View Full Version : Broken down pastern help

Derby Lyn Farms
Apr. 21, 2011, 08:11 PM
So I have an older mare that I picked up. She had what at first I thought was a bowed tendon. It was going nicely, wrapping and stall rest. Have had her about 1 month now. Vet has seen her although they are not the best when it comes to more serious issues.

Today her ankle is touching the ground when she puts weight on it at the walk. I know broken down pastern is not the technical term. What is this injury called? I would like to research it more so when I take her to the clinic next week I know what I am looking at. I have dealt with bowed tendons on ottb's, but never this type of injury.

And I know its probably been talked about on here, so a term to search on here would be helpful. Also I would like to hear personal experiences. I would be happy to make her comfortable at best. She doesn't have to do anything for me.

Her previous owner would have her ankle injected and she had a bar shoe on her with a wedge pad. She does have a big hoof naturally. And has been trimmed pancake style with an underrun heal. My farrier has seen her and obviously the hoof angle is not going to be fixed over night. We left her barefoot to see how she could handle it.

Apr. 21, 2011, 08:12 PM
Sesamoids might be the right place to start.


Derby Lyn Farms
Apr. 21, 2011, 08:30 PM
Thanks Marion. I've dealt with a few fractured seasamoids, but none this severe (if that is what it is in her case). But those pictures look like her. I feel so bad for her. I will put her down if I have to. I would really like to hear personal experiences on this issue, I hate to prolong her pain if she will never recover.

Apr. 21, 2011, 08:52 PM
I've never had a horse break down on me, but for example, Ruffian (the famous racehorse) had her right front (I believe) sesamoid rupture in the "great match race" against Foolish Pleasure. They tried to surgically fix it, but in the process of her coming out of the anesthesia, she ended up breaking the other leg. Not to totally scare you, but even the fittest and youngest of horses can have sesamoid breaks and the best thing to do is put them down. If she is an older mare who has had a long life, the best thing to do for her may be to put her out of her misery. She will let you know, though.

I would talk to a reputable vet and see what they have to suggest. As far as I know, there are no real "fix-all" surgeries or treatments for sesamoid breaks.

Jingles, and let us know how it goes. ((Hugs))

Derby Lyn Farms
Apr. 21, 2011, 09:01 PM
Thanks Marion, I understand. She is in a lot of pain and nothing really helps her. The thing that helped the most was just wraps with ice tight. I've tried bute and it doesn't make a difference. She has just gotten worse since she has been here. My vet doesn't even use digital xrays, so I will wait until I take her to the clinic on Monday to make a final decision.

Apr. 21, 2011, 09:03 PM
I have a friend who rescued a horse... BOTH of his back legs are broken down this way. They were playing POLOCROSSE on this horse :eek:

He is quite sound, after a long rehab. Definately Not ready to go. Every day she knows might be his last... I will ask her what she has done and let you know via PM. It will be a few days.

Apr. 21, 2011, 09:14 PM
Could this be it?


Apr. 21, 2011, 09:15 PM
EqTrainer - thanks for providing some light to this. Light I said, I've never had a horse break down, so I don't know if there are rehab possibilities, but if she's not ready to go then she's not ready to go.

DLF - Do let us know what the clinic says. There may be a possibility to fuse the joints? It would be a change for her but could provide some relief until she's ready to go. Not sure...

SJDressage - That's a good point, also.

Derby Lyn Farms
Apr. 21, 2011, 09:15 PM
Well isn't their a different condition in the hind legs? I think thats what I was thinking of at first. Sometimes a condition in older broodmares? I've seen this in the hind legs more often then front, but have never dealt with either.

Derby Lyn Farms
Apr. 21, 2011, 09:16 PM
SJ thats it..u posted before i could

Apr. 21, 2011, 09:17 PM
I would think if it's the back legs then suspensory problems could very well be to blame.

Patty Stiller
Apr. 21, 2011, 09:31 PM
Sorry but it sounds unfortuantely like her suspensory ligaments have totally failed, possibly ruptured.
If so she can not recover. Any horse who's suspensory apparatus gets so weak or torn that the fetlock touches the ground I would immediately euthanize.

Derby Lyn Farms
Apr. 22, 2011, 02:21 PM
Thanks for the advice. It is her front right leg. Her other front is down a bit and it will most likely blow out eventually.

I just spoke with some friends and another vet friend about it and they both said the same. Her prognosis is not good. I managed to get off work today so I have scheduled an appointment for her. I did what I could but I can't stand to see her suffer and its a loosing battle.

I have only owned her a short time, but she served as a steady dressage and lesson horse for others. Its just unfortunate her retirement had to be this way.

Apr. 22, 2011, 02:28 PM
I'm sorry to hear of her prognosis, DLF. It's never easy to have to make the decision to put a horse down, particularly one that has served you well. May the rest of her days be peaceful. Jingles and ((hugs)) to you both.

Apr. 22, 2011, 03:58 PM
DLF, cold comfort - but at least you gave her something that lots of horses don't receive in their golden years: kindness, good care, and a humane end. That is a gift too, even if it wasn't the one you planned to give.