Update on Man

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by Sugar's Mum, Jan 12, 2012.

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  1. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    for those of you interested in our journey. Please be polite and no personal attacks thanks.

    I was so incredibly lucky to recieve as a gift a 4 day workshop with Lou and Jo Francis. They are beautiful people and I left with a heap of info and new ideas.

    However my Man has a problem with internittant pain. When pain free he walks trots canters both free in the paddock and under saddle, when in pain he paces even just in the paddock

    We get the pain sorted have a month or so of painfree riding where I get great strides forward in his work and he goes sore again. When not happy he doesn't stride out at the walk, and starts to pace under saddle. then starts trying to rush under saddle. There is no muscle soreness, pain in hoof or anything else but an unhappy horse

    Have tried pentosan, massage, acupuncture, equine podiatry, stretching and exercises (Trotpoles). With the riding his body shape changed tremendously with muscle building up on his backline changing the sweat patterns on the saddle blanket so he has had a number of saddle changes, including gullet changes, change in saddles changes in the blankets used. Remember this boy hadn't been ridden for 2 years so he has a huge change in his body shape. We got to the stage where we were walking out for around 45 minutes every day and getting some start to trot work without rushing off

    then I broke my arm and it didn't heal meaning I had nearly 6 months off riding. It was impossible to carry out the massage and exercises while I healed.

    Without any riding his pain levels increased and he was back to pacing in the paddock and being reluctant to move at any speed. I was unable to massage or give needles so watched him regress simply being in the paddock. The back pain which had been eliminated by my massage was starting to return

    Called the vet out (New vet in the area with three years experience at an equine hospital which specialises in lameness exams using mri etc.

    vet said that given all the treatment and the fact the pain kept returning, that a nerve block to hoof did not change the lameness (headbobbing on the right forelimb) and the length of time the pain had been an issue (At a guess a minimum of 4 years now) that it would be very expensive to try to investigate the cause any further and that it would be unlikely to change the outcome so that it would be feasible to put him on bute to remove the pain. That he could live a happy life being on painkillers so a better quality life of perhaps a shorter length.

    Tried to get the bute down his throat. Not easy with a broken arm even with the more palatable paste. I was starting to explore other possibilities like celery seed, chia seed, devils claw

    Had the surgery on my arm and when my arm was mobile enough gave him the last of the pentosan. Instead of the 6 ml he has had in the past I used the last of the multidose vial as it was only 8 ml.

    2 days later he was hooning in the paddock, screaming around at a flat out gallop although he was still dropping into a pace every now and again.
    Back in the saddle now he is happy walking out and yesterday trotted happily down the road when his paddock mate went to trot past him. No attempt to take off as he has in the past when trotting.

    Then when back at the paddock and SJ4E and Monty were working happily in the paddock I asked him to just stand still and watch and he got a bit bored and started to paw at the ground with his"tender" hoof.

    So we are once more on the track of trying to find out what keeps him pain free. Looks like he may need pentosan on a monthly or more basis but if I stop with the other things (Massage by professional, acupuncture etc) then I will be able to keep him comfortable with massage and exercise and afford to give him the pentosan he needs to keep him sound and happy.

    So it has been a long road so far (Got him around September 2010) and I have certainly spent a huge amount of money on him in treatments and vet bills but I have learnt so much from him and love him dearly.

    It would have been cheaper to buy a horse then to be given this one but then I would not have gone looking for help with my Man and learnt so much more horsemanship skills then I had in the past.

    So thank you to his old owner for trusting me with him. He is such a beautiful soul and i love him dearly.
  2. Hen

    Hen Well-known Member

    You didn't mention breed, but I am assuming he is a standardbred since he paces. Where exactly is he in pain, and what is wrong with him? What did the vet diagnose?

    Back/muscle pain often results from a lameness problem ie deferred weight overloading another limb and putting extra stress on muscles/tendons/ligaments. Has he had his feet xrayed? Has a good farrier seen the horse?

