Posts Tagged ‘arthritis

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow gets new X-rays

Those of you that have followed our ponies’ journey from the beginning may remember that our little Minnow has battled with Ringbone since 2008. Ringbone is essentially a form of equine arthritis, a bone growth in the pastern or coffin joint of a horse. And because in a lot of cases people choose to euthanize a horse with Ringbone (because there is no cure), I have decided to document Minnow’s journey in pain management in the hopes that it might help someone else battling Ringbone in their horse.

Maintaining Ringbone - Minnow injection // Painting Pony

Earlier this year we noticed that he seemed to be more lame on his right front (his initial diagnosis and treatment has always been for his left front), so we decided to have him re-xrayed since it’s been 2 years since we last had him checked.

Minnow Ringbone X-Rays // 2015 // Painting Pony

Here’s the shot of his left front, 2 years after being injected with Ethyl Alcohol to help the joint fuse faster:

Minnow Ringbone X-Rays // 2015 // Painting Pony

Here’s what it looked like the day we had it injected:

Managing Ringbone - Chincoteague Minnow's Trip to New Bolton // Painting Pony

As you can see the joint still is not completely fused, but it’s a lot closer, and it’s actually straightened out some. Which I think has attributed to him being more comfortable on it.

So let’s take a look at the right front, the one that has started to bother him more recently:

Minnow Ringbone X-Rays // 2015 // Painting Pony

Minnow Ringbone X-Rays // 2015 // Painting Pony

It’s hard to tell, but there is some white shading around the pastern joint, and indication that Minnow is at the beginning stages of high ringbone in his right front pastern as well. Our vet consulted with New Bolton Animal Hospital, and determined it’s still too early to inject with Ethyl Alcohol for it to be effective. The fact that he’s also developing this in his other leg further proves that in his particular case it was more genetic than anything. It makes me feel better to know, no matter what I would have done, he would have developed ringbone anyway due to his confirmation.

Chincoteague Pony Minnow trains for Pony Penning 2012

But not to worry, Minnow is still doing well (he’s super Minnow after all)! And here’s how we’re managing pain today for him:

Minnow is currently taking 1/2 a pill of 57mg of Previcox daily as well as a scoop of GLS joint supplement. Once starting the Previcox we noticed an improvement in Minnow’s pain. He seems much more comfortable and we even noticed an improvement in his limp (on both legs).

Chincoteague Pony Minnow trains for Pony Penning 2012

If you’d like to check out our previous attempts to help Minnow with his Ringbone diagnosis, you can read more here:

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow’s Trip to New Bolton

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow tries Ground Control Shoes

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow gets injected with Ethyl Alcohol

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow tries GLS

If you have a story to share about your horse and Ringbone, we’d love to hear about it! Post a comment on this blog post, or share it on our Facebook wall.

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Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow tries GLS

If you have followed along at all with Minnow’s journey with high ringbone, then you know over the years we have tried many different things to manage his pain. His diagnosis back in 2008 was career ending for him, but he’s gone on to have a full and loved life as a trick pony. He’s very special to me and I would do anything to make sure he’s comfortable and happy for as long as I can.

Painting Pony Minnow at the Ludwigs Corner Horse Show

Painting Pony Minnow at the Ludwigs Corner Horse Show

Our previous attempts to help Minnow can be read about here:

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow’s Trip to New Bolton

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow tries Ground Control Shoes

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow gets injected with Ethyl Alcohol

Managing Ringbone - Chincoteague Minnow's Trip to New Bolton // Painting Pony

Managing Ringbone - Chincoteague Minnow's Trip to New Bolton // Painting Pony

Since it’s been nearly 2 years since Minnow was injected with Ethyl Alcohol to help fuse his joint I thought it was time for a little update on him. Recently we decided to put him on the supplement, GLS Powder.

Maintaining Ringbone: Minnow tries GLS Power // Painting Pony

We had noticed some improvement in a few other horses with arthritis on our farm and decided to give it a try. And after a few weeks of being on it we did notice he was walking much better than he had been.

Here is a few old videos of Minnow before he was injected with the Ethyl Alcohol, and after his injection:

And here he is just a few weeks ago after being on GLS for a few weeks:

It’s a small change, but he does seem to be more comfortable and we’ve even seen him bucking and running more in the pasture. So for now we will continue to keep him on the GLS Powder and hopefully in time his joint will fuse completely and we can only hope he can then be pain free!

P.S. Minnow has turned 20 this year…here’s to another 10 years with him!

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Maintaining Ringbone

Lately I’ve been doing a lot of research into ringbone, because that is what Chincoteague Minnow was diagnosed with in 2008, and is the reason he was retired from competition and riding in general.

For anyone that doesn’t know, Ringbone is a bone growth in the pastern or coffin joint of a horse. In severe cases, the growth can encircle the bones, giving ringbone its name. Essentially ringbone is a form of equine arthritis. There are several reasons why horses can develop ringbone, I’m fairly certain that Minnow developed it due to poor confirmation (he has fairly upright pasterns) and the fact that for 4 years I competed him in a speed sport, Mounted Games. Although Minnow did develop ringbone in his left front, which is sort of contradictory to our sport, because the majority of the time we always make right hand turns – putting most of the strain on the right front leg. So I think that even though Minnow was involved with a physically demanding sport, he likely would have developed ringbone either way.

Magnetic Therapy for Ringbone

Some horses can continue to be ridden with proper maintenance, and there are several treatment options, although none can cure ringbone. One such option is joint injections, which I did try on Minnow at the suggestion of several vets. The pastern joint can be injected directly, typically with a form of corticosteroid and hyaluronic acid. For several months Minnow was on stall rest, and although I did see improvement it was never enough to continue riding him like I had hoped.

Personally I didn’t think it was right to continue to ride Minnow (by drugging him up) simply for my enjoyment. So now the only “maintenance” Minnow gets is proper barefoot shoeing and the occasional dose of bute (sort of like aspirin for horses) if he’s going to be doing something a little more strenuous like performing with me.

But as Minnow gets older (he turns 17 this year) I’ve begun to wonder if I’m doing enough to alleviate his pain? But at the same time I don’t want to dose him like crazy with supplements that he really doesn’t need. I’m sort of torn in both directions. He’s a hearty pony that was born wild, maybe less is better? I also read somewhere that light exercise is better for ringbone than letting the horse stand in one area a lot. Minnow is turned out daily, but maybe he needs more, perhaps I should be taking him on walking trail rides once a week or more?

So as I contemplate and research what is best for him I’m posting this question to all of my readers (or passerby’s) of this blog….Any Suggestions? Perhaps you’ve had/know a horse with ringbone…has anything worked for them?

As soon as I figure out this Ringbone dilemma I’ll have to move onto Equine Cushings – as my retired Dressage horse, Niatross, has been diagnoised with this illness. He’s not the first experience I’ve had with cushings though, my childhood pony, Oopsie Daisy, also had cushings in his later years.

-KD
www.ponypaintings.com

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