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Kissing Spines

Discussion in 'Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies' started by Mary Poppins, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. chunky monkey

    chunky monkey Well-Known Member

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    I had several people look at chunkys back over the years. They told me he was tight at times and the work they had done would release it. No further visits necessary. Ive questioned a funny area on his back where there is no hair. People just suggested perhaps its an old wound from when he was young. Im convinced now it's due to the spine underneath. No one ever said to me that there was possibly something going on in there when his back was checked. So I'm afraid now it's caused me not to have any faith in these physio etc.
    Knowing what I know now about his back and the symptoms ive read that other peoples horses have experienced before being diagnosed with KS I suspect he has been in pain for many years. He never complained and never did anything dangerous to indicate a severe problem but I realise now there have been hints for years.
     
  2. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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    A physical anomaly doesn't always mean pain, navicular changes is one thing that springs to mind, you can see navi bone changes on X-ray in perfectly sound horses, but in others its crippling
     
  3. Mary Poppins

    Mary Poppins Well-Known Member

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    This is so similar to my situation. It has always niggled me that Ben is slightly short in his right hind leg and that he is difficult on the right rein. It was only 2 weeks before he went lame that I had someone out to check his back who told me that there were no problems, physio is a waste of money and he is difficult on the right rein because my shoulders are wonky. I have now completely lost faith in some people who I always went to and trusted their opinion. I have come to realise that my own instincts are the ones I should be listening to. But hindsight is wonderful and I can't keep going round in circles regretting my past actions. I have (hopefully) a new, very good physio, a good relationship with my vet and the support of a good friend who has been helping me through all this. Over the next few months I need to re-evaluate everything else including my yard where I keep him, who I have lessons with and what I want to do with him. I need a new start but that isn't so easy to do.
     
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  5. OwnedbyChanter

    OwnedbyChanter With out my boys life would be bland

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    I know a lots of horses who have it and have had it over the years including one that I loaned for 5 years before I got Chanter.

    One has had the treatment and is back out competing dressage and very happy. Another at my yard has just had injections in its spine. Both horses to me looked like they had issues they were both not happy under saddle neither was my loan horse before treatment (she was over the treatment when I took her on).

    There are plenty of horses out there that have a level of KS but do not show outward signs and only x-rays confirm it. They often don't need vet treatment but have physio and corrective schooling and ground work and carry on a very active competitive life.

    I may get shot down for this but I will say it anyway. When it comes to backs the best treatments are correct riding and regular checks of both tack and backs. Ginger is seen every 6 weeks any change in him is noted and recorded. She talks to me about my training to see if what I am doing is effecting him IE have we been doing more/higher jumps XC or hacking. Have I changed my tack. Has he had any idiot moments. Anything that would result in any tight areas. She also ask me how he is riding does he feel tight anywhere stiffer on one side etc.

    I know it is down to having a physio you can trust which can be difficult and it is difficult when horses don't show signs of outward pain but they general do try and tell us but sometimes it is subtle and we don't spot it thinking it just cold or they are stiff from being in etc etc or only getting physio when something is wrong, prevention is better and more often cheaper then the cure.

    I know regular physio is expensive and if your horse does have KS it will not fix it alone and may well need vet intervention and certainly a new way of training but it will go a long way to speed up the process or spot the any problems in the first place.
     
    Mary Poppins likes this.
  6. Kite_Rider

    Kite_Rider Cantering cabbage!

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    The thing is @OwnedbyChanter not everyone can ‘feel’ when something isn’t right with their Ned. I know people who’ve had their horses for years who don’t notice subtle changes until they become a massive problem, not everyone will trust their own instincts to tell them something isn’t right, especially if they are not the most confident people naturally.
    @Mary Poppins i hope Ben is ok and the words kissing spines don’t pop up at your vet visit.
     
  7. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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  8. OwnedbyChanter

    OwnedbyChanter With out my boys life would be bland

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    You are right of course. I guess I am a 'go with my gut' person all the time and if I think/feel that something is not quite right I act on it but I have seen plenty of very experienced riders riding a lame horse that they did not 'feel' was lame until it was pointed out to them. It was not meant as a criticism
     
  9. Mary Poppins

    Mary Poppins Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for all the support and sorry it has taken me a few days to update on here. My life has been manic.

    The vet and physio came together on Friday and it's good news. He was completely sound in all tests. The vet did trotting up in straight lines, flexion tests, lunging and turning on tight circles and he is 100% sound. His splint is now inactive and while we are left with a big lump that will never go (it is about 5cm deep and 2cm wide), it doesn't impede on his ligaments and is unlikely to cause any further problems. The vet does think however that the splint and the lameness in his other front legs was due to the pain in his back.

