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  1. #1
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    Jun. 4, 2006
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    Default question about ligament injuries

    I was wondering what happens when a horse is retired do to a ligament injury. Do they get worse over the years or stay the same? Does the ligament calcify over time? Just wondering what happens in the long term?
    Last edited by Fharoah; Mar. 15, 2012 at 01:15 AM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
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    2,385

    Default

    I don't understand your question. Are you wanting to know if some horses come around sound vs. staying the same or degrading? Turning them out to pasture is one of the treatment options for ligament inuries (although less popular for higher value horses). And plenty of horses retire to pasture soundness after soft tissue injuries and live out happy lives.



  3. #3
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    Jan. 21, 2010
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    2,170

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    My horse was retired due to a severe core ligament tear. After 2 years of attempting to rehab, even to a pleasure horse, we finally said screw it and threw him in a field. There was always the possibility that he would tear it completely, but it was one that he could probably get around without (straight sesamoidean). But he would've likely developed osteoarthritis in the pastern area.
    It became a moot point, though, as he severely injured a hindlimb not a year later and dropped his ligament injury way down on his list of problems. He's still around, but doesn't do much more than walk, with the occasional trot/canter/buck, so I don't worry about his ligament tear. Maybe someday I'll have it ultrasounded just for giggles to see how it's doing.



  4. #4
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    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Default

    I think it's going to entirely depend on the nature of the injury, how the horse compensates, how much turnout he has, etc.

    The saying "use it or lose it" is really applicable here. If the horse uses that limb less because of the issue, its elasticity is going to suffer a bit. This will then make him use it a bit less and a bit less as time goes on - it becomes a circle.

    If it's something that he uses "a lot" despite some discomfort, well, that's not necessarily good, or bad, either. It may help maintain some elasticity, but it may also lead to a catastrophic failure at some point.

    If he compensates by loading the opposite, or diagonal leg, then over time, those limbs may also start developing problems.

    The asymmetrical horse is just going to have issues. It becomes a matter of when, and how bad
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  5. #5
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    I think it's going to entirely depend on the nature of the injury, how the horse compensates, how much turnout he has, etc.

    The saying "use it or lose it" is really applicable here. If the horse uses that limb less because of the issue, its elasticity is going to suffer a bit. This will then make him use it a bit less and a bit less as time goes on - it becomes a circle.

    If it's something that he uses "a lot" despite some discomfort, well, that's not necessarily good, or bad, either. It may help maintain some elasticity, but it may also lead to a catastrophic failure at some point.

    If he compensates by loading the opposite, or diagonal leg, then over time, those limbs may also start developing problems.

    The asymmetrical horse is just going to have issues. It becomes a matter of when, and how bad
    Thank you guys! My horse is lame but has no hesitation to trot and canter and buck and do flying changes. So far the other leg is perfect He has no tears or I would have done stem cells. I almost did stem cell, the university professor whom diagnosed this horse said I could do stem cell with no adverse effects, but my lameness specialist was concerned it could risk making the injury worse because there is no core lesion. I nearly did stem cell on this horse but was afraid to take any chance at making him worse, so made the very tough choice to leave him be.

    The ultrasound we just did showed allot of healing. But the injury was so bad I was given a less than 10% chance at soundness. Lameness specialist does think he will continue to improve as the ligament heals but never expects him to be serviceable. If he ever gets worse specialist will evaluate him and help me decide what is right, I am hoping he will continue to improve.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
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    That's all you can do at this point

    Lame horses DO compensate, which is what makes them appear either not lame, or less lame, at least for a time. In the best circumstances, their injury fully heals, and then you hope you don't have compensation issues to deal with LOL In your case, the injury is likely not ever going to heal, so there will always be some compensation. But many, many horses live quite nicely in spite of all that, and die of old age
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



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