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Proximal Suspensory Surgery Advice - Updates at end

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  • Moosie, good luck on all counts: a healed horse and a beautiful foal next year.

    Feronia was... tricky, too. I don't know how the UK feels about using tranquilizers, but Feronia spent months on Acepromazine. She was in a tiny roundpen, the size of two stalls, starting at 6 weeks and had a few yee-haw moments in there, but didn't reinjure herself. Had to be sure that she was *always* the first horse to get the mid-day flake of hay, or she'd have a tantrum.

    I think I can say she's as healed as she's going to be, which is to say "good enough." We are 2 1/2 years out now from her diagnosis. She still has some wobbly hindend moments and I use Bute judiciously (e.g. before our jumping lessons, even though the jumps are tiny, night before a show, etc.) I found a long-lost bottle of Vetrolin gel last night and used it on her hind legs and hocks, and she seemed to appreciate it.

    I really wish she could jump more as she's very good at it and definitely prefers it to dressage. But doing little crossrails and "courses" of canter poles is teaching me a lot about adjusting the very keen horse!
    You have to have experiences to gain experience.

    1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


    • I havent read all the posts but this operation is so common in the UK. A number of top level event horses have had this op. Some of these horses have been on our Olympic/European teams. When eventers are buying a horse, if its had this operation they see it as a bonus because they reckon that they'll have to have it done eventually anyway.


      • RTB- thanks for letting us know that, I sure didn't. That makes me feel better about my horse's long term soundness.


        • mmmm - thing is Im prob posting a bit "off topic" here which may be confusingas the Orange Princessinjured her front suspensory so not a proximal jobby!!!! Quietanne - we do use ACP too. Didnt use it this time when I was trying to hand walk as she was in foal at the time and tbh she can override it anyway. I do give her some now if it looks as if its a "silly" day in the turnout area (big enough for a few wheelies if shes in that kind of mood). The u/s walking really is the safest thing for her - even if shes tense and "surging" I can usually defuse things and dont go any further than up and down my drive a few times until vet thinks its ok to do more. Its so difficult as each vet and each "specialist" has a different take on things and gives different guidelines and "she" doesnt think theres anything wrong as the leg doesnt hurt her and she is perfectly sound. Consensus of opinion is that I had carried on with the w/t/c u/s she would have broken down completely:cry. When she comes back Im considering a month of "proper" u/s walking before attempting the small paddock - what exactly DO they mean by "small paddock" anyway - its all so subjective!!! This wont be for at least another 6 weeks or so anyway by which time surely healing will have advanced further. I can dream of a foal from her too - would be soooo nice and would certainly give her the necessary time. This is a horse who NEEDS a job and LOVES to work - trying to persuade her that her job is to give birth and nuture a baby will require some thought!!!!!
          Well Ive got 50 miles to have a decent chat with him on Sun - dont think "he" is going to be the problem here though! Love potion no. 9 is needed methinks.....she needs to decide that he is a worthy recipient of her favours.
          Sorry - rambling on in a ridiculous fashion - shes going in the morning and Im having doubts and feeling bad about sending her away from home although I KNOW it makes sense and I totally trust the person who owns the stallion.


          • Moosie---Hang in there!

            You know your horse, and know what should work. So when one adviser says, "Go trot" and your common sense says "No". Listen to your common sense. For your mare u/s seems to make more sense. And walking where you feel she won't blow up, makes sense.

            However-like human babies, after the foal is foaled, the headaches really begin!!!!
            Taking it day by day!


            • I'd thought I would update my horses progress since it has been a year since surgery. Unfortunately I think my guy is going to be the 20 percent who don't get better with rest and the surgery. I would have to say he is worse now than before the surgery. He was getting better until the 9-10th month mark when I introduced canter and he has not been right since. Recent ultrasound shows healing of the hind suspensory but lots of scar tissue. We then blocked him to the suspensory again and he went amazingly sound. Vet suggested that I retire him to something easy like trail riding. Yeah, so I'm not sure if I would recommend the surgery now. Before I was managing it with rest, shoeing and anti-inflammatories which is a PIA but at least he was in work. In a last ditch effort, I pulled all his shoes and turned him out 24/7 in a field till spring. Sad because he is a lovely horse that is only 13 years of age. Oh well, someone has to be in the 20 percent


              • Kiwi-If I remember correctly, your horse fell apart again in July.
                that's 31/2 months ago. I would try giving it the 6 months.

                I'm glad you came back to post.
                Taking it day by day!


                • Hey Vicarious

                  Good to hear from you. Yes, late July, early August. I threw him out in a pasture for the last 2-3 months and he is not much better. Vet was discouraged at the amount of lameness just doing nothing during that time. I'm hoping its too early for the R word. I'm going to give him another 6 months.

