question about lameness
I just took my horse to the vet for his eye, and also his leg since he was limping as of yesterday morning. He has a scar on the back of his hock that extends onto his hoof (I will have to post pix) which looks kind of deformed but it is healed. The vet asked to have the horse trot while being led (he didn't cooperate) and immediately the vet was saying this horse is lame 4 out of 5 scale, and I should consider putting him down. I have had him for a month and this is the first time he has limped at all. I had the farrier out 3 weeks ago to check him out (since I was having my other horse done, however I didn't own this horse at the time) The question I have is if a horse is lame wouldn't it show up after he was walked around by hand or ridden? possibly during being ridden.
Time for a new vet or at least a second opinion!!
Well Idk your financial situation but maybe that's why the vet talked about euth. As being the moat humane thing. What I want to know is if he was that lame why didn't you investigate it further with xrays? Your horse could have broken a splint bone which is easily treatable. But so did you just throw your very lame horse back out in the field with no treatment plan because he wasn't lame a few days ago? That just doesn't make sense...
The vet didn't say what was causing the lameness did he? Do you know what the scar is from or have much history on him? I've had mine come up limping before. No heat on the leg, no cuts or brusies that was noticeable. I didn't call a vet out though. If one happened to be there already checking on another horse, then sure, have him/her check it out (gotta pay for a vet visit anyway, get your money's worth). I don't have a place to pull one up, all we have is a run in shed and pasture.
I would get a second opinion.
X-ray will be the first step in finding out what is causing the lameness. I would not just blindly put him down.
If the scar extends into the hoof, the coronary band has probably been removed in that area. Is there rough hoof growth in the area of that defect?
I have dealt with a coronary band avulsion on the rear quarter of my gelding's foot
Once the coronary band is gone in that area, the smooth other hoof layer will never again be produced in that spot. You will get hoof growth from the deeper layers, that becomes more organized over time, esp if you keep it rasped and blended into the rest of the hoof.
Because the coronary band in missing in that spot, two things can occur-it allows a spot for infection to enter the hoof, thus can abccess and you get that high degree of lameness over night
The hoof material, without the coronary band, can grow both down and up into the pastern area, thus putting pressure on that area, and needs to be cut back
I don't have apic, and am only going by what you describe, injury/scar wise, and the onset of sudden lameness.
Mt gelding is fine, long as I make sure to treat any separation in that area promptly with Copper tox. The abcess blows out the top and he is sound again, when it does get infected
But... are we talking about a new or an old scar? If it was recent, I might put money on it...but if it's a very old scar, and the horse has just showed lameness since owning for a month? Then I wouldn't necessarily link them both together. There's still good possibilities of a stone bruise, abscessing, poor farrier job... getting into a tangle out in the pasture or kicking and hitting something such as a fence post etc... and you're sure he doesn't show any swelling or heat anywhere on the leg?
Ps. I think you're vet is nuts to simply say euthanize just because he showed up lame one morning. I'd be trying to find out what the cause is LONG before I considered putting him down!
Anyway, good luck in finding out and solving the problem. Hope he gets better soon. ;)
If the scar goes through the coronary band, into the hoof area, then yes, no matter the age4, that scar and lameness can very much be related
My gelding tore a hunk out of his coronary band and pastern area when he was two. He is now 16.
Even though I take good care of that area, several times over the years he has developed an abcess in the hoof at that heel area, simply becuase the intregity of the coronary band is gone, and there only has to be a slight injury to that scar issue where the coronary band used to be, to set up the conditions for an abbcess.' Been there done that and bought the T-shirt!'[
Hmmm, that is interesting. Thats the first case of about 5 I've seen with cornerary band damage having lameness long after the wound has healed. Thanks for explaining.
Well, it depends on the wound itself. Sometimes there is only a cut in the coronary band.
In the case of my gelding, the entire back quarter of one rear hoof had the coronary band torn out, along with a chunk of pastern.
We tried grafting hair back on that pastern, but he chewed the clumps of hair plugs out one night, lying in his stall.
Hence, he has about an inch of scar tissue above where the coronary band used to be, and no coronary band there.
Scar tissue is never as tough as normal skin, thus from time to time he damages that area, as when he goes through crusty snow in the winter. This provides an entry for bacteria.
Also, since normal hoof does not grow in that 1/4 , there is flare at the bottom of the hoof wall in that 1/4, and if not kept rasped from the top, will allow bacteria enterance that way.
In either case, he had several episodes over the last 12 years or so, where an abbcess developed in that area, causing sudden lameness, and the rest of the time he is fine on that leg, as any other horse that has an abbcess resolve
It has been two years since his last episode
The sudden on set of severe lameness, and the Op's description of the hoof injury, just made me alert to that possibility
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