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Torn Gastrocnemius.

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  • Torn Gastrocnemius.

    I had a lameness eval done on my 7 year old Rheinland mare. MRI confirmed the vet's suspicion, she injured her Gastrocnemius. Does anyone have experience/know about this injury?

    Also if anyone has experience with this type of injury what worked, or didn't work, for your horse?

  • #2
    Here is some on this:


    • #3
      I had one who did this in 2002ish. His tore from the point of insertion and looped over the hock. He was able to become pasture sound and was then retired.
      "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein


      • Original Poster

        Thanks for the link Bluey
        Chief2- He was able to maintain a happy and pleasurable life in the field after his injury? I don't think my mare's tear is quite as bad. The vet told me she is really likely to return to work, just going to take around 8 months for the tear to heal.


        • #5
          I had one do this. He was my heart horse and it still kills me. He was on stall rest for 10 months and not healing. US showed no improvement. If anything, it was worsening. He was not a good 'pasture puff' kind of guy and needed 5cc ace to keep him calm enough for a tiny turn out. He wasn't happy living in a stall and would not have made a pasture pet, so I let him go. That's a horse and decision that haunt me but his quality of life was really poor and not likely to improve.

          I hope yours has a better outcome!


          • #6
            While I was feeling terrible, depressed and convinced that our relationship was somehow over, the happiest day of his life was when he had to be retired! He loved nothing better than standing around and eating grass!

            We went to Tufts for the exam, ultrasound and diagnosis, which was done by Karl Kirker-Head, DVM. The horse was considered too old and fragile for surgery, so we did 30 days on stall rest, with cold soaking, bute and DMSO applications. Then it was back to Tufts for another exam and ultrasound. Then it was 30 days of turnout in a small paddock, with increasing times out each day. Then limited turnout with the herd, again in increasing amounts for another 30 days. I interspersed some time in the small paddock on days when the herd was running around too much, or the weather wasn't so good, so it took us about 45 days or so on this stage. Then he was vet checked by my local vet and he was considered pasture sound.

            He had a wonderful time out there! Makes me think I should have retired him earlier just to see the joy on his face day, after day, after day! His sense of humor came to the surface and just bloomed. The horse I knew who was mostly perfectly behaved let the joker out. He stole my hat. He stole someone's pretzels. One day he decided he wasn't going to see the vet, thank you, so he turned around and walked down the aisle in the opposite direction without me. I had to run to catch up with him and bring him back. He opened doors and let his friends out. He kicked like hell at the stall door with his front knees and demanded to be let out right NOW, thank you please, and then ran out into the pasture yodeling the whole way, and dragged his feet when being brought back in. It took us FOREVER to get back into the barn, and sometimes, if he saw the halter in my hand, he took off with his friend in the other direction just so he could stay out with the herd all night long. A Total Character! I had a wonderful riding career with this horse, but this injury took our relationship to a whole other level. I never had so much fun in my life with a horse! Being retired freed him from him from the constraint of being guarded with the person who rode him, and he reveled in his new found freedom!

            That's how it went for us. Good luck with your horse!
            Last edited by Chief2; Feb. 21, 2011, 06:27 PM.
            "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



            • #7
              What a great story Chief2! Love it


              • #8
                He was a character!

                Here is a pre-retirement photo:

                Here is a post retirement photo:

                Maybe being turned out with good friends makes the difference in attitudes. I don't know. I just know he was a happy, happy boy!

                OP, good luck with your horse!
                "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein