My gelding with injured withers and shoulders is going in tomorrow for x-rays. I finally found a spinal specialist! About an hour away, but now at least I won't feel bad putting Tahoe in the trailer, he's doing much better. I also talked to another vet today who said unless there is something weird going on in there, horses with crushed dorsal spinous processes heal very well, 6-12 mos. But end up OK. I'm hoping this will be true. I'll let you know. Hope it doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
I loved the equine hospital and clinic! They were very nice and efficient. In and out in 45 min and only $141 for 4 x-rays and the exam!!
Anyways, Tahoe snapped off about 2-3 in. On 4 of his dorsal spinous processes (withers). The pieces are basically floating next to their original position. His shoulders are still swollen but better and the vet could feel the tops of his scapulas, they didn't feel broken-very hard to x-ray though. The vet said he should heal fine, 90 days total which means we have 60 days to go. We are to start hand-walking him, then lunging him next month and then try a saddle on while lunging and just go from there. He will always have funky looking withers but it shouldn't impact his ability to jump as long as he can tolerate a saddle. Keep your fingers crossed! I'm trying to figure out how to scan the pictures, it's amazing to see what he did in there!
He and another gelding of ours play quite a bit, rearing up and kneeling, lots of thundering around. I think they got carried away and Tahoe went over backwards, landing on his withers and shoulders. He was in a lot of pain initially and we couldn't really move him or trailer him anywhere but we could pretty much figure out what his injuries were because his withers were gone.
The vet at the clinic said he's seen the injury and that he should end up OK. We'll see how he responds to having a saddle on in a couple months. I'm in no hurry to get him going again. He's only 7 yrs. Old so I want him well healed so that he has a good life.
I've seen this happen to 2 horses on separate occasions. Both recovered fine and are able to be ridden with no problems. One has a little deformity of the withers but his mane covers a lot of it. The other recovered without any deformity. I'm just glad your baby is on the road to recovery!
Blah... you got to love the horses that don't know when play goes too far! I have one of those too that was chasing around a muddy pasture, fell and hurt his stifle... it was 6 months before he finally healed enough to ride...