So ... when I had Pirate at the University of Missouri, almost as an after thought the neurologist said "has he always had that bowed tendon?" And what do you know - right hind has a middle bow. Tonight I decided to a little research about bowed tendons and wow... they seem pretty serious?? The vets in Missouri didn't recommend anything for the bowed tendon, in fact it was never mentioned again. He's never lame, though he's been a little off while tracking right at the trot for most of the year and also struggled picking up the right lead for a while at canter - but then again, the right side is his fully blind and deaf side, with the inner ear damage affecting his balance as well.
So ... does it seem normal that the vets basically ignored the bowed tendon? I have absolutely no idea how long he's had it - though I just looked through all the pictures I have of him and I don't see any bow up to last winter. The pictures I have this spring don't show a clear view of that leg, though he does seem to be favoring it some.
He did have a good 6-8 weeks of stall rest this spring because of his squamous cell carcinoma treatment - so it's possible that I managed to give him rest like he would have needed. The "hitch" I've noticed tracking right at the trot has always been when I'm asking for deep bend and him to reach under himself with the right hind- and would go away when I straightened him and didn't ask him to use that hind so much. So I spent time after he came off stall rest riding him straight and trying to work out the hitch - but again, never noticed the bowed tendon ... and neither did my vets, who saw him regularly for his eye, or my trainer ... or even my farrier!
So ... what's normal? Should it go back to normal sometime, or do bowed tendons tend to stay bowed? The three times I've ridden him since the surgery I've wrapped him - and I plan to continue to do so the majority of the time we ride now. I figure the support can't hurt, and is probably necessary. Anything else I should be doing?