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Post injury and walking really "off"

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  • Post injury and walking really "off"

    I have a mare that was/is for sale, that had a nasty pasture injury 2 and a half weeks ago. She speared herself with a piece of wood (never found where it came from), wood went into her lower neck just in front of/above the shoulder. When the vet came out right after it happened, we did not see any debris in the wound, which went down to, but not (we thought) into the muscle. He stitched her up and put a drain tube in and left smz's. The wound abcessed about a week later, and I ended up pulling 3 small pieces of wood out at the drain exit after the drain was removed. Now it is healing very well, still draining a bit, but waaaay better than it had been. My vet expected no complications but I have not told them about the wood pieces. Obviously she was in a lot of pain and was very hesitant to move. I have been hand walking her 2 to 3 times a day to try to prevent stiffness.

    I noticed a few days ago that she is not walking straight. The injury was on her left shoulder, and she seems to be compensating with her right hip/hind leg. She swings it out to the side while walking, and when she walks, her left front and right hind are on the same track. I am trying to figure out if she is compensating for her injury and made herself sore elsewhere or if maybe she has a seperate issue? She was sound as a dollar before this. I don't want to have the vet do a lameness exam until she wound is totally healed. Also note she has not laid down since before the injury. Thoughts?

  • Original Poster

    No one?



    • #3
      If it's related to the injury (e.g. brewing abscess from additional debris in the wound), the injury needs to be cleaned out again/maybe have a new drain/maybe more antibiotics.

      If it's not related to the injury but the mare is that lame, you still need some idea of what is going on and how to rehab that against the needs of rehabbing the shoulder injury.

      So... call the vet. Tell them about the complications. Let them advise you of the next best step.


      • #4
        Your vet probably would like to know about the additional wood peices. This may indicated the wound was deeper than suspected, and different treatment may be warrented.

        As the vet has already seen the horse, they should be good about follow up questions.

        If she is not laying down, I would be concerned about a second injury.

        If you palpate her hips/back, how sore is she?
        Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


        • #5
          I am confused. Isn't the muscle directly below the skin? I knew a horse that impaled himself on a stick in his neck. The wound never closed and oozed pus for a year before they finally went in surgically and found a piece of the stick still in there. Sounds like you need to have the vet out and/or go to a clinic. Jingles.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home


          • #6
            Since you didn't see the injury occur it seems plausible that the mare went down and landed on the stick. Her SI joint, stifle, hock, etc. could be bothering her. Or if her neck hurts enough that she would rather stay up than use her neck to lay down then she's probably exhausted and might be overloading that leg day in and day out when she sleeps and is now muscle sore. We can armchair all day long but she needs to see a vet again.


            • Original Poster

              I called the vet's office yesterday, and the vet was supposed to call me to discuss options, so I will try again in the morning in case she didn't get the message.