Category Archives: Laser Treatment

Spotting Lameness: The Game Plan

Spotting Lameness: The Game Plan
— Read on horsenetwork.com/2018/10/spotting-lameness-game-plan/

I have a limp!

Resources on how to diagnose, treat, prevent, and handle lameness in horses

Your Horse Has a Swollen Leg – Why and What To Do | EquiMed – Horse Health Matters

All About the Fetlock

Fetlock Lameness – It’s importance… | The Horse Magazine – Australia’s Leading Equestrian Magazine

Causes of Equine Lameness | EquiMed – Horse Health Matters

 

Common Causes of Lameness in the Fetlock

fetlock lame

 

Equine Podiatry

Medical History


  1. DDFT Lesion on right hind
  2. Cervical Spine Arthritis
  3. Hip discomfort due to past fall

Past Treatments Tried


  1. Stem Cell Injections: Healed the DDFT lesion in right hind until recently the lesion began to reappear
  2. Ozone Therapy: Assists in the healing of tissues
  3. Shock Wave Therapy: Assists in the healing of tissue
  4. Chriopractic adjustments
  5. Acupuncture
  6. Supplements

Initial Consultation


Chance showed decreased movement in his right hip and a audible cracking noise at the suspensory joint.  He has edema of both hind fetlocks, Pastern, and Pastern Dermatitis.  Chance was unshawed on both hinds due to his inability to stand for long periods of time and his decreased mobility.  However, his front adorned clips.

Due to the length of Chance’s front toes and the height of his heels he was unable to evenly distribute his weight (60/40) to his front and hind ends.  This would most likely cause increased tension on the DDFT tendons and corresponding ligaments resulting in an increased likelihood of tendon and ligament related injuries.  The uneven distribution of weight could also inhibit the horse’s range of motion through his hips resulting in his body compensating for this injury and causing ataxia (balance issues), pain, arthritic changes, and cervical spine misalignment.

By shortening the toe of both front feet, the heel will rise allowing a more even distribution of his weight.


Front


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Final Product: Front


Trimmed feet to corrected to the following specifications:

Foot   Beginning Angle & Toe       Corrected Angles & Toe   Total P.C.

L/F    47 Degrees at  3 7/8 inches   53 Degrees at 3 inches         6 Degrees

R/F    45 Degrees at 3 3/4 inches    54 Degrees at 3 inches         9 Degrees


Hind


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Final Product: Hind


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 Return visit to trim and shoe Chance’s hind feet with #2 OBRHB Wedge shoes.Trimmed hind feet and corrected to the following specifications:

Foot   Beginning Angle & Toe       Corrected Angles & Toe   Total P.C.

L/H   48 Degrees at 3 7/8 inches    54 Degrees at 3 1/4 inches    6 Degrees

R/H  46 Degrees at 4 1/4 inches     55 Degrees at 3 1/4 inches     9 Degrees

Note: Chance needed to be sedated by veterinarian to complete the trim and shoe his hind feet due to preexisting hip and DDFT issues.

Treating Cellulitis in horses

A common and potentially hazardous infection that can be helped with combining antibiotics, cold hosing, and exercise.

EQUINE Ink

Freedom's left knee was very swollen. You can see the scrape on the outside of the knee.

On Monday night I showed up at the barn around 7:00 p.m. to ride once the day cooled off. To my dismay I found that Freedom’s knee was hugely swollen. I had wrapped his legs because he’d felt a bit stocked up the night before and because the swelling had no where to go except the knee, the effect was horrifying. Visualize a grapefruit.

Almost immediately I saw the cause: a scrape less than an inch long. Before I called the vet I scrubbed the wound to make sure it wasn’t a puncture wound (didn’t look like it to me, but a puncture would where a joint is involved can be very serious). Normally I would also shave the area around the cut but I had sent my clipper blades out to be sharpened!  My guess was cellulitis but since it involved a joint I wanted to makes sure I…

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If You Experience Worsening Depression…

Chance began another round of Excede to get his scratches under control- it is a never ending battle.  A while back, I had a skin scrape of Chance’s scratches due to their chronic nature.  The scrape results showed a number of bacteria, all commonly seen with this type of infection, that were resistant to most antibiotics.  Thus why we decided to try Excede.

