Horse question looking for some ideas/help

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bkreugar, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. bkreugar

    bkreugar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2008
    Asheboro NC
    So friday of last week at about 5 when we did the evening chores DD notices that 19 yr old morab was in pain. She was holding up left front leg and wouldn't let hoof touch ground. Now I've had her for about 10 years and she IS dramatic when it comes to pain. But DD comes and gets me and I know right away that it is the knee. There is swelling and heat. SO I give 2 grams paste bute and a bit of banamine and then cold hose leg for 20 minutes.

    Saturday a.m. Kid goes out to tie her and hose her and my witch of a mare just unleashes on the morab. Who couldn't get away as she was tied AND hurt. I go running out of the house in pjs screaming at my mare who looks like "what I am not kicking at YOU". So i go run into pasture and beat her off with stick.

    We then untie morab and lead her to barn and it took forever cuz she was headbobbing flat not putting any weight on it lame! SO I give her 2 more grams of bute, cold hose it , put her in stall with some hay. Cold hosed it again that evening and gave her another gram of bute. NOW on sat I see swelling from knee to fetlock. SO I run dmso roll on on knee, cannon and fetlock and wrap.

    Sun swelling in cannon and knee is down significantly. We cold hose 3x a day make a little turnout area for her and turn her out for a few hours. I put dmso on it after cold hosing but no wrap.

    Monday mare feels a lot better so I knock but back to 1 a.m. and p.m. and continue hosing 2x aday and rolling dmso on knee and ankle. Cannon has no swelling now. Tuesday I hose 2x give her 1gram am and pm with bute and no wrap at all and turnout for about 5 hours in her seperate turnout. I have swelling in ankle and knee but knee seems to be geting smaller and mare is now willing to walk/put weight on leg, hooray.

    Tuesday So because I have a bit of swelling in ankle, wed I cold hose 2x 1 gram bute a.m. and p.m. and wrap overnite with the dmso.

    So this a.m. I go take the wrap off and she has NOOO swelling from fetlock or cannon all is tight and fine but KNEE is back to being swollen/mushy. AND hair is starting to fall off on ankle from the overnite wrap with dmso. so I cold hose roll dmso on knee only and turn her out. I think the wrapping just keeps the swelling in the knee from moving down [​IMG]. Wrapping does NOT seem to help because although I then have a tight leg, I have a bigger knee. I think maybe I have been dealing with the same amount of swelling everyday it just shows up different places depending on what I did. SO Is it just a time thing? Is there anything I am missing in terms of reducing swelling on her KNEE specifically?

    At this point I've decided no more wrapping, cold hose 3x a day and turn out for all daylight hours as she is happier out. SHe is perky now and not screaming she is in pain anymore she is "almost" walking instead of hobling. really she is walking with a limp now. So there IS improvement but I am frustrated!!

    Horse nursing is usually something I am good at.

    Any help? TIA
     
  2. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    I would get rid of the DMSO, for any situation. Yeah, I know - sacrilege.

    I feel the horse needs to be seen by a vet at this point.

    In general when home treatment does not work in a little while, I suggest call the vet in. In this case, there is no actual improvement - the wraps just affected the swelling.

    There may be a fracture in the bones of the knee, a ligament or tendon injury, etc.

    I would continue to wrap the leg if the leg was not scalded up (hair, skin falls off=scalded), but I would also wrap the leg next to it.

    I also would keep in mind that wrapping isn't going to treat the problem - no matter what it is, any problem. Wrapping controls symptoms but does not actually get at the problem. It is just to help keep the animal a little more comfortable.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Sorry, it's always a bummer when they're hurt, hope she gets better soon!

    Any help? TIA

    OK, some things to consider:

    First, never ever tie a horse with other horses loose around it. As you have now noticed [​IMG], but at least don't do it in future.

    Second, obviously you're far from the only person in the world who does it, but I am not a fan of 'treat this instant's symptoms with sweats and hosing and wrapping' as a primary treatment strategy. You can go pretty far wrong that way. The most important thing IMO is to try to figure out what the problem is. Some problems benefit from continued movement; for other problems, the horse needs to be stalled to give you the best chance of a favorable outcome. A vet is usually a good idea for this reason (unless it is very obvious what the problem is), and for a horse not-weightbearing-lame on a leg I think it would be real smart to have had him out the first day (unless you suspected a foot abscess but that's not the case here). Of course now would still be better than nothing.

