matter as soon as you turn to track left she is crooked, nose to the rail and ears back. sometimes (happening more often now) she will just stop and refuse to move. the more you ask for forward motion she will shake her head and start walking backwards. if you turn to track right she will carry on like nothing happened.
    -she has started to duck out of jumps, canter along nicely to them then dart to the left or right to avoid the jump. (she is green to jumping so this may not be cause for alarm) this also happens more tracking left
    -hard time with left lead. she can get it but much harder for her, and if she jumps on left lead she 80% will land right lead but she will do the simple change back to left
    -the canter to walk or canter to halt transition is quick and abrupt. she will 50% of the time seem to almost buckle or fall out in the hind end. if we canter-trot-walk she doesn't do this.
    -her canter is great as well, no bunny hop at all.
    -she has qh bloodlines (dad is vested pine) and she is built VERY downhill with the tiniest feet, she is barefoot and she does get quarter flares on the hinds (probably from the twisting)
    two vets have said its her hocks. and one injected them about 4 weeks ago. she moves exactly the same and in fact her attitude about going left has gotten worse since the injections.
    I just cant keep dealing with the stopping and backing up, if really pushed to move in that direction she will buck! trainer wants her to push through and thinks its behavioral but I just don't know. I feel like if she didn't want to work she would do it both ways equally. neither vet has offered to xray even after my request because they both think hocks are the problem. but injections did nothing. chiro did a neuro exam and she passed all except the tight circle test she didn't cross over behind as well as she would have liked. of course I fear EPM but she doesn't seem to fit the mold. also she is very very very sensitive to water on her back, for instance when we try to hose her down after a ride or just for a bath she ducks her back down when the water touches it (maybe that is nothing but thought I'd mention it)

    ok so if you made it this far...any thoughts or ideas? hocks, stifles, si, neuro?
     
  2. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

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    Time for a new vet. They shouldn't refuse if you want x rays taken imo.
    can you post pics and upload a video of the mare?
    What is her pedigree? Any chance she is a candidate for HYPP or PSSM?
     
  3. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Suggestion: post a video of the horse in motion.

    Most of what you mention doesn't sound relevant. Most of it is 'that's just her.' Other points sound like bratty pony combined with weak rider.

    Some of it is 'that's how it is with mild hock arthritis.'

    Swinging the hind legs inward as they are brought forward, does indicate some very mild hock arthritis.

    Didn't the vet tell you she has mild hock arthritis in both hocks?

    Generally, mild hock arthritis starts in the little bones of the hock. The horse can USUALLY be used for some years yet with proper management. 'Proper management' consists of appropriate shoeing(determined by a lameness specialist veterinarian, not the farrier down the road), sticking to a consistent schedule with a specific level of work (no spontaneous 6 hour trail rides in the rocks because 'I felt like it'), not giving the horse lengthy vacations, and choosing a turnout situation where she isn't constantly veering, being chased or navigating around rocks, roots and holes in the ground.

    At each stage of the disease, the guidance of a veterinarian (and I mean good one that specializes in lameness) determines the work program which is at a level that keeps the horse loosened up without making her sore, and as the disease progresses, the work level is dropped appropriately.

    Either now or later, jumping will need to stop if the horse has hock arthritis. But there is no telling when that would be without seeing her, xrays and seeing the horse get flexion tests and other lameness diagnostics.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  4. qtrpony

    qtrpony Registered

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    Her hind giving out when changing direction after jump


    Head sway and trot


    Trot to canter
    not any going left, bc she hates it that much I rarely get to video it. and I'm glad to hear that some of it is just her that makes me hopeful. yes vet says hocks based on 1/5 +flexion and watching her lunge. did injections. she is rechecking her this week. and I would be thrilled to know that most if rider error bc we can work on that, the rider is young and timid and if the stopping and backing up is just bratty behavior then ok. but still don't understand why she doesn't do it both ways.
    This is all I could upload at the moment
    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  5. BluemoonOKy

    BluemoonOKy Senior Member

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    Hard to say, but id start looking at left stifle. Looks lkke she buckles on that left leg when asked for the lead change. I would not ask her to do that, but do simple change instead with trot in between . I don't see the rider doing anything awful. The backing up refusing to go forward can be from feet, back pain, etc. @manesntails
    EPM generally presents with right hind muscle wasting and I don't think that's what's going on here.
     
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  6. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Nose turns away from lameness so it will be the left side. We have this with STB race horses, they turn their nose out in the turns ( going counterclockwise, or left) and that indicates something on the other side of the horse, inside of the turn, because, by turning their nose away from the sore side, they push more weight onto the good, or, in this case, right side when going left.

    Toe dragging behind is weakness in the hind end
    and the swaying back and forth, that may be in the sacroilliac or somewhere else in the back, as toe dragging can accompany sacroiliac issues.

    I would not be riding or jumping this horse. If she has been like this for a long time, I would suspect a back injury in the past.
     
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  7. qtrpony

    qtrpony Registered

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    Thanks that’s what I feared. Having to retire a 9 yr old it’s a shame and my daughter will be crushed. But it is what it is
     
  8. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

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    Are you in an area where Lymes disease is seen?
     
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  9. qtrpony

    qtrpony Registered

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    N.C. so yes I think
     
  10. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

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    I would talk to your vet about it. It can cause a HUGE range of symptoms.

    my mare tested with a Chronic level of 19,873 (high is considered 1250 - 26,000). Her symptoms were: simply crabbiness at the canter, and to other horses while under saddle, some muscle tightness found during massages, and could be jumpy/stupid over ridiculous things.
     
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