Kicked in the shoulder - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-27-2009, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Kicked in the shoulder

My OTTB got kicked right on the shoulder by a saddlebred with shoes 3 days ago. I didn't see it happen, but when I brought him back from the arena he was seriously limping.
After checking his legs we found nothing wrong there, but a nice little gash right on the muscular area on the side of the shoulder area.
We cleaned it out, put swat mixed with antibacterial paste on there, gave him bute and left him for the night.
The next day he seemed fine, a little swelling on the shoulder and some heat right over the area, but no limp. I took him for a little walk (100 yards) to let him eat some grass and put him back. I was absolutely planning on giving him the week off.
Next day (yesterday) he wouldn't move and was dragging his front leg when we made him walk, like he couldn't lift up his shoulder enough to lift up the leg. Swelling and heat were still there, so we cleaned the wound again (very little puss, hardly any), gave him bute and his dinner (he's eating just fine).
This morning the lady that gives him his breakfast called to let me know there was no improvement, the bute had not made a difference. I had some more ready, so she gave it to him and advised me to call the vet.
I called and we have an appointment for Monday morning.

Does anyone know of anything to make him more comfortable.
People have suggested liniment (not sure of spelling), icing it, keeping it warm, lots of things.
I will try them all, but has anyone had succes with anything specific?
I'm really hoping for just serious bruising and no dislocated shoulder or broken bones.
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-27-2009, 07:57 PM
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I would say to ice it down and keep him stationary if possible. Moving around could aggravate whatever injury is causing his lameness. Is Monday the earliest that the vet could come out? I would consider this an emergency since he is dragging the leg it could be a fracture or nerve damage or many other things that really should not wait until monday. I would call the vet again and see if they could come out immediately.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-27-2009, 10:44 PM
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Seems less likely it's a fracture, since it's a muscular area, He may have just decided that it's more sore now that the muscle has gotten stiff. I was nailed in the hip and thigh by a colt a couple of months ago, and it sure hurt worse after 2 days than it did the day of, and I didn't have a fracture or nerve damage, it just took that long for me to get stove up, so to speak, and movement made it feel better, after I worked the initial stiffness out each morning. It made me gimpy for a better part of two weeks. I had a huge swelling,too, and it turned a rainbow of colors before it went away. A few years ago I was nailed in the thigh and now I have a dent in the muscle, and whew did that one hurt, and yes, it hurt worse a couple of days after than it did the day of.
In blows to the muscle, pasture exercise and handwalking will help it heal better than stall rest, and by now the ice isn't going to do much for him, if it's just a big contusion. Bute probably isn't really helping all that much, either, but it may make YOU feel better. He's likely got all sorts of broken blood vessels and tissue that will just take time to heal.
One thing to consider, since there was broken skin, is a puncture wound, so still should have the vet come out. Again, ice won't hurt but may not really help at this time, and it's a hard place to keep iced down anyhow. Keep it clean, and let him move some. If it were a bone or tendon issue, I'd try to keep him quiet, but it's in a pretty elastic part of his body, so movement now may help it heal faster and better by increasing circulation (blood flow will carry away the cellular debris, bring oxygen and white cells to fight infection) and rebuild the tissue that was destroyed, and movement keeps it elastic. Don't work him hard, by any means, but I know when I got kicked, I ached less when I walked around as usual. Sitting in the truck was harder on me than anything!
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post #4 of 10 Old 03-28-2009, 01:25 AM
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I had a similar problem with my horse a few months ago, and it turned out that he had cellulitis. He had little to no pus but he was incredibly lame. His whole front leg had swollen up and it almost looked at though he has bowed his tendon. Earlier in the week, he got a tiny cut on the upper inside of his leg. I cleaned it out thoroughly, but it still developed cellulitis. The vet came out, gave him a shot of antibiotics, and he was back to showing in a week. Cellulitis can happen even if a horse gets a tiny scratch, and it takes a few days to develop. It also travels down the leg from the infected wound.

No matter what the problem is, the most important thing is to keep your horse safe and warm in his stall until the vet can come out. Cold hosing his swollen leg for about 15 minutes twice a day will help keep it from ballooning up any further. Give him less grain and more hay while he is confined to his stall. I hope he gets better and keep us updated!
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-28-2009, 10:41 AM
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If at all possible, I'd get the vet out ASAP. It could be a fracture that took a few days to swell significantly, it could be muscle damage, and from the way you describe the dragging and lack of response to bute, it could also be nerve damage. Because of the combination of the puncture along with the blunt force trauma injury, there is the potential for complications and infection. In addition, the subsequent lack of response to bute is very concerning as bute is both an analgesic and anti-inflammatory - so you should have seen some improvement on the bute again the way you did initially if it was just muscle pain/soreness from the kick coupled with swelling from the puncture. Because you did not, that makes me concerned that there could be more going on there than meets the eye.

I strongly recommend vet - ASAP!

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post #6 of 10 Old 03-29-2009, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Barefoothoves, I think you were very close. He was a lot better today. Still tentative, but picking up his foot now. I took him for a short walk around the barn and he seemed very happy to be away from his stall.
Vet will still be coming on Monday to give him his shots and he can give advise on how long he'll need off and stuff like that.
I feel soooo much better!
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post #7 of 10 Old 03-31-2009, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Vet came today. Bad news. Possible hair line fracture in shoulder bone. Bad spot, cannot do x-rays. 4-8 weeks confined to stall with once a day hand walking around the barn. Poor guy will be sooo bored! Not to mention not eating the food he loves, as I have to take him off anything that might give him energy, there goes the alfalfa.... I've started looking for a companion as he is not using the run attached to his stall and it has an awning. What would work best? A goat, donkey or little pony?
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-31-2009, 10:25 AM
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Aww, poor guy! Good thing you had a vet come to make sure. =)

I'd vote a gentle goat, that doesn't like to butt. Just because the would be less likely to get into a scuffle, or least my goats used to not stir up the horses too much,but a new pony or donkey may make your boy want to frisk around at first. Is there a horse he's familiar with you could put next to him, so he would skip being over excited about a new friend?
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post #9 of 10 Old 03-31-2009, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
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He has 2 neigbors he really likes, but since he is stuck in the stall section, they disappear out of view when they go inside too. I was hoping to find something small and fuzzy not to put inside with him, but in the outside run part of his stall (that's why it needs to be small, run is only about 30 feet long and 15 wide) so it can't kick him, but they can nose fight over the door. The awning would provide shade and shelter and as we live in Southern Arizona the weather is nice enough for being outside all the time.
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-31-2009, 11:18 PM
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goat,pig LOL, sheep, really anything prob work besides a dog lol that would prob just wind him up.maby a calf??
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