Ruptured Peroneous Tertius Ligament
I have owned my beautiful 7 year old TB gelding since April this year. He is my 'forever' horse and in the short time I have owned him we have gelled well and had great fun along the way really progressing well. Three weeks ago while lunging in the indoor arena he slipped while transitioning to canter, his back leg went behind him and he twisted over onto it (front end stayed upright) it happened in the blink of an eye. He pulled himself straight up but was limping on the leg. I thought he had strained or maybe pulled a muscle never for one minute did I think it would be anything serious. He was letting me lift the leg, have a good feel around etc without any objection. I gave him bute over the weekend and left him in. I called the vet in on Monday to give him a quick look over and he delivered the devastating news that he had snapped his peroneous tertius ligament and his riding career and ability to move like a normal horse was over. The following 24 hours after receiving this news was horrendous as I went through the whole range of emotions and coming to terms with having to find him a loving companion home.
The following day fate intervened, I received a phone call from my yard owner. Her vet was on the yard seeing to one of the school ponies and she casually remarked that it had been a bad week and what had happened to my boy. As soon as she said that the leg could be extended straight behind he knew exactly which ligament it was. He said he had known horses come back from this injury including a racehorse go back to a full racing career and an event horse go back to Novice level eventing. Suffice to say I didn't need asking twice if I would like him to take a look. The diagnosis was correct as was the info that no vetinery or surgical intervention could 'fix' the ligament it was totally defunct. In over 20 years of practice he had only come across 10 other horses with this injury it is so rare and spectacular. If its to happen then TB's, competition and racehorses are the most likely to suffer. He was extremely good, explained how it worked and what the horse uses it for and also went on to explain they can function well without the use of it! He didn't give me false hope but as he is young and fit he was loath to write him off. Basically it comes down to box rest, physio and how well he adapts to using the leg himself. The vet also rang a specialist to confirm the way forward.
He is having physio once a week so 2 sessions down and the vet was back last Wed Ti reassess him. He said he can feel a slight resistance in the leg when he lifts it now which is good. I expect to know within 3 months how it's looking. All being well I should be back riding him in 6 months and (fingers crossed) back to competing in 10 to 12. If he can't jump again then the range of movement in the leg should mean he can at least be a good hacking horse. The physio was pleased with him even after the 2nd visit, no swelling or lumps or bumps in the leg at all! He is bareing weight on the leg and he can get himself up and down fairly easily which is alI good. I am extremely positive that he is going to come through this well and that's how I am treating this whole thing until I find out otherwise. I owe him this chance. I am doing what I can in between visits, massaging the leg, stretching exercises to help keep him supple, trying to stop him getting bored silly! It will take as long as it takes to repair and I'm in it for the long haul.
He has a great attitude, and is coping with his confinement fairly well if you ignore him breaking his stable door and making two bids for freedom!! Lol.
Anyway apologies for the rambling essay, I have changed vets by the way and emailed the old one to say if anyone in the practice comes across this again then it's not a black or white prognosis. His advice of just let him get on with it was the worst possible as rest is the most important part of the recovery at the start. Funnily enough I haven't had a reply!
As I said I have googled and read just about everything I can find so I would love to hear any information/stories good or bad from anyone.