Potential Arthritis

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by timmythenarwhal, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. DocsLglyBlonde

    DocsLglyBlonde Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    3,516
    Likes Received:
    4,566
    In that workload with a saddle that didn't fit, on a back that is still developing, I would not be shocked at all if the saddle was the only issue. Sorry if I missed it, but what points to arthritis specifically vs soft tissue/muscle and joint soreness? I would be getting frequent body work done (or learn the basics of massage and do it yourself, perhaps between professional sessions), and would keep her moving myself without a saddle or rider on her back and not on a circle (so handwalking or ground driving not in a circle). Arthritis or plain soreness will benefit from gentle movement, but I'd have a hard time believing it is arthritis without seeing the radiographs (which I personally proabably would not spend the money on yet until I treated it like soreness from an ill fitting saddle combined with a fairly heavy workload for a youngster). It does sound like you have a good team, so hopefully they can get to the bottom of everything and help her start feeling better.
     
    mymarespet, Alsosusieq2 and ginster like this.
  2. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    6,026
    Likes Received:
    7,689
    Having to bend as much and going on a constant circle might aggravate her back even more. Do you have a closed arena where you can let her run free? You can still make her move that way without having her bend so much.
    Why does the vet think she is arthritic? How does her pain present? I think I would do x rays to rule out kissing spine if she doesnßt get better with some time off.
    How was she worked before the symptoms started? Any difference in the amount of riding oe what was asked of her?
    Could she have tweaked a muscle in turn out or in her stall?
     
    Alsosusieq2 and DocsLglyBlonde like this.
  3. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,992
    Likes Received:
    8,960


    Why hasn't an x ray been made if arthritic changes are suspected? Bone changes are the one thing you can see on those.
     
    ginster likes this.
  4. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2016
    Messages:
    14,990
    Likes Received:
    11,125
    I didn't see that. Atrophy for sure get the vet out. Something is not right in Denmark.. :(

    I didn't see that, even reviewing it again I didn't. Bummer though in a four year old.
     
  5. paval

    paval Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Messages:
    2,543
    Likes Received:
    2,513
    Coincidence you mention this... wish I could find the article, but was reading one the other day about the anatomy of the horse and how its built for moving primarily in straight lines, not circles. Not the words in the article, but jest of it.
     
    ginster and Alsosusieq2 like this.
  6. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    23,802
    Likes Received:
    14,444
    Are you aware of the difficulties of xraying a horse's back?
     
    Alsosusieq2 likes this.
  7. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    23,802
    Likes Received:
    14,444
    How is it that you believe that 'running free' in a riding arena would involve LESS strain on her back?????

    That is how many horses hurt their backs in the first place.

    'Running free' is not really the answer here. In fact it is very dangerous advice. Being on a 'straight line' doesn't make this any better. The horse makes rapid abrupt changes of direction, slides to a stop at the gate and does all sorts of things that severely aggravate any back problem.

    And in fact, circling can be therapeutic to back injuries! What is being said here is wrong. It CAN be therapeutic, if done right. That is going to be LESS THAN a few minutes longeing in each direction, on a very gentle curve, very large circle, with no sudden stops or starts and a very gentle curve. It's crucial to keep changing direction. And no 'carrot stretches' or 'riding long and low'! This is TOO MUCH stretch for initial rehabilitation. We have also used leg yield and half pass as 'therapy' for rehabilitating back injuries, once the acute injury has healed and rehabilitation is appropriate.

    First, the horse needs a diagnosis.

    And caveat emptor: SOME vets are very, very cavalier about equine back injuries. 'Give 'em robaxin and bute for two weeks and then start riding, you'll be back doing your whole program after two more weeks.' BALONEY. Rarely is it that simple, quick and easy.

    'It might be arthritis' said when the vet is asked to 'look at the horse' in the barn aisle without doing a single diagnostic test, is not a diagnosis.

    It's a possibility. NOT a diagnosis.

    Yes, arthritis in a back is possible. Even at age 4.

    But other conditions are also possible.

    Horses DO injure their backs as youngsters, especially when young and growing so fast, and injuries to a young horse's back can start an 'arthritic process', meaning bone spurs or calcification starts forming in between the bones in the back.

    Arthritis in the back of a youngster is not as likely as other types of injury to the back. Other problems are very common, especially in young horses.

    Excessive riding on an unconditioned horse is one very, very common cause of back injury. I've seen young horses of 2, 3 or 4 taken to 'club shows' and ridden in 10 classes a day when they hadn't gotten ridden more than 3 times for 10 minutes in the last six months. I've seen horses that didn't get ridden all year, get taken on a trail ride with absolutely no conditioning at all. Their backs are so sore after such an activity, that they are dead lame for days or weeks.

    The back has to be conditioned and brought into fitness just like any other muscle. This doesn't happen quickly. It takes a lot of time - months - of very gradually increasing work and ride time, to get a horse's back 'fit.'

    The problems can be even worse when aggravated by a badly fitted saddle or a rider who is crooked and puts more weight on one side of the saddle than the other.

    But even a well-fitted saddle and a straight rider can injure the back of a horse when the person simply rides too long or is too heavy.

    And even just muscle tightness can cause very, very chronic, long term pain. The horse starts tensing up the sore muscles and it can take MONTHS to heal them.

    This is NOT done by having the horse run around a riding arena. That is NOT going to make back muscle problems better. The horse needs REST, HAND WALKING, and 'sweating' the back(hot moist towels, not hot enough to damage skin, are put on the back under a stack of warm horse blankets or saddle pads - NEVER put liniment on the back where the saddle goes). He may need medication to help muscles in spasm relax. It is VERY hard to get to the bottom of these problems and it takes A LOT OF TIME, EFFORT AND VERY WISE, EDUCATED, DILIGENT CARE.

     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  8. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    6,026
    Likes Received:
    7,689
    You know, there are some horses who listen to voice commands and don´t run around like idiots even when they are not on a longe line. I am speaking from experience, with several different horses.
     
    NBChoice and GotaDunQH like this.
  9. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    23,802
    Likes Received:
    14,444
    Most people don't make their horse bend at all when they longe.

    Instead, the horse makes a series of straight lines with an occasional sudden jerk around a pivoting, jerking type of turn, without any bend in the body/back at any time.

    There is no bending of the spine at all. That would actually be better(as long as there are frequent changes of direction). The way most people longe is bad for a horse.
     
  10. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    23,802
    Likes Received:
    14,444
    The horse is out of work with a sore back, the muscles of the back are atrophied, your saddle was incorrectly fitted, and you're 'confident in your team.' Unless all of them came on board yesterday, I wouldn't be confident.

    Maybe I missed the part where the vet ultrasounded and xrayed the horse's back, prescribed medication and limited exercise, no riding or jinking the back around, sweating the back, etc.

     
    ginster likes this.

Share This Page