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Chronic suspensory desmitis

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  • Chronic suspensory desmitis

    Is chronic suspensory desmitis the same disease as degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis?

    Thank you for the replies to the original question. My horse has been diagnosed with chronic suspensory desmitis in both hind legs. The vet instructed me to ice and then use standing wraps after work, but we're not treating in any way. I'd like to know if anyone has experience with this disease, and if there's anything to stop the progress.
    Last edited by SillyHorse; Jun. 27, 2011, 01:49 PM.
    Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.

  • #2
    my understanding is that it is not.
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


    • #3



      • #4
        My understanding is also like marta said, it's not always the same.

        Any ligament can become chronically inflamed. For example, say horse injured a collateral ligament of the pastern and said ligament just does not want to heal properly and eventually becames chronically inflamed, I believe that would be called chronic collateral ligament desmitis of the pastern.

        So in my mind, it's possible to have chronic suspensory ligament desmitis (in one leg or both legs), that has nothing to do with DSLD, the latter which is a whole body disease and has been renamed ESPA (Equine Systemic Proteoglycan Accumulation).


        • Original Poster

          Thank you. I have added the details to the first post.
          Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


          • #6
            my mare was diagnosed with chronic suspensory desmitis when she first injured her hind suspensory couple of years ago. this diagnosis was in conjunction with severe tear of suspensory and a less severe tear of sesmoidean ligament. she subsequently injured her other hind about a year later (not nearly as bad), and then tweaked the original one a while back.

            her u/s show old scar tissue as well.

            prior to diagnosis, we did a lot of intense trail riding and competed in distance riding (CTR and some LD endurance). we had to stop all of that. once the tears filled in we were able to resume walking under saddle. that's all we can do is walk and at times, depending on terrain, even that can cause her some discomfort. on the other hand, she needs to keep walking to keep her stifles moving, so it's sort of a catch 22.

            my mare is 20 years old. i put eskadron training bandages on her when we walk. i apply green sweat occasionally when we walked longer than average or when she shows signs of discomfort. i also use BOT standing wrap boots on her periodically (although not in the summer months due to heat). she's shod in Eponas with impression material which improves her comfort level dramatically. keep her toes short and make sure the shoes are set back to offer heel support.

            we've had periods of time when she's beautifully sound even at trot. and then she tweaks something and she becomes more ouchy.

            not sure what else you'd like to know. we treated at MidAtlantic in Ringoes, NJ with a well respected lameness specialist. i'm not going to bore you with treatment she underwent for the acute injuries b/c i don't think it's relevant to your question but if you're interested, PM me.
            TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


            • #7
              Soundness may always be an issue. It certainly has been regardless of the supportive/rehab therapy on the horses that come in with either diagnosis. I have a traditional equine vet who also specializes in osteopathy and acupuncture. She was out the other day and mentioned some chinese herbs that are being used for these horses with suspensory desmitis. She has found them to be improve the quality of life, but not necessarily to insure soundness. I could find out the names if you're interested in doing some research.
              Susan B.


              • #8

                i wonder if the herbs you reference were from Xie Institute.
                my mare was on them for a period of 30 days. it appeared they helped, however, they're not meant to be used as supplements taken continuously but rather as medication taken only at acute stage. they're prescription only. i was happy with the results (although some would argue it was a mere coincidence)
                TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique


                • #9
                  I've cared for three horses with it (two rescues and one boarder). None were sound but had decent quality of life and had a happy retirement for quite a long time. One is still with me at the age of 25.

                  Get yourself educated on DSLD/ESPA. There is a Yahoo group devoted to it that's very active. There is a herb protocol people have had some success with. Best of luck!


                  • #10
                    I'm still not entirely clear - is it DSLD, or an acute injury that never healed and became chronic? If the latter, search on this board for suspensory fasciotomy or suspensory desmoplasty - this is a minor surgery which GREATLY improves the prognosis for return to soundness, even when the horse has had it for a while and failed to progress. Other things like shockwave can help, but it seems that none has had the success rate of the surgery. In any case, if this is an injury that you expect to heal (vs a degenerative process), continuing to work the horse is not going to help the inflammation go away, and chances of him healing without treatment are poor (less than 50% even if you just do stall rest and nothing else).

                    If it's DSLD, the prognosis for anything working is far more dismal. I do know of one horse who went from being on the verge of euthanasia to being sound enough to be a happy pasture pony thanks to the use of partial casts/braces and stem cell therapy, but that was an unusual case with an unusually committed owner, for whom cost was no object.

                    Maybe it would be worth talking more to your vet about what exactly is going on and what he expects for the future for your horse. If you're not satisfied or he doesn't want to give you answers and you want to pursue this further, I would get a second opinion from a lameness specialist or board-certified surgeon.

                    Now that I've been all doom and gloom, good luck! With aggressive treatment and a good surgeon/lameness vet, many horses DO return to soundness.
                    The plural of anecdote is not data.
                    Eventing Yahoo In Training


                    • #11
                      You need to ask your vet if is indeed DSDL/ESPA or not. If it is, join Dr Kellon's Yahoo groups, she has helped horses delay the deterioration and even made some light riding sound. I believe she uses Jiaogulan & nitric oxide.



                      Also talk to your vet about Dr Kellon's iron testing.


                      • Original Poster

                        The vet said (and wrote down) chronic suspensory desmitis, and other than the icing and wrapping, didn't recommend any treatment. The horse is sound as of now, but his fetlocks are definitely lower than they were say, a year ago. Just a bit, but lower. I like this vet, but I don't know whether he's up-to-date on whether there are any new treatments. This horse has given me so much pleasure and happiness (along with some heartache, of course -- but that comes with the territory, doesn't it?) that I want to do everything I can for him.
                        Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by SillyHorse View Post
                          The vet said (and wrote down) chronic suspensory desmitis, and other than the icing and wrapping, didn't recommend any treatment. The horse is sound as of now, but his fetlocks are definitely lower than they were say, a year ago. Just a bit, but lower.
                          I'm certainly not a vet. From my limited knowledge the dropping fetlocks point towards DSLD. Supportive therapies as you are doing seem the best answer. Dr. Kellon's group may have some good suggestions. I understand your desire to have a diagnosis and an understanding of the process so you can keep your gelding comfortable.
                          Susan B.


                          • #14
                            Two thoughts,
                            1. A rose by any other name.......
                            2. If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck and it smells like a duck, odds are, its a duck..................


                            • Original Poster

                              Well, I'm not sure what you mean by that, Rick. When the vet said, "Chronic suspensory desmitis," and was met with my blank look, he said, "Old horse disease." He went on to say that most horses eventually get this condition but by the time they do, they're quite old and suffering from other problems, so it rarely gets specifically diagnosed on its own. My horse is 16 next week, so not that old.
                              Last edited by SillyHorse; Jun. 28, 2011, 02:23 PM.
                              Donald Trump - proven liar, cheat, traitor and sexual predator! Hillary Clinton won in 2016, but we have all lost.