Suspensory injury and stable boredom
 
 

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Suspensory injury and stable boredom

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  • Keeping a confined horse sane
  • Back on track bandages and suspensory problems

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    01-11-2012, 11:47 PM
  #1
Trained
Suspensory injury and stable boredom

It kills me to be typing this, yet another injury and another $1000 on top of my already substantial vet bill from the last illness over Christmas.
This time Hugo has torn his suspensory ligament in his off fore. It is not completely ruptured, but slightly more than halfway through. The tear is just above the point that the ligament branches, about halfway down the cannon.
Diagnosed by palpatation, and confirmed by ultrasound.

So now my boy is crippled, and confined to a stable for 3 months, then gradual handwalking until he can go into a small paddock for a few hours at a time, etc. etc.
Currently we are cold hosing the leg 3 times/day for 20mins to take some swelling down, and support bandaging at night. No bute as he will try to move around if the pain is gone and we can't risk him tearing it further.


I don't stable my horses unless I really need to for one night at a time before a comp or such. Hugo has been out in the paddock for 18months with other horses, and is now confined for a long period of time. I am concerned about his mental well being.


We get to my questions -

1. Has anybody had experience with suspensory injuries, what treatments and rehabilitation did you go through, and what was the outcome?

2. Anyone that stables 24/7, or has had horses in a similar situation being confined for injury, how did you keep them occupied and sane? Hugo's not big on apples and carrots, and not a playful type, he's a bit of a grumpy old man!


Thanks :)
     
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    01-11-2012, 11:51 PM
  #2
Banned
Are shockwave therapy, IRAP, PRP, or stem cell therapy options? I would be looking into all of those, as this sounds like a severe injury....I'd want to be proactive. Corrective shoeing, too, to take the strain off. Is the farrier involved?

For boredom, can you do hand grazing (stationary)? We made Bones a 12x12 pen in the pasture and moved it daily, so she always had a little bit of grass to play with and could see/visit the other horses.
     
    01-12-2012, 12:00 AM
  #3
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba13    
Are shockwave therapy, IRAP, PRP, or stem cell therapy options? I would be looking into all of those, as this sounds like a severe injury....I'd want to be proactive. Corrective shoeing, too, to take the strain off. Is the farrier involved?

For boredom, can you do hand grazing (stationary)? We made Bones a 12x12 pen in the pasture and moved it daily, so she always had a little bit of grass to play with and could see/visit the other horses.
Unfortunately those treatments are not viable for me. I just can't afford it. If it was my yearling, I'd try and get some kind of loan to do it, but Hugo is nearly 11, only had 3 months of full work since he raced, has already got a hock injury that will probably recur anyway. I need to be realistic about how much I can do, and though I spoke to my vet about those options last night, I'd be looking into the thousands of dollars zone for the treatment with no guarantee of full recovery. I've already got a vet bill just over AU$1000 to pay off, I've got 3 horses, car loan, rent, living expenses, car etc. I just can't afford any more.

Unfortunately I am not allowed to bring him out of his stable until he can walk more soundly, at the moment he is barely standing let alone walking. If he moves too much he will tear it further. So for at least a few weeks - months, he is stuck in his box
     
    01-12-2012, 12:11 AM
  #4
Banned
What about shoeing, then? Patten shoe?



And hate to bring this up, but is the vet even confident this is fixable? How did he injure himself?
     
    01-12-2012, 12:22 AM
  #5
Trained
Oops sorry, didn't answer the farrier question.
Yep, I spoke to my farrier first thing this morning, he's trying to move some bookings around to fit me in asap. We might try shortening his toe a little to take some pressure off. Shoes at this point of the injury aren't possible, and hammering is going to cause more damage to the ligament in the flexed position. Very frustrating!

The vet said it will heal, but it's going to be a very long process, lots of rest, then lots of rehabilitation to stretch and strengthen the ligament. If he was jumping, or doing another high impact sport he would be retired, but now I'm not even bothered about keeping my hopes of getting him into dressage again, I'm happy to just trail ride him.
     
    01-12-2012, 12:22 AM
  #6
Foal
In the same boat as you. :/ My OTTB has a minor disruption in his deep digital in his hind left. I turn him out in a small isolation pen now with my mini. I keep it wrapped all day and night except take it off for about half an hour every day. I adopted him with the injury (sounds stupid, but I fell in love with his personality the moment I met him lol). I took him off grain and feed him large amounts of high quality hay due to his excessive injury. I couldnt even walk him at first because he was so out of control, I was terrified hed injure his leg further. He's in his stall on rainy days and at night. So he has a salt lick hanging on the wall and a jolly ball hanging from the rafter. It's such a hard process and it pains me also to confine him to such small quarters. I hope all goes well with you and Hugo and he makes a speedy recovery.
     
    01-12-2012, 12:33 AM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by OTTBlove    
In the same boat as you. :/ My OTTB has a minor disruption in his deep digital in his hind left. I turn him out in a small isolation pen now with my mini. I keep it wrapped all day and night except take it off for about half an hour every day. I adopted him with the injury (sounds stupid, but I fell in love with his personality the moment I met him lol). I took him off grain and feed him large amounts of high quality hay due to his excessive injury. I couldnt even walk him at first because he was so out of control, I was terrified hed injure his leg further. He's in his stall on rainy days and at night. So he has a salt lick hanging on the wall and a jolly ball hanging from the rafter. It's such a hard process and it pains me also to confine him to such small quarters. I hope all goes well with you and Hugo and he makes a speedy recovery.
I brought my guy straight off the track, a little similar to you though didn't know there was an existing hock injury. Vetted sound, didn't get xrays as wasn't paying enough to think about it. He had 32 starts, I should have thought with my head not my heart, but he had the most amazing temperament, stunning paces and stunning conformation.
A few months in work, and he was a little 'off'. Took him in for xrays of the hind limbs, found that he has degenerative changes in the hock (spur, and some arthritis).
I've spent 18months rehabbing and treating his hock. Get 1 month of light work into him, and now he's done his suspensory in the paddock.

He's quiet enough to hand walk, but at this stage I can't risk even moving him those few meters.


A friend of mine owns an Equissage machine, and also does Bioscan therapy which is meant to be good for promoting healing of tendons and ligaments. Once he is walking a little better I'll be consulting my vet and seeing if this would be a viable treatment option for him.
     
    01-12-2012, 12:34 AM
  #8
Banned
Does he need to be drugged to stay calm in his stall?
     
    01-12-2012, 12:35 AM
  #9
Trained
No, he's quite good in his stable. Every time I go to see him he's either laying down, or standing quietly. It has only been two nights though!
     
    01-12-2012, 02:57 AM
  #10
Yearling
This is a pic of my boy's injury. I posted this same sort of thread a couple months back. Bubba and Cherie both had some great ideas and info on what to do and what might help. My vet had me ice the leg for 20 mins in the mornings and sweat the leg over night (DMSO, Hydrocortisone, and Nitrofurizone).
However, my geldings injury wasn't a tear... it was a really bad hematoma that presented visually as a bow.
I started feeding him Bermuda hay, which I was told can basically be free fed. So that helped a lot. I also kept his stall gate open so that he could look out and see the other horses, and the riders in the arena.

Wishing you the best and for a speedy recovery for your boy!
Attached Images
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