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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default Ligament woes... share my sadness?

    Here's whats happened to my new horse (Grady) I purchased 2 months ago (who had clean vet check including flexions). He's a big boy. A registered paint though he is solid black. 16.1H and 1250 pounds. 9 years old. Never really been in full training before... was a lower level dressage horse/pleasure horse.

    After 1 month of training, mostly flatwork, cavaletti and a few small cross-rails... Grady went slightly lame. Not too bad, but not quite right, so we had the vet see him. He said, maybe a mild suspensory strain, 1 week of poultice and bute.

    1 week later he was reevaluated and found to still be sore to palpation over the suspensory, but still barely lame at all. The vet was more concerned that the sensitivity hadn't gone away with a week of poultice and anti-inflammatories so he recommended an ultrasound. He told me he expected to see nothing or a tiny tear but recommended we be on the safe side... if a small tear was there he needed stall rest.

    The vet came out to see Grady for the third time today. The ultrasound rather shocked us all including the vet. He has THREE good sized tears in his suspensory on the left and a possible tear on the right as well. He's still barely lame.

    Has anyone been in the situation?
    I'm thinking I'm looking at 6-9 month of stall rest and a possibility that my horse will never be right again. Very depressing if I'm right.

    We're going to do shockwave therapy (3 treatments 10 days apart). I'm wrapping him daily with DMSO 12 hours on 12 hours off. I'm also giving him 1 gram of bute and a dietary supplement with MSM/Hyluronic Acid/Glucosamine/Chondroitin.

    Any other suggestions?


    Nora



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2009
    Location
    Northeastern PA
    Posts
    566

    Default

    Sounds like you are doing what can be done. At least he has a lot of natural toughness, to look so good on such damage!

    Hang in there.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 22, 2006
    Posts
    1,331

    Default

    Thank goodness you found it early. The vet found my daughter's mare's ligament tear likely 3+ years after it happened. Too late to do anything except retire her. For new tears my vet is also using plasma rich profusions and/or stem cell injections in addition to the ultrasound. He priced the ultrasound at about $750 and the other two options at about $2000 ea. He did not recommend any treatment for our mare due to the age of the injury. I personally know horses who responded very, very well to the ultrasound therapy when it was done while the injury was fresh. The key is to wait well past where the horse looks okay to go back to work. These injuries must be healed 100% before the horse can go back to work without a significant risk of reinjury which can then be career ending. My vet said that the problem is that the horses can look and act perfectly sound before healing is complete and their owners put them back to work but the soft tissue isn't 100% and they reinjure it.
    Best of luck with his healing,
    Pam



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2004
    Location
    Catonsville, MD
    Posts
    6,914

    Default

    I am so sorry for you and your guy. I am rehabbing my horse, who injured her left front suspensory in Dec. 2008 (we think).

    We did both shockwave therapy and later, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections. I think we got best results with the combination of 5 months of stall rest and the PRP.

    Be patient, don't fight the stall rest prescription, and hang in there. It's not necessarily a sentence of doom. Many folks have posted on my threads about this process who have recovered their horses back to full work, but it takes time and patience and did I mention patience? And when horse seems sound and ultrasounds clean, go very very very slowly reintroducing the trot, and then slowly adding duration to the trot, etc. We do lots of hand walking as well as walk rides, now starting to add trot back in.

    Good luck.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2003
    Posts
    5,641

    Default

    Don't panic. There's so much more we can do for suspensory injuries nowadays than even 5 years ago. It's not a death sentence.

    Front or hind?

    Either way, have patience. They DO heal. We are just back to work after a strain to a front in February of this year.

    I recommend you look at shockwave, PRP, and stemcell therapy, and discuss with your vet what would be he most appropriate treatment for your horse.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2008
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Thanks for the kind words everyone. I'm thinking of getting a second opinion as I've had several people tell me they can't believe he has three "large" tears in a suspensory and is only a 1+ on his flexion and a not lame at all on the lunge. There not not very many good lameness vets in the area (SE Michigan) so I'm rather torn....
    He got his first shockwave yesterday and did fine. He doesnt seem to think he's hurt at all.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2004
    Location
    Catonsville, MD
    Posts
    6,914

    Default

    How lame a horse is compared to how serious the suspensory lesion appears to be -- the 2 things seem only to be sort of related. My horse's lesion didn't look all that terrible, but she was lame at the trot for 6 months, and we are only very gradually re-introducing trot.

    I am not a vet, but it just seems to me that there are horses who are very sensitive to any injury and will register small injuries as distinct lameness, and there are horses that move sound with all kinds of things wrong with their legs for sometimes years!

