Horse Lameness Diagnosis

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A Diagnosis of Lameness

  2008 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

My horse is a standard bread 12 years old I have had 2 vets look at him a physio and farrier.

My horse seems fine then all of a sudden will start walking backwards ,look unwell and stumbles on his own feet this has happened 3 times in the 7 weeks I have own him. He was miss treated but is so gentle and well behaved I have started slow with him with gentle work only ridden him at a walk for 10 -15 min he seems fine full of life . Then just goes into this back step stumble and looks in pain .

The first vet said he had a pulled muscle in the chest which was treated with anti inflammatory he seemed better but kept throwing his front right foot and seems uncoordinated so I called the farrier he said laminitis so I got vitamins etc and advise from vet . Then 2 weeks later he was grate I moved him to better stables agistment he was happy as a new colt then the next day he was walk back wards again and stabling but I walked around with him and he seemed to improve the proberty owner said to get a mussel men so I found a good one for him he has come out to day worked on my horse and said he was a bit stiff but nothing to indicate a problem this afternoon my horse has had a bad attack and nearly went down he was the worse yet so a new horse vet came out and said it is colic she thinks .

I am at a loss every one is saying its different things and each time Jack is treated he improves straight away but I am on edge waiting for him to space out again I just don't no what to do ? Me and (Jake my horse) would be grateful for any help.

Yours truly Heathe

Hi Heather.

I am so sorry to hear of yours and Jakes troubles. I commend you in having two veterinarians plus a physiotherapist and a farrier look at your horse. Really, the only way you will get to the bottom of what is causing your horse pain will be through a veterinarian, and if necessary, working with your farrier. A veterinarian will rule out things like a parasite problem that could cause colic, laminitis by taking x-rays, and nerve problems that could be causing his uncoordinated movement.

It would be impossible for me to tell you what is wrong with your horse but when a horse rocks his weight to his hindquarters or walks backward it often indicates that he is not comfortable either on his front feet or his back. So, that could indicate laminitis of the front feet or a sore back or a pinched nerve somewhere. You say the physiotherapist (muscle man) didn't find a significant problem, but it still would be a good idea to ask your veterinarian to examine the horse's spine, croup and hindquarters for nerve damage.

If it is possible, choose one veterinarian to help you so that he or she knows what has been done and can continue with the diagnosis and treatment. Also, that way, you won't be going back and forth between what different people tell you trying to make sense out of it all.

Best of luck and please let us know what you find out.

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