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rehab woes: suggestions needed!

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  • Original Poster

    Originally posted by x-halt-salute View Post
    (Just throwing this out there -- are there any sort of hoof boots that would be safe with his injury and provide enough protection to make the paddock viable for at least supervised turnout?)
    Yes, it's a hoof injury so bell boots work. The other issue is protecting all of the ligaments and tendons that have spent 6 months standing in a stall from the stresses with whirling and sliding stops.

    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
    Riding a horse that is heavily tranquilized over hill and dale after hounds is stupid. Taking the edge off a horse with a light tranquilizer in an arena with an experienced rider is quite another.
    I agree, but apparently no amount of dormosedan is a "light tranquilizer", I have been told by his vets. I'm not sure I agree with that. As I said, small amounts (1mL) allow me to get him moving in a nice working trot on the longe. He cannot have other tranqs due to unexplained liver issues they cause in him. Ideally, I would ride him while on 1mL of oral dorm so that I can push him harder/longer and not on a tight longing circle until the crazies disappear enough to remove all tranqs.

    Originally posted by deltawave View Post
    It was a hoof wall injury IIRC, and the OP said the horse had been cleared for turnout but that she (he?) was afraid to turn the horse out because the last time it was turned out it kicked the fence and made things worse. Or that this was the cause of the major injury, not sure.

    This is why we tranquilize horses coming off stall rest. It's not a novel concept.
    Yes. Cause of the major injury, and now a fear of other injuries (e.g. ligament tears as described above from whirling while running like a nut). Turnout is not my ideal option.


    • #42
      Originally posted by morganpony86 View Post
      Cause of the major injury, and now a fear of other injuries (e.g. ligament tears as described above from whirling while running like a nut). Turnout is not my ideal option.
      I don't think there ever is an ideal option in situations like these. Rehab is generally a pick-your-poison sort of deal.
      Evolutionary science by day; keeping a certain red mare from winning a Darwin award the rest of the time!


      • #43
        OP - to answer your question about riding a horse that has been sedated with dorm...no I have not ridden one sedated with dorm. When mine was sedated for rehab, he was sedated with ace. He also got fluphenazine at one point (before we started riding him again, and THAT I definitely do not recommend, as it made him worse).

        What about something like reserpine? Is that a no go due to his liver issue?


        • #44
          Your vets can call it whatever they like, but if the horse works well on the longe with a small amount of dormosedan, why not try turning him out or riding him with the same dose? It isn't rocket science. If that's too little, give him a little more. If it's too much, give him a little less. The vets are not the ones riding the horse!

          Eventually the horse has to go outside and go back to work. Use the tranquilizers to your benefit. Have you considered atarax/hydroxyzine?
          Click here before you buy.


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by FineAlready View Post
            What about something like reserpine? Is that a no go due to his liver issue?
            Yep, reserpine is what caused the liver issues (hemolysis, hyperbilirubinemia). The worst part is that tranq-wise, that stuff worked and the liver issues were never "that bad" (icterus was the only clinical sign). I also need to be light with the ace, too, since it is known to cause hemolysis and he still has persistent icterus and hyperbilirubinemia (appears to be idiopathic, but no one knows for sure).

            Originally posted by deltawave View Post
            Your vets can call it whatever they like, but if the horse works well on the longe with a small amount of dormosedan, why not try turning him out or riding him with the same dose? It isn't rocket science. If that's too little, give him a little more. If it's too much, give him a little less. The vets are not the ones riding the horse!

            Eventually the horse has to go outside and go back to work. Use the tranquilizers to your benefit. Have you considered atarax/hydroxyzine?
            This is exactly what I am thinking. But I don't know if there is something I don't know, e.g. he's fine longing, but you sit on a horse doped up on dorm and they always flip over or something equally random. One of his surgeons is a friend so I plan to speak with him this morning and just say "hey, I know the standard answer is it's too dangerous, but on a scale of 1-10, how dangerous are we talking here?". That way I can gauge if it's more dangerous than getting on him without the tranqs.

            Never heard of atarax, but a quick google search makes it sound like the horse equivalent of giving a dog/kid benadryl...?


            • #46
              It is an antihistamine, yes, but the sedating effects are a lot stronger than benadryl
              Click here before you buy.


