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Proximal Suspensory Surgery Advice - Updates at end

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  • Originally posted by kiwifruit View Post
    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
    I have one as well. Kicked him out 24/7 a couple of months ago. He had his surgery almost a year ago...but his suspensories are just one of his issues and they were very chronic looking. Hopefully he will come back and be able to do some lower level stuff but we will see. For my own sanity...I'm not even looking at him until spring.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


    • Vicarious - trotting is indeed progress and a helluva lot better for both of you (both in mind and body lol )
      we have decided to leave the Orange Princess on her present routine for a bit longer - certainly till she is over the 100 day stage. For whatever reason it appears the leg is healing according to the book . Thickened around the injury sites but only very faint shadows showing where the injuries were (havent seen the scan but my friend has). Vet says no reason not to ride her a bit when she comes home as will help strengthen her up ready for baby time (if she hangs on to it of course!!!) Not knitting bootees just yet .....


      • Original Poster

        Hi, all. Just a quick update about my guy, Venture. We have still be competing, so far, so good. Actually thinking to move up to Novice and all seems well. His only lingering weird behavior is hitching for his left to right lead change, meaning popping his hip up. Does not rush, does not act like it bothers him, everyone seems to think its just his learned behavior now. So I ignore it!
        Quietanne, we too switched to a new farrier, and the improvements overall have been astonishing! Less sore hocks, no tripping up front, and no forging! Wishing you all continued happy healing, and for those who are still in the surgery/recovery portion, jingles!


        • Original Poster

          Just a follow up on Venture. Had someone come and complete some massage and acupressure (we finally had someone move into the area again with the skills!). She feels that Venture is a bit out on the right side SI. So...that would make sense for some lingering minor issues, he is responding well to the body work, so hopefully we will continue forward. All the best to everyone!


          • Congratulations on this long journey, your stick-to-itivenes?,
            and your thoughtful loving care of this horse. Much success!
            "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK


            • Hey Hey!

              Just wanted to check in on everyone!

              I haven't posted in a while because I've been too busy! (and slightly depressed). The big red horse did not come back like we thought and has been on a year of turn out. Bone chip is really aggravating the suspensory. He will be re-evlauted in May.

              Mr. Dubarry is now officially Mr. He continues to support spending money on the horse who is unemployed.

              I've enjoyed reading everyone's progress and hope my outcome looks a bit better in a few months! There's still hope!


              • A note in passing. My horse is sound. At least it looks that way. But I am unsound, so it's back to what I hope is quiet turn out.
                Taking it day by day!


                • Originally posted by vicarious View Post
                  A note in passing. My horse is sound. At least it looks that way. But I am unsound, so it's back to what I hope is quiet turn out.
                  Shoot, that isn't good. Did I miss what happened?

                  Feronia's doing OK; she is NOT happy with the cold/snow though and has become very stiff. She's on robaxin, hopefully temporarily, until the weather is warmer.

                  I'm noodling around on her, still taking lessons, no jumping. And really hope that all this winter stuff goes away soon so we can trail ride again, because we both are so DONE with the indoor. There has been too much melting/refreezing and it's just way too icy out there right now.
                  You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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


                  • Vicarious sorry to hear you are unsound.... know the feeling having been dumped from visitng youngster a couple of times lately (he is rather large so you have plenty of time to contemplate "on the way down")
                    However the Princess is home - hopefully still pregnant! She has a big hay belly and no muscle on her quarters due to a winter of inactivity in the large barn (helped the suspensory though ) Scan shows good healing with no shadows, lesions etc but thickening at injury sites (think this is fairly normal?) The fibres on the outer branch injury arent quite as well aligned as they should be but vet feels that walking will sort this out. So we are road walking u/s 25 - 30 mins per day atm which I hope will start to put a bit of muscle back on too. She is disgusted - would like to do faaaaaaar more!!!!! Planning to do 6 weeks walking and then some trot etc till she tells me the baby wants her to stop. Baby isnt due till end of Sept. I hope Im doing the right thing by riding her but it makes sense to get some core fitness on her and not planning on allowing her to do anything too exciting.Better this than loopy hooleys in the field due to boredom and frustration . Shes a horse who is always much more "settled" when in regular work (but shes never been pregnant before!)
                    So thats my update, really hoping things stay good for everyone- winter is soooo nearly over....


                    • okay. Gonna try one more time to bring my horse back after this injury once again. Yeah I know, I'm a glutton for punishment and disappointment. He is 17 months post surgery and almost 6 months into 24/7 turnout. He looks great at liberty! I plan to move him to my friend's boarding facility to leg him up and see if he will hold together. My question is at my place his field is very flat. My friend has a flat field but it is smaller than my 5 acre turnout situation. She has a bigger field but it is on a moderate hill. He will continue to be on 24/7 turnout at friend's place. Should I just throw him in the big field with the hill and see if he holds or should I try to leg him up first a bit and keep him in flat field for awhile? Vet thought hill field would be fine since he's been on 24/7 turnout. Even said I can skip walk only phase of rehab and go right to 1 minute trots since he is on 24/7 turnout. Any thoughts?


