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  1. #1
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    Default Mare has upper suspensory *Update*

    The vet was out Wednesday because my mare was off on her right front. The diagnosis is upper suspensory on the right front. I am so sad He said it will take 6 to 8 months to heal and I have to do the first 60 days of just walking for 10 to 15 minutes.

    I know it will take time, but I am wondering if there is anything I can do to help it heal, such as cold hosing, etc.

    She is a 4.5 year old Thoroughbred. This is my first time dealing with this sort of thing.
    Last edited by Koniucha; Feb. 3, 2013 at 07:38 AM.



  2. #2
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    I hope she has an upper suspensory!

    Is it strained or torn? I would ice it a couple times a day for the first month after her hand walks. You will probably need drugs There is a good thread (on the eventing forum i think?) about suspensory injuries.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by reay6790 View Post
    I hope she has an upper suspensory!

    Is it strained or torn? I would ice it a couple times a day for the first month after her hand walks. You will probably need drugs There is a good thread (on the eventing forum i think?) about suspensory injuries.
    Does that mean an upper suspensory is not as bad?

    My vet did say that we can do walking, so she is not stuck in her stall. But I feel like drugs might be helpful in certain situations. I will be getting her a slow feed net as well.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by reay6790 View Post
    I hope she has an upper suspensory!

    Is it strained or torn? I would ice it a couple times a day for the first month after her hand walks. You will probably need drugs There is a good thread (on the eventing forum i think?) about suspensory injuries.
    That was my thought as well! What exactly is going on with her suspensory?



  5. #5
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    Yes, take a look on Eventing for the suspensory thread. Lots of us with lots of experience. Shockwave can also be very helpful in healing. I would certainly ask about that.
    Unfortunately there is no substitute for time no matter what else you do -- it will take several months, starting with walking. Did he have you limit her turnout? Most of the time you don't want them running around on it, so they are either stuck in the stall or on a small paddock turnout for a while.
    The big man -- no longer an only child

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  6. #6
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    I think reay was making a joke . . . ALL horses have upper (and lower!) suspensories. The title of the thread, if one is being pedantic (I am guilty of same more often than not) would have been less likely to draw the joke had it said "My mare has an upper suspensory INJURY".

    Lots of things can help, but IMO there is no substituting the latest remedy for HEALING TIME. Modern therapies can improve the outcome, but do not necessarily shorten the time needed to heal. Good luck!
    Click here before you buy.


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  7. #7
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    I'm sorry, it was a joke like saying you have TMJ. I'm sure your title meant to say a suspensory injury or strain or tear



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by asterix View Post
    Yes, take a look on Eventing for the suspensory thread. Lots of us with lots of experience. Shockwave can also be very helpful in healing. I would certainly ask about that.
    Unfortunately there is no substitute for time no matter what else you do -- it will take several months, starting with walking. Did he have you limit her turnout? Most of the time you don't want them running around on it, so they are either stuck in the stall or on a small paddock turnout for a while.
    He did mention the shockwave therapy and I will be doing that. I am able to walk her for 10 to 15 minutes a day for 60 days. I will be doing this under saddle.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by reay6790 View Post
    I'm sorry, it was a joke like saying you have TMJ. I'm sure your title meant to say a suspensory injury or strain or tear
    It's ok, I can take a joke. I did mean my title as I wrote it, I was going off of what he wrote.

    Like I was saying, I have ridden for many years, but owning my own is a nex experience for me.

    I will be doing ultrasound and x-rays to be sure what we have.



  10. #10
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    If you check into the thread over on Eventing, you will read some detailed routines of rehab. You will also read about the time involved.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by merrygoround View Post
    If you check into the thread over on Eventing, you will read some detailed routines of rehab. You will also read about the time involved.

    Can you point me to the thread? I am not seeing it.



  12. #12
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    Sounds like you haven't done an ultrasound yet? Definitely need that to know for sure what you have. Was the diagnosis thus far just based on a simple exam, or did they do blocks, or? If the ultrasound does show an injury to the upper suspensory, don't despair, especially since you are "lucky" it is front not hind. I've had two upper suspensory injuries that were treatable and horse recovered. First we used shockwave, which was a big help, plus just good old time off and proper rehab. Second, did PRP and shockwave, and again the usual time off and rehab.

    But until you do that ultrasound, and possibly x-rays (depending what all the vet finds), you don't know for sure what you have. Good luck, and fingers crossed for a quick and complete recovery, whatever the issue turns out to be!



  13. #13
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    this one? http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...Updates-at-end
    My DIL's OTTB mare was just diagnosed with a lower left front leg suspensory injury. I don't know all the details and DIL just had her baby the day after the dx. Luckily she has many friends and barn staff doing the care for her.
    U/S was done and will be repeated in a few weeks. The vet did not think it was too serious, but I don't know.
    I feel bad because I had paid for full day t/o (have to pay extra and not cheap) to help while DIL was recovering from c-section... now it's worse!! Sigh... One week... just one week and she injures herself! Grr.



