As you know, Star was diagnosed with arthritis in his fetlock joint at the end of last year. I turned him out hoping that with time (and no work) he would become sound again and live out the rest of his days retired.
A few months on he was still lame at trot so I decided to get Kylee from Hotspots to have a look at him with her thermo-imaging camera (I also needed her for Bracos, more about that later). The results were quite outstanding.
The joint is so inflamed Kyle was really quite astounded by the rapid progression since she last looked at him. It really got me thinking that maybe it was time to make the hardest decision for him and send him to run free in the big paddock in the sky.
There were a couple of things I wanted to try for him though, Back on Track boots being one of those things.
I started researching arthritis in horses again and came across an interesting bit of information regarding the use of Pentosan in horses. I had previously had a good experience with Pentosan in the UK with my ex-MIL's older Border Collie. She was crippled before the Pentosan and showed a considerable amount of improvement in just 1 week. I was unaware this drug was available to use in horses as nobody (not even the vet know had dealt with Star) had mentioned it.
I have a new vet now. Mark from Kumeu vets was recommended to me by John Ewan to help with Bracos' issues. I immediately arranged for Mark come and give the first shot (Star will require 1 shot a week for 4 weeks as a 'loading dose').
Mark came on Wednesday evening and I discussed all the issues I had with Star. The arthritis, the weight loss and the lameness. He examined him and told me he had had some very good results with Pentosan, but at the end of the day it entirely depended on how Star personally responded. He also stated he hadn't seen all that many positive results of steroid joint injections (which Star had previously had).
Mark also recommended getting a good farrier to take a look at Stars hooves. He said at one stage "if we can get this horse sound he's got another 8 years riding left in him. A good farrier can work WONDERS!" (A comment to which I laughed at and Star looked most unimpressed about!).
Dave Rhodes was due out that night to shoe Bracos anyway so I asked him to look at Stars feet. It's the first time I've used Dave but I was very impressed. He used a hoof gauge to measure the angle of Stars feet. Apparently, in a perfect world, both feed would be at 50degrees. Stars feet were 60 degrees (the boxy hoof) and 46degrees. Dave basically too heel off one and toe off the other and got them both to a very respectable 51degrees each. He thinks Star has been so sore because his feet were so unbalanced. I know his club foot will never be perfect but we still want to get as close to perfection as we can!
So Star has been turned out for a couple of days with the BOT boots on. Tonight I'll bring him in and trot him up to check how he is feeling.