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What happens when a suspensory injury isn't diagnosed for a long, long time?

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  • What happens when a suspensory injury isn't diagnosed for a long, long time?

    Like a couple of years?

    This recent post about high suspensory tear reminds of a local horse, and got me wondering. http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum...d.php?t=213683 This horse has been all messed up since early 2008 (Maybe longer. I noticed it had movement and body issues way before that like early Fall 2007. The horse was very messed up from the way it had been ridden for years, so the injury could be even older). When asked, I said that I suspected it could be a high suspensory injury based on everything I had seen with the horse.

    So what happens when a horse ends up with being diagnosed with a suspensory injury after a long, long time, or maybe NEVER being diagnosed? Does scare tissue fill in in a bad way to where the ligament is not longer elastic, or does the injury stay "hot" and not heal at all because the horse is active and not rehabbed?

    I hope that I am not right, but I already suspected suspensory injury, and then that above post sounds very similar.

  • #2
    I bought a mare to bred who's had a high suspensory injury forcing her preformance retirement. Bred her, and after weaning the foal strated her back into work VERY VERY slowly, after 6 months we took her to a AA show and showed her in the children's jumpers where she was fabulous!.Brought her hime and turned her out for a couple of days and she came up lame. I too thought it was the stifle. There was no heat no swelling. Gave her 6 weeks off still lame. Took her to the vet blocked her to the hock and voila, sound.Next day ultrasounded and x-rayed suspensory and hock...bad news...suspensory was beginning to pull away from the bone...only option surgery...she is now back home turned out on pasture and will be forever a broodmare.Vet said there was no heat or swelling 2nd time around due to the scar tissue from the original injury!!!Fortunately she throws beautiful babies so she still has an important job in life!!


    • #3
      I just found out that my older horse has a chronic high suspensory injury in his left hind that he has most likely been working on for up to two years (based on atrophy and soundness history). He was lame on and off for a while and we finally had him blocked and eventually ultrasounded. It's not terrible but it is enlarged with a small bony component. He is 18. The vet said I could bring him back to work slowly- cantering first and then trotting. Since I am going to be starting law school soon, I'm not going to have a lot of time, so I'm going to turn him out for a year and then try again. There is a good chance he will be able to come back to work on the flat and maybe small jumps if I take it slowly and have lots of patience! He has been such a wonderful horse and had an incredibly long and successful career so he definitely deserves time off to just be a horse! So to answer your question about healing- I think there probably is a chance that it can heal with time and care (but I am no vet, just an optimist!)

      Hope this helps.


      • #4
        It could still heal sufficiently with time, but the horse may be more prone to re-injuring that area and may have more give in the suspensory because of its increased length.

        Good consistent and solid conditioning is a must in such cases because the suspensory will be less forgiving to stresses.