Injured back issues - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 04-25-2013, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Location: I was born in Germany, raised in Texas.
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Injured back issues

I really just need to know what I'm in for since I've never dealt with a horse who has hurt his back. My ding dong thoroughbred cross decided a few weeks ago that he didn't like being left behind when we took the rest of the horses for a stroll in the pasture. He was tied underneath their overhang just slightly above his head by his rope halter, and he could even see us, but he came unglued. Unbeknownst to us, he lost his footing somehow and ended up completely on the ground with his head still tied. The knot was tied right so he wasn't choking but he couldn't stand back up this way and probably thrashed around pretty good. When I realized what had happened, he was already pretty worn out. I had to cut his halter and he took right off. He kept tucking his rump and I noticed some pretty good road rash around the base of his tail. Other than that, I couldn't tell at first glance there was a problem. Fast forward three weeks and I decide to ride him for the first time since this incident. He was completely not himself. He bolted as soon as I mounted. I couldn't even get my right foot in the stirrup. He was on constant alert. Spooked at goofy stuff. Kept turning his head towards my leg. I decided he was in pain because he is never this difficult to ride. He did something those three weeks ago. On the ground there's no sign of discomfort. He lunges fine. Races across the field with the others at a full gallop. I can apply pressure with my index finger and thumb. Normal. So I can't tell what the issue is, but he does not appreciate me on his back right now. How would y'all approach this? Obviously more time off. I was going to keep doing lunge work with him and try to work out the kinks and keep things moving. Has anyone ever dealt with a back injury that didn't come from an ill fitting saddle? How long should I give him before I try to mount up again? Any tips on how to help him or is time pretty much what he needs right now?
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post #2 of 12 Old 04-25-2013, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Oh and I started him on a joint supplement just for good measure. He's around 8 years old so youth is on his side but I'm still concerned about him. :(
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post #3 of 12 Old 04-25-2013, 11:45 PM
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It might not be his back. There is a possibility that he injured his neck. He could have damaged any of a large number of structures, and you won't really know how to handle it until you figure out what's injured and how.

Last summer, Jack was just plain off. I called the vet, and she found a bruise over his spine, right around L1. He needed time off and NSAIDs for a couple days. After about a week, he was feeling much better, but I didn't put him back to work for almost three. I wouldn't have known what to do for him had I not consulted his vet.

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post #4 of 12 Old 04-26-2013, 12:07 AM
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I would be checking if its a SI injury. My gelding got one and I still have no idea when or for how long. The only way we figured something was wrong was when he went into real training and they were working on flying changes and bounce jumps. He would never do a flying, no matter what. Never did a bounce either, rather run through it or duck out. The vet checked with accupuncture and found that thats what was wrong with him. Hes been off since 2009 with light riding only.. no major contact, no collection, no jumping etc. only walking with a tad bit of trotting. He was cleared to restart work last year. He will never jump again though or go into anything higher level.
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post #5 of 12 Old 04-26-2013, 01:15 AM Thread Starter
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Location: I was born in Germany, raised in Texas.
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Thank you for both your replies. That actually helped a lot. After doing some research on anti inflammatories, I think I may start out by supplementing him with something natural to help ease any pain and swelling he may have going on. Hopefully between that, the joint supplement, and more time off, we'll see positive changes. It would break my heart if this turned into something permanent. I ride both English and western. This guy is my only English ride and I started him on some basic dressage and had plans to do some light jumping with him. His timing is just impeccable with this injury. Flipflop, I am so sorry to read that your guy is permanently affected by his injury. :(
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post #6 of 12 Old 04-26-2013, 07:40 AM
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You really need to get a vet to check him out instead of guessing at his ailment. Both of the previous responses mention it, but your last response has no indication of seeking a vet to diagnose him. You may find it cheaper in the long run to have the vet bill rather than an overwhelming pile of receipts from guessing for cures.

I'm not trying to be mean or condescending, only reiterating the need for a vet to see him.

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post #7 of 12 Old 04-26-2013, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Oh yea, I'll definitely still call her as well, especially since reading that problems can still exist despite no visible reaction from the horse (until you get on lol), but like I said, I wanted to find out through possible previous experience here what I was in for. I'm hoping that an over the counter anti inflammatory supplement will at least work on possible swelling or pain until further notice from her since I'm not an emergency. I appreciate the advice. :)
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post #8 of 12 Old 04-26-2013, 11:09 AM
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How about a good equine chiro as well? From the sounds of it your horse could have done some torquing of his body flailing around.
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post #9 of 12 Old 04-26-2013, 11:46 AM
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I can't stress enough calling a vet - actually I would call the nearest equine medical facility with a good name and carry him there.

1.) A friend rescued a Cash-bred racing QH due to similar injuries. He was at the track and being exercised on walker.

Somehow he got himself hung up in the walker and did something to his neck that resulted in neck surgery. He could never race again.

He was scheduled to take a one way ride on a truck bound for Mexico when my friend got wind of him. She hocked her diamonds for $800 to buy what once was a many thousand dollar horse.

When the horse was trailered the 80 miles home, the track caregiver was adamant the horse could NOT be tied in the trailer because just one little pull-back on the trailer tie could result in more damage and perhaps render the horse totally useless:(

Brought him home, worked him little by little building up his front end on the maintenance roads in the rock hills.

She still had him when I left California. My point is he never was able to race again but made a fantastic and willing trail horse on some pretty tough trails in the rockhills of Southern California.

2.) I have a horse with a fractured sacrum. He sees the chiro 2 - 3 times yearly. He went from a butt-sliding trail horse to intermediate level trail riding.

These kinds of incidents are definitely "vet material" in that second-guessing could cause the horse permanent damage to where he eventually won't be worth anything to anyone accept Dad's

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

Last edited by walkinthewalk; 04-26-2013 at 11:48 AM.
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post #10 of 12 Old 04-26-2013, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: I was born in Germany, raised in Texas.
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Well, I would love to go all out and get an equine medical facility involved and spend every penny I have to make him feel better, but in the end, I'm a stay at home mom to 6 children, 3 of whom are teenagers so the funds are limited at best. No diamonds to hock here. Just a few lumps of coal in the fireplace. ;) I've already gotten in touch with my regular vet and waiting on a response. I am definitely entertaining the idea of bringing out an equine chiropractor after I hear what my vet has to say. Beyond that, my budget has my hands tied. :(
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