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:( about poss. arthritis in older horse

32 replies

Alameda · 06/06/2012 23:34

he's increasingly getting stiff, stumbly and so reluctant to walk on anything but grass, even in hand but especially ridden, despite the cortaflex which I think has helped.

just feel a bit morose, is it the beginning of the end? Am wondering about vet, bute, maybe x-rays? Or just ride him less? See what the farrier thinks?

He's not that old, we think 20s (early to mid) but those years in the riding school might not have helped. Sad. :(

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ToxicMoxie · 07/06/2012 02:00

Oh I'm so sorry! That is tough to deal with. It doesnt sould like he should be ridden, both for his comfort and your safety, a stumbling horse isn't safe to ride. I'd talk to the farrier and vet, farrier will help if it's hoof related but vet and farrier together can sometimes make a difference. My horse was mysteriously sore, we had x rays (as viet didn't know exactly) and now he's rideable, because vet and farrier have worked out what do to for him.

Good luck!

Callisto · 07/06/2012 09:36

Have you tried cod liver oil in his feed, joint supplements and some devils claw (aka no bute)? We have an arthritic horse on the yard and she is much better when she is ridden regularly (nothing too strenuous, but she will happily canter as well as walk and trot). She also lives out full time now and that has made a big difference too.

Alameda · 07/06/2012 11:30

thanks both. devils claw, that's it, trying to think what no bute was

don't feed him, not exactly, just deliver the cortaflex in an apple or handful of chaff. He does have cod liver oil over winter, maybe it has been helping? Will reintroduce. Also see what vet thinks. Nobody ever quite agrees on anything!

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Callisto · 07/06/2012 11:54

Slightly different, but cod liver oil worked wonders for my arthritic and elderly greyhound. It really seemed to help him stay flexible. I think you can get feed specially formulated for older horses nowdays - might be worth a look? Good luck and hopefully we will get some warmer weather before too long - this bloody rain is no good for anyone.

Alameda · 07/06/2012 12:03

It does come and go, and when the rain came back so did the reluctance to walk on anything other than grass. Wondered if he was worried about slipping but he is mad enough to attempt to canter along a 2mm wide strip of grass on the edge of an 8' ditch. Argh. But not to walk on the actual track which is stony.

Think it is in coffin/pedal bone (if that is even possible?) he's happy to flex every other joint but he had a bad bad nearly died from it infection there a couple of years ago. Don't know if this can lead to osteoarthritis or not, could be a coincidence?

There is just far too much grass, I can't feed him unless I work him a lot more, although he did v well on Veteran Vitality for ages think he would get fat now.

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Callisto · 07/06/2012 12:33

Really deep infections can get into the bone, so it is possible that he has some damage there from that. Can you restrict his grazing at all (thinking of the practicalities of feeding cod liver oil on its own Wink)?

ZeroFucksGivenForTheJubilee · 07/06/2012 12:38

How are his feet? Is he shod or barefoot? How often is he seen by the farrier?

What us his weight like? What breed/type is he? Could he have a touch of laminitis? Just wondering as with the rain comes lush grass and if he's living out he will be getting all the morning wet grass.

Alameda · 07/06/2012 12:41

I don't know, it's the lardy pony who needs restricted grazing really - if I separate them they will DIE of course or die trying to get back to one another! If needs must will fence off a strip just for the two of them.

Infection did get into the bone, prob posted about it at the time, how do you get antibiotics into a bone? (still owe vet for that episode) But at same time one of my children was in intensive care and her life sort of in the balance too, so left the horse in full livery as couldn't leave hospital site for some time and didn't take in all the details of his injury. It started as a tiny puncture wound in the sole. Anyway vet is coming to have a look in a couple of weeks, just want someone to tell me how much to work him if at all and what to do Confused

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RubberBandit · 07/06/2012 12:43

Sorry if I'm way off the mark here...I know nowt about horses but my (giant breed) dog has arthritis and other joint problems which we are very successfully managing with hydrotherapy and acupuncture. I thought I'd mention it because I know the homeopathic vet we see also treats horses. Might be worth checking if there is such a vet in your area?

