Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mud Butts:

And Twinkies:

Scout did REALLY well with his trailer loading lesson today. We practiced solo at first, then went and got Tonka so we could practice shutting the divider. I was very impressed with how well he handled being smooshed between dividers. He was nervous and fidgety but not anywhere near explosive. I don't think it would have gone so well without Tonka next to him. Scout did great hopping in, but he still doesn't like to back out. We have to stand there for a while talking about it before he'll step down. Completely understandable. We'll keep working on it, and I think I have a route planned out for his first short trailer trip sometime soon. Pretty exciting! Okay, well, I just realized, it's not his first trailer trip, it's his third, but the first two he was hauled loose with his mama, so this is something special.

I have some more disappointing horse health news. Yesterday I discovered that there is something wrong with Bella's stifle. I don't know if this is what has been making her lame all along, because we couldn't see anything wrong with the stifle before. So this could be new. Or not, I don't know. I know she has been lame and that was one of the possibilities, along with a strained prepubic tendon. So maybe it was never the tendon.

Here's a video. Listen closely for the popping sound. Some of the sounds are her pawing, but you can hear and see the popping joint.

Do you have any stories you can share about stifle problems? I don't think this is a locking stifle, it doesn't look at all like that. Sadly, it reminds me more of our old Labrador Ben, who had a torn cruciate ligament. I'm hoping it can be brought back to soundness. I've read that some stifle injuries respond well to careful conditioning. I'll have to wait to have it checked, I still have Soxy's bill to pay and India's teeth to clean. But I'm going to call and ask my vet about it, and see if he can look at the video and tell me anything to do about it.


froglander said...

Such a difference in height!

So when do you pick up your new wild ponies? Do you get to pick them out?

Kara said...

That loud popping sound was the joint? If yes, then that is weird! I've never hear that before! I hope your vet has some advice. I've heard horses with a click in their stifle joint (they were sound), but I've never heard that noise before! Boy, a long year or more of vet bills you've been having. So, does she seem to limp on this leg? If not, it might not be a big deal. But I'm not a vet.

Andrea said...

froglander, yeah Scout's still a shortie. I think he'll end up tall enough, but who knows. I keep meaning to do the string test again but then I forget. I do get to pick out the TIP horses, and I think I'm shooting for mid-April. A long wait!

Yep, that's the joint, in the beginning. Then you hear her pawing, and at the end I'm not sure if you can hear it, but you can see it. And she isn't sound on it. :(

arlene said...

I can hear the popping!

This might be like what Bella has;

When Foxsun was two years old he was locking up very bad on both hind legs. He just arrived the week before from eastern Wyoming and I was hoping it was from the long trailer ride and would go away but it didn't, so after a few days I took him to our vets. It was noticeable when he tried to step back because his whole back leg would be stiff and his hoof would drag. I heard no popping and he was sound going forward.

My vet told me if he didn't cut the ligaments Foxsun might end up with arthritis in his patella joints. So the vet cut the ligaments by his patella. He was very quick it took just a few minutes.

My vet told me he'd cut them so they could grow back together. He also said Foxsun might not be able to sleep standing up and might lie down to sleep most of the time. But I think I've only seen Foxsun sleep on the ground once in 20 years. He's 100% sound. I don't believe the little surgery cost very much. He did it with Fox just standing there and we took him home right after he was done. Here's what I found on it;

A "stifled" horse results from the "locking" of the patella (knee cap of man) in the stifle joint. Normally a horse stands for hours without tiring of the hindlimb musculature. This is due to the "locking" mechanism of the hindlimb. The "locking mechanism" consists of the loop formed by the junction of two patellar ligaments with the patella and the bony projection of the lower end of the femur (thigh bone).

Figure 3 is a picture of the medial view of a stifle joint.The stifle joint is locked in an extended or straightened stiff position whenever the horse is unable to "unlock" the loop of ligaments from over the bony projection. Sometimes a slap on the croup will cause the horse to jump and "unlock" the stifle joint. Often his "locking" will reoccur. Whenever surgery is necessary to correct the condition, the medial patellar ligament is cut on the inside of the stifle joint in order to prevent further "locking"

Kara said...

Could it be an injury? Does it feel swollen or warm?

Andrea said...

Thanks for the info! I still don't think it's really "locking" so much as failing to hold the load or slipping out. But if it is that, and the surgery is so simple, I will be VERY relieved.

I checked it very closely last night and it's not swollen or warm. I was wondering if maybe Cisco kicked her. Well, actually I know he kicks her, but I was wondering if maybe he did the damage. But if so it isn't something new.

And today I lunged her gently and the stifle seems FINE. None of the lameness she's had for the past year either. I'm going to work her later in the round pen though and see if I can see anything. Very weird...

Anonymous said...

I have a mare (the one in the picture) who has recurrent stifle problems - no popping, but soreness and occasional locking up, where a hind leg gets momentarily "stuck" in an extended position. I no longer gallop her on the trails after that happened once and she almost fell! For her, I think it's a confirmation issue related to how she moves. It's been greatly helped by chiropractic - when she doesn't hurt she moves more naturally - and by keeping her fit - the muscling up helps stabilize the joints.
Good luck!