Recently a friend of mine has been having some lameness issues with her Saddlebred mare. Without having X-Rays from a veterinarian, we can't be totally sure what exactly is wrong with her, but we've narrowed it down to something like OCD ( Osteochondritis Dissecans ).
Having said this, what are some common lameness issues my fellow Barnmousers have come across and how have you dealt with them? Has anyone dealt with OCD before? Also, what are your thoughts on lameness occurring more per particular breeds (Thoroughbreds, gaited, etc) as opposed to others?
How old is this mare? OCD lesions are generally found in the young, or at least that's when they develop. If it's an older horse, it would be more likely to be osteo-arthritis, I would imagine. I strongly suggest x-rays, it's the only way you can get an accurate diagnosis and reasonable treatment options.
Mags - the mare is 8, and has been jumping for about 4 years now. Her lameness has only recently begun to show within the last few months, and has gotten exponentially worse since October or so. She shows all signs of a stifle injury, and she is naturally cow hocked, so I think this may have something to do with it. I've suggested a vet and x-rays, so we will see where it goes from there. The vets were out about a month ago and did flexion tests. The best they could get from it was a hock injury and put her on bute for a week and a month off. This hasn't helped, however, and she's gotten worse since then, so I think a set of pictures are due to find out what's really going on. :)
Good questions, Kim. The signs were a lot like a stifle injury but not like stringhalt or the like. She just seemed to apply weight to that side differently, and would have problems keeping her leads so to speak; she would canter a few strides, then the back half would trot while the front would still canter, or she would canter two different leads in the front and back (hard to imagine/picture, but that's the best way I can describe it!) She would also fling one leg out a bit when asked to back up, and eventually her good lead (left handed horse) turned into her bad lead (probably overcompensation?). She also wore her toes way down from traveling strangely, so that her hooves almost looked clubbed.
Eventually we found out that it was a severe alignment problem and a very tight pelvis. Something along the lines of a sacroiliac problem, which I had thought might be the case after further investigation. Now, about 2 months after her first chiro visit, she is back to popping over 2' fences and doing a lot of lateral work quite easily, as well as picking up and holding her leads well once again. The chiro will be back out in not too long to re-align her and make sure the tack still fits well.
Should add also that a bit of arthritis was found in her hocks, but nothing that a few injections couldn't help buffer and virtually eliminate the pain from.
Thank you so much for responding, that was a bit of education for me, since I don't have jumpers nor experience in some of the aliments that can come with that type of discipline. Glad to hear they took action in finding out what was going on and how to work it out! I wish them the best! Again thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!