Hunter is a 15-year-old APHA gelding. He had a long and successful career as a jumping horse. Over the past 5 years Hunters sometimes takes some irregular steps. While he is never completely lame, his owner sometimes feels that something is not quite right. His owner has done extensive diagnostics to keep Hunter performing at his best.
In 2015, the owner had a nuclear scintigraphy done by Dr. Revenaugh at NW Equine Performance. The nuclear scintigraphy allows the vet to look at the whole body, and highlights areas of bone inflammation or injury. Hunter’s nuclear scintigraphy revealed arthritis in his carpal joints (knees). At the time, both the owner and trainer felt certain that the lameness was coming from the back end. Therefore, the findings in the knees were disregarded. The scintigraphy also revealed arthritis in the sacroiliac joint (SI). Since this seemed consistent with the irregular steps observed by the owner and trainer, the veterinarian injected the SI joint at that time. In the four years that followed the scintigraphy, annual injections in the hocks, and SI were performed, which kept Hunter performing well most of the time.
In the spring of 2019, the owner had transitioned to riding dressage, and was no longer jumping. Also, the owner had relocated to Central Oregon and established care with Dr. Paul Edmonds in Redmond. In June of 2019, the owner had Hunter’s hocks and stifles injected. The owner showed Hunter through the summer, but was still experiencing irregular steps. Hunter was less willing in his undersaddle work than he had been the previous year. While he usually has lovely gaits and self-carriage, he was more tense and uncharacteristically reluctant to work over his topline in the same way he had in the past.
In September of 2019, after extensive examinations and listening to descriptions from the owner, the vet determined that some of Hunter’s discomfort was most likely coming from the front end. Radiographs of Hunter’s knees were performed at that time. The radiographs revealed arthritis in both knees and a bone chip in the left knee, at the area of the distal radius. The vet and the owner discussed the possibility of surgery. The vet injected the knees to reduce inflammation. At this point Acuscope was introduced.
In the months since then, Hunter’s owner reports that he feels more sound and willing undersaddle than he has in their entire partnership. The irregular steps are very rare now. Hunter has his positive attitude back and is once again relaxed and confident in his work. This has been a collaborative effort among the owner, the vets, the farrier and the Acuscope therapist.