                      • Since my latest turn out has been in a field with a small hill, just big enough to hide a horse, and we survived it. I'd say go for the hill.

                        Of course you don't want to listen to me when enthusiastic trotting occurs in a muddy section of the field.

                        And I hope it works for you.
                        Taking it day by day!


                        • Thanks Vicarious. I'm leaning toward the bigger field with hill too. At this point, I have not much to lose. He will either be fine or not. And I'm okay with it. Glad to see your guy is better. And sorry about you! I am so over this injury!


                          • Original Poster

                            A quick update on Venture. He was first at Pine top HT this winter, and we just went to Area III Championships and he was second in BNH - CH division. Some pics are here, http://www.wncphoto.com/ppht213/091...ppht2/. Awards are at, http://www.wncphoto.com/ppht213/000...ppht2/ page 19 -- bottom little fat Bay is Venture. I could not be more proud. It has been such a long road...I am so proud of him.


                            • Congratulations!Keep up the good work.

                              My project horse is still at liberty, but has survived a move to a really good galloping field which includes a hill. Maybe this fall.
                              Taking it day by day!


                              • Just curious to see how everyone is doing? I'm slowly bringing my guy back again ( vet said I should get owner of the year award for sticking with him) finally back to canter but so scared of adding jumping to the routine. Part of me says I should find him a non jumping home and move on while the other is saying maybe he can do it??? Ironically ultrasound show same stuff pre surgery so now I'm wondering if he really had suspensory issues at all! When did you all add jumping back to the routine?


                                • Anyone deal with hind suspensory with a fracture? I have one on first 60 days of stall rest only. Because of his age, my limited pockets, and extent of injuries I am aiming and hoping for pasture sound as I am just doing rest, no SWT etc.

                                  I thought this paper was interesting in giving one a detailed perspective on the rate of healing :



                                  • Sorry Omare about your horse. I've only dealt with the ligaments. I wish you the best for your guy! Thanks for linking that report. I find it interesting that stem cell, PRP and shock wave are given little support for treatment. Of course I threw the whole thing at my horse when he was diagnosed and in the end I really feel (if he continues to hold up) is the tincture of time helped him the most. The initial vet and surgeon said I would be back competing in 6 months. Well it was actually close to two years before i could start legging him up. If I had to do it again I would stall for the necessary time, then small turnout and then a year out on a hill 24/7 and not look at them till that year was up. I now believe that you cannot rush these injuries.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      On the jumping front, I waited a year to jump Venture again post surgery. We really were lucky and had no setbacks during rehab. I spent the most time just trotting, months of it. Moving up to canter was stressful, did that for the summer, then started jumping in the fall. It was another year before I had him back in Beginner Novice level height (I think? its been awhile). For what its worth he will never be more than a Novice level horse, schooling some Training. more because I am content there than anything else...

                                      The vet doing the surgery knew that I was open to never jumping again if it wasn't the right thing to do. He said that jumping was most likely never the issue, and that based on the low level I was doing he did not expect an issue. Those first few jumps were nerve wracking though, just like starting canter again was.

                                      We went the surgery route after all else failed, and it was 100% the right decision for us.


                                      • Thanks, I never had any prior experience with these types of awful injuries.

                                        (And I am not sure how up to date the article is as to the alleged neutral results of doing that something extra to help them heal. But I thought the healing rate and the timeframe for the formation of type III and type I collegan interesting.)


                                        • Been a while, but I do have some good news. First, I've gotten out of the dressage-mania and while I'll still do a bit of dressage, Feronia and I are having FUN with a lot of other stuff. We're back to lessons with the jumpers trainer, though I am afraid to jump her anymore. She's getting trailered out for stuff a lot more and other than not liking to ride in the trailer by herself, she's enjoying it.

                                          Soundness wise, there have been a few ups and downs. Her left hock is in the process of fusing, which explains some of her crankiness. She is better after hock injections and once the joint fuses she won't need them, and should be a lot more comfortable. She also whacked her RF again in late February, resulting in another bone bruise. Vet suggested IV Tildren to help stabilize the bone structures, and that helped a lot. She now wears splint boots for all riding (except when showing.) The vet is on-board with putting her on robaxin and prevacox for the winter to keep her more comfortable.

                                          I did go in a barn schooling show on Sunday -- the first show I have done since she went lame in October, and she gave me a lovely Intro C test (71%) and an almost as lovely Training 2 test (65%). This was a few hours after a morning hand-walk around the show area where *something* set her off and she remembered that there are some hot hot hot Morgans in her pedigree. It was basically like handling a palomino kite and I almost scratched her from the show. I'm glad I didn't as she certainly redeemed herself, and other than being a little "up" (normal for her at a show), she behaved herself.
                                          You have to have experiences to gain experience.

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