                  Interesting side note, I gave him bute (about 1 gram) when I pulled his shoes to ease the discomfort. Not only is he not foot sore, but looking really good behind. What are the thread's thoughts on keeping him in light work with help from anti-inflammatories? What about steroid injections to the suspensory if there is no damage to the suspensory other than chronic scar tissue? Of course, will ask vet in the spring about the above suggestions but this horse loves to work and even something light would be good for him and me


                  • Define "light work"!!! If you mean just walking out, under saddle -go for it!

                    Still holding my breath from a disaster like yours last April.. Now after months of walking, in time increments, first on level ground, then gradually adding a small hill, etc., then a steeper one etc. may be close to trotting time.

                    Going way slower than first time around.

                    Update:November 2--And then again we may not be close to trotting.
                    Last edited by vicarious; Nov. 3, 2012, 12:44 PM.
                    Taking it day by day!


                    • Oh no! Is everything ok Vicarious? My guy is okay. I moved him back home to a flat five acre pasture. I think he is improving but I'm not sure since he is a bit foot sore from having no shoes. I'm hoping for improvement in the spring but realize that this is what I have. Hope everyone else is having better luck!


                      • Considering that there were two three or four ridiculous explosive performances last week, the jury's opinion (mine) is still out. Another week will tell, maybe. It is quite likely that a there is a long complete turn out in the future.

                        I hope yours will make progress. Aren't horses relaxing fun!!!
                        Taking it day by day!


                        • updates anyone??? the thread is disappearing into the ether


                          • Moosie, I had a bit of a scare with Feronia in October when she all of a sudden, right in front of a dressage judge at a barn schooling show, went dead lame on her right front. After a lot of poking around by the vet, hassle, money etc. I did something that I should have done ages ago: changed farriers! I'd been pretty unhappy with what the old guy was doing (Feronia has pretty bad front leg conformation and needs what might be called "supportive farriery." The old farrier didn't like it when I -- and my vet, with whom he has some sort of feud -- questioned his work. And so... he made things WORSE instead of BETTER! I am not the first person he's done this to, as it turns out. But I have friends who've used him for years with no trouble.)

                            The new guy turned his schedule inside out to come to the barn at the same time as the vet. They consulted together, he found really nasty sole bruising on that hoof, and caught something on an X-ray that turned out to be a very slight rotation in the RF. Repeat X-rays showed that it's probably old (she had what was probably very mild laminitis a couple of years ago). So she's now being treated as an "at risk for laminitis" horse, which isn't surprising given that she's a middle-aged Morgan.

                            Anyway... she is now back in full work. I haven't jumped her yet, and may not go back to it... In the last jumping lesson before the lameness, she had some issues that were probably related to the not-yet-discovered bruising. But we're heading for our first trail ride in many weeks this Sunday, I'm taking lessons on her, and she's as sound as she ever is. Winter makes her creaky, but with a good long warm-up she's fine.

                            (Also... I decided, while not riding her, that we're done with competing. I just wasn't enjoying it enough, and was putting myself under enormous pressure and spending a lot of money for "eh" results. She's an enjoyable horse no matter what we're doing. Pressure off also means I don't feel guilty for "interrupting her training/conditioning" if a ride turns into a long amble around the fields, or riding bareback, or whatever.)

                            Two photos of the Princess:

                            before the new farrier got to her: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-W...ide_small1.jpg

                            such a pretty face: https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-X...rait_small.jpg
                            You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                            1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                            • Ahem Moosie!! Where is your update?

                              Our jury is still out! Ultrasound due in 10 days or so.

                              Annie! I so understand your giving up showing. sometimes it's a lotta work for so little to show. Otherwise, those darned Morgans are CUTE.!!!Also! dealing with farriers is always a challenge. Great that you have one now that is open minded.
                              Taking it day by day!


                              • Vicarious, you must be holding your breath, waiting. I hope the news is good!