    JMO but I wouldn't ride a horse I had to keep on bute ..
  3. CMBR

    CMBR Well-known Member

    i think hes a quarter horse hen :)

    Good to hear an update SM!
  4. Double Helix

    Double Helix Well-known Member

    If nerve blocking the hoof didn't resolve the lameness then it is most likely somewhere higher up. The only thing I would be tempted to try SM (if you haven't already) is to nerve block the opposite hoof. What may seem like head bobbing on one forelimb may actually come from the other. I had a horse that a very good lameness/racehorse vet picked up that he was actually lame on the left fore on the right rein.

    Good luck with him. Unsoundness issues can end up costing a lot of money with sometimes no real definitive outcome.
  5. wawa85

    wawa85 Guest

    Hi SM my QH mare has intermittent lameness in her off foreleg as well as stiffness in that knee joint and when she trots she flicks the leg out slightly sideways. Initially had her on a 4 week course of Pentosan I'M, vet advministered 1 shot of Cortisone intra_articular and I then started her on MSM powder daily. The difference in her was amazing particularly after the course of Pentosan finished and I was allowed to start riding her. She was doing really well until we ran out of MSM about 3 weeks ago and since then has become stiff in that joint again. I have a new batch of MSM for her so will give her a week or 2 and she if the stiffness gets better. If not I will get some more Pentosan and if no results afteer that will take her back to Murdock. The vet at Murdoch couldn't guarantee me thhat she would ever be able to have a ridden career but we just have to see how the treatment plan works out.

    Have you tried Mannie on MSM? Its a natural anti-immflamatory and stimulates healthy growth and maintenance of joints.
  6. crashnsplash

    crashnsplash New Member

    has he had his hooves xrayed?
    we had a tb, who use to buck everysingle time we rode him, thought it was him being a naughty young ex racehorse,
    and then he started being lame, couldn't figure it out till he had xrays
    his pedal bones in his back hooves were tilting the wrong way, causing him pain, he had nerve blocks and they didn't work for him either,
    he had to have some sort of shoe on his hinds.

    may be worth getting the vet to have a look at if they havent already?
    it took about 2months for the shoes to finally work though
  7. Since SM is my mum I thought I'd answer the questions re x-rays and vets. Yes we had a vet look at him, she is a horse specialist and trained at one of the UK's top horse hospitals that specialises in lameness. She also said it's definitely not anything to do with the hoof as the nerve block made no difference but reading about crashnsplash's horse that could be a possibility. She said it was definitely offside fore, he puts it down softer. No, x-rays have not been done, it's a lot of money, but Mum's so in love with him that if we can't solve it without them, it will be done.

    He does seem to have a slightly thickened white line which would indicate some degree of pedal bone rotation that has been going on for a significant enough amount of time to create visible grown-in changes to the bottom of the hoof, but his feet are lovely and concave so it's not severe. Just enough to cause pain maybe? Simple enough to fix, when it's this minor, through proper diet, trimming and exercise.

    Yes he has had a very well-considered barefoot farrier see his hooves and she didn't see anything outwardly visible but we all know that there can be changes inside that aren't visible on the outside. Man does have small feet with contracted heels (which are slowly decontracting with barefoot trimming and road work at walk and a little trot) so I wouldn't be surprised if there was some degree of navicular disease, but if that was the case I don't think he would get better with "hill" work and trotting poles. (we have no hills but the drains on the side of the road make brilliant slopes to go up and down)

    Hen he's not STB, the pacing and ambling is, we believe, a pain thing and he doesn't do it when he's not sore. He gets better with consistent riding and exercise but it tends to be a case of two steps forwards, one step back. Isn't it always, with horses?
  8. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    Hi Hen, thank you for the questions.

    His breed was something that I was questioning because of his pacing and ambling but his old owner is 100% certain he is a QH and since he has put on a heap of weight he is looking like a QH. I did have a bowen practitioner out who has gaited horses herself and she oculd not tell if he was sore or a gaited horse just on what he was showing on the lameness exam that day for the bowen and acupuncture he had.

    Where is the pain? That is the puzzel. I have a number of experts wiht a lot of experience who are puzzeled by him. His muscle pain seems to be compensatory because once I got on top of the problem the muscle pains disappeared and I could not find any. He shows his lameness initally by changing to a pace then he develops a head bob on the right fore which shows up on the right rein or when asked to trot on a hard surface. This head bobbing did not originally show up. I think he was sore on both front legs and as it resolved it showed more in one side.

