suspected tendon injury = box rest, but I don't normally stable :/

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suspected tendon injury = box rest, but I don't normally stable :/

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    10-17-2012, 10:46 AM
suspected tendon injury = box rest, but I don't normally stable :/

My 2yo TB is lame... AGAIN... with swelling and heat around her achilles tendon on her off hind. I'm going to get the vet out ASAP but ran out of time to call this morning, and I work afternoons to evenings. The clinic is closed when I get off work, so I have to call in the morning. And then the appointment has to be in the morning so it's likely to be a couple of days.

Meanwhile, because I'm paranoid, as soon as I have bedding and hay she will be going on box rest.

I have two decent sized boxes based on concrete, in a bit of disrepair but safe and usable. One is currently my feed shed but the feed can be moved easily enough. I'm going to use wood shavings as bedding... pine is what is most readily available in my area, and when I was at a professional rider's facility, it's what he was using in his boxes... even for his extremely valuable Grand Prix dressage horses, including stallions.

But if there are any potential health risks I would like to know about them so I know to keep an eye open for them, and avoid pine if I can. Big if, here, because the majority of the logging and milling in my area is pine. Some Jarrah is processed at the local mill, but not much, and it's an expensive type of wood because Jarrah trees are relatively slow-growing.

My girl will have company, probably Mum's pony filly who is grossly fat and in desperate need of an even more restricted diet.

Basically, I have all this theoretical knowledge, and a limited amount of practical thanks to my time working for a pro horseman, but not enough practical knowledge to be able to go it alone. I can muck out reasonably well but preparing the box in the first place is beyond my knowledge (they haven't been used in a LONG time if they ever were in the first place, so there's no bedding or anything in them) and my mother has never used stables either so my usual go-to for information is not exactly full bottle on this particular topic.

Any tips, tricks and hints? Ways to make it cheaper and less labor-intensive? She's not the easiest keeper so her feed will have to go way up... I have been very lucky this year with the spring flush of grass so none of my horses have been consistently grained or even fed hay in months. But by how much will her feed go up? I don't want her losing weight. She's right on perfect at the moment for a growing youngster and having her skinny could cause as many issues as having her fat...
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    10-17-2012, 06:11 PM
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Pine shavings are absolutely fine.

You need to bed very deeply of they y are on concrete. I always have at least 2 feet of new shavings as they settle very quickly.

If you can get it try using bark peelings. These bed down far quicker. They also smell far far less and do not move around as much.
Celeste and EvilHorseOfDoom like this.
    10-17-2012, 06:21 PM
I would not put her in a stall with a concrete floor. I'd keep her in an outside pen and I'd cold water hose and then wrap that leg. Concrete is so unforgiving that she'll probably swell more and be more uncomfortable on the concrete, even with deep bedding, than she would outside.
    10-17-2012, 06:24 PM
Thanks Foxhunter :)

I was thinking that perhaps pine wasn't ok because I've had rats (consistently for about 4 years but my last one died about 3 or 4 years ago) and pine is an absolute no-no for small rodents because it can cause respiratory infections.

The particular shavings I am thinking of, they don't compress all that much because it's a fairly fine shaving. It's called screened pine, and the screening process gets rid of all the really small particles and all the larger shreds. Basically it's sawdust but not dusty. When I was working at the professional's stables, we would put down a layer of around 7-8 inches tops... not sure how many barrow loads it was because the boxes were never completely emptied, just mucked, turned, and anything that had been peed on was removed and replaced. The whole box would have been re-shavinged once every 3 or 4 days just by that process.
    10-17-2012, 06:29 PM
Foxhunter is right about the 2 feet deep thing. There is no way that 7 inches is enough to cover concrete. Concrete will cause more problems than it solves. If you have to use it, 2 feet of shavings is a good start. Pine is fine.
    10-17-2012, 06:33 PM
DCA, I don't really have a choice, because putting her in the round pen (which is not huge, actually not that much bigger than my boxes) allowed for far too much movement and she didn't improve at all. Plus my next door neighbours are idiots and the round pen is too close to their property.

I can look into rubber matting, but I don't know how much it costs, and if I can afford it for a box that literally only gets used in the event of injury or illness. We don't get many injuries and as for illness, well, we've never had anything bad enough that the round pen doesn't do just nicely (and, bonus, doesn't need mucking out).

All I have are boxes, the round pen, and portable electric tape. She doesn't respect the electric tape, as the pigtail pickets we have aren't tall enough. She can just step over the tape, even if it's on. Round pen is too big and not secure enough (it's old so the posts are pretty much rotten through).

I'm actually not a big fan of boxes that aren't based on something simply because they're a nightmare to muck out properly. How on earth are you supposed to get all the pee (and thus ammonia) out if you can't strip the whole box now and then?

Edit; and 2 feet deep is an insane amount of the material I'm thinking of, IF we can get it. As mentioned it really doesn't pack down. It is pine, and I call it shavings because I don't have a better word for it, but there's next to no capacity for it to pack down, so I would start with 2 feet of bedding and then have to dig through 2 feet of bedding to turn and remove the soiled stuff. It's not like actual curly shavings that pack down to nothing within an hour.
    10-17-2012, 06:44 PM
I worked in a beef cattle research barn when I was in college. These were big animals, so I'm sure it made it worse. We had concrete floors. All the bulls were having lameness issues. We put in 2 feet of bedding. It was an insane amount of bedding, but it did solve the lameness issues. Cleaning the barn was a monumental task. It wasn't cleaned daily. The drainage was excellent and the droppings dried up quickly. When we cleaned, we used a tractor with a front end loader and a dump truck for the bulk of the mess.
    10-17-2012, 06:56 PM
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
I would not put her in a stall with a concrete floor. I'd keep her in an outside pen and I'd cold water hose and then wrap that leg. Concrete is so unforgiving that she'll probably swell more and be more uncomfortable on the concrete, even with deep bedding, than she would outside.
I would only use concrete with rubber mats covering them or I would prefer outside also. Have you ever stood on concrete all day? It's not easy
    10-17-2012, 07:02 PM
Beef cattle and horses are completely different though? Magic is tall but slender, so she doesn't actually weigh that much. I think she tapes around the 480kg mark? Not all that heavy. Superb condition, just all legs and slender build. Last time I wormed her I gave her the dosage for a 500kg horse and that was significantly more than she actually needed. She will be heavier when she's older, because she's still growing in height pretty fast and has a huge amount of muscle to build up.

This whole tendon thing might be absolutely nothing (a little strain because she's growing) or it might be a proper tear. There's really know way of knowing until a vet has ultrasounded it. She walks perfectly sound 99% of the time, trots up sound most of the time, but goes dog lame after cantering. It might be combined between her tendon and her feet, we're not sure. We're not vets! All I know is she's ouchy in that hind leg and the tendon has a little swelling on it and some heat... and her feet aren't bad but she's showing distinct symptoms of hindgut acidosis which we are in the process of addressing - but it can cause laminitis.

Using a tractor/front end loader/dump truck is not feasible for me! The doors to my boxes are wide enough to let a human and a horse through, and maybe a quadbike, but no more than that. I also don't like the idea of her standing in a box that has several days' worth of pee in the bottom of it. I'm wanting to muck out and remove all the soiled bedding daily, then totally strip top to bottom once a week (probably on a weekend because my work is hard yakka and I can't turn up tired from a big muckout). Simply not feasible to do that with a 2 foot thick layer of bedding.

If she swells up real bad she'll just have to go out in the pasture again and I'm going to have to hope she grows a brain soon and stops re-injuring herself. She'll be fine for days and then have a brainfart and canter... and be dog lame again.

Edit; churumbeque, actually, yes I have. When I was at the pro's stables, I would be on my feet for 12 to 14 hours a day, in bad unsupportive shoes (actually, cheap gumboots), with my flat feet, crappy ankles and stuffed knees... 99% of what I did was on concrete or hard-packed gravel. The other 1% was trudging through THICK clay mud to go catch a horse, then it was back onto the hard-packed gravel to bring it up to the crossties, and concrete there and in the barn. It wasn't that bad. And I'm not built to stand for long periods of time. Horses are.
    10-17-2012, 11:31 PM
Trained ABD27AD4B0649AEC70B025FA20CD4CE1&first=1

My personal choice would be out in the pasture. Can you get her some hind splints like those in the link? That would give her support and hopefully keep her from doing more damage.

It's a total personal preference what you use for flooring in the stalls. I hate concrete and would not board at a barn with concrete flooring. I have crushed limestone floors in my barn, they pack down very tight but still allow for drainage. I STILL use rubber matting and bedding if I bring the horses in. I deep bed because you can actually keep the stalls a lot cleaner, longer than if you just put a small amount of bedding in. Since I don't stall 24/7 I don't have to strip real often. Most folks bed deep, pick out for a week, toss on another bag of bedding and repeat that for a few weeks. Usually strip maybe once a month or a little longer depending on how messy the horse is.

I use regular shavings when I can buy by the truckload otherwise I use pelleted bedding, it lasts MUCH longer than the shavings and is more cushion-y I think.

Good luck, hope it's nothing serious.

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