Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Update from the land of perpetual gimpyness...

Still performing twice daily inspections, pokings, and proddings. Still no heat, swelling or favoring. Still bearing weight on all feet evenly. Still scratching my head...

Also still bobbing, although it seems that the bobbing is worse as movement begins, and levels off after he's been walking for a while.

During our all too brief break from chilly rain and wind yesterday, I gave Val a massage. As he stood out in the warm sun (not haltered or tied) I systematically followed his hip and shoulder muscles from bottom to top, somewhat forcefully. Val stretched his neck, stuck out his tongue, yawned and chewed his way through the entire procedure. (he is a bit of a massage slut) Until I hit a certain muscle group that is. Then he slowly reached his head around and grabbed me with his mouth. With his teeth actually, but very gently. I worked on that spot a few more times and got the same reaction.

I've formulated a theory. I also took some video of the gimpyness, which is posted below. Keeping my conclusions to myself, so as not to influence anyone else's conclusions, should they have any, and want to share. Will reveal in a later post.

For those of our readers who haven't been following long enough to catch any of my "how inconvenient it is to live on a very remote island" rants - here's the deal - 'cause I don't want you thinking "why the heck doesn't she just take that horse to the flipping vet already".

When you can use our road off the island, not 100% of the time since hurricane Sandy, it's a 3 1/2 hour trip to the nearest equine vet. There would be no question if we had a medical emergency. A vague, hard to pinpoint without tons of possibly inconclusive tests situation... not so much. Not yet anyway.

I have consulted with my farrier (thank a million W). He thankfully agrees with my course of action so far, and will be here at the end of the month in person. He really made me feel better. I am fine with however much time it will take Val to heal, I just don't want to miss the opportunity if there is something else I can do, but just don't know to do it.

No bute in case it is a sneaky not that painful abscess brewing
Continue monitoring for heat, swelling, etc.
Keep him quiet - easy - he naps twice daily, it's been stand around and eat hay weather anyway
Handwalking + massages

Here's the video - apologies for the shakiness. I had a hard time outrunning Val backwards so I could keep more than his big 'ol loveable head in the frame.


  1. It's hard to tell from just a head on vid, but from the way he is gimping, it looks like pain in the back of the foot. He does not seem to put his weight on his heel If there is no heat or swelling in the tendons/ligaments in the back of the leg, I would check for pain under the frog or in the sulcus of the heels.

  2. Sorry to hear that he's not better. I know how stressful mystery lameness can be. :(

    Does he have a temp, or is his foot hot?

    You might consider wrapping both front legs with quilts and standing wraps. Since he's favoring the one leg, you want to protect the other one from damage from the additional weight bearing.

    Sending lots of hugs and healing thoughts your way. :)

  3. No heat anywhere in the legs or feet. I've squeezed the coronary bands all the way around as well as the heel bulbs, and probed the soles. Hooves cool to the touch.

    No fever - his regular temp is 99.5, and he's right there. Will wrap as soon as the rain stops - don't think I can wrap well enough to stay on after they get sopping wet.

    Thanks for the suggestions. :D

  4. It's hard to say without seeing a side-on view, but it looks like he is stepping short with the RH to me. WHat is he like in trot/can he trot? If you turn him in a tight circle on hard ground, can you see more clearly which leg it is?

  5. I am not a vet, but here is my input:

    I cannot see his hindend, but I tend to associate a head-bob with a frontend issue anyway. His head raises up as his left front bears weight, which I interpret as Val trying to lesson the weight on the left foot. Based on your careful inspection of his feet and the fact that the bobbing diminishes once he is moving, I think that he injured a shoulder or chest muscle on the left side. My other guess is a rib or intercostal muscle on the left side.

    Yay for getting a consistent response from the massage, which I also factored into my analysis.

    Most importantly, I hope he feels better soon.

  6. Looks like left front to me - the front leg to the right of the screen. I'm guessing shoulder/base of neck, perhaps withers or ribcage. Could be elbow/forearm. Without feeling around it's hard to tell. Looks like he might have pulled something, perhaps by slipping with the front leg out to the side.

  7. Sorry to hear that Val still isn't feeling well. For what it's worth I'll put in my two cents even though it's hard to tell from this angle.

    He seems to be pulling his head down as he walks rather than up, which suggests a hind end pain, and it comes and goes with the left hind. He's also propping his right hind more centrally under his body for support in this head-on view, which might suggest it's the left hind, which he seems to be shifting out a little as he travels... (but that could also be the camera angle?) from this little bit of info to go on I'd guess stifle/hip pain or maybe sacroiliac type thing on that side maybe, especially since he works out of it a bit with movement in straight lines. Hamstring pull usually moves different in the toe, but I can't see that from this angle...

    I hope he's feeling better soon.

  8. No advice here but I hope he gets back to normal soon. That's a pretty obvious head bob even at the walk!

  9. It is rather difficult with just a frontal view, but my first thoughts are 2-fold. My vet always says that 75% of the time, lameness is below the knee...however, this looks like either a sore neck or possibly higher up, maybe in the right shoulder to me. I chose not to read any other comments so as not to influence what I wrote, but I'm going to read through them now to see what others think. Your horse almost seems to be lifting his right shoulder and not bending his leg properly and travelling straight, but rather there's a very small outward swing to that leg. OK, there's my 2 on to reading. Sure hope it's an easy fix, and it's great that he told you exactly where it's hurting him!! Good, smart horse!!

  10. Well crap!! I'm going to have to watch it again because others are saying LF and not RF. Aack!! Guess that's why I'm not a vet. :)

  11. Dang, so hard to tell for sure. Wish you had a side view as well. I'm pretty sure it's front end, up in the shoulder, or a neck issue. Don't see hind issues at all. Just not positive whether it's RF or LF...

  12. That looks like ouchy shoulder to me...hard to say straight on. I think these things are difficult to find. Massage away though because no matter where it is - even in a foot - the massage sends all this healing love messages to the area - even if you are a million miles from it - and then it heals it or opens or pops or mends - massage heals everything!

  13. Ouch! Poor baby.
    3 1/2 hours to the vet is tough. We are 1 1/2, and I thought that was bad/scary. Best of luck to sweet Val.

  14. That's a shoulder/elbow, not a hoof. You can tell when it's shoulder and not lower leg by the amount of time the hoof stays on the ground. If the pain is in the lower leg/hoof, the hoof comes off the ground faster to take the pressure off quickly and relieve the pain faster.

    I would guess he may have pulled something higher up while burning doughnuts in the arena. Rest is best. :)

  15. Wowee C#/!+!! So frustrating. I'm sorry.
    Phys def something. Is up bobbing the hind?

    It was hard to tell, full on frontal view, but maybe the right.

    Pantz showed up dead lame like that, one day. Sis had been there night before, super fine. But, she found a rather large pertruding stone in P antz paddock. She did take her in that day and the very found a terrible abscess, in hind.
    It was so bad, in frog. Had to be cut pout, rather deeply. Twice a day shots, did have to give her, while strapping it on a diaper, to keep dry/clean.

    Do let us know how he is ~soon.
    Smooches to both of you!

  16. LooKing again at poor Val...its out the left shoulder?? That's just too painful and sad. Sure pray he's getting better!


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