Some of you may have seen on my social media this week that Scottie has been on box rest, so I thought I would give you all a bit of an update to what has been going on with him.
For the past month Scottie has been feeling a bit uncomfortable under saddle. Because of this, I really ummed and ahhed about whether to take him to our show jumping championship last month or not. But whatever it was, he was working through it under saddle and we are lucky to have a vet at our yard who watched him trot up on the hard and he was sound each time. So I thought that maybe it was something going on in his back. After all he can be cold backed and the temperature has dropped quite a bit recently. So after our Championship I decided to give him some time off and pick him back up again later.
2 Weeks On
After about a week and a half, I gave him a light lunge and he looked ok. He had the odd uncomfortable step but looked ok. However, when I got on a few days later he felt absolutely awful in trot. He felt so bad that I didn’t want to push him forwards to see if he would work through it. Despite how awful he felt he was happy to go forwards but I wasn’t happy at all and decided to get off and ask the vet who had just finished riding to have a look at him.
Despite being lame, there were no signs of there being something wrong with him. There was no heat, swelling or strong pulse. He was lame right front trotting up and interestingly, even at walk, he had less flexion in his right fetlock than his left. He didn’t really respond any differently to flexion tests, making us think there is something going on in his foot. But we didn’t have any hoof testers or nerve block to test this theory.
We have decided to play it by ear a little bit with him. Because there are now obvious signs, it could be something as minor as a bruise, or more serious such as navicular disease. Because he was uncomfortable under saddle but trotting up sound to start with, I would be tempted to say it’s possibly more soft tissue injury than bone injury. But like I’ve already said, we don’t really know yet!
We initially decided to give him box rest for 5 days or so and see how he is then. Hoping it’s something minor or an abscess appears soon. But he isn’t a softie, so I would be surprised if there was this much drama over a bruise and I would have thought an abscess would have heat or something by now too.
Another Trot Up
Yesterday evening we trotted him up again. There was a definite improvement. But he was still lame on that leg and he did seem to get a bit worse but that could be due to stiffness as much as anything else.
Since he had only had 5 days in and his painkillers hadn’t arrived yet that is still fairly positive. We discussed options of investigating further or giving him a bit more time to see how he gets on and since there was improvement, we are going to give him another couple of weeks.
He has gone out today with his first sachet of Bute. He will have a few days of Bute then some time without and we will see how he gets on. If he continues to improve we will probably just allow him time to come right on his own, after all most things do come right on their own.
If he doesn’t improve or if he gets worse every time take the next step we will look into investigating. But either way, I am putting him back on his hoof supplement ASAP and will be mentioning it to our farrier to see if there is anything he can do to help. Fingers crossed its nothing too dramatic!
Last Updated on 14/01/2022
It’s so much harder when there is no clear indication. Just a note, don’t assume it’s the leg or back. Horses are 60% muscle. He could have a hamstring pull or knot in his hindquarters causing him to be a little off. Box rest and anti-inflammatories are still good, but having a physio come out and look may help narrow it down.
I was working on a therapy horse the other day that has been really off and not using her body. In the initial evaluation she indication a lot of tension and pain throughout her body. When I looked closer and began working I found her shoulders were both painful, and she had a rib out on the left side. It turns out she’d recently gone barefoot and didn’t have much hoof wall, so she was walking on her toe which affected the rest of her body.
I hope Scottie feels better soon and I know he’s in good hands!
I completely agree! I only first assumed back as he has been prone to back issues and when they appear he does look lame. Especially when he would work through the lameness with work, it sounded very much like one of his back issues!
However, after my vet friend looked at him, she has a fantastic eye and 99% of the time she gets it spot on. So with her saying she’s sure its in the foot, I believe she is probably right! If he’s not better or showing any signs after a couple of weeks chilling out, he will be getting a full work up from the vet and our back lady.