I have a 11 year old (12 in April) 17.1hh dark bay ottb gelding. He raced in large races, mostly at Churchill Downs. He raced 43 starts up through age of 9. Since then, he has been a lesson horse until I purchased him in August. Due to poor nutrition with his previous care taker, I “started him over” and got him on a complete grain, built his muscle back, and started him into eventing. Now he is all personality and a lot of strength. He is the type of horse that is silly and goofy but wants to please me with all is heart.
In August, we had his hocks injected to help with the arthritis that he unfortunately developed when racing (that was the only injury he got from racing). With the arthritis, sometimes he suffers from “shivers” in his back right leg where he feels like he absolutely has to hold his leg up high for a bit and then slowly will relax and settle, but only when he is standing still for a while. Up until the end of January, he was very happy with my new saddle that fit his “shark fin withers” much better, maintenance Cosequin, hock injections, and great grain.
However, suddenly at the end of January, his shivers became much worse, his body very sore, and was lame. This was not due to over work because for the past two weeks before this, we were doing very light work due to my heavy work load at college. The vet prescribed him muscle relaxers and bute as well as Pentasin (which is an injection into the muscle for the joints, similar to Adequin) and he began to improve. Although his muscle soreness only reached about 50% improvement. On the 5th shot on Pentasin the week before last, he had a big local reaction to the medicine, however has fully recovered. Now, he is on the low dose of muscle relaxers and a moderate dose of bute, and although he is acting much better he is still very body sore…
Blood work came back negative with only a low level in total proteins. (which we are getting a multivitamin to help). Detailed blood work came back negative for any diseases (ex: lyme disease).
The vet wants to run a muscle biopsy however I am thinking that he is tight and in pain do to something internal rather than simple muscular because with all the medication, he is still sore to the touch. I know that ulcers are claimed a lot more than they should, however I am thinking that he is so uncomfortable with how the medicine is hurting his gut that he is clenching and making himself sore by trying to get comfortable.
I started the doses of ulcergaurd and I believe that it is making a difference! However, he is still having the shiver issue and almost can decide which foot to put down… I feel terrible because I know he is uncomfortable. We are planning to continue with the doses of ulcer gaurd and then to use Total Gut Health to strengthen the walls of his gut to help prevent more ulcers… but I am hoping someone may have some reassurance or advice or may have seen something like this before…