                                Feronia's breeders really wanted her shown, but all the soundness issues, my training issues etc. means it is not to be. But they know she has a good home for life with me. And several of her sire's other offspring are doing very well at low level eventing... and one just made his 4th level dressage debut and scored 65%! Yes, Morgans are SO FREAKING CUTE! It's why we put up with them when they outsmart us....
                                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                                • Quietann she is seriously princess like and beautifull - farriers can be a nightmare (if you can get one in the first place - and then IF they turn up when they say theyre going to ....or ever.!!) Vicarious I so know the feeling...scan impending...so hope its good.
                                  My update is a bit crazy really. (we did rather a "stupid" - depending on how you look at it - thing!)
                                  Off she went to stay with her intended...obviously wasnt going to stand for a natural covering (made it pretty clear) BUT the regime is pretty good for the leg.My friend has a large indoor shed divided into big pens (they double up in them in winter) and the Orange one has had the run of the shed with a Feb colt (gelded!) for company. Theory being that she will march around but not be tempted to have a hooley. Seems to have been working.
                                  So she came into season, scanned, all as it should be, so packed off with him to local AI centre for "as fresh as it could be" insemnation!....didnt take ....booo (cervix tight apparently).
                                  So gave up on the foal plan really.
                                  Then, end of Oct the contrary madam came back into season, ran up to him and practically begged him for it (he was in his pen!!!) We decided..."what the hell, she prob wont take anyway" and the deed was done.
                                  Ahem ahem.... now scanned in foal (heartbeat etc!!!!)...eeek...that means foal end of Sept next year. Not a good time for a little baby to enter the world. And of course Im now worried sick as to what might go wrong!!!!
                                  They also scanned the leg and the injury sites are thickened, there is the "ghost" of an injury still apparent (so still healing) but vet sees no reason not to ride her (quietly) in foal when she comes home.
                                  We are going to leave her on her present routine, which is working well, till shes past the 100 day stage.Then she will come home when we can arrange it.
                                  So this routine seems to have worked well for us..lots of wandering around on firm footing but no "controlled exercise" as such.NO stanking around either...bit of trotting at times but constant gentle movement whilst minimising the risk of real explosions.
                                  At the moment I think I will ride her till she gets too fat (if she hangs on to the baby) as I feel it will strengthen everything up (inluding the leg)
                                  But already worried sick about the foaling.....
                                  cant get the smilies to work...just as well or there wouldbe millions of them dotted around this post!
                                  Sorry its a bit long !!!
                                  ps vet thinks no reason not to bring her back into regular work - at what level remains to be seen. Not counting any chickens either atm but hoping, hoping, hoping xxxxx


                                  • Gret news!

                                    Moosie, you certainly have had an adventurous summer and fall. What's the saying" The best laid schemes o' mice an' men gang aft agley"!!! Any time you include a mare in your plans you are just begging for trouble. Depending on your climate there, the foal will do well despite the late arrival. I think you are more inclined to a milder winter. Does your grass hold throughout the winter? The most important thing in my book is to be able to get the babies out to romp without risk to life and limb. And momma will do fine being ridden til she's too wide to get your leg on.

                                    Do keep us posted.

                                    Now we need kiwifruit to pipe up!!
                                    Taking it day by day!


                                    • Vicarious its not dreadfully cold here during winter...but its horribly wet . And the Orange Princess doesnt "do" rain or strong winds (both of which we have in great abundance.) She likes her stable when the great outdoors is inhospitable!!! However I do have the means to provide a set up which will be acceptable to her!!!! And there are foal rugs (she is a very pampered princess Im afraid ) She loves to work, needs a job (which Im hoping is to raise a baby - probably to expect the same standards of pampering and pandering that she does lol!!!)and has a very strong view of what is "appropriate"!!!!
                                      I really think the re-injury was caused by the adhesions which had formed in the suspensory branch. The holes which we found have now filled in .... Im going to ask about the fibre pattern when I can - it wasnt my vet who scanned her but a vet from a bigger and very well respected practice (where shes living atm is aout 300 miles away ... )
                                      If a healthy baby and healthy mare do result eventually Im well aware of the trials to come . However the mare is one who I would love to reproduce exactly as she is.The stallion is one who I would take home in an instant... . Ive done 200 competitive miles on him this season... he can be a bit idle (well thats blokes for you!!) but so far hes done the speeds, excellent HR and recovery, and 100% pass rate. His dressage is not at all bad, hes doing basic SJ (only 3 foot but my friends daughter who is riding him has only just started competing him and is only 13 -shes just grown out of her 12.2pony). We are hoping to upgrade him next season to FEI level for endurance. So its def not a case of "just breeding a foal because the mare is injured"!!!
                                      However the baby will be......orange!!!....no doubt at all about that
                                      Sorry - all this is fairly "off topic" again but who cares
                                      When I thought it couldbe an August foal I was day dreaming and thinking of names..... "Augustus Pacificus" or" Augusta Pacifica" were on the list....
                                      Sept/Oct foal...... back to the drawing board.....
                                      Day dreaming over....first keep leg on the healing route...and keep the baby and the Princess safe xxxxxx
                                      As you say, we need more updates now and, hopefully, some happy stories


                                      • Hey I'm here. Decided to take a break from horses and riding. Just too much stress that was affecting my life, marriage, job etc. I brought my guy home to hang with my older retired event horse in a flat pasture on 24 hour turnout. He looks pretty good when he trots up at feed time but I'm not gonna do anything till early spring. He would then be 17 months post surgery. My vet thought he just needs more time but either way I'm good with what I have. I did buy an OTTB this spring and bred her to Capital III. What was I thinking??? So yeah gonna be a crazy spring. Glad everyone is doing well. I really appreciate the support. This injury really sucks!


                                        • Progress, I hope!

                                          For those who need some good news!! We are on our way again. Beginning the endless trots. This time we will progress more slowly, I think. I can just hope it proceeds peacefully. I can live without hiccoughs!!!

                                          So Kiwi, that extra time may pay off.

                                          Moosie! Carry on!

                                          Quietanne. Thanks for the good thoughts!
                                          Taking it day by day!