So, here we are a year later. I've been spending money like it's going out of style, both getting Salem down here and bringing him back to the condition he was in last year. And unfortunately, I can't just ship him up to the University of Florida and have them run every diagnostic known to man on him, much as I would love to do that! I honestly don't think Salem is in pain when he's not working, so it isn't a pressing issue. My plan is to start saving money, and in the meantime I'm getting his hooves back in shape (I know a lot of vets start with hooves, so I want to make sure Salem's are in tip-top condition).
But, just to organize my thoughts and get some feedback/ideas from you guys, I'd like to go over the symptoms, possible causes, and diagnostic/treatment options.
- Occasional bronco bucking at the canter
- Stepping slightly short in back on the longe
- Stepping short in back under saddle
- Lack of muscling in the topline and hindquarters
- Unwillingness to round and use his back under saddle
- Reluctance to pick up the right lead
Granted, Salem is not standing completely square in this pic.
However, you can see that his right hind muscles are lacking
Left hip (this is a bad angle & I caught him while moving, so it's a bit deceiving)
- Sacroiliac issues
- Arthritis in the back (lumbar vertebrae and/or sacral vertebrae)
- Kissing spines (I'm not too convinced this is the problem, but I'll throw it in there)
- Trochantric bursitis
- Arthritis/pain in the hocks and/or right stifle
- Some kind of trauma in the right hip/stifle
- Full lameness exam with blocks, flexions, etc.
- Xrays of all 4 hooves (I am willing to bet that the problem is much higher up, but I know most vets like to start from the bottom and work their way up from there)
- Possibly Xrays of hocks
- Bone scan
- Ultrasound-guided injection of sacroiliac junction
- Inject area surrounding the sacroiliac with Sarapin
- Inject trochanteric bursa with steroids/HA, possibly PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma)
- Inject hocks and/or right stifle
- Shockwave therapy
And I just want to say: I will not ride Salem (even at the walk) until I have his issues diagnosed and treated. Doing otherwise would not be in his best interest. I won't ask him to do anything that would require him to really use his back. In fact, at the moment I'm hardly asking him to do anything; I'll have him trot around maybe 2 or 3 times each way, and canter once each way about twice a week, just so he's doing something.
So, what do you all think? Any ideas, suggestions, stories, and support will be greatly appreciated!