Potential muscle damage?

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Potential muscle damage?

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  • What+muscles+on+my+ponys+back
  • Horse pulled muscle in back

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    07-15-2010, 08:44 AM
Potential muscle damage?

Ok 3days ago I was riding one my ponies in the rain. I was trotting around the edge of a field when on the corner he slipped with his left fore on horse poo. The leg slid out quite rapidly and I think over stretched it was enough to throw me totally off balance.

So I went out the next day and he was trotting lame in the field but not horrifically so. So I decided to bring him to the river to do a soak I couldnt find any injuries on his legs like no heat,swelling.nicks etc so I moved up to the shoulder nothing there even when I pushed right in to the muscle. He let me stretch his two fore legs out and he was not objecting to it so I ruled out the shoulder. I then made him turn around me on a small circle to figure which leg was actually lame and although he seemed sore on the left fore he was also stiff along the right. So I checked all along his back and the is no swelling or heat BUT he is quite flinchy all along the back to the point where his saddle would end?

He doesnt stable all that great so he is in a small paddock with just one buddy to keep him calm enough I decided not to give bute as he is in the field I don't want him to feel he can do more then he can and over exert himself.

Does this sound like muscle damage to you? I was thinking maybe a pulled muscle up along the wither area which would cause soreness in two front legs? Should he be in and stressed(also if I keep him in when I out him out he will go CRAZY therefore causing more damage to himself) or out with miimal movement? How should I treat it? Is there any reason that if he came sound I shouldnt sit on him for another week or so as the muscle wouldnt be able to support it?
Thanks in advance
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    07-15-2010, 02:12 PM
Muscle Damage

First let me say to you this:
Your horse suffered a hyperextension of the left foreleg. This has caused tetanic contractions in various areas of the body.
The sore back is a result of the hyperextension.
A tetanic contraction is simply where the muscle does not return to normal.

< all fixable >

If you twist your ankle, your entire leg and hip are affected. So what you are dealing with on your horse is the same.

Examination for you to do on him.
1. Palpate the wither area behind the shoulder on both sides. Push in, do not worry about hurting him. You need to know if there is a problem by him responding to the pressure.
2. Lift the left foreleg upward by holding behind the knee. If the shoulder is normal, the knee will rise upward without resistance to a point above the horizontal plane. You need to remember at what point you feel any resistance. Then try to raise it beyond this point....the effort will feel the resistance increase if any is present.
3. Lift the right foreleg doing the same as you did to the left.
4. Now palpate the muscles directling in a line in front of the scapula, from the top to the point of the shoulder.

This will tell us the extent of any forehand muscle overstretch you might be dealing with.

As for the back area....I will further explain that and how to fix all of it when you post your results of the examination.
    07-15-2010, 02:35 PM
I'm fairly certain tetanic contraction is not the issue here.

OP, your horse pulled a muscle, of course he's going to be sore on that shoulder. It's also common knowledge that soreness in one muscle will affect others.

I doubt seriously if the animal is having continuous spasms without muscle relaxation, as opposed to just being plain old sore.

If you fell down and pulled a muscle, wouldn't you feel sore? Doesn't a stiff neck affect the rest of your body? Same thing in horses.

If you're concerned that he may have torn something, consult a vet. Otherwise, just let him be for a few days until he stops presenting ouchy.
    07-15-2010, 04:28 PM
Maggi, he probably just pulled a muscle and is sore (and will be for a few days). I would just give him a bit of time to heal up, give him plenty of room to move around because that will help him from getting too stiff and/or swelling up. If he hasn't shown improvement in a few days, then I would consider getting a vet's opinion to rule out a torn muscle, strained tendon, or back injury.
    07-16-2010, 06:49 AM
Spirithorse- thank you for that very detailed answer! When I did his foreleg stretches he did not object to it(he has an attitude so id know if I hurt him!) I took him to about the usual point of resistance on both fores then trotted on(advised by my friend ion vet) When he moved after stretching he was noticeably stiffer in the left but quite sore in the right also? When I placed a hand firmly on the wither he flinched but let me continue to then push in etc.
Today will be his third day off and although he is still noticeably lame I think its not as bad a it was. SO just keep doing as im doing and leave him quiet for the rest of the week?
    07-17-2010, 07:55 AM
Unfamiliar, predominantly eccentric exercise, frequently results in muscle damage. A repeated bout of similar eccentric exercise results in less damage and is referred to as the 'repeated bout effect'. Despite numerous studies that have clearly demonstrated the repeated bout effect, there is little consensus as to the actual mechanism. In general, the adaptation has been attributed to neural, connective tissue or cellular adaptations.

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