    Even though your horse thinks he's fine, you know he's not, which is hard, since he thinks he feels fine. But getting his treatment, stall rest, and subsequent rehab under way right away is the right thing to do.

    Good luck.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2000
    Location
    Southern California - on a freeway someplace
    Posts
    9,862

    Default

    Hang in there. Be patient. Second opinion won't hurt anything but your pocketbook. You might even consider having a second vet look at the existing ultrasound which would increase the number of vets you could have look at it. Was it digital or analog? A friend who saw results of a horse done with both said it was a lot easier to see stuff on the digital (actually what was diagnosed as tears on the original wasn't there on the digital).

    No time to write more b/c I am off to take my horse to a show. Yes, a show, roughly 15 months after the original injury. Check out my blog (link below).
    The Evil Chem Prof



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2004
    Location
    Catonsville, MD
    Posts
    6,914

    Default

    Yay, Peggy!!! Good for you and Star. Tell us all about it when you get back.

    There is life after suspensory injuries.

    Katy and I took our first under saddle walk outside last night. With my trainer holding the lead rope, I rode her up and down the long flat driveway twice, for a total of a mile. She was GREAT!

    Yep, hang in there. Peggy knows what she's talking about.
    I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
    I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09




  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2001
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    6,703

    Default

    I agree with Peggy -- a digital is WAY clearer, and another set of eyes can help a lot. A friend of mine recently got 2 pretty different reads depending on whether the vet was looking at a static u/s (taken a while ago) or a "live" one where the vet was actively doing the u/s and looking at.

    There is plenty of hope! I just jumped my guy 3' for the first time in 14 months after 2 hind tears (hind are allegedly worse than front). He's been sound and in work for 6 months now.
    The big man -- no longer an only child

    His new little brother



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 29, 2008
    Posts
    674

    Default ligament woes

    Quote Originally Posted by KYHunterGirl View Post
    Here's whats happened to my new horse (Grady) I purchased 2 months ago (who had clean vet check including flexions). He's a big boy. A registered paint though he is solid black. 16.1H and 1250 pounds. 9 years old. Never really been in full training before... was a lower level dressage horse/pleasure horse.

    After 1 month of training, mostly flatwork, cavaletti and a few small cross-rails... Grady went slightly lame. Not too bad, but not quite right, so we had the vet see him. He said, maybe a mild suspensory strain, 1 week of poultice and bute.

    1 week later he was reevaluated and found to still be sore to palpation over the suspensory, but still barely lame at all. The vet was more concerned that the sensitivity hadn't gone away with a week of poultice and anti-inflammatories so he recommended an ultrasound. He told me he expected to see nothing or a tiny tear but recommended we be on the safe side... if a small tear was there he needed stall rest.

    The vet came out to see Grady for the third time today. The ultrasound rather shocked us all including the vet. He has THREE good sized tears in his suspensory on the left and a possible tear on the right as well. He's still barely lame.

    Has anyone been in the situation?
    I'm thinking I'm looking at 6-9 month of stall rest and a possibility that my horse will never be right again. Very depressing if I'm right.

    We're going to do shockwave therapy (3 treatments 10 days apart). I'm wrapping him daily with DMSO 12 hours on 12 hours off. I'm also giving him 1 gram of bute and a dietary supplement with MSM/Hyluronic Acid/Glucosamine/Chondroitin.

    Any other suggestions?



    Nora
    I had something similar happen to my 17yr Danish wb geld last fall....except in our case my horse was not lame at all-just suddenly had a mushy lump/bump develop on his RF leg just below his knee which was on/off slightly warm-didn't bother him at all w/ palpation,flex,jog etc and was completely sound....my gut told me to get it ultrasounded...and sure enough he had torn his check ligament this of course was one week before the zone 2 hunter finals which we qualified for in the Amateur Owner Hunters

    Anyhow...we gave him off...b/c he was and still is sound we didn't do stall rest bc of his soundness and b/c he's calm for turnout. We've been ultrasounding him periodically to monitor the tear/healing progress. The vet suggested doing ACP which is similar to IRAP or PRP if there's no improvement-but its pretty costly-so bc he was sound-i opted to try the more conservative route and just give him time off...its now been 10 months and i'm just getting ready to get him ultrasounded and if everything looks ok i will be slowly starting him back into work....i could've started him up probably after 6 months off-but b/c i was pregnant at the time and i stopped riding it was just as well.

    I'd suggest getting him on a good supplement...either Recovery EQ HA or Smartflex Repair, and Platinum Performance Orthocon-which contains Silica which is vital for tendon/ligament injury repair



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