Administering Excede is pretty straight forward- 1 shot IM every 4 days for about a month.  Easy enough….or so I thought.  The first shot was administered by the vet when I was not present.  The second shot the vet also administered while I was there.  Thirty minutes after the shot was given to Chance I noticed he seemed off but not in his “normal” post-acupuncture relaxed state. He suddenly became lethargic, he wouldn’t eat his dinner, and the gut noises became almost nonexistent. I commented to the vet my concerns and she came over and reexamined him.  Sure enough something was wrong.  She proceeded to administer 10cc of Banamine (just in case it was colic) and told me to walk him around outside for about 20-30 minutes.  Then see if he would eat 2 cups of feed only.  We walked and Chance began to act like his normal happy go lucky self.  Once inside he started to eat!

Part of me felt that his reaction was a fluke.  However, the third dose proved me wrong.  Four days later, Chance received his shot and went outside to enjoy the first beautiful, warm day.  I sat in the field watching him.  He was sluggish, lethargic, stiff..he looked 10 years older and barely moved from one spot under a tree.  He wasn’t eating grass nor did he run around and play- he didn’t even run up to me like he normally would. I decided to bring him inside and give him a warm bath since it was in the high 70’s.  He was non responsive to his bath- no playing with the hose or even accepting peppermints.  I placed a cooler on him to ensure he stayed warm until he was out in the sunshine.  I figured after a bath he would perk up- again, I was wrong.  At dinner time I went to bring him in and typically I will open up the gait and he will canter into his stall- he slowly walked instead. He wouldn’t eat his feed (he normally whinnies and makes a fuss until he gets his feed and devours it) or his hay…I stayed and watched him for a while and he just slept.  I spoke to John, the guy who helps me with Chance and Lucky, and he confirmed that Chance hadn’t been finishing his feed and wasn’t running when he brought him in for dinner.

My concerns grew and I decided to do some research on Excede. That strange thing is I usually do extensive research before changing or administering anything with my animals.  But, for some reason I did not do so this time and I wish I had.

According to a number of reputable websites, Excede can cause significant and dangerous side-effects such as; diarrhea, severe acid reflux, blood coming from mouth, loss of appetite, lethargy, muscle and gait stiffness, and more.

The most troubling of everything that I read wasn’t what was posted on the Pfizer (the manufacturer) website but from the countless statements given by horse owners and the studies done by outside companies.

According to drugs.com, “in the PK study, several horses developed clinical signs consistent with foot pain (stiff in the front limbs when turned in tight circles, and increased pulses and heat to the front feet). One horse in the NAXCEL group and one horse in the 6.0 mg/lb (2X) EXCEDE group were euthanized due to laminitis. Clinical signs of foot pain (stiff front limbs and increased heat and pulses in feet) affected more horses, for a longer period of time, in all EXCEDE-treated groups as compared to the NAXCEL-treated group. The study housing (multi-horse pens on concrete slabs) and diet (free choice alfalfa/grass mix and once a day pellets) may have contributed to the development of foot pain. The prevalence and severity of injection site reactions in EXCEDE-treated horses may also have contributed to the development of a stiff gait. A causal relationship between ceftiofur and foot pain could not be definitively determined.”

The research has revealed that Excede should be used with caution and the horse receiving the medication must be monitored. Make sure to weigh the benefits and risks before starting Excede.  This drug can be lifesaving for many horses but for others, it can be life-threatening.


