Saturday, February 26, 2011

Equine Ownership Rite of Passage: The Lameness Exam

I've now added "Lameness Exam" to our ever growing list of "Things Horse Owners Will Inevitably Have to Deal With" right along side "Fall off" and "Emergency Vet Call."

In true Junior fashion he presented himself 100% sound this morning, purely as a ruse since his friends were outside and he wasn't going to let anything stand in the way of his outdoor enjoyment. He wasn't warm and wasn't lame either direction. BO watched him too and we all agreed he looked totally fine. So out he went. Then Max's Mom came to the barn and says "I saw your boy limping around out there, how's he doing?" so my heart stopped and I walked briskly out to the field to see him. He walked easily over to me I felt his legs again. Nothing. I was about to be late for work. So guiltily I left him out with instructions for EVERYONE I could find to bring him in if they saw anything odd because Dr. J. would be there at noon to check another horse. So I worried about him the whole time I was at work. After work at about 2pm I couldn't help going to check on him and found that Dr. J. was running late and hadn't been there yet.

So we lunged. Dr. J. was busy with another horse and HIS lameness issues so I just worked him. Still no sign of anything at any gait in either direction. Eventually I took him back into the barn and groomed him until Dr. J. was ready to take a real look. Agreeing that he looked fine whenever he glanced over at him, but wanting to have an actual look, he did the flex tests and the hoof tester tests. I've never actually been part of this before so it was somewhat freaky to watch your horse suddenly be SUPER lame for a few steps. Nothing was remarkable. The only thing that gave Dr. J. any information was that he was sensitive if he squeezed his heel side to side and he jogged the lamest after that one. He thinks it's in the hoof, but that it probably isn't a serious issue, more likely another puzzle piece of how he ripped open the front of his blanket and has a wound on his left upper gums: Shenanigans.

So 6 days of Bute and Conquer and keep his routine the same so no riding and normal turnout. If he gets worse or if after 6 days he's not out of it, then I should call. How convenient that tomorrow will be my last day at the barn until next Friday. So now I have a week withOUT the guilty feeling from not riding.

We also discussed the possible stifle issue and he palpated the stifle, but since there is a recognizable lameness in the LF and not one in the LH, we're going to let that be fixed before moving on. Of course, reading in my new book about how important and often overlooked stifles are I'm only a teeeeeeeeeeensy bit freaked out.... in true Overanxious Horse Owner fashion....


  1. Sorry to hear that he is lame.

    I really hate lame, it can be so many things, and cause so many problems, and be so hard to diagnose; but then it can be nothing too. Sigh... Not that I ever want my horse or any horse for that matter injured or lame but at least with an injury you know what you are dealing with. Hopefully he will be feeling better in a week or so, and by than it will be warmer and you will have more time. All things look better when it is not winter. LOL

  2. Don't you just wish they could freaking speak English and tell us what's up??? Totally sympathizing with your frustration....

  3. Hoping something get corrected easily....most likely shenanigans?

    When I read that about stifles in my book too, I got a little worried. Ive been much more sensitive to that area, and have performing the strengthening exercises for it too.

  4. I'm hoping Junior is better in no time! Since he's been having so much fun lately it's possible that he just stepped wrong or something. At least he's comfortable in the pasture.

    Yeah... stifles... Lilly's have me worried too. When we were doing those saddle trials the other day, she got "stuck" 3 different times. It was enough that the saddle fitter lady asked if that was normal. It seems the more she's in work the worse it gets, so I've been working on the stifle exercises too.

    Dang horses.

  5. Thanks for the well wishes, everyone! It's nice to have support from folks that understand the frustration. And yes, eventer79, I do wish he could speak sometimes, but I have a feeling Junior would never shut up. He'd be like a 4 year old.... What's that? Why are you doing that? Can we go over there? What was that noise? Can I have a cookie? Why not? But I wanna cookie! Squirrel!...