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Ask Dr. Dave

Ammie from Louisiana, writes:

Dear Dr. Dave,

One of my horses is semi-accident prone. She has had urea poisoning, fractured cannon, hepatitis symptoms, and various other problems. But lately, she is staying sore in her hips. I'm not sure why. My Vet says the urea is completely out of her system and her organs are healthy. I have her on Lubrysin and she's been injected. So why is she sore?

Dear Ammie,

Thank you for your question.

Yes, I agree, it certainly seems like your horse is accident prone, yet let's assume she is now as healthy as your veterinarian has found. You say she has been injected. It would be helpful to know what joints have been injected and with what.

"So why is she sore?" I would question if we have treated the true source of her pain. I have found, especially in barrel horses, that the lumbar area of the spine is the major area of concern. If you consider the demands made of the horse, the driving power of the hind end, and the lateral and axial twisting required to run effectively, the lower back is put to incredible forces.

I would encourage you to have a veterinarian skilled in chiropractics to examine and treat your mare, with special emphasis on her loin. Because you didn't mention it, I would also want to have a veterinarian equine dentist check her dentition. Painful teeth or misaligned jaw can have adverse effects on the spine.

I wish you the best of success in 2010.

Here's to good ground and fast times,

Dr. Dave