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Lame Horse

Discussion in 'Diseases & Injuries - Horses, Mules, and Donkeys' started by cjc, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. Jun 19, 2018
    cjc

    cjc Loving the herd life

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    Hello Everyone!

    It's been a long while since I posted. Had a baby and life just got too crazy not being at work and in front of a computer! But I am back at work now and have a questions for y'all.

    We have a 18 year old quarter horse gelding. He has always had a leg that bothered him a bit but nothing that effected his day to day. Abou t 6 months ago it became obvious that it was now bothering him and he was limping around. We thought it was an abscess as did the vet and the farrier but nothing ever came to the surface and the limping continued. The farrier suggested we take his shoes off (he has never had the best feet) and let him spend some time in a nice even pasture.

    6 months pass and he still has the limp. He has now lost weight. We called the vet back for the 3rd time and did x-rays and all and they have determined he is just lame, basically a bad injury at some point that has now caused sever arthritis. There is nothing they can do to help him. He is our only horse and I don't know much about them. I suggested to the vet we give him medicam or something like that (anti inflammatory) to help him with the pain. He thought doing that may cause him to overexert himself and make the injury worse.

    The advice from the vet was this. Euthanize him or put him in a stall in the barn and let him live out his days. Now he is my mothers horse and she doesn't want to do either. She says he is eating enough, drinking and still happy so she does not want to put him down. He is now a lawn ornament as she puts it. Putting him in a barn stall she also does not want to do because he hates being alone and really enjoys living with our mama cows. She doesn't want his last days to be spent in isolation.

    So, I am here wondering if anyone has advice to help our horse live out his days. Is there something you would do to help him? Any medications or any treatments you would suggest? He walks around fine, just slow. He eats and drinks and always seems to be in good spirits.

    Your advice is appreciated!


    casino.jpg
     
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  2. Jun 19, 2018
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    He has a slight limp, otherwise he is happy. So let him be happy.

    Sometimes it becomes an issue of feeding and caring for a horse that you can't ride. A lot of horses get put down or sold for a one way trip to Mexico. As long as it is affordable to feed and care for him, he is happy, your mom is happy to keep him, let it be.

    We have a 31 year old Tennessee Walker mare that has breathing issues. The heavy dust from our dry sandy soil is hard on her in the summer, we put wood chip mulch in the barn and all around it. The coldest part of the winter is also hard on her. Otherwise she is a happy horse. She gave me a lot of good years, she earned her place and will some day, lie down and die here. No trip to Mexico for her.

    There are joint supplements that might help your horse. I have never used any, but here is a link that lists quite a few.

    https://www.jefferspet.com/categories/horse-joint-supplements
     
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  3. Jun 19, 2018
    promiseacres

    promiseacres Herd Master

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    I agree with Baymule. If you're not needing him to be ridden and happy to let him live out his days as is. Let him be.
     
  4. Jun 19, 2018
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Herd Master

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    As long as he's eating and moving a little and isn't spending all of his time down, let him be. :)
     
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  5. Jun 19, 2018
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses True BYH Addict

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    I agree, live out his days contented. However, I do feel that a little something to ease pain is a good thing. Nothing heavy, something like aspirin or some Buteless (has devils claw in it) joint supplement, etc. just to keep him out of any pain. It isn't going to make him go wild and he won't overdo at his age. If he comes in for feed each day, easy to add a little comfort.

    Actually, if the vet thought it was that bad to "stall forever" he would have needed to give ME more info. Maybe the vet is a cattle/livestock vet, primarily, and just isn't into the feelings people have for their horses! It is disappointing that he felt no action be taken to assist with comfort management. :eek:

    Limping will put a different stress on all the rest of his body due to imbalance and compensation of movement. That can make other muscles, ligaments, etc., sore. What do you do when you sprain an ankle and still hobble around???? Yeah, light pain relief.:D =D
     
  6. Jun 20, 2018
    cjc

    cjc Loving the herd life

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    Thank you all for your advice!

    We were worried that the vet was not a true "horse" vet although he doesn't even see livestock so we called another one over on the 2nd of our 3 visits. That vet gave the same prognosis. They both felt giving him pain management was only something we should do if we leave him in a stall but we are just not that type. Our barn is empty during the warm months and all our animals have pastures and shelters outside.

    I think I will try one of the joint supplements and the aspirin. I just see no need in making our family pet go through more pain then he needs to. And yes we are all comfortable just paying his way until his time comes. We never rod him much anyways and he is really like a family dog to us. Just very sad, we thought he would have another 10 years left in him. I know 18 is old but it seems too young for a horse of this size to be on his last days!
     
  7. Jun 20, 2018
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses True BYH Addict

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    You can watch him and see if the supplement does more than adjust the level of discomfort. If he changes his demeanor and begins to be far more active, stop or lessen the supplements. With no other horses, I doubt he will be inclined to do much more than he does now, just more comfortably. I DO SEE the vets point of view for excess activity. Too much could cause more damage to whatever is ailing. Just don't think this guy will go there. Next option would be a smaller paddock, near his friends.

    Please keep us updated on how things progress.

    NO 18 is not old, just aged. :) I have several in late 20's & early to mid 30's. Mini horses but, still "at that age". One ole mare (35) did have some arthritis at the end. I did give her some meds to help soothe it. She NEVER did more than show less limp when walking....no running, etc. Of course, she was well past the age of yours -- and we all know how boys can be!!
     
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  8. Jun 20, 2018
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    Along with the 31 year old TW mare, we have a 29 year old cremello Quarter Horse gelding. That's his eye in my avatar. He is still rideable for light riding, perfect to toss the grand kids up on. Horses are like people, they can die at any age, some live longer than others.

    Just enjoy him and make his life comfortable.
     
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