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View Full Version : looking for support, possible suspensory rehab setback :(



DQ01
Jan. 28, 2013, 02:29 AM
My mare has been rehabbing from her second hind suspensory injury really well. It's been 8 months since and we've been getting back to work, her last ultrasound was perfect. Lately she hasn't been right, doesn't want to go forward or bear weight behind. I'm calling the vet tomorrow to get an ultrasound done. At first we thought it was saddle soreness but now I'm thinking it's that leg. All I can think about is that there is another tear and what will I do then? She's been doing so well and I've done everything right, I'm so depressed about it :(

dbolte
Jan. 28, 2013, 08:06 AM
So sorry to hear that :cry:; my mare just re-strained her suspensory last month, although fortunately she hasn't been tearing hers. I feel your pain though- I didn't want to believe it was that leg again either, but she was doing some of the same things it sounds like your mare is doing- not wanting to go forward or sit on her hind end. Hopefully she hasn't retorn it and you just need to slow the rehab down a bit more- good luck!

DQ01
Jan. 28, 2013, 02:38 PM
Thank you! And thankfully my vet can make it out this afternoon. I'm loosing sleep with all this worrying and wondering. Sorry to hear about your mare too. These hind suspensories are horrible :( since your mare just strained hers do you still need to put her back on stall rest or can you just back off of the work load and see how that goes? My horse was also quite sore after her stall rest the first time we went through this and we injected her hocks and that made a huge difference. I'm hoping that's it again but these symptoms are different and she's been getting back to work for about 4 months now :(

dbolte
Jan. 28, 2013, 02:53 PM
She's been pulled completely out of work; with the strain they're not as adamant about full stall rest, and in any case it's not practical/possible at the barn I'm at right now, so she's on her regular 1/2 the day out, 1/2 the day in schedule. Her field's smallish- maybe around an acre- and flat, so they're okay with that although they don' want her out in anything larger as she'll move around too much. They're actually advising the surgery for her, but that's a bit out of my budget, so she's going to get lots of time off and we'll see if that helps anything. I had about four months of riding in on her before this mess too : ( I'd rather deal with hock injections than this suspensory stuff, that's for sure.

DQ01
Jan. 28, 2013, 10:14 PM
Well the verdict is in and it's her suspensory that's bothering her. She flexed her hocks and my mare is definitely sore there so my vet was sure that that's all it was. But on the lunge she was just slightly off on the right hind (suspensory leg). We blocked the suspensory and she was significantly better after that :( Chances are this is chronic pain or a strain like your mare, and not a tear. She is going to come back this week to ultrasound. She talked about injected the hocks and even the suspensory too (has been known to help in minor cases) but then also said the surgery is an option. She is going to talk to the other vets at the clinic tomorrow and see what they think would be best. I also don't know if surgery would be best for my horse. I'm sad that she'll never be the show horse I thought she'd be, but money aside, I'm not going to put her through something just because I want to ride. Her happiness and well being comes first. I might go like you are and let her be a horse for a year, see what happens then. Trying to be hopeful but am super depressed about it all :cry:

asterix
Jan. 28, 2013, 10:24 PM
I have no idea how successful the surgery is for this kind of chronic issue, but I had it done on my horse several years ago for his high hind suspensories -- it is a very minor procedure. He was ready to come home the same day and when I did a bandage change I could barely see the incisions (no stitches).
It was 30 days complete stall rest but otherwise not much different than typical soft tissue rehab.

dbolte
Jan. 28, 2013, 10:30 PM
So sorry to hear that :no:
I haven't heard of injecting the suspensories, but I suppose it makes some sense- the steroids they typically inject with should help get rid of inflammation, right? And that's definitely the immediate goal.

kiwifruit
Jan. 29, 2013, 12:06 PM
So sorry to hear that :no:
I haven't heard of injecting the suspensories, but I suppose it makes some sense- the steroids they typically inject with should help get rid of inflammation, right? And that's definitely the immediate goal.

You can read my story on the eventing thread but I just had a conversation about this with my vet yesterday. After having the surgery and 7 months into rehab last year he went lame again; I decided to let Dr.Green have a try for the winter. So far, so good. I plan to put him under tack in March. It will be almost 18 months then from the surgery. A long time! The plan is to work for about three weeks, and if still sound, get a check/ultrasound and go from there. I asked about injecting the suspensory and my vet said it was for acute injuries only, not chronic like my guy. He said injections could compromise the tendon. The one thing my vet stressed is time. Minimum one year to two years to heal this type of injury for the best results. And constant turnout is helpful because it helps break down the adhesions and adds light stress to the suspensory. I'm keeping my fingers crossed but when he trots up to eat breakfast, it sure is looking hopeful.

vicarious
Jan. 29, 2013, 12:38 PM
Like Kiwi, my horse had surgery was rehabbing well, and then --crash-. However this was in hind sight ( that wonderful thing), a chronic, low level injury in the first place with a lot of scar tissue. My posts are to be found in the same thread as Kiwi's.

After over 6 mo of controlled turn out, walking under saddle, we were cleared to start trot again.

