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ESI Q and A Forums > ESI Q and A Forum > Questions and discussions for the ESI Q and A Forum > Any clue what this could be? Odd hind stance in Icelandic horse

Any clue what this could be? Odd hind stance in Icelandic horse
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Melei
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 Posted: Thu Nov 15th, 2012 10:24 am
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Hello,

Do you have any clue what this could be - why he is doing it? Sometimes with both hind legs.

It´s 12 year icelandic gelding. Has been on - off "strange" going. Not lame, but neither sound.

In the end of october I took him to vet, because chiropractor and massage didn´t help. The Vet's diagnosis is insertions desmitis left hindleg. (UL exam)

But he is standing like that, sometimes with both hindlegs? Not only with one leg,...

Regards Merja

Attachment: 110320121230 lille.jpg (Downloaded 302 times)

Last edited on Fri Nov 16th, 2012 04:37 am by DrDeb

Melei
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 Posted: Thu Nov 15th, 2012 10:24 am
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Another photo

Attachment: 110320121231 lille.jpg (Downloaded 300 times)

Melei
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 Posted: Thu Nov 15th, 2012 10:27 am
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And the third

Attachment: 110320121232 lille.jpg (Downloaded 295 times)

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2012 04:36 am
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Melei, your veterinarian -- who is absolutely the authority since she or he has actually examined your horse -- has already told you what is going on. The horse has hind suspensory ligament desmitis, which is a serious, irreversable, and ultimately very painful condition in which the suspensory "ligament" of the hind limb is gradually converted from stretchy tissue to brittle cartilage.

The condition is more common in gaited breeds, and is brought on sooner and made worse by the "usual" sort of training and riding that gaited horses receive.

The reason the horse stands in this odd way -- your photo captures it perfectly -- is to ease the pain he's feeling in the hind suspensory "ligaments".

This is also why the animal has been off-and-on lame; in the beginning, they are still rideable. However, generally the disease progresses rather rapidly so that the horse becomes obviously too lame to ride.

Understand, Melei, that no type of bandaging, poulticing, trimming, or special horseshoes or boots will have the slightest effect in relieving this disease. As I said it is progressive and there is little that can be done to treat it. It is irreversable and cannnot be cured.

In light of these facts, my best advice to you is to prepare yourself for the day, which will not be too far off, when it will be your responsibility to have the animal humanely euthanatized. You would not, I am sure, want him to go on suffering pain past a certain point. Please consult with your veterinarian as you plan the end-of-life sequence for your horse. -- Dr. Deb

 

Melei
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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2012 07:48 am
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Thanks for your answer, Dr Deb.

I just talked with my vet yesterday (he hasn´t seen these photos before, there are from march 2012). I asked, if he could give me an explanation, what it could be and if it had something to do with this desmitis.
After him this is only the way how some horses stands when they are relaxing.And it should have nothing to do with suspensory ligament.

I bought this gelding last year, dec. 2011. There was nothing to see or feel; he was sound, but standing like this. Not always, only sometimes. He has been checked by vet once before, but there was nothing. On - off lameness started in april. Therefore I wanted hear your meaning.

About desmitis, yes, you´re right - it´s painfull, I can see it on his eyes. I have already said "good bye" to him in my mind. He is worth more than suffer,.... :-((

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Nov 16th, 2012 10:09 pm
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Melei, this is not a question of one authority saying something and the other authority saying something different. Your veterinarian, although he's had training in the diagnosis of disease, probably has almost zero training in biomechanics. The answer I give you is based on my training in biomechanics.

However, you could have figured this out yourself just on the basis of logic. Do you not see how this odd stance serves to "slack" the flexor tendons and the suspensory ligament that run down the back of the horse's hind limb? When a horse has significant pain either in the heel portion of his foot, or else in some tissue that runs down the back of the leg, then he may stand in this odd posture with the ankle joint "knuckled forward". The horse does this, as I said before, to lessen or ease the pain he's feeling in whatever tissue.

Your horse has been diagnosed by a veterinarian with DSLD. Another horse that stands in this manner might not have that particular problem; he might instead have navicular disease, a bowed tendon, a pulled suspensory, or even a hoof bruise or abscess that affects the rear part of the foot. If you will continue to observe, you will occasionally see this stance in other horses. Wherever you see it, it always signals SOME kind of trouble either in the foot or in the limb.

We are very sorry that your horse has DSLD, which will shorten his life; but we also know that you will do the responsible thing in consultation with your veterinarian. -- Dr. Deb

Melei
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 Posted: Sat Nov 17th, 2012 08:01 pm
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Posted: Sat Nov 17th, 2012 09:59 pm

Dr Deb, I was just hoping there was another explanation,...
I have 2 other horses, but they are not so close to me; he´s just one of a kind. He may not suffer, if there is no way to be better. Therefore I´ll be 100% sure before I put him down.

I have also found some pictures about deep digital tendon, which is looking like that in pictures.
I only get confused, when the vet is saying: "This has nothing to do with the problem your horse has now."

Dr Deb - do you have something on a "paper", which I can show to my vet?

Many thanks for your answers - they are maybe not exactly what I hoped, but they are sincere.


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