Freaking out - possible tendon/ligement injury...

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Freaking out - possible tendon/ligement injury...

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    01-28-2011, 09:44 AM
Freaking out - possible tendon/ligement injury...

So, I posted last week about Zee's swollen leg and what my trainer thought was a popped splint (Can't decide if I should call the vet yet...) I've been wrapping him at night, handwalking for 10 mins a day, and keeping him on stall rest. The vet wasn't overly concerned and told me to call if he got any worse, or thought he should be x-rayed. So, my trainer took a look at it last night, with no swelling, and was able to see the lump much more clearly. She realized that it is not on the splint bone, but on the tendon or ligament right behind it. Soft tissue damamage. Now I'm panicking. I called the vet first thing for an ultrasound and am waiting for a call back. From everything I can see online, it looks like it would be where the suspensory ligament runs behind the cannon bone, about 2 inches below the knee, before it splits. The lump is about the size of a quarter, with limited pain (when you flex him and run your finger down it, he flinches very slightly when you hit the lump).

We didn't wrap him last night to see how'd he do, and switch him to wrapping during the day to help with my work schedule. I went to the barn before work to leave his clean boots for my trainer to wrap him later this morning, and he had very minor puffiness, just above the fetlock, in the back of the leg.

Of course, now I'm completely freaking out, thinking that he's in for months of recovery and wondering what his future will look like with an injury like this at his age (he'll be 22 in May). I sat up til midnight last night looking for information online, then couldn't sleep. Has anyone delt with anything like this in an older horse?
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    01-28-2011, 10:14 AM
I don't know if I would "stress" out it if is tissue damage. Ligament and Suspensory, yes. I say this because Nelson, my 21 year old TB injured himself in his stall last January.

At the time, he was beside a pony that he didn't like, and his way of expressing his distaste for the cute little guy, was kicking at his stall wall that stood bewteen the two.

The next morning, when the Barn Help came to turn the horses out, they discovered Nelson's hind right was swollen immensely from his stifle, down to his ankle. I mean, SWOLLEN!! 3x the normal size. The barn called me at work that morning, and informed me of what they found, and I contacted my Vet asap, and she got out there to examine him.

She called me a few hours later, and told me it was severe tissue damage *at the time we had no idea he was kicking his stall, and had no idea how he managed to let that happen* and that he was on strict stall rest, and cold hosing, cold poulticing, and bute.

Eventually, after a few days of cold poulticing - 3 holes were discovered on the inside of his hind right hock, where alllll that swelling that had no where else to go, but out - was gooping through. It was a mess! My vet came back out, and changed the "attack" plan.

I sincerely thought he was done. I honestly thought he was going to be a Pasture Puff for the rest of his life, because that injury looked NASTY!

But eventually, a few months later, he was walking on his leg, he was trotting on his leg and moving like, nothing happened. My vet came out, AGAIN, and after assessing his movement and doing lameness tests, he was given the pass to be ridden again - only at the walk, and eventually the trot and etc, etc.

Through the lameness test, he showed signs of wear and tear when I trotted him off - so I made an appointment with a Equine Lameness Specialist in my area, and we hauled him over to get xrays. The vet did a full exam on him, and palpated him from his hocks, to his stifles, to his lower back and explained everything. We ended up giving him full injections in both hocks, and both stifles and he is now on a monthly dose of Adequan and we're back to our normal routines and Evented up a storm this past 2010 season and look forward to our 2011. He turns 22 in April.

The swelling in his hind right, is still there. It'll always be there. It isn't noticeable unless you walk right up to him and compare both hinds. When you do that, you can see it. My vet said that it'll always be there, because of the tissue damage, but it isn't hindering him in any way, nor does it cause him discomfort.

I put him on B-L Solution Pellets through SmartPak, and that seemed to work. The swelling actually was non existant for a while there, but due to the Devil's Claw in the product and Nelson having ulcers, I took him off of it - and the swelling came back.


So, if it is tissue damage, I don't know if that means "make or break" his riding career - but that can only deciphered by a Veterinarian who deals with Equine Lameness.

