Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Finally, I have returned

I promise to stop being such a terrible blogger.

Basically, Pony was up and down and up and down and I got tired of writing about it.

However, seventh months later, I have a solid diagnosis.

Pony has ossifying myositis in her left hind leg.

Never heard of it? I didn't think so.  Its not a very common thing to happen.  Which seriously sucks.

Basically, one of the muscles (either the semimembranosus or the semitendanosus) has turned into hard scar tissue.  When this muscle turned into hard scar tissue, the muscle lost its elasticity.... therefor she has a difficult time bringing her left hind underneath herself, and if she overexerts herself it will then cause her to short step because that muscle tightens up even more.

This problem causes a mechanical lameness.  There are a lot of horses that get it, and simply deal with it.  However, because I have the most special pony in the entire world, it freaks her out and she can't handle herself.

And this brings you all up to date with where I am today.  I only found on a firm diagnosis on friday.  I am trying to come to terms with what this means for us and our future together.

I bet you are all asking 'So how do you fix it?'  Long story short, there is a surgery but that is only for much more extreme cases and it doesn't have a super high success rate.

This is a relatively uncommon occurrence that happens as the result of a few things.  Sometimes, it can be a calcium deficiency.  Sometimes, it can be the result of trauma, and sometimes it can be hereditary.  Apparently, something as little as being in a trailer with a butt bar and having the brakes slammed on can do it.  Or a kick from another horse they live with, and since the trauma is usually invisible to the outside, how can I ever know what could have caused it?

So, this should be a strictly mechanical problem, but clearly my Pony doesn't think so.  So we are starting the long road to hopefully a recovery.

Unfortunately since this is a relatively uncommon problem, and most horses deal with it, there isn't a lot of information about options I have to help her overcome it.  It is definitely possible for it to heal, but it is not guaranteed whatsoever.

So now this blog will become a documentation about me and pony trying to rehab out of this so that hopefully we can help someone else who has this problem with their beloved Pony.


  1. Oh I am sorry to hear that you are going through this, and I can understand why you shied away from writing about it. The whole up and down and maybe this and maybe that is so frustrating. At least you do have an answer now and hopefully you can find a way to help her.

    I'm glad to know that you are ok though. I have been wondering about you.

    1. Thank you!
      It honestly does make such a huge difference, at least I know exactly what it is I'm fighting, even if I don't have a solution.

  2. Does she bring the leg forward, but not quite far enough, and kind of slap it down when she walks? The term sounds familiar. Sound at the trot?

    1. You are definitely thinking of the correct problem, but its a little different for her. She walks great, trots great, but then once you ask for a lope she cannot do it on her left lead, and once she runs around a little she full on short steps with her left hind. What you are picturing is once the problem has progressed a little more.

    2. I've owned a couple mares with the same problem. One definitely couldn't lope unless under extreme duress, but was an absolutely wonderful trail horse and is still packing kids around. It's her breathing and not her leg that will eventually end her useful days.

      I've read that deep massage can be helpful. I also vaguely remember some holistic vet saying something about toxins in standing water, and that it will affect the left hind. Always does seem to be the left hind. I wish I could remember that vet's name. She consulted over the internet. I doubt you jave much standing water for her to drink out of though.

      Good luck! I hope you find a way to keep it from progressing! If she's anything like my mares were, she can still have a useful life at a slower speed, even if it gets bad.

    3. Hahah yeah, here in california we have NO water at all! much less standing water! Thanks for the hope :)

  3. At least now you have a diagnosis and something to work with! I know you two will be able to work through it.

  4. Awh, I hate to hear that you've been having issues. Mystery lameness isn't fun, but finding out why the ponies are hurting and you can't do much about it is even worse. Could some joint supplements help her out any?

    1. I am going to keep her on a joint supplement (I just started MSM but I'm not sure if i'm going to keep that or switch) simply because she is 15 and why not help out her joints if I can? However, since this is a strictly muscle related problem joint supplements won't help much, I wish they had muscle supplements but unfortunately thats a way under researched area!


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