    When he is pacing he is unhappy, when moving normally he is happy.

    He has been seen multiple times by an equine podiatrist who is very happy with the way his feet are trimmed and is impressed with the differences she has seen in his muscle soreness. She palpated his feet to check for pain. No pain. His feet are improving with the barefoot trim.

    No his feet have not been xrays because the latest vet visit showed no difference in lameness when a nerve block was applied so the vet said the lameness was coming from higher in the leg and would therefore be more complicated and expensive to diagnose and doing so would not change the outcome seeing I have done all the treatments.

    Her recommendation to use bute was based on the length of time the problem had been going on. She belives that the problem is more likely to be bone related then muscle related due to teh length of time he has been sore and that because of that the bute will not cause further damage but allow him to be happy and comfortable.

    I am hoping that with teh difference the higher dose of pentosan has made maybe I wont need to do the bute. It is hard to administer and I cant guarantee he will take it all anyway. He walked away from his dinner when I put it in that.
  9. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    Thank you so much Double Helix I will keep that in mind for further on down the track if I need to explore further. Vet was thinking that the problem was probably in the upper forearm or shoulder and that treating it would be difficult and expensive with questionable outcome.
  10. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    Hi wawa I haven't tried msm. I did try gelatine (figured it was made from hooves and horns and so probably had a good amount of glucosamine in it. Then I added sunflour seed for the oils. Am now adding chia seed as it is supposed to be anti inflammatory.

    Will keep msm in mind. Thank you for the feedback :)
  11. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    Hi crash and splash thank you for sharing your experiences. Much appreciate it.

    No xrays done as the vet thinks it is higher in the leg/shoulder.

    Also the equine podiatrist who saw Man has done a great deal of training in pedal bone rotation. At a recent lecture she gave she said in the "normal" hoof with the pedal bone in the correct place you can palpate the pedal bone at the front of the hoof underneath the hair above the coronet band. If the pedal bone is rotated then instead of feeling the bone there your finger sort of falls into a hollow.

    Hard to explain without a pic of a hoof in front of you I hope that makes sense.

    However I will definately keep that in mind for exploring further on down the track if needed.

    So I have added to my list of things to explore. Thank you so much to everyone for helping with their experiences. It is much appreciated. :p:)*

    Oh and SJK4E thank you for clarifying :)
  12. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    i also feed msm to my little standy (who is also on pentosan injections) to help with his issues. he paces when he gets uncomfortable too - sign that he needs his shot!
  13. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    thanks blitzen that 2 for msm :) shall have to go investigating lol.

    Also any suggestions on cheapest place to get pentosan would be much appreciated. I think we need to get shares in the company that makes it lol.
  14. wawa85

    wawa85 Guest

    Morning SM I found a website called Horse Meds.com.au which sells Pentosan. 6ml vials for around $48 and 100ml for around $700 which is much cheaper than Murdoch charged me!
  15. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    thanks wawa I will check into that. Do you know if the 100 ml vial has the throw out once open for a month that the 50 ml has? cheers
  16. nannygoat

    nannygoat Gold Member

    I thought that Pentosan was an S4 Drug only available from Vets??
  17. justanothergirl

    justanothergirl Well-known Member

    If you read the terms and conditions on that website you'll see that they don't ship/sell within Australia. It's an S4, therefore only available through your Vet.
  18. Excelsior Centerpiece

    Excelsior Centerpiece Well-known Member

    never looked into gelatine but on they have glucosamine and MSN in packs that are reasonably cheap... id go for that.. use that with your perntosan injections and id also get rid of the chia.. try celery seed... i never noticed any difference with chia.. but celery seed i have for infalmation on a number of horses.. and its half the price!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 16, 2012
  19. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    Nannygoat yes I believe you are right that it is an s4 drug. you can get your vet to write you out a script that you can get filled by companies.

    I am just trying to find the cheapest way to get the drug that helps make Man comfy so I can afford to give it as often as he needs it seeing he seems to need it maybe monthly and at a higher rate then 6 ml.
  20. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    thanks ec I will look into that. I only bought a little bag of chia to see how it went.

    Yes to jag I looked to the website and found they dont ship to oz.
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