Excede Resources


Straight from the Horse’s Mouth: Antibiotics, Antifungals, Antivirals

Excede Study

Equine Product Catalog: In depth understanding of equine medications

FINALNewMexicoEIBPetitionExhibits2908-1407_pdf

 

Laser Time

A little over a year ago Chance was diagnosed and treated for a lesion on the Deep Digital Flexor Tendon (DDFT) of his hind fetlock.  At the time, I decided to go with Stem Cell injections due to it being the least invasive treatment option.  The Stem  Cells worked wonders and Chance went from barely being able to walk to running up hills, from daily pain medications to a supplement (DuraLactin) to help with pain and inflammation) for arthritis.

A few months ago I wanted to see how Chance’s fetlock was holding up.  He did not have any symptoms- no swelling, lameness, etc- but I wanted to make sure.  The ultrasound revealed that he did still have a small lesion on his DDFT that the vet felt was “congenital” and not problematic.  But due to his history I wanted to ensure that it stayed non-problematic.  I invested in some protective and supportive hind boots for hi to wear when he is outside or stall bound due to weather and decided to do a round (about 5 sessions) of laser treatments on his hind leg.  The laser treatments are relatively inexpensive (about $65.00), non-invasive, and pretty much risk free.

We are coming up on our 3rd treatment and due to Chance being asymptomatic it is hard to tell if they are beneficial until we do another ultrasound.  Once an ultrasound is completed I will post more.

Article on Stem Cell Treatments:  http://www.rossdales.com/news/new-stem-cell-trial-to-treat-deep-digital-flexor-tendon-injury.htm

Articles on Laser Treatments: Research Laser Therapy

 

Coming Home to Love & Peace

Chance was able to come home a week later.  Sam & John went to pick him up at the hospital. However, upon arriving, they soon found out that Chance did not want to get on the trailer.  Sam later told me that one of my sweatshirts was in the truck, so she brought it out and let him smell it- he finally loaded.

I got his stall ready- tons of fresh shavings, hay, a new water bucket…

The moment he got off of the trailer he was shaking!  I gave him a warm bath and let him out in a small, flat paddock so he could be in the sunshine.

This is what happened when I let him out!  He did something he had not been capable of doing for months and months, if not longer.

The Call

One day I received a call that I needed to come out and see Chance because he wasn’t doing well and, according to Vet1, he needed to be put down.  I quickly canceled my appointments and got on the road.  The 4 hour drive was excruciating…once we finally arrived, my heart broke.

My old guy was skin and bones.  His back right leg was swollen and he wasn’t able to bare weight on it.  His eyes were dull.  He could barely walk, and when he did, he wouldn’t put any weight on the right hind.  There were even times when he would do this “neurologic dance” (coined by the farm’s owner and C’s other mom) where he would lift up his back right leg and hop!

But when he saw me pull up, he whinnied.  He was excited to see me.  He ate the pureed carrots but refused the apple puree (only my mom would make this for him).  He wasn’t ready to die.



I called the vet who said that Chance should be put down to see what his thoughts were.

Me:   What do you think is going on with C?

Vet1: I think he is ready to be put down. 

Me: Because of what?

Vet1: Lymphangitis

Me: Okay, well, what is the cause of the Lymphangitis? Did you run any diagnostics?

Vet1: No

Me:  I would like to manage his pain and run a few tests before making that decision.  (I reviewed the research that I had done and asked where to go from there.) Could it be EPM?

Vet1: “It’s not EPM”

Me: How about Cushings? Or Laminitis? Lymes?

Vet1: Nope. Just old age.

Me: The journals I read said that some of the symptoms…(I was cut off)

Vet1: “I don’t care what journals you read!  It’s a bunch of…”

Me: One was from VA Tech actually…



Well, that was that! Vet1 did not completely lack compassion but he was more “old school” I guess one could say.  He was well respected in the horse world and up until this point, he did the job I needed. But I will say I was disheartened by our conversation.  

I decided to contact the other vets that I had worked with in the past, who also knew Chance, and get second, third, fourth opinions.  

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