              • #47
                been there. Vet's have these great plans of what we are supposed to do, but for human safety reasons, I've skipped the controlled exercise part and put them in a small paddock with safe footing beside a buddy. It just wasn't worth risking human life to hand walk a horse until he had his sanity back.



                • #48
                  Am I the only person who starts going cross eyed when reading a thread such as this? An OP asks for advice regarding some aspect of horse care/training. Multiple viable options are offered, usually by very respectable, experienced horse folk and to each suggestion, the OP has an objection, often based solely on imagination: "Well, yes, suggestion A sounds reasonable, but if I did that I can envision Horsie fainting dead away, banging his head and lingering on in a vegetative state. Suggestion B could work! Only....my aunt's sister's daughter's pony did that and it did NOT end well, so......I guess not."

                  To the OP, if your horse really and truly flips over backwards EVERY time a chain is used, 1. why even put the chain on if you don't intend to use it if necessary and 2. you have MUCH bigger problems than rehabbing the horse from this injury. Apparently it has no sense of self preservation and is a bit of a drama queen.
                  I'm firmly in the hand grazing camp. It makes a huge difference. The fact that you haven't experienced this suggests inexperience in rehabbing. Perhaps you've stated that this is your first rehab and I've missed it. Is there anyone local who can help you get this horse tranquilized and turned out? He's been cleared for turnout, I'm guessing you intend to resume turnout at some point, so it only makes sense to get on with it. If he's allowed to play, why risk life and limb because you're afraid he'll hurt himself doing this or that? If he explodes under saddle and you come off, he's in a more dangerous situation than if he were turned out without flailing reins and stirrups.
                  Just my $0.02 and I've rehabbed far more than I would have liked to.
                  "Absent a correct diagnosis, medicine is poison, surgery is trauma and alternative therapy is witchcraft" A. Kent Allen


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by RS View Post
                    Letting a horse that is being rehabbed from a lameness and is JUST getting into light work loose in an arena to "buck, snort, and carry on" is a darn good way to land them back on stall rest for re-injury. If you broke your ankle, the first day the cast came off, you wouldn't go for a 5 mile run. You might, however, take a short walk around the neighborhood. The OP (I think) is asking for suggestions on surviving the transition from stall rest to full work and turnout...not a suggestion of what to do with a high horse in general.
                    It's NOT a broken leg or broken bone or even a ligament injury. It's a hoof wall injury - which has grown out enough now to be fully cleared for turnout. I spent 20 years as a rehab trainer - anything from fractures, to joints, to ligaments/tendons to hooves, riding accidents, mouth injuries from bits, whatever. Each has a different plan. What stays constant is manners and respect for personal space.

                    This horse needs play time which offers psychological refreshment which this horse desperately needs - it's spring, he's confined, he's feeling great. If you want to mild tranq him, then fine, but use the least amount possible. He needs the refreshment getting out of the stall and being a horse to do horsie play and horsie things, sniff, explore and buck. Then, horse needs time in work on the lunge. Work and PLay are 2 entirely different things. Play is free time. Work is lunge or saddle work and Ps and Qs are to be minded. And I fully agree with hand-grazing - again more psychological refreshment. And this horse needs a whole lotta manners retraining.

                    Continue to restrict the horse and this OP is going to get hurt because the frustration in the horse is going to continue to build to explosive point and already the OP has stated they have difficulty dealing with the bullying, somewhat explosive tactics this horse has threatened her with.

                    Let's get on with it here. Put your horse in a safe, enclosed environment and get out of the way. The most explosive high-energy activity will be the very first time is turned out. Each subsequent time will become less explosive and more in line with true exercise. Lunge line is WORK. A horse is expected to stay at the perimeter and all 4 feet ON THE GROUND. There is a big difference between PLAY and WORK. This horse now is cleared for BOTH. So, let him do both. If the indoor is too big, use a tall 40m round pen. I would never recommend free turnout in the standard outdoor ring - standard 4 foot ring fence is easily jumped and just asking for trouble. If the fencing is 5 feet or higher, then maybe.

                    OP, don't be shy to ask for help from a really good trainer for the first few sessions on the lunge. A trainer who knows how to keep the horse on the perimeter, all 4 feet firmly situated on terra firma and NOT intruding on your space. The lunge line is not the time for kicking, bucking, and barging around all over the place.
                    Practice! Patience! Persistence!