Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Ranch Work...

Well, the guys are up at the ranch again! Tony went up early this morning with Coal to start gathering the cattle. Travis left just as soon as he got off work. He was unable to take Cahlibur. Cahlibur has been diagnosed with articular ringbone. It all started last November when the guys were up on the ranch. While gathering cattle, Cahlibur tripped really hard where he almost went down to his knees. Travis gave Cahlibur a couple of weeks off. Still he kept limping. He was given a couple more weeks off. At this point Travis took Cahlibur in to our Veterinarian. When Cahlibur was x-rayed we found out that he had chipped the end of his left front coffin bone. And to make things worse, in trying to compensate for the first chipped coffin bone, Cahlibur had chipped the right front coffin bone as well. So, Cahlibur was given a lot more time off. He was given special shoes on his front hooves and could only go for short walks to get his exercise. Our farrier found bruising in his front hooves. It wasn't until a couple of weeks ago, after checkup x-rays, that we found out that Cahlibur had arthritis. The vet gave him some injections for the pain and he is taking "Bute" once a day. Along with that we are soaking his hooves with cold water at least twice a day. He loves the soakings (and the green grass he gets to munch on!) I found the following article online:

What is Ringbone?
May 01 2005 Article # 5513
Ringbone, a lameness disease of the pastern and coffin joints, is a degenerative disorder that has no cure. Once the condition occurs, it's always there and will progressively worsen. Fortunately, with treatment and good management, the disease's progression can be slowed, allowing the horse to remain competitive.
Ringbone causes a circumferential enlargement at the level of the joint. High ringbone refers to the pastern joint and low ringbone refers to the coffin joint. The disease is similar to arthritis, with the affected area showing bone spur formation (additional bone buildup) and degenerative joint disease.

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Here is a link to another article on ringbone that has a diagram of a horse's hoof and the affected area:

Veterinary Corner 11/00: Ringbone in Horses

by Scott Habegger, DVM
Edgecliff Equine Hospital
S. 1322 Park Road, Spokane, WA 99212 * 509/924-6069

Ringbone is a lay term used to describe an osteoarthritis that affects the pastern joints in both the front and hind limbs of horses. Simply put, ringbone is new bone growth on the proximal, middle, or distal phalanx often with degeneration of the joint surface. High ringbone is the term that has been applied to the condition when it affects the proximal interphalangeal joint (pastern joint). Low ringbone is the term that has been applied when the condition affects the distal interphalangeal joint (coffin joint). Please refer to figure 1 for a brief review of the structures of the foot and pastern region.

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Along with the treatment recommended by our Vet and good management on our part, we will be researching to make Cahlibur as comfortable as possible and to retard this disease. We have heard that Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM would help with the pain.
For now Travis is riding a ranch horse, a Sorrel Quarter Horse Gelding, and will be completing Oakley's training so that he will have a horse to take up to the ranch, on long trail rides, etc. Oakley is my horse and in no way will replace Cahlibur in Travis' heart. Travis will continue to ride Cahlibur for short rides around the stables and over to our house when he is up to it. (Bareback of course!)

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AK said...

Not sure if it's suitable for horses, but a company in the UK do a good product for pets with joint problems. It's called 'Joint Formula' and there's plenty of info about it in their blog:

Janey Loree said...

Thanks a million for the information AK! I have already bookmarked the site so that Travis can check it out when he gets home from the ranch. From what I can tell it looks like they believe that Glucosamine Chondroitin and MSM help the joints!!

Thanks again!!!

Becky said...

Oh, Janey....

I'm so sorry to hear this news. My heart and my prayers are with you all. I'm going to do as much research as I can on this subject... I probably won't find any info out that the vet can't tell you, but it will make me feel like I'm doing something.

Janey Loree said...

Thank you Becky! We covet your prayers.

Callie said...

Glucosamine is good stuff. I have a friend who uses it regularly on her cutting horses and I have used it on my dogs and can see a difference if they don't get it.Have not used it on my horses, however, they don't work nearly that hard and haven't had a need. I do know they suggest it even befgore an injury or arthritis. Good luck and sorry to hear that.

Janey Loree said...

Thanks for the input Callie! My parents use Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM and in their 70's they still work hard and don't hurt unless they forget to take their vitamins and minerals!

I had back surgery in 2001 and have hurt nonstop every since. I've just started taking G. C. & MSM, I will know first hand if it works!!!

Midlife Mom said...

I am so sorry to hear about this happening. Seems like lately lots of us have been having some health issues with our dear four legged friends. Wish I had some words of wisdom for you on this but I don't know anything about it but it looks like you are researching every possible treatment. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Janey Loree said...

Thanks Midlife Mom! Cahlibur is feeling much better...he has been taking ME for a walk...eager to go and goes at a faster pace than I can keep up with. He is learning that I don't walk as fast as him or Travis!!!

Naomi said...

Poor Cahlibur. I was sorry to hear about his health problems Janey. Glucosamine, with Chondroitin and MSM is a very popular supplement here in the U.K. My Mum takes it for arthritis and joint problems. It's also given to dogs and horses here in England. I'm sure it would help Cahlibur a lot.

Janey Loree said...

Hi Naomi! This has been very hard on Travis. He is my quiet guy and hasn't said too much about it. But the few things he has said, I know that it hit him hard that his best horse is hurting. He takes care of Cahlibur in the evenings and I do mornings. Between the research, vets advice, all these wonderful comments, I know that Cahlibur will feel better and have a chance of leading a pretty normal life.

Rising Rainbow said...

Poor Cahlibur. It's so hard to have problems with our equine friends. Breaks my heart.

Sharon Lynne said...

Sorry to hear this Janey. But sounds like Cahlibur is in good hands. You are wonderful horse parents!

Janey Loree said...

Hi Rising Rainbow and Cousin CB! Thanks for your kind words...I just wish that Cahlibur could talk so that we knew exactly how he feels. As it is we have to watch him very close for any and all signs of discomfort.

I have some pictures of him feeling pretty good that were taken after he was diagnosed with ringbone. I will post them in the next couple of days, I have other blogs that I have been neglecting!!!

ColoradoChristianCowgirl said...

I can empathize with you. My mustang mare Casper was found to have lower ringbone in her front right in May of this year. Before she was found with the ringbone, she used to be used on several drill teams (and we're talkin' the real deal and jumping teams. She absolutely loved running and jumping, and now is confined to lower-level teams.

My heart breaks for her, and for anyone else whose horses have ringbone, or navicular, or any kind of disease that causes permanent lameness for that matter. Ringbone seems to show up in a surprising number of mustangs (and navicular in quarter horses), and I would be interested to know why. I am a freshman in college double-majoring in Biomedical Science and Equine Science so that one day I can work on finding a cure for ringbone and navicular. Anyway, best for you, and your horses.

God bless and happy trails,

Summitt For Circuit City's new "FireDog"!

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