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Help on kissing spines!

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  • #21
    New Surgery for Kissing Spines

    I am very interested in this surgery since reading some recent articles. I know the initial work was done in England. Where was this surgery done on your horse? I have a mare with 4 kissing spines and I would like to know where if at all in the USA that this proceedure is being done.

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      Originally posted by pennsaxumfarm View Post
      I am very interested in this surgery since reading some recent articles. I know the initial work was done in England. Where was this surgery done on your horse? I have a mare with 4 kissing spines and I would like to know where if at all in the USA that this proceedure is being done.
      My vet, who I use for lameness, recommended his friend, a surgeon, in ocala, Florida. His name is Dr.Tim M. Lynch at Peterson and Smith equine hospital. My horse was the first one to have the surgery by him, and I am very pleased with the outcome. My horses back is alot less sore and it has only been a week after opperation. My horse had a very bad back, on a scale of 1 being not to bad and 5 being severe, he was a 4, because his back actually started to reconstruct itself. He has 5 places where his spines actually touched, however he only got 4 of them done. (The 5th was on his wither and the Dr. didn't think it was a good idea to do the surgery on that one.) Hope that helps!

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      • Original Poster

        #23
        As of 11/14/12, our thoroughbred is now having muscle spasms. Apparently, it is normal, but he is really sore and in a lot of pain. He started having muscle spasms after about a week, I was hand grazing him and he lifted up his head really fast, and his back went major back spasms that put him into so much pain, he acted like he was colicing, and wanted to roll. After about another week of being on bute twice a day, we started turning him out, for a little while in our small paddock. He decided it would be a good idea to start running, and jumping into the air, so he came in sore again. He is now on bute twice a day again, and he is only being hand grazed occasionally. I used the magnetic blancket last night and I checked on him around 1 in the morning to take him out to pee (he refuses to pee in his stall) and he was extremely stiff, to the point he was dragging his back hoofs, and had a very shuffly stride in the back. When I got him back in the stall, he started grunting, and holding his back funny. Today, we plan on excersising him hand walking, down our trails like I previously did when he first got his surgery, to loosen up his back, along with hand walking him over ground poles with his head low to the ground to strengthin his back muscles, which he no longer has. I have also read that having their hoofs trimmed with their front hoofs as short as possible, and their back hoofs as long as possible for horses with kissing spines to stretch out their backs. I was wondering if anyone has tried that?

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        • #24
          I'm so sorry your horse is in pain. I hope this part of his recovery passes quickly. My horse is having traditional kissing spine surgery Monday. The T17 process will be removed. He was supposed to have surgery 2 weeks ago but his white blood cell count was a bit low so the vet postponed until it came up. Rehab starts 8 weeks of nights in his stall and days in a 12x12 turnout. I'll be armed with sedatives if he starts to go squirrely while the stitches are in. For us, hand walking is not mandatory, vet says rest is best in early stages. There was no mention of re-shaping his feet to promote stretching. I will probably walking him in loose vienna reins to promote the long and low and leave his feet alone. I don't really have anything else to offer except cyber hugs.

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          • #25
            At best, you could only get a fraction of an inch difference, really, by leaving the hinds long and cutting the fronts short. And I would think dropping the front end would put MORE pressure on the spinal processes, not less.

            Gabapentin might be very useful for your horse, as it works very well on nerve-type pain. Since it's not an NSAID, it also will not cause/contribute to gastric ulcers, which is certainly a plus. It's not terribly expensive through Walgreens or CostCo and I would certainly give it a go, were I in your shoes.

            Here is an article on it's use in equines. I have had positive results with this dose:

            http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/abs...rnalCode=javma

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              Well my thoroughbred had massage two days ago and he is doing fantastic! He is not sore along his back anymore. The lady who gave him massage, is also a saddle fitter, and seems to think that all of his problems, being sore and the kissing spines, was from lousy riding, and a poor fitting saddle. She also said that he will probably benifit from back shoes, and she doesn't think our farrier is doing a steller job. He is getting massage again in 10 days, and we are getting him deep muscle acupuncture. We are also walking him at least once a day with an ace bandage behind his back legs to get him to stretch.

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              • Original Poster

                #27
                And he also has scar tissue over his withers from the bad saddle, and he has a chip in the bone in his wither.