    Third, knees do not wrap well. If you think the problem is the knee, it is generally best to leave the leg alone (wrap-wise) unless you are a very experienced track groom and know how to do funky things without causing more problems than you solve.

    What it sounds like to me, although obviously I am not there to see things, is that the mare has probably injured her knee and you need to find out what kind of injury. Xrays would be good. Otherwise you do not know whether to leave her on turnout, or to handwalk, or to stall her. In the meantime, if it were me I would forget the DMSO (at least, not under a wrap!) and just cold-hose. Bute is fine assuming the horse tolerates it *as long as you know pretty certainly* whether it is ok for her to be moving around on that knee. Which at present you don't, til you get the vet out. The fact that the knee swelling went away more or less then came back would give me pause about wanting at least NOW to get the vet to identify what kind of injury it is and whether or not she should be walking around on it right now.

    I'm not meaning to be critical, I should probably go back and find a way to rewrite this post that does not sound like I am picking on what you've done because you HAVE been trying to help her out, but I really don't think you can know what's the right thing to do without finding out whether it is a fracture or just a ligament/sprain/joint-capsule type thing.

    Good luck,

    Pat​
     
  4. bkreugar

    bkreugar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Asheboro NC
    No I understand, I have come to the end of my length of expertise. I have the feeling it is a soft tissue injury because the knee felt somewhat mushy friday evening and when I wrap from cannon bone knee just gets bigger.

    I hear you can't do anything else till its diagnosed. She is just retired to youngest childs babysitter, and at 19 I wasn't looking to spend huge amounts on her. Was very much hoping I could treat with supportive and inexpensive home treatment.

    Thought MAYBE someone might now something I hadn't tried.
     
  5. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    Agree with the points Pat made.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Everything you describe would happen if it were a fracture, as well as if it were exclusively a soft-tissue injury. So the swelling and all that, it does not tell you anything informative that would help decide which.

    A good lameness vet *might* be able to tell well enough from palpation to avoid the need for xrays. And at least xrays are a lot cheaper than they were like 20 yrs ago.

    If you are going to skip the vet and just treat generically in hopes of salvaging pasture soundness, I would strongly urge you to keep her somewhere she cannot run around at all and will not stomp or fencewalk or weave. Cold hose til it's been a day or two since you have felt ANY heat. And if she is doing stoopid stuff, cut the bute (keeping down inflammation is good for healing, but having it make the horse feel like woohooing around is counterprodutive). I would suggest keeping her on this kind of restricted mobility for at least a few weeks and then adding more freedom with great caution. I do not know what she is eating, but IMO when a horse is healing an injury you want to make Real Sure it is getting enough vitamins and minerals without (of course) sweet feed or etc making her 'high'.

    Best of luck, let us know how it goes,

    Pat
     
  7. bkreugar

    bkreugar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2008
    Asheboro NC
    Pat thanks as always for your knowledge. As I have arabs and half arabs ~I~ NEVER feed sweetfeed. To me it is like arabcrack and makes them hot! Just ~MY~ expereince therefore I feed a pellet, and round bales.

    Mare is in a very small corral that DD made her BUT it has some left over dry grass she has been eating with great gusto. SHe has not done anything but walk slowely and graze. I hear ya on the bute perhaps making her feel better than she should. I am going to try none tommorow and see if it makes a difference with the swelling.

    Frustrating for me cuz I can't tell if I have less swelling than what I started out with. I ~THINK~ so but not positive. Mare does FEEL considerably better as on day one and two, she didn't want to put any weight on leg and wouldn't move unless she has too. NOW she puts full weight on it at a standstill and grazing , but moves with a considerable limp. It is possible it is JUST the swelling that makes her limp but also could be bone chip or just trauma. At this point only vet could give me any possibility. The 2 large animal vets we have in area, one prefers cows but will do reg yearly maintence, and other works exclusively with horses but prefers fertility work and is NOT a great lameness doc.

    I just put down my 23yr old full arab mare in May and although I am on good terms from THEIR point of view, ~I~ was unhappy with their treatment of my mare in her last 6 months. That mare had degenerative joint disease in a knee and THEY made getting bute for her like pulling teeth. The one regret I have about her whole saga is that I waited too long to give her daily bute and she was in pain longer than she should have been. SO that vet left a bad taste in my mouth, but they don't know it, I paid my bill in full and moved on in case of future emergency. I also got ALL the bute I could from them in paste,powder and pill form when they finally thought it was okay to give it to that mare. That was then she had 3 months. SO yea I was a bit hot about it but quiet.
     

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