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Tendon Injury w/out swelling?

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  • Tendon Injury w/out swelling?

    I was lounging my mare and she stumbled and came up lame. Immediately after it happened she wouldn't bear any weight on her right front and her knee was shaking. Usually she walks theses kind of injuries off, she is clumsy and trips when she gets excited, so it happens often. There was no heal or swelling so I wasn't took worried. I cold hosed her and put some liniment on it thinking it would help her be more comfortable.
    Anyways, after a few days of not recovering I had the vet out. She thought it was a soft tissue or tendons, but we didn't do an ultrasound ( the vets around here aren't that hi-tech ). So we gave her bute twice a day for a week and we have had her confined for six weeks. The problem is the only place to confine my horse is in a 20x40 pen that shares an edge with the pasture. She is still really active in the pen, and she paces and paws at the gate. Every night she has a new self inflicted cut from the gate or the wooden fencing. We'll it's been 8 weeks and she is looking better but still lame, and I'm debating on what to do next.

    1) Do I keep her in the same size pen and let her recovery progress as it has been?
    2) If I buy some panels (about $300 and I board so anything I buy I'll have to move with me this spring) and make her space smaller, will she recover faster? I am worried that if I do this she will kick/paw at the panels and hurt herself more...
    or
    3) Any other suggestions?

    Is it possible to have a tendon or soft tissue injury without heat or swelling?
    At what point should I haul her into a bigger vet to get her ultra sounded?
    Is it normal to have a soft tissue injury take this long to heal? I'm starting to get worried, but maybe I need to be more patient especially because she isn't being "quiet"? I've just never dealt with any soft tissue injuries and any advice or support would be appreciated. The vet said just to keep her in the pen for another six weeks and bute her as needed.

    Oh other misc info... She is only lame at trot, not history of lameness issues. I've been hand grazing her each night and give her a stall toy filled with treats to try and keep her happy.

    Sorry that was so long.
    Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
    Custom Equestrian Items and Bath Products

  • #2
    A soft tissue injury could take a year, easily. It might be irreparable. It can happen in a single bad step, and you may never see much or any heat/ swelling. A friend's horse just came up with a suspensory tear just below the knee. No heat, no swelling, maybe a 2/5 lameness wise--but it showed up on the ultrasound, and she's off for at least 6 months, maybe a year, and may never be 100%--all for a moment of running around like an idiot out in the field because breakfast was late.

    If it were my horse, I would get it to a vet that specializes in lameness/ diagnostics and can ultrasound/ xray etc. The sooner you do it, the sooner you can start the clock on rehabbing it and hopefully get your horse back.

    As far as keeping her quiet, it depends on the diagnosis--you may need a stall, and there are long term tranquilizers designed for horses on stall rest (reserpine). But first I would find out what's wrong.

    Comment


    • #3
      That's what my girl has, a tear below the knee. Very lame, but no heat or swelling. Due to her age we thought arthritis( which she does have) so put her on Adequan- which did help hocks and stifle- but still lame. Ultrasound showed the tendon injury. She does not need stall rest, just time off. She's a very quiet mare and lives at home so I can supervise her. I've shut off areas of her pasture to limit her turnout space, but she pertty much ambles around for a while than takes herself back to her stall for a rest. She's in at night. She has started a schedule of Surpass fro the 10 days prescribed and we'll ultrasound her again in time later in the fall. No point in trying to rush nature, although Shock wave therapy might be an option later on. Good luck to you.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would take her somewhere for an ultrasound immediately. You really have no idea what you are dealing w/without one. In the meantime, be conservative and rest her. Yes, you can have serious tendon/ligament issues w/no heat or swelling. Good luck!
        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
        ---
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

        Comment


        • #5
          My horse had a hind torn suspensory and he never had heat or swelling. (Yes ligament not tendon)
          I would get an ultrasound done so you know what you have.
          Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Vet Appt Made

            We have another vet appt for next Thursday. Let's hope she can just recover in a pasture for the next six months and she'd be happy.
            Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
            Custom Equestrian Items and Bath Products

            Comment


            • #7
              I am rehabbing a superficial flexor tendon injury that presented with no heat, swelling, tenderness to palpation, or lameness. How did we find it?......we were rechecking an old injury just as precaution (which looked fabulous by the way) and found the new black hole. He is still sound, still no swelling, or heat, though is ever so slightly tender to palpate. We walked under saddle for 20-30 minutes the first 6 weeks, and now we are going to turn him out for the next 6-8 months. I probably won't even bother ultrasounding until next April or so.

