My 20 yr old PRE mare has come up with her first serious case of rear-end lameness. It is bi-lateral and was subtle at first, so it took me and my local vet a while to progress from (new) saddle adjustments to bodywork to starting Equioxx for arthritic changes to full clinical lameness work-up.
Clinic vet found that she was positive to lower joint flexion and hoof testers on both hinds (without pain medication on board). Lateral hoof radiographs showed no serious bone or cartilage changes but soles were thin (trimmed for first time by a new farrier 3 weeks before x-ray). She will be on a couple of weeks of stall rest before we progress to leg imaging and nerve blocking. The vet wants me to take off some spring grazing weight before any potential steroid treatment. We are also re-testing for IR and Cushings.
I am concerned that perhaps there was some initial suspensory/tendon injury that I made worse by continuing to ride her after it occurred. We were doing mostly short trail rides throughout the winter and early spring with a couple of 6-milers in there, mostly walk with a bit of trot. There were a couple of slips in the mud, but I never saw any swelling or felt any heat. First she was irritable to saddling (hence the saddle adjustments and a course of Gastrogard). Then I felt, and subsequently observed with lunging, her getting a bit short with her hind steps at the trot. Then her low back began turning up sore after the very few rides I’ve gotten in over the last month, and most recently she became a little hesitant to shift her weight to pick up a back foot. She has had known minor arthritis for the past couple of years in her stifles, but has required pain relief only after longer rides. Our ground was particularly hard this winter due to a long dry spell from Jan to late March, and she is normally on full time turnout in a large dry lot. She has great feet and never worn hind shoes, but I do put hoof boots on her hinds for longer rides.
Hoping dearly at this point it’s treatable vs. DSLD. I am looking for any and all tips on how to make her more comfortable while we wait for the next steps of diagnosis. She is now on daily Equioxx and I have started the loading dose of Adequan. She has shavings to lie down and a buddy nearby to keep her quiet. Should I consider hosing, wrapping or icing even though there is no notable swelling or heat? What are best techniques/products? TIA!!