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Is this a tendon injury?

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  • Is this a tendon injury?

    My endurance mare turned up lame a couple of days after we got back from a ride. It was her second ride of the season, and she did it quite fast, a little under 5 hours. But it was a very cool day and she is in by far the best shape of her life and did not struggle at all. The trail was easy, not many hills, good footing, except for some sand, and even that was wet from rain the night before. She trotted out sound for BC 45 minutes after we came in off the trail. Then on the evening of the 2nd day after we got back, I was watching her walking in the pasture and saw that she was off. It was the first time I noticed it. She comes up to eat twice a day, and we are always outside and around the pasture, so I would have noticed it if it had showed up before.

    She had swelling on the inside and back of her left cannon bone. We started icing her twice a day and giving her bute. That was Monday evening. Now she is sound at a walk, but still lame a trot. The swelling is still there a little bit, there is no heat and she is not tender there. I have never had a horse with a tendon injury, and I am really hoping it isn't that. Except for an very minor stone bruise, this horse has been completely sound since I got her in April 07. Is there anything else this could be? None of the prognosis I've read are good for tendon injuries in performance horses, and I really wanted to sell her this summer.

    You may wonder why I am asking this here instead of telling it to a vet. Well unfortunately we have no good vets anywhere around us, and I thought I'd get some second opinions before I go hauling this horse clear to the University of Minnesota. We never get out of there for less than $500 and the last time we took a lame horse there even they just told us basically "We really don't know what's wrong, give her two months stall rest"... duh.

  • #2
    Is there anywhere you can go for an ultrasound, with the results sent to an equine vet?
    ********
    There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Romantic Rider View Post

      She had swelling on the inside and back of her left cannon bone.
      Where is the swelling in relation to her knee or fetlock?
      "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I don't know if there is anywhere closer that could do an ultrasound. The tendon certainly doesn't look bowed. There is just some swelling right above the fetlock, and a little bit extending a couple of inches just below the knee. When I first found it there was just a little swelling all up the cannon bone, but it's gone down now.

        Mods, if you read this, could you move this thread to the Horse Care forum? Thanks.

        Comment


        • #5
          When my horse had swelling below her knee, she tore her check ligament. If you put your hand horizontally (if that makes sense.) behind your mare's knee, the check ligament is about where the side of your hand ends. Is there swelling there? The swelling did go down her leg as well and she didn't immediately turn up lame after the paper chase. Good luck!
          "Gallop as if you were to die tomorrow, jump as if you were to live forever."

          Comment


          • #6
            You should have an ultrasound done. The injury may be a tendon or ligament problem that at this point is manageable. Without proper treatment it may become career ending.

            It is often hard decision but I would rather pay $500.00 and have a proper diagnosis than wind up with a lawn ornament.

            Good luck to you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh no RR, I'm sorry to hear that! I agree with getting a good vet to diagnose though. Can you haul to Madison and just have it done? Tendon and ligament injuries can take months or a year to heal even with the proper treatment. My last mare bowed the same tendon twice and it was a disaster trying to heal it.

              Sweets strained a suspensory at Endless Valley last year and it was months before it quit stocking up after every ride. She wasn't lame on it but it would swell so I had to diligently ice and wrap it after every ride.

              Comment


              • #8
                Ultrasound, ultrasound, ultrasound!!!!! Many tears and strain within ligaments and tendons will "look" normal within a week, horse may trot around looking good but an ultrasound shows the damaged fibers. And it takes time, rest and controlled exercise to heal it properly, oh, and repeat ultasound. If a vet can't ultrasound the leg they are just guessing. And they could be wrong. I use a track vet for the leg injuries and found her detailed plan for recovery to work flawlwssly while many friends used a vet who gave them the answer (without the ultrasound) that fit their ride schedule and they had chronic soundness problems for years with the same leg. Just bite the bullet and haul to a good clinic for the ultrasound. You may get good news, but it will be the best $$ you have spent.

