Thursday, 25 February 2010

Fancy a WHERE IS THE LAMENESS IN THIS HORSE Challenge? Videos of Kingsley Spt 09 and Today.

Due to recent set back with Kingsley I've decided to video him and post it on here for all you out there who read and maybe would want to share their opinions. Please do let me know what you think. We are trying to fix him but the truth is that even vets don't quite know what's the problem. Officially, he is being treated for SI strain and serious muscular asymmetries.
I recorded him playing in the indoor arena today as I knew I had a similar video from September 2009 so conditions would be alike. I watched him as he ran around thinking 'what on earth are you doing with your body little horse'.
As you will see it is hard to say what's wrong and where but he is not truly sound. I will try to get a video of me riding him too but as I can only really do so after work when it's dark so there is little point. When under the saddle he loses about 50% of balance you see on video from today and the crookedness increases up to 80% (% are a bit of a guess work to give you an idea). Transitions are the worse as he seems not to know how to use back legs for breaking. He runs himself on the forehand and to bring him down from trot to walk you go through an odd variety of tolt, then walk.
As some of you know, he improved his way of going under the saddle but subsequently deteriorated, dropped behind the leg and started rearing and/or attempting to. He was OKish off the leg yesterday but still tried to hop up.

Anyway, here are the videos.

25th February 2010

If you thought that was bad watch the next video.

September 2009 (video taken sometime in between visits of 3 different vets. He wasn't ridden, turn out only).

After watching that September footage I must say I thought we've come a long way! If he seems uncoordinated now then he looked disjointed back in September.
Will his balance and coordination improve further with more regular physio/chiro and Vet care? Or are we wasting time on some unfixable neurological problem?
There is the option of £3k worth of body scan of course. But will it give us the answer we need to know?
Now what about the rearing? Is it behavioural? Fear induced? Pain induced? Dominant streak?
How long do we try for until we call it a day?

P.S. Without going into details - the problem with someone spreading some derogatory comments about my apparent post is over. It turned out to be a case of one person act and I hope I don't have to deal with such things again!

Right, time to catch some sleep. Teaching in Middlesex tomorrow, then full on weekend.


Anonymous said...

The sudden appearance of rearing and what he looks like in the videos makes me think back - somewhere in the lumbar or sacral spine - I suspect the rearing is a resistance to moving due to pain. He's basically not using his back at all - I expect because it hurts to do so. His movement behind is very stiff - yes improved somewhat in the more recent video. Have you tried watching from behind as he is led away from you - do the points of the hips rise and fall equally on each side? Does the spine from sacrum to tailhead move the same on both sides? Then do the match the feet test - have someone lead him at a walk and walk next to him, taking the same strides he does with each hind foot - it will tell you a lot about what he's doing because you'll feel it in your own body. Does palpation of the spine and sacral area tell you anything?

Jeni Ball said...

I feel for you I really do. It is so hard when you are in this situation. Much easier when it is something obvious! Is he insured for the scan? If he is I would go for it but if not it is a lot of money to pay in order to diagnose! Would you want to pay that to discover that he can not be treated? Looking forward to seeing the videos of you riding him. :)

Unknown said...

Hi Kate, he has been diagnosed with Sacroiliac (SI) strain back in Spt 09 so all your observations are correct. The physio he gets is exactly for that - to relieve muscular spasms caused by pelvis imbalance and his pain levels are very low now. Were very high back in Spt 09, he would almost kneel on palpation.
The thing now though is, there is very little improvement under the saddle so I posted these videos for people to look with fresh eyes and maybe point something we are all missing.
He is being regularly re-assessed by vet + physio, trotted up and the lameness work up. His pelvis is basically level though, no obvious misalignment.

Jeni - he is insured but we are yet to find out how much of the fee will be covered. I will try to video him under the saddle tomorrow.

Sarah said...

I agree that it seems definitely like his back is still bothering him. That stiffness in his tail looks like back pain to me. Or do you think it's just that he's fresh? I have sometimes felt with my horse that the trot is harder for him because his back has to swing. Somehow in the canter he can stiffen his back and not use it as much.

Did they ultrasound the SI back in Sept and see a strain? Just wondering if it might be worth doing that again. My vet said it was such a deep joint that it is very difficult to get a good view with ultrasound.

Unknown said...

Hmm as far as tail carriage goes he always moves like this.
As to back pain - the sore spots he used to have are basically gone (we used TENS Machine with good results. There is of course a chance he got sore again if he carries himself odly.
He was diagnosed via series of tests and lameness work up and SI strain was dicided due to 'obvious clinical signs of sacroiliac pain'.
He prefers to canter everywhere and always moves too fast. There are no slow, balanced gaits in his dictionary. He can overreach in walk and trot too.

Unknown said...

Oh just to add re SI diagnosis. We were told that there are variety of methods to diagnose SI strain more definitely than just based on clinical signs.
Our vet advised cortisone injections for 2 reasons: 1) they help with any inflammation that was pretty much obvious 2) there are as much diagnostic tool as they are the treatment. If the horse improves after the injections into the SI, ligaments/joint strain diagnosed itself.
Kingsley's improvement was substantial.

Sarah said...

Interesting information thanks. My horse had zero signs pointing to SI but, as you say, improved significantly after injections.

On of my horses issues was really running in the canter. Post injection he is much more relaxed and controlled in the canter.

Is there any point in doing the injections again? Sorry you are going through this. It's frustrating, believe me I know.

Unknown said...

Not sure how I feel about injections was a very unpleasant experience for him and he seemed in a lot of pain during the ordeal. Wouldn't want him to have to go through that again...

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