Shin splints ?

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Shin splints ?

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  • Shin splints on young colts
  • Lay off time for a shin splint in a horse

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    02-17-2011, 09:21 AM
Shin splints ?

I have an arab mare who has been off for about a month and a half, and I just started riding her again, very light riding no more than walking and trotting on soft grass. She has turned up with what I think is a shin splint. Its a very hard bump on her forleg, its sore to the touch but she is not lame for a trot out, but she feels off when im riding her and we trot around a corner. I was wondering if anyone could give me some advice on it? Or if I should go ahead and take her to the vet. Any and all positive feedback would help alot!
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    02-17-2011, 10:58 AM
Super Moderator
Horses do not get 'shin splints'. They can get two very different cannon bone area problems.

Splint(s) --- occurs on the side of the canon affecting the splint bone. They are usually on the medial side, anywhere from just below the knee to mid canon. In severe instances, the tiny splint bone may actually be fractured from a horse interfering or being kicked there.

Bucked shins --- heat and swelling on the front of the canon bone. This does not affect the splint bone but can be either a very inflamed area on front of the canon bone or can actually be tiny fractures on the surface of the canon bone. You usually see these in young horses that are being ridden and pushed too hard. I've seen more of them in 2 and 3 year old race colts and barrel racing prospects than in anything else.
    02-20-2011, 12:14 AM
thanks so much for replying
Is there anything I can do to fix it? Should I take her to the vet? Its on the inside of her leg about half way down her cannon bone. I do not know alot about horse injuries as this is my first horse. So anything that can help is greatly appreciated.
    02-20-2011, 02:38 AM
Sounds like a popped splint based on the description but best have the vet take a look at it. Generally Splint injuries aren't massively serious but the horse may need rest for a few weeks. If you don't know much about the horse injuries, it's best to have the vet out to take a look.

Originally Posted by teddybear    
thanks so much for replying
Is there anything I can do to fix it? Should I take her to the vet? Its on the inside of her leg about half way down her cannon bone. I do not know alot about horse injuries as this is my first horse. So anything that can help is greatly appreciated.
    02-20-2011, 09:59 AM
Super Moderator
Unless the horse is VERY lame, I never use a Vet for them as I know what he is going to say. I just cold hose and apply DMSO after the leg dries. It is a VERY GOOD anti-inflammatory agent for a 'topical'. I do not use Bute or any other pain killer. They have pain for a reason.

When they harden, the soreness and any lameness go away.

They are permanent unless you apply something to take them off. If a horse that was lame getting them, it will also go lame while you take them off. Since I train horses to sell, I always take them off. I use 'Reducine'. It can be purchased from any Vet and farm supply catalog. It comes in a 1 pound blue can and looks like tar. I have had it take of splints that were nearly the size of a hen's egg.

Splints come from either poor conformation (usually off-set knees and/or pigeon toes) or from pushing a horse too hard, particularly a young one. Poor trimming or shoeing can play a part by putting too much stress on the medial side of the hoof just like poor conformation can.

Can you add a photo taken from the front?
    02-21-2011, 11:51 AM
Thankyou so much for your replys.
She has been off for the past 2 months, the farrier put front shoes on her by a mix up of horses. It looks like she has bumped her self in the pasture when rolling.
I havent given her any bute, but I do have access to dmso, and I may try that. Thanks a heap for your suggestions. Extremly helpful
    02-22-2011, 12:46 AM
Good advice and descriptions already.

Pay close attention to medial/lateral balance. Esp if horse isn't in hard work or riding in very tough ground/trails.
    02-22-2011, 08:48 AM
Super Moderator
Two months is really too long for a horse to be off from popping a splint. I think you have something else going on. The ones that do get lame, usually get over it in about a month. When the splint hardens, then it also is not sore to the touch anymore.

If the bump has a lot of hot swelling and is really sore to the touch, I would consider the possibility of a fracture of the splint bone. They usually do not resolve without removing the broken off end of the splint bone. If the bump is mid-canon, it would be the very tip of the tiny splint bone.

Or, this horse could be shod so far from level that he continually interferes by hitting the bump with the shoe on his opposite front hoof, keeping it sore. This is very common if the horse is not trimmed 'level' before being shod. Some owners and some farriers try to make a horse appear straighter legged when they actually toe out and need to be trimmed and shod that way. When you try to make a horse look like he is straight when he isn't, you can cause chronic interference and problems like you are seeing.

You can also see this if some horses get too long footed between trims or shoeings.

Either way, I think you have something else going on.
    02-22-2011, 03:54 PM
She wasnt off because of the splint at first, she was off for about a month to gain weight and then another month because she reinjured her ligament, and when she had recovered from that injury, that's when the splint turned up which was only 2 weeks ago. She is not lame, and she is not sore to the touch, no swelling and no heat. How do I know when its ok to start riding again?

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