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                • #28
                  Interesting update. Keep posting, this is a brand new surgery and we all want to know how it turns out long-term!

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                  • #29
                    My horse just had surgery to correct kissing spines today. My vet is very interested in the new technique of ISLD. She sent x-rays and consulted with Cotts Farm in the UK. With their guidance she was able to perform a modified version of the procedure where interspinous ligaments were cut and processes removed. She didn't feel comfortable doing the full ISDL procedure since its done blind through small incisions. She was very pleased with the results. It seems the US vet community is very excited about ISLD and Cotts is keen to share their knowledge. I don't know what benefits there are to doing a combination of ISLD and traditional surgery yet but will find out more when I pick up my guy tomorrow. He looked pretty rough after the surgery but once the anesthesia wore off he was munching happily on his dinner. Since ligaments were cut, I will be given specific instructions on rehab. I will get more info tomorrow.

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                    • Original Poster

                      #30
                      Originally posted by Xeeboo View Post
                      My horse just had surgery to correct kissing spines today. My vet is very interested in the new technique of ISLD. She sent x-rays and consulted with Cotts Farm in the UK. With their guidance she was able to perform a modified version of the procedure where interspinous ligaments were cut and processes removed. She didn't feel comfortable doing the full ISDL procedure since its done blind through small incisions. She was very pleased with the results. It seems the US vet community is very excited about ISLD and Cotts is keen to share their knowledge. I don't know what benefits there are to doing a combination of ISLD and traditional surgery yet but will find out more when I pick up my guy tomorrow. He looked pretty rough after the surgery but once the anesthesia wore off he was munching happily on his dinner. Since ligaments were cut, I will be given specific instructions on rehab. I will get more info tomorrow.
                      Keep me updated on your guy too. We've been exercising our guy just handwalking in a surcingle with ace bandages tied from the surcingle behind his rump just above the hocks, which our massage therapist reccomended to build muscle. She also said that the other lunging equipment might not be necessary if we just kept using the ace bandages, and apparently you could use them to set their head too, saves you about $200. My thoroughbred, Royal, has come a long way just from having the one massage done, he is getting acupuncture and massage again in the next week or so. He is still a little sore (nothing compared to what he used to be like) in the muscles along his ribs, but if you run your hand down his back, there is no more pain. He is in a much better mood, and loves to try to hurt himself some more, by rearing at his buddies. He's been in his stall for a month now, poor guy, but we plan on gradually turning him back out into the pasture for short periods of time. Everyone seems to think in about another year he will be able to start jumping, as long as he gets proper riding, which means classical dressage for the next year, and he could prehaps, be an eventer one day.

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                      • #31
                        Where did you have the surgery done?
                        Erin
                        Dodon Farm Training Center - on Facebook

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                        • #32
                          My horse is doing very well. The vet found during surgery the override between T16-T18 was more severe than she originally thought. She removed T17 process as planned. Since she had full access to the ligaments, she did the ISLD as well based on what she learned from Cotts Farm. Rehab is more involved than I had hoped. Carrot stretches with 30 minute grass walks once or twice a day for 3 weeks. Doesn't sound like much but its a big deal when he's boarded 30 minutes away. Being separated from his turnout buddies is hard on him but he's mellowed considerably since I brought him home.

                          The vet notices more rise and fall of his back as he walks post surgery, and he reaches back farther during his stretches. I think his walk is more free in his hips and his overstep may have increased. His bandages came off today revealing a 10 inch incision and about 20 stitches. He danced in the crossties as I was removing the bandages and inverted so much he almost sat down. He was fine on his walk after that but wouldn't let me near his back.

                          Stitches come out after 2 weeks. I can lunge 3 weeks post surgery starting 2 minutes trot, 2 minutes canter each direction. Increasing 4-5 minutes every week for 3 more weeks. He can return to his regular turnout after 8 weeks, back in the saddle at 16 weeks.

                          My surgery was done in Littleton Colorado. I'll update again once the vet re-checks him in early December!

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                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            My guy is doing pretty well. We have been doing massage, and acupuncture, and working on lunging in the Pessoa. However, when the lady who does our acupuncture came out to evaluate him, she said she still had heat in his incision areas! So now we are back to hand walking and trying to build topline muscle without doing strenuous work. He is not allowed to trot, and when we build some muscle on his topline, we will go straight to canter. They say it only takes 6 weeks to get them back undersaddle, but I wouldn't push it, in fact I would wait the 6 weeks before I even attempt to lunge. I guess I'll be waiting longer than I expected, but I am getting the vet out to take x-rays and see if the surgery has actually done something. I'll post more updates when the vet takes the x-rays to see if the surgery actually worked.