However, I have come up on the injured list, so controlled turn out will continue but I will say the free trot does look good. Like Kiwi, I too want to emphasize that some of these take far longer to come back, and taking it slow is far better than continually re-doing, Injections weren't mentioned.

dbolte
Jan. 29, 2013, 07:48 PM
That makes sense that the injections would be mainly for acute injuries. I too am hoping that time off helps my girl. She was out goofing off today and didn't look too bad, so maybe we're on to something, although she's only about one month post re-diagnosis. Planning to have the farrier watch her walk when he comes back out in a couple weeks and we'll see what he can see. Regardless, not planning on doing anything with her any time soon!

merrygoround
Jan. 29, 2013, 08:47 PM
Tendon and ligament injuries are exasperating to deal with. We are such hurriers, and do-ers. Sitting there and doing nothing is very hard on us. However," Tincture of Time" is the best medicine, coupled with careful use of the injury.

It can get more frustrating when you have one that can't manage quiet turn out, which is far better than stalling up and hand walking.

reay6790
Jan. 29, 2013, 10:11 PM
Hope all is well where you are. I am pretty sure I have a suspensory on a horse that won't quite be normal again. He is pretty happy trotting around but something just feels NQR. I'd love to jump him again, it's his favorite thing to do!!

DQ01
Jan. 29, 2013, 11:00 PM
My vet phoned me this morning after talking to some other vets at the clinic about the horse. She is coming back on monday to actually ultrasound and we will inject her hocks since those are bothering her anyway. My plan is to try shockwave therapy first. After that I might let me horse go out to pasture for a year or so and let her body so it's thing, maybe I'll breed her, she'd have lovely foals. I'm not sure if surgery if I route I will take, I guess it depends what happens in the next few months. Like all of you have said, time is what's most important. I am feeling more hopeful after talking to my vet and a few peoeple at the barn that there are things we can try, my horse isn't necessarily "done." Unfortunately I can't afford to lease or buy another horse in the meantime but my mare is my priority and my riding comes second to her.
Thank you everyone for sharing your stories, it's so nice to know that others are going through this and have been through this before.

mvp
Jan. 30, 2013, 02:20 AM
I have no idea how successful the surgery is for this kind of chronic issue, but I had it done on my horse several years ago for his high hind suspensories -- it is a very minor procedure. He was ready to come home the same day and when I did a bandage change I could barely see the incisions (no stitches).
It was 30 days complete stall rest but otherwise not much different than typical soft tissue rehab.

What are they sewing together up in there? As vets tried to show me (when my horse actually didn't have a high suspensory injury at all) was that it's way, way up high and near the bone. You have to flex the leg and scoot the now loose flexors over in order to feel that part of the suspensory.

With your versions "high suspensory tear behind" are we talking about the same bit of anatomy? If so, you can't sew ligament onto bone, so what are the surgeons doing?

mvp
Jan. 30, 2013, 02:23 AM
My vet phoned me this morning after talking to some other vets at the clinic about the horse. She is coming back on monday to actually ultrasound and we will inject her hocks since those are bothering her anyway. My plan is to try shockwave therapy first. After that I might let me horse go out to pasture for a year or so and let her body so it's thing, maybe I'll breed her, she'd have lovely foals. I'm not sure if surgery if I route I will take, I guess it depends what happens in the next few months. Like all of you have said, time is what's most important. I am feeling more hopeful after talking to my vet and a few peoeple at the barn that there are things we can try, my horse isn't necessarily "done." Unfortunately I can't afford to lease or buy another horse in the meantime but my mare is my priority and my riding comes second to her.
Thank you everyone for sharing your stories, it's so nice to know that others are going through this and have been through this before.

I know it's premature, but IMO, you need to get to the bottom of why this mare created this injury before you breed her.

It might be her conformation-- macroscopic or microscopic. But it also might be footing, conditioning and the like. Seriously. Don't underestimate the contribution that management can make to these total PITA soft-tissue injuries.

In any case, I think you are wise to put her out for a year and then see what you have.

grayarabpony
Jan. 30, 2013, 09:44 AM
I know it's premature, but IMO, you need to get to the bottom of why this mare created this injury before you breed her.

It might be her conformation-- macroscopic or microscopic. But it also might be footing, conditioning and the like. Seriously. Don't underestimate the contribution that management can make to these total PITA soft-tissue injuries.

In any case, I think you are wise to put her out for a year and then see what you have.

THIS. All of it. If she's injury prone I wouldn't breed her. And I'd look critically at her feet as part of looking at her management. Messed up feet can strain the legs tremendously.

cswoodlandfairy
Jan. 30, 2013, 11:48 AM
I have a horse returning from a suspensory injury as well. It was my first one and I have to ask, do you have her on anything to help with the suspensory? I ask because I used SmartFlex Rehab and not only did it help but what would have been a 4 month stall rest ending January, I am actually getting ready to jump this week! It is not a cure all I know, but even the vet was blown away at the progress he has made. She was speechless at his last scan, which was the beginning of Jan. It is also very cost effective If you have a bit more money I was told that Ligand 3 by Foxden Equine is really good as well.

Goof luck with you mare and sending good vibes your way!!

