Tendon problem - How to manage? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-16-2011, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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Tendon problem - How to manage?

My horse had pretty sketchy beginnings - According to the vet, he most likely injured his tendon in his front left leg when he was younger and didn't get the care he needed, so it healed improperly. He can still work just fine, but he occasionally limps. It doesn't appear to be a major issue as he doesn't show any other signs of discomfort other than the slight limping (no biting, unwillingness, etc.) but obviously I don't want him to be in pain while riding. We do both arena work and trail riding. He seems to limp more often when out on the trail, most likely because of the uneven ground. I was also thinking about potentially introducing him to jumping, but I'm not sure this is such a good idea because of the heavy impact and I don't want to make the problem worse.

Any suggestions on what I can do to help the problem? I was thinking about getting some kind of boots for support, but I honestly have never used them and don't know much about them. Any help is greatly appreciated!
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-16-2011, 12:54 PM
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Boots may help, but i dont think its a solution. Nor do I think jumping is a good idea. Heres why: Imagine you have a broken arm, a sling helps but doesnt make you completely unaware to the fact your arm is still broken. And you surely wouldn't want someone to ask you to throw a ball with that broken arm. Thats equivalent to jumping your horse with his issue. The horse is limping to compensate from something, probably pain or at the very least discomfort. Someone may be better equipped to tell you what TO DO, but I can at least stear you clear frm what you shouldnt do. Sorry i couldnt be of more help.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-16-2011, 02:10 PM
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If you're horse is limping, even slightly, there is some type of discomfort and I would not advise jumping. You can have a vet come out for an ultrasound so you can see exactly what is going on. But by jumping, you could end up doing more damage.

But to answer your question, boots mostly protect the leg. There are medicine boots that claim to support the leg. They have a feature that wraps part of the leg; that is what supports the leg, however, there is not MUCH research to back that up.

I would highly suggest having a vet take a look at it before you try to jump.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-16-2011, 02:12 PM
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I would not introduce jumping to a horse with a long term lameness issue associated with a front leg injury.

What does your vet say about ways to help make your horse stay sound better?
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-17-2011, 11:03 AM
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I also wouldn't jump this horse. Even if he was sound, jumping stresses the legs so much anyway and horses with tendon issues tend to re-injure themselves later on so for me it wouldn't be something I'd risk lol. As far as boots go Sport Boots or a similar type are really the only ones to support and protect. You don't have to get the expensive SMBs, a cheaper generic brand may work just as well and cost much less.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-17-2011, 11:20 AM
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Is the limping a soundness issue or is it mechanical? I have a mare that suffered massive tendon injuries and she will limp occasional (more so than not). For the most part her limp is mechanical which just means she's lost the mobility and the flexion. However she does have off days where she'll tweak herself or the cold will effect her and the trick is to be able to read the difference between pain and mechanics.... :(

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post #7 of 10 Old 06-18-2011, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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I figured jumping was a no-go...I'm not much of a jumper myself so I'm not too terribly disappointed

When the vet came out, the limping did get worse when she flexed it, so I would assume that means it isn't just mechanical?

Sports Boots look like they could be good...I'll definitely look into those. Thanks!
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-21-2011, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by VEDressage View Post

When the vet came out, the limping did get worse when she flexed it, so I would assume that means it isn't just mechanical?
Not sure what you are asking?

If the vet came out, what tests did they do and what did they say?
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-21-2011, 11:00 AM
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If the horse is showing up lame on a flexion test, it means the horse is lame.

Boots do not support the leg. One study I read suggested that the boots must be so tight that they cut off blood circulation before any measurable support from the boot is detected. Boots are for protection only.

You need to get your vet back out with an ultrasound to get a prognosis and treatment suggestions. There are some oral msm supplements that may be beneficial and other than that you're into the realm of pain management unfortunately. You can also talk to a nutritionalist to see if there is anything else you can do. Friends of mine swear by rivas remedies and have rehabbed horses with tendon issues.

Good luck
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-21-2011, 11:23 AM
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Boots act like ankle braces and if they are that tight they are not going to do any good. They have to be done correctly but they do offer some support. You want to put them on and still be able to stick a finger down inside the boot. Polo wraps, splint boots,etc protect the leg. Sport boots are the only ones that offer any support. When Chanti was lame she did much better when I left the sport boots on her. I'd rather use sport boots anyway because polo wraps can cause damage if not properly done and it's just easier for me to put the sport boots on her and then I don't have anything to rewrap.
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