                Bonnie S.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by chicamuxen1 View Post
                  Ultrasound, ultrasound, ultrasound!!!!! Many tears and strain within ligaments and tendons will "look" normal within a week, horse may trot around looking good but an ultrasound shows the damaged fibers. And it takes time, rest and controlled exercise to heal it properly, oh, and repeat ultrasound. If a vet can't ultrasound the leg they are just guessing. And they could be wrong. I use a track vet for the leg injuries and found her detailed plan for recovery to work flawlessly while many friends used a vet who gave them the answer (without the ultrasound) that fit their ride schedule and they had chronic soundness problems for years with the same leg. Just bite the bullet and haul to a good clinic for the ultrasound. You may get good news, but it will be the best $$ you have spent.

                  Bonnie S.
                  In total agreement with this, without an ultrasound you can easily be lulled into a false sense of security that your horse is no longer lame. Soft tissue injuries take time,lots of time, long after the horse thinks it is fine to go buck and run around. With repeat ultrasounds you know when its OK to begin exercise and when its OK to begin turnout etc.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    bowed tendon

                    is a term describing a strained tendon, doesn't necessarily mean that it looks 'bowed.'

                    my endurance mare tore up her suspensory and some other neighboring soft tissue at a ride. she came up lame at mid point but when we got home the lameness appeared to have resolved. maybe the rest made it feel better? but then few days later when she came up lame she came up 3 legged lame. of course, her tears were particularly bad so that's just our experience.

                    your mare's injury could have happened in the paddock, not necessarily during the ride. but i agree w/ everyone else that you will not know for sure unless you ultrasound. you don't want to take chances w/ a soft tissue injury even if it means paying $500 for a lameness evaluation at the hospital (btw, $500 for a full lameness work up is not expensive).
                    http://www.eponashoe.com/
                    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Sweets strained a suspensory at Endless Valley last year and it was months before it quit stocking up after every ride.
                      You jump in the saddle,
                      Hold onto the bridle!
                      Jump in the line!
                      ...Belefonte

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                        Why the shock? The endurance vet said to give her about 2 weeks off, and a couple of days of bute - which I did - then start her back in slow work - which I did. There was just a bit of puffiness so I iced and wrapped the leg after each ride, which was what I was told to do. Never any lameness and no recurring problems. The point was to follow the treatment advice of a good vet for the best result.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Was shocked because that's a whole lot of long term stocking up, IMO.
                          You jump in the saddle,
                          Hold onto the bridle!
                          Jump in the line!
                          ...Belefonte

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                            Why the shock? The endurance vet said to give her about 2 weeks off, and a couple of days of bute - which I did - then start her back in slow work - which I did. There was just a bit of puffiness so I iced and wrapped the leg after each ride, which was what I was told to do. Never any lameness and no recurring problems. The point was to follow the treatment advice of a good vet for the best result.
                            That's very interesting.

                            Did the vet ultrasound the leg?
                            "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                              Sweets strained a suspensory at Endless Valley last year and it was months before it quit stocking up after every ride. She wasn't lame on it but it would swell so I had to diligently ice and wrap it after every ride.
                              perhaps it was your trim?
                              http://www.eponashoe.com/
                              TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                What chicamuxen and Pcr said.

                                Soft tissue injuries are tricky to diagnose. Even serious ones can be intermittent. And if you fool around and don't do the correct rehab, you can make even minor ones much worse. The good news is that IF you know what you're dealing with at the outset and do the right thing, there's a good chance your horse will be sound again.

                                Two years ago, my then 12 y.o. mare took a spectacular fall while playing in turnout. I happened to see her wipe out, so I was on the lookout for something. She wasn't lame the first two days, then she was off at the trot, but no heat and very little swelling. I had it u/s just to be safe and found out what I really didn't want to know: torn suspensory. The rehab was 60 days stall rest, then 60 days very limited turnout. She's normally a very nice mannered mare, but 4 months in stir was not fun for either one of us. But ... we made it through and it healed completely.

                                Guessing and icing and wrapping and hoping might work, but you also might end up with a permanently lame horse. And then she won't be sellable this summer OR next. If it were my horse, I'd haul out to a clinic and get it ultrasounded. If you don't have much faith in the docs at the university clinic, just get it u/s at the nearest place and send the files to a good lameness vet for a consult.

