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After- Bone Chip Surgery - Working up to Freedom Advice

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  • After- Bone Chip Surgery - Working up to Freedom Advice

    So, we're 1 month post bone chip surgery (left hind, chip off the ol' splint bone)

    Here's the chip

    She's been on stall rest, per vet's instructions, for 1 month- hand walking 2x per day. She's very, very good for that, no tranquilizer necessary.

    Stitches were removed 2 weeks after, and the final bandage just removed last night .

    Hand walked last night- and she seemed really pretty sound.

    Vet's discharge papers says she can begin turnout (limited in flat, dry area, aka indoor arena) once the bandage is removed.

    So today we gave her a bit of ace, let that sit in...walked a bit...and let her loose. There was a bit of trotting and a little cantering- and a lot of tail flagging- this was the first time the poor mare has been free in 3 months.

    After her little jaunt she was a bit tender on that leg- esp when she was trotting. My heart was in my throat. So we grabbed her right away, walked her a bit- looked a bit tender, moreso than last night.

    I have a call into my vet to find out what I should do (aka more hand walking and being more conservative). While I wait, i thought i'd ask the fine folks of COTH to see what they did for their horses in this situation.

    So...what did you do?
    Last edited by myhorsefaith; Jan. 27, 2011, 10:50 AM.
    My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage

  • #2
    We just treated one at our rehab center. Within days of surgery she was on the Aquatred long before she was able to return to walk riding, etc.
    "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."


    • Original Poster

      i changed the title to be a little more clear.

      I'm just looking for some advice, or your experience of how you worked your horse up to being able to sustain freedom after months of layup and hand walking only.

      My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


      • #4
        We had one recently that had both front fetlocks done. After he was cleared for limited turnout he was first hand walked and then put in his "freedom box," which is about the size of 3 stalls, with his morning ration of hay. He trotted around a bit, but was so concerned with grazing and eating his hay he really didn't over exert himself, and that is saying something because this is a very high energy fellow!


        • #5
          Your post said "limited" on dry flat surface. Generally that means a small paddock, not tearing around an indoor arena. Can you close off one corner for turnout if all you have is your indoor? I would not suggest to turn her out in such a large area for at least 2-3 more weeks until you see how she does or get clearance from your vet.
          Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
          Now apparently completely invisible!


          • Original Poster

            ^ wish that was possible, but there is no way to section off the indoor like that. the best i think i can do is put her in a double stall during the day (12 x 24). We also have an indoor small space that was built for an indoor hot walker suspended from the ceiling - iirc its about a 40' box, but the footing in there sucks to high heaven- its sorta this fluffy dirt with a REALLY slick base- i'm not going to use that- i avoid it in general.

            I'm thinking what is going to happen is that the vet and I are going to come up with a more conservative approach with hand walking given my resources at our barn - because this isn't going to work!
            My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


            • #7
              The double stall will be a good start. The horse will start walking more and building up gradually. Then talk to your vet about what to do next. The indoor is too much space too soon.
              Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
              Now apparently completely invisible!


              • #8
                I put my horse back to work under saddle (trot sets) before I turned my horse out. But I was extra cautious because my splint surgery/break was a little complicated.


                • Original Poster

                  Yep, had a chat with the vet and we're going to be much more conservative.

                  "turn out" in the double stall for a month and then re-evaluate, and scale up the hand walking over time.
                  My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage


                  • #10
                    Sounds like you already have it resolved, but one thing to keep in mind--sometimes pain is a very necessary reaction. I used to have a vet who always advised taking horses off Bute or other pain meds before their first turnout. While it sounds evil and cruel, the horse is much better off feeling that their leg is hurt, instead of being on painkillers and feeling that they are ready to rip around the paddock.