My Clydesdale mare had emergency surgery over 4 months ago to remove a shattered splint bone in a hind leg. Another mare kicker her, and in addition to the shattered bone there was a huge laceration. As you might imagine, this horse's rather big leg ended up with a multitude of stitches. She had a young foal at her side and I decided to "let her be" until the foal was weaned. She appeared to be sound at the trot when she and the foal went into pasture. However, now that the foal hasd been weaned and I can work with her more easily, the leg appears a bit stiff. Not unsound, can't really put my finger on the problem but I think the scar tissue (and there is a lot of it) is tight and uncomfortable. Will adding more exercise help break it up? Is there something I can or should be doing to address this. Yes, it is also ugly but that is not a major concern. Suggestions are appreciated.
Contact your vet for a consultation. I have been treating a small ISR mare with scar tissue that impinged on a nerve and an artery in her left front leg, resulting in lameness.
The vet X-rayed, first suspecting a broken or chipped sesamoid bone. When those pictures came back clean, he did an ultrasound, found the offending scar tissue, gave my mare an injection at the site, then told me to treat it first by massaging DMSO into the area for a few weeks. This greatly diminished the mare's lameness. After that first month or so, vet had me switch to massaging Surpass ointment (is that right? I've had a couple glasses of wine now and can't think!!) into the area. Mare is now good to go back to light work.
Time will tell if she's able to get back to jumping and all the other things she used to do.
Your vet should have ideas about breaking down scar tissue if that's the problem...
Assuming it's scar tissue that is the issue, then yes, it can be helped. Whether it's 100% remains to be seen. Myofascial therapy can help. You're not dealing with muscle, but some MTs are also skilled in MF release techniques. But even so, massaging the area, with techniques specific to non-muscle areas, can help break up adhesions and "stuck" myofascia.
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET