suspected tendon injury = box rest, but I don't normally stable :/ - Page 2

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

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    10-18-2012, 12:16 AM
Stabling a horse with suspect tendon injuries on concrete without adequate bedding and/or cushioning WILL make the problem worse. For tendon injuries it is best the horse is able to keep moving. If the horse has limited movement this too will worsen the injury and make it unlikely to heal fully.
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    10-18-2012, 12:24 AM
Of its a panel round pen take some panels out. If you have panels make it smaller or make a box outside. Imo, if it has been long enough to have not seen any improvement as you mentioned, then you are way overdue for a vet visit.
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    10-18-2012, 10:06 PM
You will need at some point to create an outdoor area for her anyway. She must have movement or she will not heal. Movement starts out limited and then increases gradually over the next 6 weeks, maybe longer depending how bad the bow is.

So, bite the bullet and make that round pen work or get some pickets to make the electric tall enough, put three strands on it. Maybe then she will respect it. You can go to a steel supply shop and buy 1/4" or 3/8" hot rolled rod for the same or less than electric pickets and get them cut to the length you need. Here the rods are 21' long, so I get them cut into 4 equal lengths - each length is just over 5'. Just right to get lots into the ground and leaves 4 feet above ground.

The electric is easiest if you can get her to respect it because you can make a small area for now, say 15 x 15 feet, then increase the size as she heals and improves. This works in conjunction with your ground work with her - hand walking for the first week to 10 days, then a bit of trotting, and slowly increasing the trotting over a couple of months, or however long is necessary in the particular situation.

I did this with my mare. She was never supposed to be sound after her injuries, but my method worked. She has never had a recurrence, never any heat in her tendons.
    10-19-2012, 12:18 AM
Thank you everyone :)

The problem is, in the pasture she gets MUCH worse. In the round pen, no improvement.

I've sourced some mulch bedding - it's not great but the best I can get at short notice - but they can't deliver until Monday so she's in the box that doesn't shut off from the (sand and grass) yard (that particular box has a broken door into the yard which we have removed - the other box doesn't HAVE a yard). She can walk around, and does a lot, can get up a trot for a few strides but can't canter. Cantering makes her go horribly horribly lame so I don't want her doing it at all if I can avoid it.

Vet is coming this arvo and they know it might be a tendon... we initially thought it was a foot issue, many of which I can solve myself (thrush, seedy toe, laminitis, greasy heel etc - she did have thrush and a little bit of greasy heel when she first went lame but those have since come good and she's still intermittently lame) but then the tendon blew up the first time. So into the round pen she went, but she could still run around and get up a canter, so she would improve a little bit then go for a canter and go lame again.

The problem is that this is very intermittent, so I'm not really sure what to think, but there is definitely some heat and swelling in that tendon. If this is a tendon thing it's a minor tendon thing as such injuries go. I'm hoping it's just inflammation or a strain... a tear might end her jumping career before it's started.

Here in Aus, the advice seems to be distinctly different, as my knowledge based on the experiences of multiple friends is that box rest is what is recommended by nearly every vet. Box rest and hand walking, then box rest and hand jogging, then box rest and lunging on large circles, then pasture and lunging on slightly smaller circles, eventually working up to light work under saddle - but she's not broke yet so under saddle isn't even on the cards.

She has HEAPS and HEAPS of time to heal properly... won't be broken in until next year at the earliest and at this rate if she keeps maturing as slowly as she is probably the year after that. She is 2 but doesn't really look it and is growing like a weed.

On the plus side we had a big panic attack last night and this morning no sign of lameness at the walk, so being confined has done her good... she was definitely lame yesterday. Might not be a tendon thing but whatever the heck it IS, confining her has helped. And did help before.

This thinking it might be a tendon thing is actually pretty recent. After the foot issues came good we thought it was a muscle thing because giving her a hamstring massage she would kick like a demon - not AT us but expressing her discomfort - and she's not a kicker, nor is she ticklish in that area. Then the muscle came good and she was fine for a while, then she went lame again, the tendon swelled, and the muscle is still fine. Hence, through process of elimination (and the tendon swelling up) we have assumed - yesterday - that it must be something to do with the tendon.
    10-19-2012, 12:23 AM
Oh and I forgot to address the subject of what our round pen is made of - not panels. It's post and rail. With two panels made of farm gates because it was broken when we moved in, so we used a farm gate to repair it, then Magic got precious and couldn't cope with having pressure put on her so went over it and broke a post down so we repaired it again with another farm gate. We have hundreds of the things spare because at some point before we moved here somebody replaced all the old gates with new ones, and didn't bother taking the old ones to the garbage dump.