Koniucha
Jan. 30, 2013, 11:54 AM
Just want to give hugs and support. I am going through this with my mare right now. She has a front suspensory injury. This is a first for me, so I am learning alot.

Koniucha
Jan. 30, 2013, 02:39 PM
I have a horse returning from a suspensory injury as well. It was my first one and I have to ask, do you have her on anything to help with the suspensory? I ask because I used SmartFlex Rehab and not only did it help but what would have been a 4 month stall rest ending January, I am actually getting ready to jump this week! It is not a cure all I know, but even the vet was blown away at the progress he has made. She was speechless at his last scan, which was the beginning of Jan. It is also very cost effective If you have a bit more money I was told that Ligand 3 by Foxden Equine is really good as well.

Goof luck with you mare and sending good vibes your way!!

I am interested in thses rehab supplements. Is Smartpak the only company that seels this type of supplement?

DQ01
Feb. 13, 2013, 10:44 PM
Unfortunately we can't get Smartpak in Canada but I will look into that other product, thanks for the suggestion, cswoodlandfairy. As for breeding my mare, I am a firm believe of not breeding something that isn't worth breeding. There are far too many unwanted horses around to add another one. I would have her inspected first and go from there. The vets say her conformation is fine and she has good feet, not sure why she has this suspensory issue.
I saw another vet today. After having my mare's hocks injected she is much happier but still not quite right in that hind leg. However, the ultrasound showed not as much scar tissue as the vets expected for this amount of discomfort she is in. The vets are going to consult some other vets and do some thinking before we do something like surgery. One vet said that with shockwave on hind suspensories, he has to do more like 7-10 treatments to get results. But I think I'd rather do that first than the surgery, since it's non invasive, even if it ends up costing more. I also chatted with a lady in my area who does a lot of physio and body work with people and has applied the same princples to horses. She mentioned looking to see if my horse's body is correctly in alignment or if something else could be the issue which is causing that suspensory to bother her as a secondary thing. More of a natural, homeopathic side of things, pretty interesting to talk to her. Fingers crossed that something helps my mare out, waiting for a plan is painful.

cswoodlandfairy
Feb. 14, 2013, 10:36 AM
Koniucha (http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/member.php?93163-Koniucha)- Yes!! Smartpak does indeed sell these. If you are happy with your current joint supplement you can opt for SmartTendon which is only $23-24 a month. If you compare your joint supplement with SmartFlex Rehab from Smartpak and its different I would the Rehab. Rehab has higher contents of the tendon supplements than SmartTendon has!

DQ1 - I am sure there are other products out there. Just look up the ingredients in SmartTendon or SmartFlex Rehab and see what's out there!

I will preface this all by saying that every horse is different and absorbs them differently, but for my guy it made a big difference and 4 month from an injury I was told would be months of stall rest, I have completed the flat part of rehabbing and have started jumping him this month!

grayarabpony
Feb. 14, 2013, 11:26 AM
What are they sewing together up in there? As vets tried to show me (when my horse actually didn't have a high suspensory injury at all) was that it's way, way up high and near the bone. You have to flex the leg and scoot the now loose flexors over in order to feel that part of the suspensory.

With your versions "high suspensory tear behind" are we talking about the same bit of anatomy? If so, you can't sew ligament onto bone, so what are the surgeons doing?

Typically the surgery involves splitting the fascia surrounding the ligament, removing adhesions and may also include cutting the nerve that supplies the upper suspensory.

drider
Feb. 17, 2013, 07:10 AM
So sorry to hear about your horse. We have had some amazing results rehabbing suspensory injuries, using cold laser and game ready protocols.Check out our Facebook page or web site for info.
Mid-'Atlantic Equine Rehab Center. Always remember that once a horse has been on stall rest for a specific injury , they usually come up with compensatory issues afterwards. Always look at the whole horse. Don't just fixate on the obvious.

FineAlready
Feb. 17, 2013, 02:53 PM
I'll just toss it out there that I would never permit anyone to inject steroids into a ligament or tendon on my horse. My horse pulled a suspensory not long after I got him, and it has been speculated that his racing owner had injected the suspensory to keep racing him.

A friend's horse had a tendon injected with a steroid - it completely ruined the tendon, which the horse has now blown at least three times (she is on her third round of rehab now, just to get the horse possibly sound for light trails).

It's on my list of things I would just never, ever do.

I used shockwave on my horse's (front) suspensory injury with great success.

Good luck and hang in there!

DQ01
Mar. 4, 2013, 01:22 AM
Well what a turn of events I have had! I had a third vet come look at my horse, he looked at the whole body, not just the suspensory. Long story short, we ended up blocking her stifle on the same leg. First time I have seen my horse sound in weeks! I also know of someone else's horse who had a suspensory problem followed by a stifle injury and now they're not even sure which actually came first. The vet comes back on tuesday and I'll see what I need to do from there. I am so glad I followed my gut and didn't just take my horse straight in to surgery. I just knew there was something else going on. We probably still have a long road ahead but at least I've gotten an answer.

NRB
Mar. 4, 2013, 10:20 AM
So glad to hear that you followed your gut on this one.