Sidebone.....At Least It's Not Navicular

A few weeks ago, my horse, Merlin, started limping while I was riding him, so, I checked his hoof for rocks, couldn't find any, cooled him out, and hoped that he would start feeling better. He did, but not to the point that I could ride him, so I assumed that he was just due for a trim and some new shoes. The farrier came and did his job, then I gave Merlin the week off do that he could heal. After his little break was over, I tacked him up and began to ride. Miraculously, he was sound! I rode him again the following day; still sound! Later that week, I had a riding lesson, and had planned on riding Merlin in it, that didn't happen. Merlin was limping even worse than he had before. I scheduled an appointment with the vet. The vet came and did various tests, narrowing the pain down to a specific place in his hoof, and told me he needed to come in for X-rays. Today, Merlin got all of his X-rays done, and before the vet showed them to me, he told me the two possibilities:

Navicular Disease: a type of degenerative bone disease, that often cripples horses, no cure, hard to manage.

Sidebone: like bone spurs in humans. A large growth on one or both sides of the cannon bone, no cure, but easy to manage.  

The vet looked over the X-rays, and basically said, "I told you so!" Merlin was diagnosed with sidebone. We talked about treatment options, and of he needed to be operated on. I was expecting many months of riding everyone else's horses while Merlin healed, but was told that that was not needed. No surgeries, no need for a rest for more than a few days. Merlin was given a shot in his joint that reduces pain for up to three months, he will be getting remedial shoeing, and will need a little bit of bute now and then, but, my amazing boy can be ridden again starting this Saturday!! I can't wait!!

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Comment by Sarah Fairfield on June 22, 2012 at 4:05pm

wonderful news, I'm in the middle of battling a pastern injury to my 12 year old gelding, looks like a long haul for me, he wacked himself in the field during a huge windstorm (might even have stepped on himself when he spooked) 5 weeks in and no sign of change, no vet in area to xray, at my wits end, cold wrapping twice a day and on a ten day bute regime, hoping for the best, hoping he doesn't develope ring-bone. Fingers crossed and months of rehab ahead.  Yeah


Comment by Jackie Cochran on June 21, 2012 at 8:46am

May Merlin heal up soon.

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