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Yup He Fractured It! Update Post #45

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  • Yup He Fractured It! Update Post #45

    Am waiting on a call from the Auburn Univ. Large Animal Clinic for an appt. to haul my yearling Georgian Grande Buckskin Pinto colt down to have his left shoulder x-rayed. He evidently took a tumble in the pasture, hitting his point of shoulder and giving himself radial nerve paralysis. Despite dex, bute and DMSO, he's plateaued with his improvement; still has swelling over the point of his left shoulder and is still having trouble advancing that leg forward. He's lost muscle mass in that shoulder too. Classic Radial Nerve injury except that when you pick up the right leg, he really gets upset and it's obviously painful, which is unusual and concerning. The vet and I are concerned he's broken something and shoulders just don't field x-ray well. There's been some really bad JuJu going on for buckskins lately it seems as a couple of nice stallions have been lost. Louis is a big fancy colt and a sweetheart. My hopes for his being a dressage horse seem to be receding though. Hoping for news along the lines of just a muscle tear/strain/seperation or something that will straighten itself out with time.

    Seems like we've got radial nerve paralysis overlying a mechanical injury of some sort. If you've dealt with a similar situation, I'd love to hear about it.

    Hoping for that illusive happy ending...
    Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses on Facebook
    Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses Website and Blog

  • #2
    Oh man, mad jingles!!!
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


    • #3
      hey, PM bambam on this board. Her horse slammed into another horse in the field and they thought he had broken his shoulder as well. He was non weight bearing. We took him to the hospital for the same reason -- they just couldn't get good pics in the field.

      It turned out it was not broken but he did have serious nerve damage. I believe she did some electro-stim as part of his rehab.

      In his case he made a wonderful recovery -- he is not "competition" sound and cannot really jump much, but she rides him and has successfully gotten him out to some lower level dressage stuff (unrecognized, and I think maybe she let's the judge know - -he has reduced range of motion) and elementary eventing.

      Anyway, she can give you many more details.
      The big man -- my lost prince

      The little brother, now my main man


      • Original Poster

        Thanks asterix. I'll do that. Crap....
        Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses on Facebook
        Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses Website and Blog


        • #5
          oh my goodness, how frightening, jingles for the best possible recovery and future.
          Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


          • #6
            Big big jingles and fingers crossed for a good exam.


            • #7
              Jingles for your boy. Please let us know what you find out. And if you are going tonight or tomorrow, please be careful. It's nasty out tonight and supposed to be tomorrow as well.


              • Original Poster

                Thank you. Our appt is Thursday morning. Will let you know. I hope it's better than anticipated.
                Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses on Facebook
                Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses Website and Blog


                • #9
                  Jingles, good thoughts & prayers for you and your boy. Good luck.
                  Quality Hunter Ponies


                  • #10
                    Good luck - I have heard great things about the folks at Auburn, so I am sure he will be getting the best care possible!
                    Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion.... ~ Emerson


                    • #11
                      Sending good thoughts and jingles. I lost a 4 year old TB to a fractured scapula in a pasture accident years ago. Never got over that boy.
                      Cloverfox Stables


                      • #12
                        Jingles for you and your horse! A friend had an appaloosa that slammed into a telephone pole (they used to let him run into his stall from the field ). Anyway, he was horrifically lame for several weeks. The horse was stall rested for about five months and then had solitary turnout in a small paddock for another six months. The vet also said it would be very difficult to tell if the shoulder was fractured, but vet suspected just a very bad muscle injury with nerve damage. He is riding sound today, just can't do tight turns or galloping. Otherwise he is a pretty happy guy.


                        • #13
                          Many jingles to you and your boy.


