Sweeney Shoulder - treatment, stories? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-01-2011, 08:11 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Burlington, North Carolina
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Sweeney Shoulder - treatment, stories?

There is a good chance I will be getting a horse who has been diagnosed with sweeney shoulder. His current owners don't want the spend the time or money rehabbing him and are giving him away as a pasture ornament. Although I don't mind allowing him to live out his life as a companion horse if need be, I would like to try and treat him as best I can and attempt to get him sound again (he has a fair amount of training and used to be a jumper). I have done some reading on sweeney shoulder and from what I gather surgery is very expensive and doesn't necessarily mean the horse will recover. Does anyone here have experience with this type of injury? Did your horse recover? What treatment methods do you recommend?
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post #2 of 4 Old 10-01-2011, 12:12 PM
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Do you know how old the injury is and it's cause? I bought a broodmare with a recent sweeney and with about 6 months of pasture rest it appeared to resolve itself. She was never worked while I owned her so I can't say for sure but she moved sound and her shoulder muscles filled back in. I would try accupunture on anything neurological first.
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-01-2011, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice & reply! His injury occurred in July. I guess he just came from the pasture one morning like that - they're not sure exactly how it happened. You can see the depression in his shoulder but it's not so prominent that it's the first thing you notice. He walks out soundly enough - he paddles a little with that leg but he doesn't limp and it doesn't appear to bother him at all.
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-01-2011, 08:42 PM
Join Date: May 2011
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Sweeny is an inury to the suprasacuplar nerve which is very superficial and easily injured. The damage can be to varying degrees (as with any nerve damage) but it does not cause lameness and is not painful at all, in fact that is the problem, they can't feel their leg properly. They will put full weight on the affected leg (once it it under them) but you see a gait abormality when they move because they can't control the normal muscles that move their front leg and that results in the paddling, swinging, dragging motion that people describe.
Some do spontaneously recover if the nerve was only minorly damaged then it may take a long time but it will heal once healed these horses would be ridable again but I would take things very slowly and be certain they have full feeling back before jumping. If the damage was really severe then they can learn to use other muscles to move the leg and can live quite happily but it would not be safe to ride them.
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