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Catastrophic fracture of cannon bone without trauma - Cancer?

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  • Catastrophic fracture of cannon bone without trauma - Cancer?

    Older (20) mare suffered an open fracture of the cannon bone in her hind leg. There was no "trauma" - she was simply standing up after having a roll. She went to stand up and it just snapped. A couple of inches above the fetlock joint.

    I guess I'm struggling to understand how this happens

    Something must have weakened the bone for this to happen?

    Have been wondering if bone cancer is a possibility for this?

    Besides being IR, she was perfectly healthy.

    I was told her sire was put down due to his body "being full of cancer" so I guess this has me wondering more so about that.

  • #2
    cancer, or maybe an old OCD leasion, or low bone mass??? Just guessing. Sorry about your loss.


    • #3
      We lost a dog to cancer a year ago.
      His situation was very similar. He was running across the field and just dropped and started crying.
      Quick trip to the vet due to broken leg and discovered the leg was full of cancer.
      They said that the cancer weakened the bone which caused it to snap for no apparent reason.


      • #4
        Oh my...I wish I could offer you some sort of answer, but I just wanted to send my condolences. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.


        • #5
          I'm so sorry. :'(

          \"If you are going through hell, keep going.\" ~Churchill~


          • #6
            I am so sorry


            • #7
              So sorry


              • #8
                I'm so sorry. I'm assuming you ended up euthanizing. Did you have them do any kind of necropsy or at least examine the leg?
                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                • #9
                  I'm so sorry. Was she by chance on any medication for the IR?


                  • #10
                    Trauma is relative. My Grandma broke her femur standing to get up off the toilet. No fall, just stood up wrong. It could be cancer or it could have just been a one in a million shot of bad luck. Godspeed.
                    McDowell Racing Stables

                    Home Away From Home


                    • #11
                      cushings horses often snap a leg. You mentioned IR - could have advanced to cushings??


                      • #12
                        {Hugs} to you, and I am so sorry ...unfortunately sometimes they just step incorrectly and put to much stress on an aging structure. Cancer, OCD, or Cushings can cause this as well (as well as other diseases). Horses are so fragile for such large creatures...
                        Certified Spiritual Medium/ Animal Communicator


                        • #13
                          I am so sorry for your loss. Horses are just so fragile, there are no words.
                          Your dog may not be broken, but he still needs to be fixed.


                          • Original Poster

                            Thank you everyone!

                            They are such big, strong animals on delicate legs.

                            I guess when something like this happens, you look for a cause - as if there's some way to prevent it in the future (even thought that isn't reasonable).

                            We didn't have a necropsy done, because although I wondered about it - the logistics of having her body transported there, and then picking up her remains - I just could deal with it. There is a local company that specializes in horse cremation, so that is what we've decided to do with her. I've had her for 15 years (my first horse), she is very special to me

                            I don't think Cushings is likely. She has normal hair coat, normal urination & drinking. Her insulin numbers were on the low side of IR range. Her thyroid is VERY low, which is the only prescription (Thyro-L) she is on for the IR.

                            I did think about having them take her leg for examination, but we were in shock and just focused on ending her pain ASAP. She was such a good girl lying still and patient.


                            • #15
                              My 24 year old Cushing's mare fractured her femur getting up from a roll quite spontaneously. She obviously ruptured the femoral artery in the process and started bleeding out.

                              Thank God, it was during the day and I could get the vet out and let her go.

                              I don't know whether Cushing's affects bone density, but clearly it can with muscle strength. And we know with the spindly legs these creatures live on, it's the muscle strength they need to be able to get up and stand relatively easily so as not to snap them.

                              Cushing's or not, it's still physics...and so sad when it happens.

                              I'm so sorry for your loss.
                              www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                              "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                              Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                              • #16
                                Nothing to ad other then I am very sorry for your loss.


                                • #17
                                  So sorry for your loss. In dealing with horses..the rule of thumb is that sh** happens, usually for unexplained reasons. A vet should be able to do a quick look at the break and detect cancer without an invasive necropsy.
                                  Breeders of Painted Thoroughbreds and Uniquely Painted Irish Sport Horses in Northeast Oklahoma


                                  • #18
                                    Thoughts and prayers and ((hugs)) for the family she leaves behind ~

                                    Thoughts and prayers and ((hugs)) for the family she leaves behind ~

                                    RIP ~ special mare ~ knowing you will always be loved and remembered ~

                                    I am so sorry ~
                                    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                                    • #19
                                      Sorry to hear the news.
                                      Unlikely that it was osteosarcoma, though.
                                      I've seen and heard of similar cases over the years.
                                      Had a wonderful gelding of my own who shattered his long pastern in the paddock, for no discernible reason.
                                      "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                      ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                                      • #20
                                        I'm so sorry
                                        It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.