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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Default How can/does a high hind suspensory issue show up?

    If you just had how the horse moves/acts/behaves, what might make you think "high hind suspensory"?
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    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  2. #2
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    Sep. 8, 1999
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    Libertyville, IL USA
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    My OTTB had a high hind suspensory in 2007. He was TOTALLY sound at the trot. Presented with a flat tire canter when the injured suspensory was on the inside. It is probably not helpful to you, but NOTHING about the injury made me think high suspensory. Everyone thought we were going to have to do a bone scan to figure out the problem, vet found it right away.



  3. #3
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    Dec. 27, 2001
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    Washington, DC
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    My vet could tell you -- they told me that's what they thought it was when they first saw him go, and they were right.
    We had bilateral high hind suspensories. I could tell you he was "lame" behind but my eye couldn't pick out more than that.
    Under saddle he felt, like he had a flat tire is perfect, but on both sides, so not "limping" but sort of "gimping" -- evenly, did not get better, could feel it in trot and canter.
    The big man -- no longer an only child

    His new little brother



  4. #4
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    Jan. 28, 2003
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    Yep, thats how my vet describes it too...lame at the canter, sound at the trot.
    I had one that simply started not getting down the lines. When we blocked the suspensory on the right hind, he went lame on the left hind. Scanned, and sure enough bilateral high hind suspensories...no more 3'6" for him. He is however still sound and showing at the 2'6" 3 years later.
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  5. #5
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    Aug. 22, 2009
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    Indiana
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    My horse was had been a little "off" (tracked uneven in back). Trainer I worked with and a few other people thought it was a weak stifle and to work on small hills, trot work and such. Didn't get better or worse for a 3+ months of working- 3x week dressage occasional jumping up to 2'9" and horse was always willing to work and never bucked or pinned ears.

    Suddenly got worse and he was really dropping the hip on the same side as the affected limb. Worse when affected limb on outside. Wasn't working out of things, etc. One vet thought it was hock (large bone spavin).

    I heard weak stifle, hock (bone spavin), stifle, hip and it finally ended up being Suspensory desmitis of the RH with an avvlsion fragment at the base of the suspensory attachment.

    New vet did x-ray (pastern, hock, stifle) then ultra sound. That vet was thinking suspensory issue right from the start and asked if I had noticed lowering of the pasterns. Be sure the vet includes pressure on the suspensory during the lameness exam to see how his trot looks after that.

    EDIT: Oh, and my horse was only off in trot.
    Quote Originally Posted by RugBug View Post
    Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.



  6. #6
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    Feb. 28, 2001
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    Default

    DFL-was your horse sensitive to the touch on the stifle? Is that why it was suspected?



  7. #7
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    Jul. 25, 2007
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    Arizona
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    I called the vet thinking my mare needed to have her hocks injected...turned out to be a high suspensory injury. The vet immediately found it on ultrasound.



  8. #8
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    Aug. 22, 2009
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    Indiana
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    The dressage clinician thought it was a weak stifle due to the way he was moving and how he was still so willing to work (w-t-c, jump, raised/extended trot poles). Becasue he was so willing to work made us think hock was less likely as usually if a horse has hock problems they will do an odd hop before taking off for a jump (if not start refusing altogether)- my horse didn't do either and happily did a brilliant extended trot (moment of suspension included ) over trot poles this summer.

    Stifle had been mentioned a few other times as well but his symptoms matched a hock problem more than stifle. Dr. Page at CEC later thought hip was most likely, then stifle as his hock was at that point proven clean. No swelling was ever present and he was not sensitive to the touch- not hock, stifle, or even hip. Suspensory stress during the lameness exam did bring the 2+/5 off up to 4/5 off.
    Quote Originally Posted by RugBug View Post
    Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.



  9. #9
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    May. 2, 2001
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    This is probably not that helpful. But mine was just plain Jane lame on the affected hind leg. Vets found it after starting from the ground up with blocks. It wasn't a severe lameness, but he just didn't feel right and was short on that hind leg. No obvious swelling or sensitivity to palpation. It really took the ultrasound to find it.