    The vet and phsyio discussed his back in great detail as he is still very sore and tight. There probably is a reason for this pain, but they decided against x-rays for the time being. The plan is to loosen up all the back muscles with a series of intensive physio sessions and then do lots and lots of walking and long reining to build up the muscles. The idea is to improve his way of going and get his back to rise and the muscles to build in the correct place. He 'may' have kissing spines, but due to the fact that he is 100% sound and that I don't ask that much of him anyway (we jump 60cm max so it's not like we are eventing every weekend), we are hoping that with regular physio and the correct build up of muscles that we can manage him this way. And I can easily give up on the jumping if he needs to. He is 14 now and they felt that we should try this approach and see where we get, and if there is no improvement we can look at the x-ray option again in a few months.

    So he had the intensive physio on Friday and it was fascinating. His neck and head were manipulated in ways they would never have moved before. He is now on 3 bute per day for 4 days because the physio can make him very sore, and then on Wednesday I can start riding him in walk every other day and build him up slowly. In 3 weeks he has another physio under sedation and we start the cycle again.

    He is back out overnight with his friends and so much happier. I now have to face the spring grass and manage his weight while I can only walk him. I have a feeling we will be long reining for many hours at a time to burn off enough calories for him to go back into the field. I think I am about to get fit!
     
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  10. Mary Poppins

    Mary Poppins Well-Known Member

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    I have learnt the hard way that lack of regular checks by a competent professional can lead to huge problems later on so I agree 100% with you. The most difficult thing is finding that competent professional in the first place. Now that things are more positive for Ben, I really do feel aggrieved that two different phsyios did not spot Ben's problems. The last one only saw him 2 weeks before he went lame and I know that the problem was there because he was flinching in his back when I groomed him. Now I have found someone I trust I will never let him go longer than 3 months between visits in the future. Yes it is expensive at £75 per visit but I think my new physio is worth her weight in gold.

    What I find interesting is the amount of people in real life who have told me that Ben has no problems, my physio is scaremongering me and taking me for a ride, and that she is only after my insurance money. These people fail to even consider that Ben might have a problem. I guess if they admit that Ben is in pain, it might make them look at their own horses in a different way so it is easier to think that the problem is not there. I really wish that it wasn't there and I feel dreadful that it is, but you need to face up to reality sometimes and just deal with the problem and move on. I have certainly found out who my friends are these last few weeks.
     
    Jessey likes this.
  11. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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    I'm really glad to hear its positive, you'll be getting super fit long reining :D I actually find I can get more weight off of Jess by doing long slow sessions than I do when doing shorter more intensive/fast sessions, so you might get lucky with it :)
     
  12. KP nut

    KP nut I'd rather be riding.

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    So glad he's sound. I' sorry people around you aren't being supportive. How insulting to you, your vet and your physio to dismiss this as scaremongering/insurance scam!

    You're right I'm sure - people want to keep treating their own horses as machines and don't like the fabulous example of horse-centred care you are showing them!
     
    Jessey likes this.
  13. Mary Poppins

    Mary Poppins Well-Known Member

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    Most people are lovely and I think that everyone means well. They find it hard to understand how Ben can be diagnosed with such a bad back because I have had him checked regularly and I attend lots of lessons with a variety of different instructors so why wasn't it picked up before? I guess the answer is that Ben hides his pain very well and didn't show any obvious signs of pain. New people on the yard are always treated with suspicion and I think that there is the general opinion in the horse world that unless your horse is bucking and pulling faces, there can be nothing wrong with the back. If the horse is happy to have a saddle on, why "go looking for problems"?

    I was having a conversation with someone about his splint. The vet said that it was inactive and cold, but the lump would never go down. This person assured me that the vet was wrong and the lump would disappear. Now she had never even seen the splint so how would she know? People just talk utter nonsense. How an earth can you make a judgement about an injury that you have never seen?
     
  14. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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    People often think I am over reacting with Jess, not people who don't get their horses backs checked/farrier/vets etc. etc. regularly these are ones who do, its just that Jess is stoic and doesn't show pain like some do. When she was a baby and got colic she was just a bit quiet, even the vet thought it must be an infection, she spent a week in hospital after we rushed her there when we finally realized what was happening on the 3rd vet visit of the day. Same again when she got a serious fever, my first hint was she didn't want to lift her back legs for the farrier and then she just had this look on her face, that was another 5 days in hospital. Sometimes you just know your horse best and have to go with your gut.
     
    OwnedbyChanter likes this.
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