  14. #14
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    My horse tore his suspensory (also RF high) when he was 4. The good news is, it's front and high - I was told front and high was the "best" type of suspensory injury to have. I found this article very infortmative as well, and have had it saved on my computer ever since the suspensory injury: http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/ceh/do...re-bkm-sec.pdf

    Your ultrasound will give you much more information on the extent of your rehab. Hopefully it is just a small strain and not a tear. I did cold hose and bute for a while (though I can't remember how long) and if I remember correctly, my horse had stall rest (literally just the stall) for 3-4 months plus 30 minutes of handwalking a day, and then at month 4 we added a stall-size runout off his stall door... I don't remember what month he could go out into a small paddock (for his CURRENT injury it's month 5), but he had that stall and runout for a looong time.

    I gathered from COTH that a 1 year rehab for suspensories was the most successful amount of time. Here was the rehab plan I used. I measured by laps around the ring because my vet at the time did NOT tell me about the imprtance of straight-lines-only to start with. Apologies if it's hard to follow, I can email you the word document I copied/pasted from if you'd like.

    Months 1-3 Stall rest w/ handwalking DONE!
    Month 3-4 (May) Weeks1-4 Walking, faster walking
    Month 4-5 (June) Week 5 1 trot lap
    Week 6 2 trot lap
    Week 7 3 trot lap
    Week 8 4 trot lap, broken in 2
    Month 5-6 (July) Week 9 5 trot lap, broken in 2
    Week 10 6 trot lap, broken in 2
    Week 11 7 trot lap, broken in 2
    Week 12 8 trot lap, broken in 2
    Month 6-7 (August) Week 13 7 trot lap
    Week 14 8 trot lap
    Week 15 9 trot lap
    Week 16 10 trot lap
    Month 7-8 (September) Week 17 Unlimited trot
    Week 18 Unlimited trot + 1 lap canter
    Week 19 2 laps canter
    Week 20 3 laps canter
    Month 8-9 (October) Week 21 4 laps canter
    Week 22 5 laps canter, broken in 2
    Week 23 6 laps canter, broken in 2
    Week 24 6 laps canter
    Month 9-10 (November) Week 25 7 laps canter
    Week 26 8 laps canter
    Week 27 9 laps canter
    Week 28 10 laps canter
    Month 10-11 (December) Week 29-33 Unlimited flatwork
    Month 11-12 (January) End rehab phase! Begin jumping
    "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse..." ~Revelation 19:11


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  15. #15
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    Thank you everyone for the encouraging words! It is frustrating because riding wise, we have only been doing cross rails and working on basically one fence at a time. It had to have happened in turnout, a wrong step.


    The vet did do the blocking on her, both feet. Yes, the diagnosis is from a lameness exam only, but I will be doing both U/S and x-rays. Also the shockwave therapy, which seems like a popular course of action.



  16. #16
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    Any thoughts on what caused the injury?

    I have an OTTB that had a high supsensory strain at the track, was not given enough rest before going back into training, and it became a hole. I was told that having it "above the split" was a good thing. I purchased her knowing about the injury.

    Other than treatment for the suspensory itself (which was done before I bought her), I had the mare worked on by an osteopath and a chiropractor. Her stride didn't get even in the hindquarters until after the chiro adjustment. I don't know if the hind-end unevenness created the hole in the front suspensory, but I'm doing my best to change the situation that caused the injury in the first place. The unevenness was apparent at the walk, not the trot. Before I ride her, I check her muscular trigger points to make sure she isn't tight anywhere. She is an anxious horse, so it helps on a number of levels.

    Just something to think about.
    Last edited by matryoshka; Jan. 25, 2013 at 05:04 PM.
    "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by matryoshka View Post
    Any thoughts on what caused the injury?
    She was also diagnosed with foot imbalance, so the only thing I can say is a combination of bad shoeing and running in turnout. She is by no means crazy, mostly she is hanging out and grazing, but does occasionally run and buck.



  18. #18
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    Ahh. So the underlying issue has already been addressed. Awesome.

    Funny thing is, my mare was sweeter when she was hurting. I knew she was feeling well enough to ride when she got saucy. Didn't know her true temperament until several months after I got her. Luckily, I do well with anxious horses.
    "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."



  19. #19
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    Depending on her hoof conformation it may be possible to slightly lower her hoof angle(extra credit: Why?) or if the angle is already very low, raise it slightly. Also, the addition of some supplemental frog support may be beneficial. It is rather routine in my custom to use one permutation or another of an egg bar shoe and usually, in the initial recovery stages, aluminum is the material of choice. Some horses stay in an aluminum shoe, others graduate, in time, to steel. I use a wide webbed shoe to help keep the hoof higher on the substrate on which the horse stands. And while an egg bar shoe is not necessary for the contra-lateral fore, some form of supplemental frog support is. As is support bandaging. ymmv.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Burten View Post
    Depending on her hoof conformation it may be possible to slightly lower her hoof angle(extra credit: Why?) or if the angle is already very low, raise it slightly. Also, the addition of some supplemental frog support may be beneficial. It is rather routine in my custom to use one permutation or another of an egg bar shoe and usually, in the initial recovery stages, aluminum is the material of choice. Some horses stay in an aluminum shoe, others graduate, in time, to steel. I use a wide webbed shoe to help keep the hoof higher on the substrate on which the horse stands. And while an egg bar shoe is not necessary for the contra-lateral fore, some form of supplemental frog support is. As is support bandaging. ymmv.
    I don't know why it would be good to lower her hoof angle, I would love it if you shared that with me!

    So then it is wise to keep her in shoes during the rehab process?

    I am hoping to get a new farrier out (recommended by the vet) at the same time as the U/S and x-rays are being done.



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