My really wonderful 4.5-year-old came up incredibly lame last night. He was fabulous the last time I rode him on Sunday (35-min dressage school in the arena). Monday he had off but I did not see anything weird. I know he trotted around a little when I took my TB out of the field but he didn’t seem frantic and they weren’t even calling to each other. The ground is not wet or slippery.
Yesterday when I went to catch him he turned around and walked away, which should have been my first clue because he is incredibly snuggly and always wants to say hello. I trailered him to a lesson and didn’t feel any scrambling. After I got on him I felt an intermittent little hitch in his walk and as soon as I trotted I leapt off because he was hopping lame on the RH. No heat, pulse, or swelling anywhere and negative to hoof testers. Trainer could not feel anything either.
My three horses are usually out 24/7 this time of year but I kept them all in the barn for the night, with in/out access to ~15’ x 30’ individual runs. My regular vet kindly came out this morning despite being very busy and of course the horse jogged and flexed completely sound. The vet had seen a video I took yesterday so he was a bit mystified but thought perhaps he pulled a muscle and recommended a week of Robaxin and turnout. I gave him the Robaxin this morning but kept them in until I could be home from work to check him again and supervise turnout. He stayed in his stall and run for the day, so same situation as overnight.
When I got home this afternoon he was again SUPER lame. My only explanation for this morning is that he had some adrenaline due to the change in routine and his friends in the barn screaming for him. (They were all very angry about being in the barn overnight and were acting like ninnies.) The vet can return on Friday afternoon assuming he doesn’t have emergencies, and I also made an appointment with a sports med vet for next Wednesday. In the meantime I am freaking out though and wondering if anyone has ideas based on this video (longeing clip at beginning from today and the rest from yesterday):
(audio removed because it’s distractingly full of my husband and I gasping in dismay and apologizing to the poor horse for making him move)
To me it looks high on the RH, like stifle or SI or possibly pelvis. I could be wrong but it also looks like months of stall rest, which will mean borrowing a fourth horse or pony so the other two can get some turnout.
Also, he now has very loose, wet manure and I’m wondering if this could be the Robaxin? Vet said he has never seen that as a side effect but I can skip it tomorrow morning and see if that helps. I hope it’s not suggestive of an internal injury that’s affecting his GI system somehow and also making him lame? Ugh, didn’t think of that until right I was typing it and now I’m worried about that too. I’m sure it’s more likely the Robaxin and change in routine/diet (same hay but no grass), right? I do have the option of shipping him 45 min to a teaching hospital if necessary.
Any thoughts? Thank you in advance…the uncertainty until we get a diagnosis might literally kill me.