                          • #14
                            Hey Fat Cat,
                            As asterix said, my ding dong gelding had a pasture accident and hurt his radial nerve among other things.
                            I hope this little recitation of what happened helps you.
                            The first week, my local vet became convinced that he had broken his shoulder given how painful his left leg/shoulder was and his other symptoms (including being completely non-weight bearing on that leg). Could not get a decent x-ray with the portable though.
                            When Saint Asterix trailered us to Morven, the x-ray showed no fracture.
                            My guy had a bad bone bruise and a torn bicepital (sp?) muscle or tendon (I forget which). He was painful because of the bone bruise and torn muscle for quite a while (stood on 3 legs for 30 days- not that I was counting or anything). The muscle and bruise healed completely.
                            My guy clearly completely crushed or severed his radial nerve and damaged some of the others.
                            For nerves that are not completely crushed or severed, electro-stimulation can do wonders. It made a world of difference with all the nerves other than the radial with my guy even though we started it much later than is thought to be the helpful time period (because of his other injuries, we did not know about the nerve damage until the muscle atrophy started a month or so after).
                            Generally the sooner you start the electro-stimulation the better, but as I said, it made all the difference with my guy even though we started so late the vet had doubts it would help at all, let alone as dramatically as it did.
                            About 8 months after the injury, the toe drag was gone and he was doing well enough that I started riding him very lightly under saddle (with vet approval of course).
                            Up until 3 years after, I continued to see improvement both in his nerve function and his ability to compensate for the radial nerve that never healed.
                            Even though he has no (and I mean no) muscle over his scapula, he got to the point where at the walk and trot, you could not see it unless you knew to look for it. Basically that leg reached forward an inch or so less than his other front leg. It was a little bit more visible at the canter on that lead but not enough that you would get rung out of he dressage ring. He also got to the point where he could jump fences up to a couple of feet and enjoy a good gallop in the field (at least until he developed another injury this past winter).

                            I hope this is encouraging- he cannot do piaffe but he could do all his lateral work (although it took more work to get it) and flying changes (mostly two tempe changes when I was not asking for them- dork!) and I don't think he could have done a piaffe before he hurt himself.

                            Let us know what happens and if you think I can tell you anything else that might be helpful.
                            My biggest suggestion is start electro-stimulation NOW if it is not broken
                            Good luck!!
                            There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)


                            • #15
                              dang, he can do changes??

                              OP, jingles for you. I know this is a scary time; I was the close bystander to bambam's horse's touch-and-go time. But if you could see him now, it's an amazing thing.

                              The key was getting a clear picture of what was and wasn't injured, and her fanatical dedication to getting him the best care possible, including her own very patient rehab.

                              Best of luck!!!
                              The big man -- my lost prince

                              The little brother, now my main man


                              • #16
                                Sending jingles!

                                COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                                "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thank you bambam for your story and kudos to you for getting your guy through all of that. Radial Nerve Injuries are nasty.

                                  My guy never was non-weight bearing at least. He did drag his toe a bit for a few days but that quickly resolved. He is completely weight bearing now and not nearly as lame as he was, but still has a distinct limp and head bob, plus his point of shoulder still has a slightly swollen, contused look. I am holding onto hope that if he hasn't banged the bone up too bad, that there might be a chance for full recovery. Sounds like you really did an amazing job with your guy considering the severity of his injury. And thank you for all of the jingles.
                                  Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses on Facebook
                                  Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses Website and Blog


                                  • #18
                                    I'm no vet, and I don't have any experience with shoulder injuries, but since you say your guy's been improving, my worry about a disastrous outcome would be starting to taper off. Obviously there's something going on, but the fact that he is completely weight-bearing, and he's gotten steadily better indicates that it may not be as serious as originally thought.

                                    In any case, jingles for you and your colt!!
                                    The best is yet to come


                                    • Original Poster

                                      It's just that he's plateaued with his recovery. I'm worried there's a bone chip there, etc. That and shoulder injuries are just notorious for being chronic and limiting. Yes, I think he will likely be sound enough to ride but will it be beyond just a trail horse; or a handicapped dressage horse? Guess, if I'm prepared for a not so good prognosis, I'll be relieved and delighted with better.
                                      Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses on Facebook
                                      Fat Cat Farm Sporthorses Website and Blog


                                      • #20
                                        Fat Cat- your guy sounds way better off than mine so I would hold on to that hope.
                                        If he is showing muscle atrophy, I would still suggest at least asking about electro-stimulation. It not only helps damaged nerves repair (and it sounds like you could very likely have damaged and not destroyed nerves) but it also keeps the atrophied muscle contracting and being used while the nerve is unable to tell it to which in turn keeps the muscle from scarring so badly that it simply cannot respond to nerve impulses once the nerve repairs and is able to send them the signals again (at least this is how it was explained to me). I believe (as does my vet) that this is what allowed my guy's other nerves to heal and the muscle other than the one over his scapula to come back and be fully functional.
                                        With respect to nerve damage, if the nerve is not destroyed and the electro-stim works, you can have a full recovery. One of the reasons I pushed for electro-stim even though it was kind of late for us was because I spoke with a vet whose horse had crashed into a tree with the point of his shoulder, had pretty significant radial nerve damage and did electro-stim and his horse made a 100% recovery and was back in full work (either as a hunter/jumper or a foxhunter- cannot remember which). This vet thought it was worth doing so I did it (and I willing to keep trying stuff as long as my gelding told me he was not giving up yet).
                                        There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)