Crow and Dacke - horse diary

Rabbit Talk  Forum

Help Support Rabbit Talk Forum:

Zab

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
1,163
Reaction score
2
Location
Sweden
Hmmm... I've mentioned it before but I figure they need a thread of their own ;)

So, a bit of back story:

Dacke got caught in barbed wire after he escaped the pasture and sliced both pasterns in the hindlegs. Pretty deep, half an inch (and for non-horsey people the pastern (or at least the part I'm talking of) is the ''wrist'' of the horse, that small area that's like 4-5 inches thick and just consist of skin, bones and tendons. I found him one morning outside the pasture, found it strange that he didn't come hen I called and went looking for him. Heard him neigh and as I came to him (finding my way through weeds taller than I am, btw) he was standing with a barbed wire under his belly, unable to get either forward or backwards. We believe he had been standing there all night. I noted some blood on the hind pastern that's white, but right then all focus landed on trying to get him loose. No phone and naturally no wirecutter in my pocket.. the wire wouldn't budge and he was too tired and feverish to really try. At last I managed to convince him to step over it while I stood balancing on it to keep it down - some 10 inches off the ground. Got him loose, got him home. Called the vet. Noticed the deep cut, got him to the veterinary clinic where he was put through surgery and had to stay for 5 days. Amazingly enough, no tendons were injured. He'll live.
That was about 3 weeks ago, he's on stall rest and I still change bandages once or twice a day. Stitches are taken, one of the wounds are almost closed, the other is open but they're healing steadily. His temperatue is a bit higher than normal but staying below the critical point. Besides the boredom and so, I think he's fairly content with staying inside in the shadow, getting waited upon all day and having several meals a day. And he's ost some weight, despite the inactivity. (Well hay simply won't be the same as pasture). He dislikes having the bandages changed but he's a sweet horse.

Crow has a bit more messy story. I have no idea how long he's been injured and I have no idea what the problem is. I guess the first sign I know of was earlier this year. We noticed he would lift his right half of the back more than the left when I rode him. We figured he was just uneven in the muscles and tried to excercise him well. He showed no sign of discomfort, still doesn't.
Then several months later I participated in a riding camp for a week. My instructor found out a few oddities, first that he ''walked through'' some basic cues when I rode. He's been doing this for a long while, I just never noticed but compensated with other cues. Eventually she figured he had some blocking in the lower back muscles. I've found vets are generally not the best source to go to with this, but we figured a horse chiro was the way to go. I procastinated it though, I didn't have money and we figured it was pretty old and not bothering him much, so it could wait untill my study-loan would start coming in (next month from now). I don't ride a lot anyway and he seemed happy enough.
Then all this with Dacke happened and we moved Crow to a friend. She has a riding arena and I figured I'd take the chance to lounge him a bit.. I noticed something was off. He moved strangely, I couldn't define it but that wasn't how he should move at all. My instructor took a look as well, and we agreed that the chiro shouldn't wait any longer.
The chiro found a blockage/brace in the lower back on him and corrected it. She didn't watch him move however. But it became obvious that it hadn't helped.
I finally decided it was time for a vet, but not the closest clinic where Dacke had been. They're good at obvious problems but not at finding out what's wrong if it's less obvious. Got another place recommended and hauled him over there.
They found a slight lameness, located to his lower back and hip area. Sent me home to ride him in walk for a week and then starting to trot him a week, using fenylbuthazon (painkiller) during that time.

And here I am.. it's the third day of the trotting week. He's not getting better.. he's more or less getting worse. He seems happy as ever when we're out, but I can feel something is off with his movement, especially after trotting. While his left hip moves my left hip up-forward-down-back, the right hip goes up-out-forward-in-down-back, and much further forward than the other. It's like he's tossing my hip into his wither. It messes up the rythm in his walk as well. On the painkiller, he's also feeing unsteady. Stumbling even more than usual, forgetting to straighten his feet before putting weight on them. But despite all that he seems perfectly content, walking around with a low, forward headset, moving his neck freely and having his ears perked. Listening to my cues etc.. It's strange.

First thought of back problems in horses goes with saddles. But it doesn't make sense to be the saddle; I've had treed, treeless, western tree, bareback and altering between them. All have a good fit as far as saddlers can tell. And he's had a lot of pasture rest, so preassure from a poorly fitting saddle shouldn't be the issue..