              Comment


              • #8
                FWIW, cold hosing and liniment have the opposite affect. You cold hose to contract blood vessels and reduce edema and bruising, usually when an injury is acute. You apply liniment to increase circulation, more often for something chronic. Usually you do cold for a while or heat for a while. Sometimes you do both. Just general guidelines.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have a young gelding who tore his suspensory-he tripped while being ridden, jumped up and stumbled again, then came up lame, about 2 out of 5. No swelling or heat, maybe a bit thicker below knee, but you had to really feel for something. The vet was surprised how bad the u/s was, she really didn't think we were dealing with such a severe injury. The owner decided to do bone marrow injections and now, 8 weeks later, he is being ponied 40 minutes a day, and hand grazed a couple times a day as well. The vet would prefer he is not turned out, but he is so quiet, I do put him in a medical paddock with hay and it's basically an extra large stall outside, when I am in the barn (usually ends up spending a few hours outside each day). If I had panels, I would prefer to put him on grass and just move them each day. I definitely would not allow him to play over the fence and if he was banging on the gate or trying to do anything but eat hay and walk about, he would be brought in immediately, why chance further/new injury?

                  As far as treatment goes, he was wrapped and was either cold hosed or wore an ice boot twice a day the 1st 2 weeks. He did receive banamine for 3 days following the bone marrow injections. Since week 2, I have done nothing except pony him and check to make sure there is no swelling. 4 week u/s checkup showed much improvement. We are looking at another 6-8 months before he does much more than pony and medical paddock t/o.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Doh!

                    Originally posted by Gry2Yng View Post
                    FWIW, cold hosing and liniment have the opposite affect. You cold hose to contract blood vessels and reduce edema and bruising, usually when an injury is acute. You apply liniment to increase circulation, more often for something chronic. Usually you do cold for a while or heat for a while. Sometimes you do both. Just general guidelines.
                    You are absolutely correct. I've just been putting liniment on her every few days, and I started feeding her SmartTendon (I'm not sure if it is helping but I figured it won't hurt.)
                    Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
                    Custom Equestrian Items and Bath Products

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      So tonight when I went out to take care of my mare, I found that she had bent her gate into a pretzel and was happily out in the pasture grazing. When she saw me she jumped a maasive drainage ditch and went running and bucking through the pasture. Luckily she nor the other horses out in the pasture hurt themselves on the broken gate. There were lots of sharp metal edges :-(.
                      Luckily I also have an amazing boyfrined who came out an dhelped me take down the broken gate and make her a 12x10 "stall" until I can talk to the vet in the morning.
                      I'm supposed to be taking her to vet again next week for a check up, but I'm going to call tomorrow morning and see if we can get a tranqulizer or something. She really might hurt herself if she keeps breaking through things!

                      I'm going out before work in the morning to make sure she hasn't hurt herself overnight. argh stupid mare! But she is usually so calm and sweet, this just goes to show how important turnout and exercise is!
                      Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
                      Custom Equestrian Items and Bath Products

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Vet's Verdict

                        Vet said just to turn her out and let her be in the pasture if she will be less destructive. I'm praying she doesn't injury herself more...
                        Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
                        Custom Equestrian Items and Bath Products

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LoveGirl83102 View Post
                          Vet said just to turn her out and let her be in the pasture if she will be less destructive. I'm praying she doesn't injury herself more...
                          Was the vet's verdict based upon diagnostics?
                          McDowell Racing Stables

                          Home Away From Home

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                            Was the vet's verdict based upon diagnostics?
                            No I called this morning to see if I could some kind of sedative or tranquilizer to keep her from hurting herself, and the vet said just to turn her out. The vet saw her about 8 weeks ago and I've been updating her via e-mail.
                            Horse is still slighty lame but she has been locked up since July. When she escaped yesterday and was out running and bucking in the pasture she looked great, even jumped over her favorite ditch. But as soon as you ask her to trot on a lounge line she limps every few steps... I have an appointment next week to have her checked out again.