As for slowly increasing the amount of area available to her, that's actually what we did when we first got her... she was terrified of people and totally unhandleable so we put her in the round pen first, then opened her up to the stable yard because the round pen access opens into said yard, then let her into a small pasture, and now she can be caught in a large pasture easily nearly every time... and with only minimal effort the rest of the time. So we can do the same this time around, except through box-with-no-yard (once we have bedding) to box-with-yard, to box-with-yard-and-round-pen, to small pasture, etc.

Edit; oh, and it's not the tendon in her cannon that's the issue - it's the one just above her hock. The achilles, not the suspensory.
    10-19-2012, 01:15 AM
I don't know what friends have visited what vets in the past but both lark hill and Murdoch (the top equine vets in the state) don't recommend full stable confinement for tendon injuries. I'd use the round yard over a concrete stable any day. Also tendons do tend to look worse initially before getting better.

I'd also be inclined to put a cold poultice on. It will bring down any swelling/heat and clean the area well so you can be certain it's the tendon and not a small cut etc. Sometimes there can be the tiniest of nicks, not visable to us, that will cause massive swelling and heat.
    10-19-2012, 01:54 AM
Thanks RA, we have addressed the possibility of cuts and there is no sign of external injury. Leg has been well and truly hosed several times and hosing it drops the swelling plus washing it off really really well.

She's not really a sensitive flower that swells up over nothing... has had nicks and scratches including one laceration (other hind leg) that was full skin thickness and no swelling at all. Now fully healed. No signs of infection, she's bright and sparky and her coat is AMAZING... patchy because she's still shedding her winter coat but what's coming through underneath is short, shiny and very very soft.

The tendon being strained, inflamed or otherwise injured is the only thing we can think of that we haven't already ruled out, but we'll see what the vet says this afternoon. Said vet is amazing... trained in the UK at one of England's best horse hospitals, the horses love her, and she's lovely with owners. We had a boarder here whose horse was horribly accident-prone so we've dealt with her a lot! (have since kicked said boarder out because she was blaming US despite the fact that we offered to have horse here because our pastures are safer than where he was before us, but that horse has not been injury-free since she bought him; it's always something, though mostly minor stuff now that he's turned 4 and grown a brain)
    10-19-2012, 02:00 AM
I'm a huge fan of rice hulls, having used them as well as shavings, sawdust and woodchip. I find hulls tend to retain their "spring" a lot more than shavings (and have way more spring than sawdust/woodchip), have less waste and are easier to muck out with the wet patches because huge clumps of mush aren't formed. However, some horses do eat them which is a no-no (although they shouldn't if they have good hay available at all times).
    10-19-2012, 02:04 AM
Thank you Evil, I will have to see if I can get them... assuming, of course, that the vet doesn't advise me to put her back in the pasture. I don't think I will be able to get rice hulls on such short notice [delivered - our car is way too small to transport sufficient quantities to bed a box!] so will not be cancelling the order for a truckload of mulch. Even with her in the WIWO I want it bedded ASAP because she does use the box and it's a pain in the butt cleaning poop off of bare concrete.
    10-19-2012, 04:34 AM
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony    
Thank you Evil, I will have to see if I can get them... assuming, of course, that the vet doesn't advise me to put her back in the pasture. I don't think I will be able to get rice hulls on such short notice [delivered - our car is way too small to transport sufficient quantities to bed a box!] so will not be cancelling the order for a truckload of mulch. Even with her in the WIWO I want it bedded ASAP because she does use the box and it's a pain in the butt cleaning poop off of bare concrete.
I hope her leg gets back to normal soon! Depending on your local provider, you may also find that rice hulls are cheaper than shavings - they certainly were for me ($50 for a 12x12 stable with 2ft deep bedding, compared to $100 for the same depth with shavings) but it would probably depend on the size of the forestry industry and rice producers in your area.

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