Muscle atrophy - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-17-2017, 06:37 PM Thread Starter
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Muscle atrophy

My horse has/had muscle atrophy at his withers/shoulders when I purchased him back in August. Since then he has put on weight and overall looks healthier. My question for you today is do you all think he is building muscle back behind his withers? Would you still consider him to have muscle atrophy? I was told by a saddle fitter that he may not ever build muscle back there but to me it does look fuller. What do you think?
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-17-2017, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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More photos from today.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-17-2017, 06:50 PM
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I see a overall gain of weight, a fat pad now on the topline where before it was not and he was ribby then too...
I don't know that I see "muscle" though...
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-17-2017, 08:07 PM
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The last two pictures of the first group (with his head up, and moving) show his lack of muscle all along the top line. Whether he'll get muscling back up there really depends on whether he was malnourished to the point that his own body was consuming muscle to survive, or whether that muscle atrophied from injury/lack of use. In the first case (malnourishment), there is the chance he will regain some muscle with proper feed and exercise, but it'll be a long, slow process - rushing things could result in irreparable damage. In the case of true atrophy, however, it seldom comes back.
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-17-2017, 09:16 PM Thread Starter
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The last two photos (in the first set) were of him back in August when I got him. All the other photos are from today.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-17-2017, 09:34 PM
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Have you checked saddle fit? Those white patches are right there along the withers and if they are pinching enough to cause white hair, then the muscles are unable to truly develop. He has gained weight but the muscling just isn't coming along yet.

Check the saddle fit and work more on having the horse round through the back, also look at doing back stretches.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-18-2017, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Yes I know those white patches are from an ill fitting saddle. He was mistreated in the past. Like I said in my original post I had a professional saddle fitter come out to help me fit him right and have a good fitting saddle now also with a corrective pad. I was just wondering if you all could see the muscle building up in that area only. The saddle fitter said he probably wouldn't build up muscle there because most likely the nerves were damaged but I thought it looked fuller.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-18-2017, 05:25 AM
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Yes, it looks like he has filled in some behind the wither. Looks like your saddle fitter has done a good job and that you're working the horse correctly. Nice work.
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