injured back

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injured back

This is a discussion on injured back within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Injuried horse back
  • Horses; flinch when touching rear of hip?

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    08-02-2010, 10:36 AM
Question injured back

18 year old tb is seeing vet today for a back injury discovered Sunday. I'm scared to death because this was sudden, and seems severe. He has a small scraped area on his spine and all I can think is that something fell on him or he slipped on the grass in the rain and went down. An area of spine right over his loin seems swollen and is very hot. He has a large bump on his spine. You cannot touch the hair over his spine or loin without his hindquarters sinking to the ground. No pressure: he can't tolerate you even brushing his hair lightly with your hand!! We aren't talking flinch, we're talking almost collapsing! He stands and walks (slowly) eats and drinks, but cannot stand being touched! Our vet is on vacation, we're seeing the back up vet today. Am I right in thinking this is potentially very serious?
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    08-02-2010, 03:32 PM
Welcome to the forum! (finally)

There are so many things that seem superficial and turn out to be life threatening while other things look far worse then they really are, Pat. You've got a good vet and that's the first step. Too many horse owners wait until it's too late to act so I'm glad to hear DB's going for a Dr visit.

We're anxious to hear the verdict.
    08-03-2010, 05:59 PM
Several years ago one of my horses slipped outside in the Winter, probably a patch of ice. He was in a lot of pain and his injury felt very hot, it was inflammation. He was treated by the vet immediately, put on stall rest, bute for pain and inflammation and a gel was prescribed that I had to put over the injured area (his right hip area) several times a day. The gel would go very hot once applied to the injured area. After several days of this he was able to go back outside. Your horse probably has quite a bit of inflammation and no doubt with treatment and tlc he will be fine. I did use an equine chiropractor and an equine message therapist for several months after that. He is fine now.
    08-04-2010, 07:24 AM
Thanks for the reassurance Bill and Sachmo!
DB saw our back-up vet (who I really like) on Monday and he has really done a job on himself. No bone problems from this, but extensive inflammation of muscles and soft tissue and spasming. He got a shot of dexamethasone (a cortocosteriod) and powdered dex for his food along with a muscle relaxant to add to his feed and mineral ice as liniment. Blood was pulled for muscle enzyme tests which came back normal! That was good news. The bad news is that he's going to be out of action for 2 weeks to a month. Goes back next Monday for a re-check. He was much better Tuesday night. As soon as he gets more comfortable we'll be calling a chiro for him. Last Wed. Night he was so comfortable during shoeing that he fell asleep in the crossties and almost knocked Charlie (the farrier) over! At 18 and as an OTTB, he was just beginning to develop some arthritis and he's been getting injections of glucosamine weekly. We're going to do everything we can to prevent this from complicating or worsening the arthritis.
The vet has already suggested a gel impact saddle pad for when Jim begins riding again. Bill, we may call on your saddle expertise also. DB is incredibly difficult to fit for a saddle and for years the only one that has really worked is a roping saddle. It's incredibly heavy and I'd like to lighten the load on his back any way we can. The problem is he's like the underside of a sailboat: HUGE barrel ribs with really high withers and sunken shoulders! He's a thoroughbred to the max in conformation but the most laidback gentlemanly one you've ever met! This vet had seen my little butthead but had never met DB. He only knew I was bringing in a TB. ROFL I think he had prepared himself for the stereotype and was pleasantly shocked at the difference! I didn't mean to write a book. Thanks for all your help!
    08-07-2010, 10:54 PM

Update with a complication:

DB went back to the vet this morning (Saturday) with a horrific case of rainrot and fungal problems. We battle skin problems anyway because of his anhydrosis, but the steroid knocked down his immune system and as a result he has a raging case of rainrot! Add to this scrapes on both hips where he's laid down and must have rocked back and forth trying to get up with his sore back!The pain in his back is better, but he's got a long way to go, and now THIS!

Poor DB. If it's not one thing, it's another. He's off the steroid, on a different anti-inflammatory and thyroid medication has been added. I'm hoping we can make it through the next week without seeing the vet again. Enough already!!!
    08-07-2010, 11:35 PM
Awww...poor guy. Its hell getting old! Im sure you are doing the right things for him. Those TB's and their sensitive skin! Good luck! I just wanted to toss some support for ya!
    08-08-2010, 06:21 AM
Originally Posted by corinowalk    
Its hell getting old!
Ain't that the truth?! We just don't bounce back like we use to. Sorry to hear about the new complication, Pat.

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