Problems with Hind End - Need some help
I need some help. Wizard, my 19 yr old TWH (IR), was doing much
better until a few weeks ago. My farrier noticed that he was
slightly off in his back end 3 weeks ago. He has foundered severely
in both front feet several times over the last few years. First
founder was in summer 2002, most severe in Feb 2003, most recent was
For the first time in years, he was drinking/peeing normally and the
fat pockets above his eyes were gone! Then the leaves started to
fall, he ate them like crazy, and he started drinking / peeing like
crazy (again) and the fat pockets above his eyes are back.
Most concerning is that his hind end has gotten much worse. He's
very stiff, and barely lifts his back feet when he walks. We got him
off the leaves on Sat, and he is slightly better now.
Could a large spike in sugar from the leaves have caused or
contributed to the problem with his back end?
Could the problem be due to 5 years of problems with his front feet?
Would pads on the back feet help?
Any advice for what I should evaluate next?
Thanks for the help.
Carol, Mac, Abby and Wizard
Most concerning is that his hind end has gotten much worse. He's very stiff, and barely lifts his back feet when he walks. We got him off the leaves on Sat, and he is slightly better now.YES.
Could the problem be due to 5 years of problems with his front feet?In part, yes.
Would pads on the back feet help?Probably not. Whatever you can do to make him more comfortable in front may help - have you tried icing his front feet?
Any advice for what I should evaluate next?With the history of winter laminitis, you might try the jiaogulan/AAKG combo to help with circulation. I think there's info on it in the files.
Tarn Beardsley <tarnie_b@...>
Slight soreness can manifest as general stiffness. When the front feet are sore it places a much greater strain on the hind end - muscles and back feet. Massage can help tight/sore muscles.toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
Most concerning is that his hind end has gotten much worse. He's very stiff, and barely lifts his back feet when he >walks. We got him off the leaves on Sat, and he is slightly better now.
Eleanor Kellon, VMD <drkellon@...>
--- In EquineCushings@..., "calpiner" <calpiner@...> wrote:
There's a very good chance that eating the leaves exacerbated his IR
again and what you are seeing is related to that. He's either
weightshifting to protect sore front feet or all four are hurting him,
front worse. Getting him back on a safe diet is an important first
step but you really should consider having all four feet X-rayed as
well. That will tell you what you need to do with his feet. Could you
post some photos? Body shots and close ups of the feet.
After trying Abby's advice and getting his diet tight there might be some things to help his back end.
I have walkers too and my C's/IR horse Magic had very low laminitis in the past that was so slight that we didn't really recognize it as front end/feet. The back end would start to have problems, stiffness, not moving and striding well. When the front hurt, they move their weight to the back end and it eventually gets tight, sore or even pull things. For a long time I denied he had any problems in the front hooves. Got to tackle that first.
And I too have been through the falling leaves problem recently and had to move him to a different dry lot that has no trees to drop leaves into.
Anyway, work the diet, follow Abby's ideas then look into having either a chiropractor look at him or at least have some "good" massage work done. I actually have a Rolfer who works on people and horses in addition to a good equine massage person.
He probably also needs some joint help. HA, injections, or whatever is safe.
Kathy Saucier, Magic (IR & C's, almost 24 yr old) and Grayson
5a. Problems with Hind End - Need some help
Posted by: "calpiner" calpiner@... calpiner
Date: Thu Nov 1, 2007 8:20 pm ((PDT))
--- In EquineCushings@..., "Gary & Kathy Saucier"
I have walkers too and my C's/IR horse Magic had very low laminitisin the past that was so slight that we didn't really recognize it as
front end/feet. The back end would start to have problems, stiffness,
not moving and striding well. When the front hurt, they move their
weight to the back end and it eventually gets tight, sore or even pull
things. For a long time I denied he had any problems in the front
Oh boy, this is sounding quite familiar... Josie's a TWH as well and
there's a noticeable difference in her overstride, or lack thereof (as
TWH owners watch religiously) when she's under the influence of
improper diet. I see her dumping her weight on the front end more
when she's sore than shifting to the back end. Soon as her diet's
right, she'll use her hind end for breaking action (downward canter
transitions). When she's sore, she throws her weight onto her front
end during downward transitions.
Because Josie gets so muscle sore/intense spasms, I've assumed she's
not foot sore. I check her crest & hooves daily for warmth but so
far, they're always a normal temp, pulses normal. Crest changes often
tho but her minerals aren't balanced yet. I hope that I haven't ever
misread those signs. Her shoulders & neck get so tight that she
couldn't do anything more than drag her toes along anyhow. Soon as
her diet's right, she's got plenty of animation,overstride + great
head shake. Getting her sugar & starch in an acceptable range goes a
lot farther than massage. She's gotten so sore that she grinds her
teeth & moves away when I reach out to touch her neck. I do massage
her often to try to iron out the last of the muscle spasms but she's
not ready for deep tissue massage yet.
Anyway, work the diet, follow Abby's ideas then look into havingeither a chiropractor look at him or at least have some "good" massage
Chiropractic adjustments help a lot. Josie's neck & croup get out of
alignment from the muscle spasms, which have literally tipped her
atlas to one side. The chiro was very surprised it wasn't from
pulling back when tied (she's never done that).
He probably also needs some joint help. HA, injections, or whateveris safe.
I've had good results with HA as well. Again, the best results with
the low S/S diet.
Julie & Josie
where do you live ? I live in southern chester county, PA and I
had a TWH and all the vets i used did not know how the walker's locomotion
worked. ( i live in TB, quarter horse country) I had 6 vets look at him. He
ended up having lyme's disease and EPM.
Just wanted to throw that at you because his hind end issues could be
something totally different. My TWH foundered also and they blamed it on that.
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Julie, you are right to question the feet and look at diet whenever something changes in your horse's movement, like the weight shift.
Just an example, with Magic we never had warmth in the hooves or pulses except when he had the one really severe case. And that time his laying down and pain in his eyes were plenty to tell us. So if you want to catch them early and reverse it before it gets bad, the best thing is to KNOW YOUR HORSE. If you know how they should move, act or look when normal then keep in tune with them, the best thing for them is to act as soon as anything is slightly off. When they are IR or Cushing's it is better to be over cautious than assume otherwise. And don't let anyone tell me it is nothing or say oh he is just having an off day.
On looking back over the past we have seen patterns in his movement. Heavy-on-the-forehand was always part of it. It is known that if they hurt in the front feet, they put more weight onto their backends. I guess the strain on the back end after shifting so much gets more sore than the feet when it is a mild case. Then they are avoiding the pains and strains in the back end and get heavy on the front.
So we think there is something else going on instead of sore front feet.
Experts have any input on this? Does that scenario sound right about why they may ride heavy on the forehand in mild foot soreness situations?
When gait changes, I now think feet first and look at the diet.
Kathy, Magic and Grayson