Alameda · 07/06/2012 12:45

Oh didn't see you there zero - he's shod in front, no sign of laminitis and is a sort of native type. A hand or two smaller and you would think he was NF, he's just a sort of horse sized pony (but with implausibly narrow withers for someone with so much bone everywhere else). Pic on profile I think, prob doesn't tell you much (the brown one). He's not fat at the moment.

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Alameda · 07/06/2012 12:46

Thanks rubberbandit, everything is worth consideration. Hydrotherapy for horses might be £££££ beyond me but was thinking about those bio flow magnetic things - will see if vet confirms diagnosis. Could be something else, could be nothing but another of my neuroses!

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Pixel · 07/06/2012 16:30

Our welshie is arthritic in his hock. We don't do anything like lunging or jumping that will put a strain on him but he is happily in regular work (mostly on roads as we don't have access to school or much open space) and looking very well. In fact my sister was so worried about doing too much with him that the vet had to tell her not to mollycoddle him and said that a half mile trot on the road wouldn't do him any harm, if that is any guide to how much work is appropriate. He has cod liver oil or cider vinegar in his feeds, also rosehips which we have discovered freeze rather well so we collect bags full in the autumn.
He is now at the stage of having one bute a day (he is 23) which we weren't sure about at first but the vet assures us this dose will not adversely affect him.
He has natural balance shoes which I don't personally think make much difference but it's my sister's money Wink. Perhaps you could discuss it with your farrier and see what he/you think?

Pixel · 07/06/2012 16:32

I had a magnetic band for my old pony. I don't think it made any difference at all tbh. Sister's pony has a copper band, she reckons he does get worse if she takes it off.

Callisto · 07/06/2012 16:38

I didn't know that about rosehips. Do you feed them straight or make rosehip syrup?

Pixel · 07/06/2012 17:50

We just bung a handful in the feeds or they quite like them as a titbit. It's only guesswork though, I've no idea how many they are supposed to have!

SaggyCeratops · 07/06/2012 19:48

Have you tried codlivine powder? They love the taste! Or Biocare feed from Falcon. It has the highest oil content of any food we looked at, and doesn't send them bonkers!
At Hicksted last year, we bought a supplement with silicone in. It's quite expensive, but it worked very well. A couple of us bought the human version. It's pretty good. I'll find out the name and let you know.

Alameda · 07/06/2012 20:14

thank you thank you

knew you lot would be a v useful resource

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Alameda · 09/06/2012 21:02

sharer doesn't think he is any different and suspects that, as am spending more time riding the pony instead of horse, that am just more aware of his stiffness and quirks

think she is on to something there Blush

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Mirage · 09/06/2012 21:13

Dpony is 22 this year and has a scoop of Devil's Claw for her joints.She isn't stiff so I assume either a] it's working or b] she doesn't need it.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss · 09/06/2012 21:14

Ooh, I've just remembered something else. Extract of green lipped mussel is meant to be very good for arthritis. You can get it in health food shops.

Alameda · 09/06/2012 22:06

thanks, filing all this away for future ref :)

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Plomino · 09/06/2012 23:53

It's not necessarily the end of the world . Abbey , my first pony , got arthritis aged just 7 , in her offside front fetlock , following an accident . She died last year , aged 34 , and still wasn't retired . Still tried taking off when I took her off road , the week before we lost her .

I found that bute helped , but so did the codlivine joint supplement , regular exercise , and wrapping her legs in short travel boots or stable bandages when it got cold , to keep her circulation going . She could out stride anything on the roads, including my large warm blood , who had to jog to keep up with my 14.2hh welsh/ Arab .

SilverSky · 10/06/2012 17:57

Apple Cider Vinegar also supposed to be good. Also Vetrofen but it's £££.

Not read entire thread. Worth getting a vet out?

Alameda · 10/06/2012 20:05

have made appt with vet but think will cancel as he is really no worse than ever, it's just the difference between him and the pony I think, made me much more conscious of it?

and today he was like a 4 yo, for about 15 miles Hmm

(will just continue with the cortaflex and add codlivine I think and see how it goes)

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Alameda · 17/06/2012 23:00

the devils claw stuff (NAF) which smells so delicious is already helping I think, he is like a tank again :)

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