Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Lameness

I'm sure you've noticed that I've been struggling with a bit of lameness with Guinness over the last year. The severity of his fetlock arthritis has come and gone several times, but with the settling in of cold weather has become very noticeable.

Over the last week I've ridden GP for 3 days straight. Each day he was full of energy and lots of go, but the trot has felt "funky". To the point that I asked a friend riding with me if it looked like we were pacing, like a Standardbred.
(What GP's trot feels like)
I think this gait change is due to pain. My friend said that he looked less like a pacer, and more like he was three legged lame. Great. I can tell that whatever the cause of the issue, it is located on his right side. And last night, after an EXTREMELY energetic ride, his right front ankle had some heat in it. So, I gave him some bute and sent him back outside.

At this point, I'm really getting worried about what the progression of his fetlock arthritis will be. I know that the joint fusing is a possibility, but not always a good one. While it would stop his pain, the joint's loss of mobility can cause problems in the knee and the shoulder and cause problems with the deep digital flexor tendon (something I have been worried about due to his horrible crushed heels and inability to put weight on his heels). 

The arthritis is a scary, scary thing. I guess it's time to start saving up for another set of front radiographs.

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