                                Good luck.
                                __________________________
                                "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                the best day in ten years,
                                you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by marta View Post
                                  perhaps it was your trim?
                                  This is what I was thinking. The most common reason for suspensory injuries. [I should edit this to say, the most common reason for the suspensory injuries I have seen has been hoof trim problems - I don't know what the national data is] There's no excuse for using the horse with a tendon strain or tear.
                                  Last edited by AnotherRound; May. 26, 2009, 08:00 PM.
                                  Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Romantic Rider View Post
                                    My endurance mare turned up lame a couple of days after we got back from a ride. It was her second ride of the season, and she did it quite fast, a little under 5 hours. But it was a very cool day and she is in by far the best shape of her life and did not struggle at all. The trail was easy, not many hills, good footing, except for some sand, and even that was wet from rain the night before. She trotted out sound for BC 45 minutes after we came in off the trail. Then on the evening of the 2nd day after we got back, I was watching her walking in the pasture and saw that she was off. It was the first time I noticed it. She comes up to eat twice a day, and we are always outside and around the pasture, so I would have noticed it if it had showed up before.

                                    She had swelling on the inside and back of her left cannon bone. We started icing her twice a day and giving her bute. That was Monday evening. Now she is sound at a walk, but still lame a trot. The swelling is still there a little bit, there is no heat and she is not tender there. I have never had a horse with a tendon injury, and I am really hoping it isn't that. Except for an very minor stone bruise, this horse has been completely sound since I got her in April 07. Is there anything else this could be? None of the prognosis I've read are good for tendon injuries in performance horses, and I really wanted to sell her this summer.

                                    You may wonder why I am asking this here instead of telling it to a vet. Well unfortunately we have no good vets anywhere around us, and I thought I'd get some second opinions before I go hauling this horse clear to the University of Minnesota. We never get out of there for less than $500 and the last time we took a lame horse there even they just told us basically "We really don't know what's wrong, give her two months stall rest"... duh.
                                    sounds like a tendon injury as the mare perhaps wasnt prepared enough for the 5hr ride you did and fast to --

                                    i would take her to the vets as tendon and ligament injuries can take months heal proeprly like as in one year to 18mths

                                    pay for a vet and get her seen to

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                                      This is what I was thinking. The most common reason for suspensory injuries. [I should edit this to say, the most common reason for the suspensory injuries I have seen has been hoof trim problems - I don't know what the national data is] There's no excuse for using the horse with a tendon strain or tear.
                                      Oh yes, the trim is horrible. I agree! http://www.hphoofcare.com/rf.jpg , http://www.hphoofcare.com/healthyhind.jpg , http://www.hphoofcare.com/all4.jpgThere, you can see it for yourself. How am I ever going to fix that foot????? I think I might have to put the horse down because her feet are so awful and my trimming skills are so horrible that I don't think we stand a chance.

                                      Hint: this is sarcasm. Another hint: The horse had no lameness ever, on turns or at any gait. Just some puffiness over one suspensory after a particularly fast ride on one of the toughest trails in this region. I did exactly as the endurance vet told me to do and the strain rehabbed without issue. And one more hint: Horse just finished 5th this weekend with straight As on all vet scores and a compliment from the ride vet that the horse is in superb condition.

                                      But yeah you're right, no excuse at all for using a horse like this. I think I'll arrange to have her shot and burried this afternoon.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Auventera Two View Post
                                        The horse had no lameness ever, on turns or at any gait. Just some puffiness over one suspensory after a particularly fast ride on one of the toughest trails in this region. I did exactly as the endurance vet told me to do and the strain rehabbed without issue.
                                        But the OP's horse IS lame, so why are you sharing your rehab regimen when it simply does not apply in this case? Your "advice" could certainly mislead someone.

                                        You mentioned a mare you had that had bowed a tendon and the problems you had rehabilitating her. What course of treatment did you follow with that mare?
                                        "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton

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