Shoulder Problem

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Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2008
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Has anyone ever dealt with a shoulder problem called "Subluxation of the shoulder joint"? It is supposed to be quite rare, the vets at OSU have never seen it before and upon researching have read that it mostly occurs in miniatures and ponies.

We spent 7 hours at OSU yesterday trying to diagnose why my daughter's 15.1hh Paint mare has been lame for the last two weeks. They started at the foot and worked their way up the leg to discover it was shoulder related (they had been so sure it was navicular - a foot problem). Finally after they nerve blocked half her leg the realized it was the shoulder.

The poor sweet mare will be on stall rest for the next 6-8 weeks. I have cornered off a portion of her outdoor pen to 12 x 12 so she can at least be outdoors on nice days near the other horses. We can hand walk her for 10 minutes, twice per day. Poor horse and my poor little girl that is heart broken over this. The mare is extra heartbroken because she is to be pulled off her feed except for hay balancer (gro-n-win) and free choice hay so she does not gain any weight from no exercise and perhaps lose a few pounds to take some pressure off.

Has anyone here dealt with this? What was the outcome? We go back in 6 weeks for followup x-rays. If all goes well the mare will heal with no lasting issues, but if not, she will likely have arthritis.


Here is her picture:

I am not sure of the terminology, but one of mine had a scapula completely out of place, plus several other problems. He had a treatment by a chiropractor in March, and in fact has another appointment next wednesday.

Did OSU mention anything about that as an option?

One sign of a problem is opposite feet are not right. Mine has a little trouble in one hind leg, and it makes the opposite front hoof a little off. Or perhaps, the shoulder out of place is causing the hind end to be off. Either way, it would be interesting if you noticed anything like that on your girl.

Do you have her on anything for swelling and pain?

Thank goodness it is not navicular!!
When my regular vet examined the mare, she noticed that her right hoof was "up" and her left hoof was "down" possible due to an improper trim and poor shoe-ing. We recently bought this mare so it was not the work of my farrier. My farrier leveled her up and put better fitting shoes on her, but a week later and the lameness was still there. Farrier also noticed that the right foot was smaller and more contracted then the left (it is her right shoulder that is injured).

OSU thinks the problem is one of trauma, but there is no known incident that occurred. No swelling, cuts, scrapes, no dents in her pen (Prefiert Panels) that would occur is she had a major collision.

Do you know what the cause of the problem was in you mini?

OSU did not recommend a chiropractor, but my regular vet did when I read her the report. Who do you use? She recommended Gary Marr down near Norman.

She really only seems to be in pain when asked to trot a circle. No swelling/tenderness that is noted. I think they don't want her to be completely pain free so as not to over do it. Like the discomfort will remind her to lay low.

How is your mini doing now? What is the long term prognosis?

Thanks so much for you feedback!

I use Dr Jill in Elgin. She demonstrated at the State Club clinic in Norman in March. Norman is much closer for you, isnt' it? Mine charges a $50 farm fee, which is cheaper than hauling one's horse 120 miles.

I have heard of Dr Danielson in OKC/Norman that is recommended. He also does accupuncture in conjunction with the chiropractic treatment.

My horse was a rescue, and had been driven into a cattle panel by a pack of dogs. So, that could have been part of his problem. He is doing much better and I expect him to be 100%.

I would ask your regular vet about banamine for swelling and pain. Sometimes, in dealing with pain, even a person will cause himself other trouble trying to avoid using the hurt part of the body. I doubt that vet would endure a lot of pain of an injury, just to make sure he "laid low" for a while. That seems unreasonable, to me.

Good luck with your girl. It is a heartache to see them suffer.

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