                            Argh I hate this, we don't even have the cause 100% identified, but it's a small arena and there aren't many equine vets. I just don't know this vet very well because we just moved here. The interactions I've had with her have been great, so I just I'll just watch her closely to see if she gets worse...
                            Last edited by LovelyBay; Sep. 24, 2009, 03:25 PM. Reason: Adding text.
                            Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
                            Custom Equestrian Items and Bath Products

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Your vet is an asshat. Please get an ultrasound and stop guessing.
                              McDowell Racing Stables

                              Home Away From Home

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I did a mistake of putting horse with tendon injury to pasture and have been paying dearly ever since. If she were mine, I would keep her in stall until you figure out what is wrong (ultrasound or MRI) and then put out a rehab program for mare.
                                You are not expected to lock the horse up, you have to take her out at least twice a day for hand walking, as tendons need to move and stay lubricated.

                                Please realise that turning out is a last resort for tendon injuries, and normally used when vets have considered that there is nothing to lose. In your case, you do not even know what you are dealing with, so please put her back in a stall until you know what type of injury you are dealing with. Even if she had small tear, bucking and running in pasture would make the injury much worse than what you have originally started with. Also, since you do not give tissue a chance to heal (horse needs to be stall rested for this,) you are facing inflamed tendon sheath, which in some cases could lead to adhesions to surrounding tissues.
                                I am not trying to scare you, but I am dealing with DDFT right now, and it has been extremely hard and rocky road.

                                Good luck!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  You need a lameness vet than can nerve block to determine what part of the leg is causing her pain. Foot, ankle, high suspensory, etc.

                                  It could be a very long ultrasound if you don't know what part of the leg to look.

                                  It it worse tracking one way vs the other?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Get to a real vet. Treatment for soft tissue injuries depends on what kind of injury because tendons and ligaments are quite differently composed and heal differently....

                                    Jennifer
                                    Third Charm Event Team

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                                      Your vet is an asshat. Please get an ultrasound and stop guessing.
                                      Hate to have to say it, but I agree.

                                      Adrenaline does wonderful things for an unsound horses "soundness" when they make a break for it. I don't think her looking sound while she was running like a free mad woman is any indication of how sound she really is.
                                      "Aye God, Woodrow..."

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        No Stalls or I would...

                                        Originally posted by Equus_girl View Post
                                        I did a mistake of putting horse with tendon injury to pasture and have been paying dearly ever since. If she were mine, I would keep her in stall until you figure out what is wrong (ultrasound or MRI) and then put out a rehab program for mare.
                                        You are not expected to lock the horse up, you have to take her out at least twice a day for hand walking, as tendons need to move and stay lubricated.

                                        Please realise that turning out is a last resort for tendon injuries, and normally used when vets have considered that there is nothing to lose. In your case, you do not even know what you are dealing with, so please put her back in a stall until you know what type of injury you are dealing with. Even if she had small tear, bucking and running in pasture would make the injury much worse than what you have originally started with. Also, since you do not give tissue a chance to heal (horse needs to be stall rested for this,) you are facing inflamed tendon sheath, which in some cases could lead to adhesions to surrounding tissues.
                                        I am not trying to scare you, but I am dealing with DDFT right now, and it has been extremely hard and rocky road.

                                        Good luck!
                                        If there were stalls available I totally would put her in one, but I pasture board so all there is a community run-in shed. I had her in a wooden fenced pen, and she chose the weakest link (the gate!) to break out of. She killed her Amazing Graze too...
                                        I called several barns in the area but they are all full because all the college kids came back into town, and no one wants to take on a boarder who doesn't plan on staying long term... Too bad I can't just turn my horse trailer into a stall... JK....
                                        Damn Horses... why can't they just behave and not cause so much trouble?

                                        I'll call the local vet teaching hospital and see how long it would take to get an appointment. Someone told me they were booked over a month out for non emergencies...
                                        Foaling Around www.facebook.com/foalingaround
                                        Custom Equestrian Items and Bath Products

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