  10. #10
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    May. 1, 2006
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    Tampa, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by mroades View Post
    Yep, thats how my vet describes it too...lame at the canter, sound at the trot.
    I had one that simply started not getting down the lines. When we blocked the suspensory on the right hind, he went lame on the left hind. Scanned, and sure enough bilateral high hind suspensories...no more 3'6" for him. He is however still sound and showing at the 2'6" 3 years later.
    MRoades - glad to hear your guy is still showing 3 years later... My horse was just diagnosed with high hind suspensory issues. His lameness showed up first at the canter to the right as very short strided, then progressed to feeling like he was dropping the right hip at the trot. His diagnosis sounds a lot like yours - blocked sound on the right at the high suspensory & went lame on left then.
    What was your treatment/recovery routine with your boy?



  11. #11
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    Oct. 14, 2000
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    Now In the Sandhills, NC mostly
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    My experience--horse was dead sound on level ground, not even a tick off. But going up hills I felt a 'flat tire' and I also had no uphill and balanced downward transition, it flat out disappeared.
    Before it was diagnosed (nobody could see anything, therefore nothing was wrong and it was considered a "training" issue <insert eye-roll>, I was at a horse trial where our dressage was lovely, stadium also lovely, but on XC any effort that was up any kind of hill resulted in stopping, and drifting hard left over the jumps. Pulled up at jump 4 and went home crying because I didn't listen to my inside voice and my non-quitting horse just kept going the best he could.

    Found a small lump a few days later--splint popped under high outside suspensory. Came back fabulously sound, but took a year of low-stress riding (trails mostly)



  12. #12
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    Jan. 10, 2006
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    Clemson, SC
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    Mine was similar. Nobody believed me that I felt like something wasn't quite right, he was almost completely sound at the trot and the canter. Even my normal vet saw me work him and didn't see the problem. He'd gotten bilateral puncture wounds a few months earlier and on palpation over the scars she said he was either being his usual less than tolerant self or a small area was bothering him. We took a few rads and found an almost healed splint fracture, but none of the vets in the clinic thought that explained why he felt 'off' to me, so to humor me they sent me to the large clinic for an ultrasound. The vet there specialized in lameness and was able to see that he was off, even if I couldn't see it! He found it quickly upon ultrasound. Luckily it wasn't a full tear and he's expected to make a full recovery.

    It's been a year and a half but we've started jumping itty bitty fences again. And that experience confirmed, yet again, that I know my horses better than anyone, so when I feel that something isn't quite right I'm going to investigate!
    A lovely horse is always an experience.... It is an emotional experience of the kind that is spoiled by words. ~Beryl Markham



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RomeosGirl View Post
    MRoades - glad to hear your guy is still showing 3 years later... My horse was just diagnosed with high hind suspensory issues. His lameness showed up first at the canter to the right as very short strided, then progressed to feeling like he was dropping the right hip at the trot. His diagnosis sounds a lot like yours - blocked sound on the right at the high suspensory & went lame on left then.
    What was your treatment/recovery routine with your boy?
    Because his were old and chronic( with slight new tears from jumping 3'6") we just shockwaved both, gave him a month off and then he went intl flatwork for a month, then he went back to packing kids around, just no more high jumps for him.
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  14. #14
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    Jan. 1, 2008
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    Sound at the trot one direction of the ring and unsound on the other, depending on which leg is affected.



  15. #15
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    Apr. 21, 2007
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    Taxachusetts
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    Sorry to be dragging up an old thread, but we may be dealing with bi-lateral high up hind end suspensory issues. I've come for reassurance everything will be okay! (Or at least some jingles)

    Quick back ground. Horse has been NQR at times for the last two years. He presented a lot like what I'm reading here(NQR left hind to the left, NQR right hind to the right, unwillingness to move forward, wanted to go really crookedly, etc) , but was initially diagnosed with glute muscle injuries in Nov 2009, which we treated with shockwave/time off. Brought him back with a good chiro and myofacia release message and thought we had resolved the issues. We were in a good place when my horse fell and broke his elbow, which required surgery, in February of this year. We've been bringing him back slowly but surely (again) but still he could be NQR at times. He just wouldn't want to go. This is especially true in the sand outdoor. We'd get four good days followed by 5-10 not-so-good days. Had hocks done in spring, which seemed to make an improvement, but didn't last. Horse has been presenting with a lack of go, especially in the canter, and the "flat tire" describes him perfectly at times. He's had chiro again, but this time it really made him much, much worse. His withers and pelvis were both out and he felt like a broken in half horse. We now think he was compensating, and when he was put back into place he couldn't compensate making him feel really horrible.

