I blogged last week about Minty who came with a mystery lameness. All sorts of diagnostics - flexion tests, nerve blocks, MRI, x-ray and ultrasound - had been tried and none had so far explained the problem.
When he arrived he had pretty long feet, as you can see from the photos, but he had a good landing - heel first and fairly well balanced medio-laterally - so it perhaps wasn't too surprising that nothing had appeared on MRI.
Despite his good landing he was short-striding and pottery, the sort of footiness which is very often related to nutritional or metabolic problems, but that is also fairly common when horses arrive here. Usually once they have been on our forage, feed and minerals for a few weeks this type of footiness gets much better.
Minty was no exception and over his first 6 weeks improved steadily until he was looking very sound in the school and really striding out. However he was still finding hard surfaces a challenge and it was at this point that we needed to rule out metabolic problems since even the best diet isn't going to work 100% if there is an underlying metabolic imbalance.
Sure enough, a blood test last week confirmed that Minty has PPID (or Cushings) and so he is now on medication which I hope will be the final piece in the jigsaw of returning him to full soundness.
For the vast majority of horses this will deal with the problem but if you still have a footy horse thats when a PPID test is an essential next step. Its rare that we need to test horses who come here, and over the years most of the times we have tested its come back negative. However if your horse has PPID, treating it can make the difference between banging your head against a brick wall and getting nowhere and having a sound horse.