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Hind Leg Stance...
Hi Carla & Everyone,
Carla, thanks for the post, its quite interesting to me that you are
also noting some odd hind end symptoms. I spoke to my vet last night
and his initial thought was that she's likely letting ankles cock
forward to compensate for pain or discomfort elsewhere. I believe
I'm suffering from early onset alzeheimer's myself (JOKE!), but I
can't remember which set of tendons he was referring to -- would have
to look at chart for insertions (when I used to know them off the top
of my head, therefor the joke!!).
Anyhow, he said that when a horse cocks a leg and uses a 'toe' stance
to compensate for pain, its one set of tendons that tie in under the
coffin bone (deef flexors?). When they leave the foot flat (as my
mare is) but cock the ankle forward its another set (superficial
flexors? God, where is my BRAIN??!!) that inserts in the pastern.
Anyhow for the hind legs he recommended palpating her hind leg for
the upper insertion which is midway between the hock and the point of
the buttocks to see if she appears tender there.
Since she doesn't seem to be uncomfortable or in pain (I haven't
palped yet, it was late last night that he called but she's not
shifting, normal facial expression, etc), I asked if it might be
related to the cushings and the tendons actually tightening or
Unfortunately he said it may well be, that with Cushings horses all
sorts of odd things happen, especially in terms of
weakening/embrittled connective tissues such as laminae becoming
weaker/more brittle, which may well be why they are so prone to
founder. I gather these effects are primarily due to the constant
high circulating levels of cortisol that all cushinoids have to some
degree, but it may be from other hormones/proteins/imbalances too,
I'm just extrapolating some here.
So I'm to try her on 2 gm bute for about 3 days, then taper to one
for a couple of days, and see if it makes a difference. If it does,
she's hurting somewhere. If not, then its much more likely to be
actual changes in connective tissues/tendons. Scary.
Carla, with your guy stocking on the left side, and having troubles
working left, while sweating more on the right... I'd actually wonder
if perhaps the problem is that he's NOT sweating ENOUGH on the left?
Actually, I'd about guarentee your problem is with the left not
sweating/working enough, and that the right side is normal. I'm
suspecting that he's got some nerve pressure on a major nerve branch
somewhere on that left hind side -- it rather sounds like he's
getting some nerve impingement or loss of nerve function which would
perfectly account for slight weakness, particularly in that its
occassional/intermittant and/or minor, and also for the difference in
sweating between each haunch.
Do you have a veterinary school or top top equine clinic like New
Bolton or something anywhere nearby (that EOA again, I'm not
remembering where you live off the top of my head!!)? There's a
slight chance it might be worth taking him for a workup if so -- from
your description I'd doubt even a great local vet would be much
use... and also suspect that you could spend a ton even at a top
clinic/school and come up with nothing, but its a thought... Nerve
impingement can do weird things (I speak from personal experience,
unfortunately!) -- and differences in sweating, weakness, etc are
PRIME suspects for nerve effects. For example, when I herniated a
disk chunk onto my left sciatic nerve, all of a sudden I couldn't
stand on the ball of my left foot with the heel off the ground...
(not to mention that the entire leg was in muscle spasm, massive
pain, and you could stick a pin in the skin all up an down the
outside and back of that leg and I couldn't feel it because the nerve
transmission to the skin there was totally disrupted... they can
actually MAP which nerves and branches are affected by where the skin
is still sensitive to pricks and where its not...)
The thing is, I have no clue if they can do myelograms or other nerve
transmission studies on horses, or if they'd even be able to do
anything if they could find it. May be worth a few calls to a top
clinic anyhow Carla, they're GREAT about talking to people at length
with odd problems and letting you know what is or isn't possible to
the extent that they can over the phone.
Of course, anyone doing this MUST realize that they cannot
necessarily accurately diagnose over the telephone!!! But you CAN
get great and very useful information, just take all with a grain of
salt realizing that since they haven't seen the horse they can only
give you their best impression and that may change entirely once they
actually see the horse themselves, its partially dependent on how
good you are at accurately describing symptoms and providing all
relevant symptoms too.
Anyhow, for whatever all of that's worth, thats the latest scoop from
the desert on this side of the continent! ;o)
Desert Springs Sport Horses
(best viewed in explorer 4.x or newer)
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