He got his little ice cast on yesterday and is now bearing full weight. I went to check on him last night and he gave me the cold shoulder. Normally he's very snuggly and affectionate, so i'm writing it off to pain, but it still irritated me that he just cost me thousands of dollars and he can't even give me a hug.
I checked every inch of his stall and couldn't find any sign of struggle, no marks on the wall, no bent bars, no ripped mats - nothing. It's like a ghost tried to rip his leg off.
For some reason this horse is supposed to stay with me. I'm going to try to turn this around in my head that he's like Snowman and instead of jumping high fences to find his way back to me all the time, he tries to kill himself. Start thinking of catchy titles for the book. Maybe something like The Vet Bill Champion or ‘Til Death do Us Part: A Horse Story.
There was a little mare I just LOVED at a barn where I was working. Her owner thought she'd be worth big money as a jumper and sent her to another barn to get changes installed and be sold for big money in a bigger market.
While at training barn, she injured her suspensory. Not sure what agreement training barn/owner had but when DH and I picked up the mare MONTHS later (we were paid to bring her home), she'd just been standing in a muddy field for god knows how long. She was sound. Owner started putting her in lessons/back to work and she became sore. DH and I bought her for a song. I was out of town when the transaction between DH and Owner took place and so the little mare had a week of rest.
She was never lame again. She's now in her late teens, a good friend of mine has her and she's STILL sound as a pound. She jumped 3'3" easily and could have gone higher (she was 14.1).
Do I think she was treated right? I have no idea. Do I know how it healed? No idea, never did a repeat ultrasound. We were prepared to just have a pasture puff if she went sore again but she never did. I did condition her back very very carefully, though.... So there is hope. :-)
OP - I can relate! I had a wonderful mare for sale with a buyer lined up to pay, and the next day she had a freak accident in the pasture. Guess she is meant to spend the rest of her time with us. She's, at the very least, a gorgeous pasture puff.
Kudos to you for taking things in stride and giving your horse a great home. Who knows, maybe things will turn around quicker than you think.
Finding a good physical therapist type may be really useful as well. They now have a program to be board certified in that discipline for vets so maybe checking out their website http://vsmr.org/board.html can give you some contact points for vets that specialize in rehabilitation of these injuries.
Been there, done that. Both horses were fine, in time. One did the PRP etc route, the other was stall rested and then tossed outdoors for a year. Good luck! Try to find a barn that can medicate, wrap, and later, turn out for you so that you can still have a life. If any money remains, lease or buy a project so that you don't rush the injured one and so that you can stay in the tack.
My daughters horse injured his suspensory too, our vet chose to be alittle more aggressive and blistered his leg. THen I put him in our run in for the winter by march he was ready to go. He ultrasound clean too. But his big jumping days were over he does 2'6 now. It sucks that you have to go thru this especially trying to sell the horse. Good Luck!
Willing to Please - Hero 5/10/87-7/14/09 My Life will never be the same Right horse at the right time **Nel**
My Diamond Girl
I agree with this, and am curious as to how you got your vet out so fast and to make such a swift diagnosis, when acute lameness like that usually indicates an abscess or something.
When the girl called and told me he was limping and wouldn't put full weight down that's what I thought too. The other worker showed up and took a peek at it and said that she felt some heat, so I told her to cold hose it just in case. Apparently after she cold hosed it, it started to swell more and that's when I called the vet. They told us to take his temp in case it was cellulitis but it was normal. I guess when they were cold hosing was when he bore weight on it. I didn't get to leave work to go lend a hand so I had to do this all over the phone. The vet was out by early afternoon and surmised it was suspensory after palpating and we have a follow up with ultra sound in two weeks. In the meantime he is confined to his stall.
It may be too early right now, but have you considered moving him to a less expensive barn while he recovers? When my guy was injured, and my friend's horse who was a high 6 figure horse got his suspensory injured, we moved them to "retirement" type barns. They weren't as fancy as the barns we usually board at, but were safe and functional. Plus, the costs were about 1/4 of what we were paying!
So far full recovery, we bought a 15 year old knowing he had suspensory issue and even went through stem cell repair (i honestly dont know correct terms). When bought him he was doing barely 3 foot college riding and it was about 6 years since surgery. (Was a 1.45 horse) Daughter was convinced there was something special about this guy and expected to do the Adults and then some. Well by the end of the summer and in much better shape she was showing in the 1.25 doing a few 1.30's!! At big shows!! She swears by the Back on Track run downs and wraps, and also the sheet. You would never know he was 15!!
What Laurierace said. When my horse pulled his suspensory and it actually started to tear away from the bone, he still wasn't "three legged" lame. He was lame on it, for sure, even at the walk. He was non-weightbearing for about two seconds right after it happened (he held it up immediately when it happened), but after that walked off, 4/5 lame, but weight bearing nonetheless.
If you don't have an ultrasound, you don't have a diagnosis.
Agreed. It could be a lot of things...including a slight fracture. And many of them (including a slight fracture) could heal just fine with time. Actually fractures are easier in my opinion to re-hab than soft tissue. But regardless....he's certainly done something to him self that hurts. At this time, no point in being too doom and gloom (easier said than done I know) until you have a certain diagnosis. It isn't unusual either to have to wait a little bit for the swelling to go down before you can taking the xrays and ultrasound. Good luck...and fingers crossed it is something that heals well.
** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **
If you don't have an ultrasound, you don't have a diagnosis.
Yeah. Bingo. Just curious, why wait for the ultrasound??? Wouldn't it be better to know instead of assume? Especially if the vet palpated and felt something? If it is a suspensory, it's not going to go away in 2 weeks but you need to know just how bad it is NOW.
Strongly suggest you look for something besides the show barn for a 1 year rehab. Lay up facilities can do a better job anyway if you board out and can't come twice a day 7 days a week for months. They also usually do a better job then show barns because they have the staff and the time for layups Usually they have turnout too and that is vital in recovery and rehab. Cost you half what the show barn does, tops. Keep in mind some show barns will ask you to leave if the horse is on extended layup, generating no revenue for them and somebody else wants to come in with an active show horse.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.