I don't know what this means, I don't know what's wrong with him.. and most painfully, I don't know how long it's been something wrong with him.. Have I been riding all these years without noitcing he's hurt? Was that last lunging last year the ground making him trotting strangely, or was it the same symptom as I noticed on the flat ground? I don't feel anything very different in the saddlre now compared to the riding before I noticed his off movement.. Was his half-bucking and unwillingness to walk a few years ago a sign of this? He's always been a bit odd, off the track standardbred and moving a bit different than normal horses, but we all figured it's just who he was, and the gaiting genetics. He's alwways been sweet and trying his best, I can definetly imagine how he'd be in pain and still try his very best.. Have I been adding pain to his injury all these years? And what is the problem with him? Will he be ok? Can they treat it? Can I afford the treatment and will the insurance cover it? ... will I loose him?
These are the questions I try not to think about. Right now I'm just following the vets orders, making sure to find a trailer to get him to the next check with the vets and writing down notes in my journal for the rides. I try not to figure out what the problem is, I'd rather wait untill the vets tell me. At least his fetlocs, hocks and patella are good. So I get up, give him his painkillers, feed them, change Dackes bandages, cleans out the stalls, feed the rabbits, check on Kori, ride Crow for 45 minutes, muck out Dackes stall again, feed them again, get breakfast (yeaaah.. I'm bad with brekfasts at the moment, they end up getting rather late) and have some spare time before the feeding and mucking starts over, give Crow his medecine again and go to bed. It's not a busy day, it's just lots of small tasks with an hour or two spare time in between. Luckily I'm having a summer break.

I just wrote this to have somewhere suitable to write any updates, mostly on Crow as Dacke is just steadily getting better. There's a horseforum I write in too but I've been gone from there for a long time so I figure they're just forgetting about me. Feels a bit stupid hopping in just to complain and whine after all that time. Better be here and whine constantly :lol:

Well.. wish me luck. Wish Crow luck..

Crow.. my crazy companion (yes I asked him to rear. He only ever does it when asked by me just lifting my rein-hand and saying ''up'' at the same time..we don't do it a lot)
Ska%cc%88rmavbild%202012-08-18%20kl.%2016.18.30.png


trotncvncn.jpg


A picture from those long trailrides we used to do..
onthego93DSCN0010.jpg


..because the world is prettier between a hors's ears..
onthego98DSCN0010.jpg


Without him..I'm just a silly girl who likes dressing up.. :oops:
DSC_0035uktu.jpg


And this would be Dacke and my dad.. Dacke's just a great horse as well. They're perfect for each other.
playgroundDSCN0104.jpg
 

Marinea

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 27, 2012
Messages
4,203
Reaction score
3
Location
Virginia
There is not much better than a sweet horse's nuzzles against your cheek.

*pets Crows and sneaks him a piece of apple*

Get better soon, both of you. You are blessed with a great "mom" who is worried.
 

dangerbunny

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
500
Reaction score
1
Location
MI
Did Crow get scoped for ulcers? sounds weird but I have seen several "mystery" lame horses improve after getting treated for ulcers.
 

Zab

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
1,163
Reaction score
2
Location
Sweden
Thank you :)

No, ulcers never came to mind. I really don't think that's the problem though - horses generally get ulcers from having empty stomachs or possiby a lot of stress. He always have something to eat and a fairly relaxed life. And they've located the issue to his lower back, they just don't know exactly what it is yet. I hope for x-rays next visit... but they have to suggest it or the insurance won't cough up the money..
 

Zab

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
1,163
Reaction score
2
Location
Sweden
Heh, thank you :)

So today I first made Dacke a tiny ''pasture'' on the yard where Crow's been walking. But the truth is that we're ruining the yard by having them walking there, and both horses dig..
So I made a new pasture in the little forest about 100 metres from the barn. It's a bit more than Dacke should walk but really.. he needs some air and shady sunlight and he's been standing for so long. If we can walk him 10 metres every day to see if he's not lame, we can walk 100 metres... right? And the path so far is fairly even. Further down on it, on the way to their original pastures, it's a bit rougher terrain..

I made a tiny one for Dacke. He can just turn around in it nd that's pretty much it.. it's not anybigger than his stall. Then Crow got a somewhat larger pasture, it's only good for him to move around, or so we think. It is smaller than the yard, but I didn't have more rope..

They're both shaded by the trees and I got them some hay and water as well. I think it's good for them to be there.

1097085_604950959557587_1521695589_o.jpg
 

OwnedByTheBuns

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2013
Messages
565
Reaction score
0
Location
Kansas
Awww, Zab I hope your horsies get better. :( I Love them!

One question: What was the "Fencing" you used and would that really keep them in?
 

Zab

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
1,163
Reaction score
2
Location
Sweden
:)

Just rope and yes. They're easy to keep in. Only reason Dacke escaped was because the fence had broke down or possibly he followed his mouth and didnt realize he was under it before it was too late.. theres two spots where he could have gotten out so Im not sure which. Its the first time in 6 years he escaped.... Crow has run through a few fences when he got really scared of tractors or so. But then it wont help if its electric or even wood. Still.. Ive had them in temporary pens with just one rope and they stay on the right side. :)
 

dangerbunny

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 9, 2013
Messages
500
Reaction score
1
Location
MI
Zab":7y9gvcza said:
Thank you :)

No, ulcers never came to mind. I really don't think that's the problem though - horses generally get ulcers from having empty stomachs or possiby a lot of stress. He always have something to eat and a fairly relaxed life. And they've located the issue to his lower back, they just don't know exactly what it is yet. I hope for x-rays next visit... but they have to suggest it or the insurance won't cough up the money..

hope you get it figured out soon!

I wouldn't rule out ulcers though, all kinds of things can cause them like antibiotic use, high starch diet, showing, stallrest. My super healthy mare had a mild case after antibiotics once, only signs was extreme crankyness and over reactiveness.

The Chronicle of the Horse forum is a great place to ask questions. http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/forum ... Horse-Care
 

Zab

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
1,163
Reaction score
2
Location
Sweden
I just don't think it's ulcers, but I'm leaving the diagnosis to the vets :) If they think it may be ulcers I'm not stopping them from checking it up.

Thanks.<br /><br />__________ Tue Aug 13, 2013 7:21 am __________<br /><br />Now the patella got an inflammation. Both hindlegs are treated, 3-4 weeks and new training scheduale.. if it doesn't help they'll ultrasound the SI-joint but the vet being good at that wasn't there today.
X-rays of the hind knees show they're ok, it hasn't been a long time with issues there and they can heal.
I think it's the back, and the vet thinks so too, but he was treated so recently there wasn't much use in rushing the ultrasound. It may be that the treatment fixes the back and the new treatment fixes the knees and he's good to go. Maybe.
 

Peach

Well-known member
Rabbit Talk Supporter
Joined
Dec 19, 2011
Messages
2,125
Reaction score
0
Location
Marietta,Ga
Ah <3 So beautiful. It's been so rainy and humid this whole summer that it's impossible to ride :( Looks like you guys have some really cool places to trail ride :D<br /><br />__________ Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:51 am __________<br /><br />I hope everything goes well with your horses and that the will be able to figure out what is up!
 

fuzzy9

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 9, 2011
Messages
2,730
Reaction score
2
Location
WI
Your horses are beautiful, and I sincerely hope both heal quickly. :) My heart goes out for Dacke, and I hope he recovers quickly, and to 100% full use again. I went through something similar with a horse I had years ago, and can totally relate, except my mares injuries were worse, she did injure her tendon in one of her hind fetlocks. She got caught up in some old farm machinery I didn't know was semi buried in some long grass in her new pasture. They were running one night at dark, and she ran right through it. She was the best, most dead broke horse anyone could ever ask for, and unfortunately she never healed 100%. I ended up rehoming her to someone who used her for very light riding for their children. Was the saddest time for me because you just can't find that kind of gentle horse just anywhere.

For Crow, just some thoughts.........is it possible that this is just the way he moves, or maybe an old injury from years ago, that has already healed, and it's just the way he moves now because of it? Possibly the things that are being done now are making it worse for him? Or are you noticing something that you are for sure was not there before?
 

Zab

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
1,163
Reaction score
2
Location
Sweden
I'm sorry to hear about your mare.. :/ Dackes prognosis is good at least :)

The things done now shouldn't make a differense if he moves this way naturally. He just got cortison and some painkiller, and regular, gentle excercise. However, he moves the way he does because he has tensionsd and are protecting an old injury, it will get wore before it gets better. He has shown slight signs of discomfort - not trotting on cue but trying to get away with gait, difficult to gait properly and the lameness he shows is not a normal way of moving. Something is wrong, it has probably been wrong for a long time but now it got the better of him.. :/

Peach: We have a few places, sadly most are cut off by fences though. :)
 

Zab

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2012
Messages
1,163
Reaction score
2
Location
Sweden
Hocks ae ok.

At the first visit they checked all joints in the hindlegs, no problem (or minor issue with left hind knee, still normal reaction) and the back. Found back issues, treated.. When we came back they checked the upper joints n the le again (hock, knee, hip) and found that the knees were worse.

I still think it stems from the back. Most leg problems are symptoms of back problems. The vet think so too. But as the bck is so recently treated there isn't much to do atm. It's possible that the treatment on the back worked but that in turn made him put too much stress on the knees to get the outbreak there, and now when both are treated he may be fine. Or he may get another issue popping up, or the back wasn't fully fixed and a new symptom there hops out etc... it's a waiting and treating game.<br /><br />__________ Wed Aug 28, 2013 12:45 pm __________<br /><br />Back to the vets today.

He is better :) Not okay, but better. He seems more put together and moving better, owever he has a bit of an odd movement left and the left patella is still bad.

He's put to pasture rest + walks when I can the upcoming 3 weeks, plus 10 days of fenylbuthazon, carrot-stretching and such to keep his back ok.

Part of it is that I start studying again next week which means 4 hours a day is gone in justy traveling.. I simply do not have time to rehab him with rides or such everyday. It's also because the patella needs rest, the reason for the walks is to keep his back from getting stiff.
 
Top