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                            • #34
                              For us, lunging starts Monday. 2 mins trot, 2 mins canter each direction. I can't wait. He is so ready to do more than walk, the boy wants to run! I just hope the vienna reins keep him from doing something stupid with his first taste of speed in 3 weeks. Stitches came out yesterday. The incision is swollen, tender and slightly warm still. The vet said that is to be expected given the trauma of the surgery. It should go away eventually and it does not cause him pain day to day. The swelling is about the size and shape of a cupped hand that you are about to pour water into. I have been watching for stiffness, muscle spasms and toe dragging but so far that has not occurred. I will be sending video of our lunging sessions to the vet and will update with her comments on how his movement has changed.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #35
                                My guy is doing great today! I have been allowed to lunge him but only at walk, and canter, because trotting allows them to brace their back more. His top line has improved since he had acupuncture, and he is progressing nicely. We are alternating massage, and acupuncture every other week, and I don't see why he can't be ridden in another 6 weeks, we just have to improve his top line a little more.

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                                • #36
                                  Awesome! Sounds great! Keep the updates coming!

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    My guy started lunging this week, 3 weeks post-op as planned. Our first session, he behaved for walk and trot but as soon as I asked for canter it was legs and farts everywhere. He was sweaty after 8 minutes work. He relaxed in his subsequent sessions. His gaits were pretty good before the surgery, and they look the same to me now. There may be subtle changes in how he uses is back and hind end but my untrained eye couldn't detect it. Perhaps it will become more apparent as he builds muscle. No signs of pain during lunging. He does kick at his belly when I place a saddle pad on him and when I tighten the surcingle, but he doesn't invert.

                                    The swelling around his incision changes daily. Now its become two mounds on either side of the cut The swelling is more localized, higher and rounder than last week. The vet says it will go down eventually. It better, ain't no way I'll ever find a saddle to fit those bumps!

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      My guy is doing pretty good. I've found that regular lunging (without a Pessoa) makes him really sore. However, when I do lunge with a Pessoa, he is nearly painless! As of now, he is getting his muscles back and is starting to get topline muscle, which he never had as good as most horses before. He is still cold backed when you go to touch his back at first, but I think it's mainly because he thinks it'll hurt, and after a second or two he relaxes and is painless on the left side, however he is still sore on his right side of his back. When I first got him, he went running through the pasture and bucked really high, and fell onto his right side, which I think is still causing him pain. I have done some research and found that kissing spine horses do better when they are lunged with a pessoa 4 times a week, and ridden the other 2, allowing them to only have one day off. I think I will keep my guy on this schedule when I get to ride him also. I'll keep more updates coming.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Do you have a picture/video of the ace bandage setup? I'm curious to see how that works, and how it is building muscle.

                                        Comment

                                        • Original Poster

                                          #40
                                          Originally posted by Meadow36 View Post
                                          Do you have a picture/video of the ace bandage setup? I'm curious to see how that works, and how it is building muscle.
                                          Hi I do not have pics now but I will eventually take pics if you're interested. What you do is put them in a surcingle, and after, take the ace bandage, and tie it on the middle loop of the surcingle. Once you do that to the other side, you tie the two bandages under their tail about half way down the back of their hidnquarters. Don't make it too lose or too tight, just enough so it will give to your horses movement. You should probably walk them around in it to get them used to somthing being behind their tail, but my horse didn't bat an eye at it. This gets them to give to the pressure of the ace bandage and tuck their hindquarters under themselves and work properly, and move forward. I don't use it on my kissing spines horse anymore because if he has free range of his head he'll throw it in the air and hurt his back on the lunge, so I'm sticking with the Pessoa with him. However, I use it with my Andaluian and he does great with it! He's so much more balanced with it and is building topline correctly, where as before he had a really hard time finding his balance, and throwing his head in the air and getting that "inverted" look, but now just from lunging twice to three times a week in it, he found his balance and is even moving different. But be careful not to use it long, they fatigue VERY easy in it. I would start out only walk and trot for 5 mins.

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