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Mechanical Lameness

3 replies

Guinefort · 11/02/2023 18:58

My wonderful horse has had a year off following stifle arthroscopy. He sadly had complications post-surgery whilst coming round from the GA. He ruptured the pereneus tertius in one of his hind legs and it has taken forever to heal. Improvement has been so slow and really stalled by 9 months at which point the vet recommended starting slow ridden rehab in the hope that movement may spur on additional healing.

So he has now been in ridden rehab for approaching 3 months - lots and lots of walk, now starting a bit of trot and some poles to get him really lifting the dodgy leg up. But his gait still looks off, most noticeable in trot, he's not tracking up on that leg and still looks slightly "peg legged". It's better when he's working forward and much more noticeable when he's shuffling along (he can be very lazy if allowed to be!). The vet has now suggested it may be a mechanical lameness due to the way the injury has healed/scar tissue and there may be limited further improvement 🥲.

He doesn't appear to be in pain but he is also a VERY stoic sort so I'm worrying myself silly that I could be hurting him/pushing him too much. How can I be sure??

Does anyone have any experience of mechanical lameness and how this can be definitively diagnosed? I realise his dressage days will be over but I'm praying that he may be able to do some very low level pony club/ small jumps in the future (even with his odd gait) if I can be certain that he is not suffering at all. I'm also wondering if the vets might need to supply a letter confirming the mechanical diagnosis in case there is ever a query raised about his soundness out and about?

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HazardaGuest · 11/02/2023 19:07

You need a specialist lameness vet not your normal one. My guess is they might do nerve blocks to see if his gait changes but I’m no expert. If you say roughly where you are someone might be able to recommend a good vet.

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Guinefort · 11/02/2023 20:02

Thanks @HazardaGuest. He has been seen by so many vets and had so many tests bless him I am loathe to put him through yet another nerve block but realise it might be inevitable 🥲. All the vets I have spoken to have said they have never come across a pereneus tertius rupture that hasn't mended in 12 months. We are at 14 months which is why the vets are talking possible mechanical lameness due to scar tissue. He doesn't appear to be in pain and is willing and forward, he just doesn't/can't seem to bring it under himself on that side as much as he should.

I am just clinging on to every glimmer of hope that I can at this stage. I would love to hear if anyone has ever had a mechanical lameness diagnosis and their horse gone on to have any sort of long term ridden life.

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HappyGirlNow · 12/02/2023 23:01

Nerve block is the only way. If he doesn’t change regardless of nerve block then it’s likely mechanical, if it improves once nerve clocked then it’s not mechanical. Really, a lameness work up using nerve block isn’t a huge deal to the horse and it’s the only way for you to really know.

If your equine vet is a good one, then they should be able to carry out a comprehensive lameness work up.

i know this will be tough for you 💙 but better you know.

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