I do highly recommend you have xrays or ultrasounds done, absolutely. Figure out what exactly is going on.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! Keep us posted on what the results are! I know how stressful this is, been there, done that - but you're doing your best!
    01-28-2011, 10:22 AM
Thank you MIE! Not knowing is worse, I'll feel better after the vet is out and we have a better understanding if what's going on, no matter what the diagnosis is. I don't like worrying if I'm doing the right thing, or not knowing exactly what we're actually treating. It's strange because he hasn't appeared to be in pain, or had a lot of scary swelling. His age bothers me more than anything, since I worry about his capacity for healing. He will be 22 in May, so he's just a month younger than your guy! Unfortunately, he was out of work for a few years when his owner bought another horse, and was just put back into work last August. I bought him October because I was totally amazed that his fitness levels returned so quickly! I know we didn't overwork him in the last few months, but I still worry that we jumped him too soon, or didn't give him enough rest between rides, etc... Ugh. I don't really care what the outcome is, we'll still love him the same even if I could never ride again, but I know he loves having a job and only want him to be happy!
    01-28-2011, 10:40 AM
He's very lucky to have you as his Mamma! You clearly love him to bits, and you are doing all you can for him! I know he greatly appreciates having you in his life :)
    01-28-2011, 10:45 AM
Originally Posted by MIEventer    
He's very lucky to have you as his Mamma! You clearly love him to bits, and you are doing all you can for him! I know he greatly appreciates having you in his life :)
That's the same pep talk I got from my fiance at 6:00 this morning when I was rushing to get over to the barn before work this morning! LOL! He's probably the most perfect horse I've ever been lucky enough to have in my life. He deserves it!

And thank you, your experience with your boy makes me feel a lot better! Too much time googling will always make you think the worst...
    01-28-2011, 11:16 AM
Here are pics of Nelsons wound. This is what happened once the pressure escaped -

Then after dilligent care:

Then here he is this summer, after he got through it all:

You can see that the swelling is still slightly there - but as my vet said, it'll always be.

But it doesn't hinder him:

So keep your thoughts positive until you know for sure! You can't play the "what if" game, because that'll only stress you out MORE. So, just relax, and do your best until you can get definative answers!

    01-28-2011, 11:21 AM
Oh My God! I think I would have had a heart attack! Now THAT is a testament to amazing care...
    01-28-2011, 11:47 AM
MIEventer, This is Kelly's Fiance Jason. I want to personally thank you for responding to this post and telling her your story. I know that hearing your story made ME feel alot better about the situation and I can tell that Kelly truly feels better, eventhough i'm only reading her responses. Kelly does take the best care of him, better than anyone in our barn, and I can tell that you are the same way with your boy. I did give her the same pep talk this morning, eventhough she HATES my pep talks! But it always makes a difference when she can hear it from someone else, especially someone that can relate.

So anyway...I just wanted to say thank you.
    01-28-2011, 12:18 PM
Off topic I know, but does anyone else think that its just TOO CUTE that Kelly's fiance posted in this thread to say thank you?!

So cute!

Good luck with Zee and keep us updated!
    01-28-2011, 12:43 PM
Originally Posted by DubyaS6    
Off topic I know, but does anyone else think that its just TOO CUTE that Kelly's fiance posted in this thread to say thank you?!

So cute!

Good luck with Zee and keep us updated!
LOL!!! I send him threads all day long that I think he'll find interesting. He really like to respond to my threads of pictures that he has taken to comment on what a WONDERFUL photographer we have! LOL!! I say it all the time, but Zee really does has the best Daddy I've ever seen. Whenever we're at the barn, Jason cleans Zee's stall, refills his water bucket and makes sure he has enough hay while I'm riding. After grooming, he sweeps up after us and puts all our crap away. If Zee needs something in the morning, and I can't get there before work, Jason stops on his way to work at 6:00 am to take care of him. Not to mention the number of miles he puts on his truck driving me around to tack shops on the weekends! Oh, and I forgot to mention that Jason has never had a single pet, let alone horse experience, before he met me. Zee and I are both very, very lucky...

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