Monday, November 24, 2008

My Mystery Mare

I've written before about my mare Krissy. She's a 16 hand TB/Warmblood cross and has been jumped a ton. She's twelve and my goal with her is to become a better rider and just enjoy her. I wouldn't mind doing some hunter shows next year, but we'll see, because Krissy is a mystery.

She goes great for a few weeks and then winds up lame on the left hind usually at about a 3. The vet has blocked her all the way up to the stifle and we still have not figured this thing out. Nothing shows up. We've also considered that she had a pelvic break but her muscling would be different than it is. I can't seem to get a hold of any old vet records, because she was a rescue horse. We're considering possible arthritis in the fetlock. She has been injected in her hocks, but when we blocked the fetlock she doesn't show much difference--there is a little bit though. I'm thinking of going ahead and starting her on a protocol of monthly IV Legend. Right now, the expense is hurting me, but I think you can all relate that our horses are much like our children. We'd go to pretty much any lengths to make them comfortable and happy. Krissy has such a sweet disposition and is a hard and honest worker that I hate not to find the answer here. I wish she could talk! How may of you have ever said that?!? It seriously would make a horse owner's life much easier.

I think one of the most difficult things about having a horse with some chronic issue (like a lameness) is the emotional toll it takes on the owner. This has been such an up and down ride. As I mentioned she goes great for weeks and then pulls up stiff and off. When she's great, she is really great and happy, but when she isn't it's hard. It happened again on Saturday. For the past two weeks we were moving ahead and only doing flat work, got her into the arena this past weekend, and once I pushed her up into the trot, it was very obvious something was brewing again. My heart sank, but I am determined to figure this out with her and the vet.

Have any of you had any chronic issues with your horse(s) that was a mystery or remained a mystery? If so, I'd love to hear how you handled it. And, if you have any inkling as to what my horse has going on, please--I'm open to all suggestions.


P.S. New releases out in February are: Corked by Cabernet and under my psuedonym M.K. Scott (for children's books,;ages 7-12) Zamora's Ultimate Challenge. Check out excerpts on my site.


Anonymous said...

Michele, I've had lots of experience with high up in the rear end "mystery" lameness in horses--its really common in team roping horses, we call it "head horse disease". Unfortunately, this isn't going to help you much, nor can I honestly sound very encouraging. If the lameness issue really is above the stifle, my experience is that it is unlikely that you will ever "figure out" exactly what is causing it. And, as I know you're experiencing, the diagnostic work is often fiendishly expensive for an inconclusive work up. I have seen some success with products like Adequan and Legend, but this was mostly in horses that had diagnosable issues in hocks...etc. I had a horse with an old stifle injury (resultant arthritic changes) who responded very well to Adequan. I wish I could say something more encouraging and helpful...sometimes long layoff and turn out (like over a year) can help a horse that has "head horse disease", but I know that isn't what any of us want to hear. I wish you the best of luck with this; I have indeed coped with long term lameness issues, and it can be very draining, emotionally and financially, especially when its happening with a horse you really want to be riding. Not only do you feel bad for the horse,but its so frustrating.

mugwump said...

I have only encountered a hind end mystery lameness once before. It was a mare who would be laid off for weeks, be cleared to ride and show up stiff and lame within a few weeks. It took months of stall rest, then hand walking, then light riding. She had to quit competing, (reined cowhorse) but eventually she did heal. She has been sound for years now. The theory was a muscle tear....