    He just isn't himself. No go. Not lame, just NQR, and I feel like a crazy person as it can be really hard to see, but he's definitely NQR. I could see how one might think it was a training issue.

    Our vet came out yesterday, and did blocks. He blocked the left hind suspensory, and was much better to the left, but made the right worse. Blocked right hind suspensory, and we had happy forward moving horsie. Our vet will be back out on Saturday to do ultrasounds and we'll know for sure then.

    I'm really worried. He's been through so much over the past two years.

    To those who have gone through this before, how are your horses doing now? Any advice is grately appreciated!!



  16. #16
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    Oct. 8, 2008
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    not where I want to be
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    Quote Originally Posted by mroades View Post
    Yep, thats how my vet describes it too...lame at the canter, sound at the trot.
    I had one that simply started not getting down the lines. When we blocked the suspensory on the right hind, he went lame on the left hind. Scanned, and sure enough bilateral high hind suspensories...no more 3'6" for him. He is however still sound and showing at the 2'6" 3 years later.
    Ah this give me hope! Had a mid/high small tear 1.5 yrs. ago, now back in training again, but limited to less than 3ft.
    "If you've got a horse, you've got a problem"



  17. #17
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    Jul. 14, 2011
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    Warren County, NJ
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    My horse was 21 at the time and was on and off again slightly 'off'. Then one day while riding it felt like something snapped and I was riding a kangaroo. Vet suspected high hind suspensory tear and blocked it. He was a lameness genius vet, I was told, and didn't ultrasound. Stall rest for 5 months with hand walking one or two months into the rest. Increased hand walking to an hour, then started riding at walk on straight lines. He's now 26 and we still putz around like we always did. I think he's got some joint issues on the other hind from compensating, but at his age, it's OK.

    He injured the left hind and felt off going to the right, when the left hind was on the outside, pushing off the ground. No heat or swelling that I could see or feel. Just a warning----after going through this, I'm paranoid about footing now. Every little misstep scares me to death.



  18. #18
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    Aug. 22, 2005
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    With my big horse, it presented exactly like hock soreness. Unwilling to flex & come under, "popping" his croup up (not bucking, just a postural thing) to avoid collection, consequently not using his back at all, toe-dragging at liberty. Since his injuries were bilateral, I didn't have a limp, just really crappy gaits.

    Hock injections did not help (of course). He was able to be quasi-diagnosed with nerve blocks. His suspensory damage was too high to be seen on ultrasound. (I've since had vets question that statement, but 3 well-respected sporthorse vets told me that at that time, and his issues certainly seemed hard to diagnose - or maybe just hard for me to accept the diagnosis as more than conjecture - so I believe that the damage could not be seen on u/s or else we would have arrived at a diagnosis much sooner.)

    Ultimately, his diagnosis was achieved with a nuclear bone scan + nerve blocks, as well as the lack of progress with all the other crap I tried, incl. hock injections, Lyme treatment, etc. I spent a fortune (and took forever) just diagnosing him. Knowing what I know now, I would have been quicker to accept a diagnosis the way it was originally done, by ruling out hocks (injections didn't work) combined with a huge change after being blocked.

    My boy eventually had the tendon-splitting surgery at Marion duPont. He did not recover well, and subsequently had PRP. That made a world of difference for him - but it still took another year before he was really sound. He is now back in full work and just competed at his first PSG (with another rider). But it's been a long road.

    Good luck to you, JB! I hope that's not what you're dealing with, but if it is, you would be well-served to research all the treatment options available to you. They've come a long way since the days of "Turn him out for a year & see what you've got."
    "You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." - The Little Prince



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