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Anyone have any good outcomes for a fractured shoulder?

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  • Anyone have any good outcomes for a fractured shoulder?

    A horse at my barn most likely fractured her shoulder. Vet says he is 99% sure it is a fracture, but no vets within 4 hrs have an Xray machine that can be used for that location. Vet gave her IV bute and left bute for 1 week. She's on 3 grams per day for 2 days then 2 per day for 5 days. Said on the rare chance it is soft tissue injury it may start to get better. The owner is out of town and wants to give the horse a week to see if she improves.
    Vet said that even w/surgery outcome is usually not good.

    Just curious if anyone has ever had a good outcome with a broken shoulder.

    Horse is not weightbearing on the rt front. Shoulder is hugely swollen and hot. Apparently she was running around in the pasture and ran full speed into pipe rail fencing.

  • #2
    Well, I can't say that what I know had a good outcome. My friend had a gelding that ran into a railroad tie post on the farm, not sure if the shoulder was fractured or not, but the injury itself was horrific, and the gelding ended up with sweeney because of it. 5 years later, he was kicked by another horse in the same shoulder, and it was shattered into 5 pieces and he had to be put down.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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    • #3
      My horse fractured her neck in a fall, tiny, tiny fracture, but vets said that it will take 5 months to see her outcome. 1 week will not be able to give you any answers. actually, judging from my own knee fracture, the first 3 weeks are HELL!

      Jingling for your horse.

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      • #4
        yeah!

        I know three horses that fractured shoulders. Two had surgery, one simple, one not. All three did well after. One continued eventing for years through training. He retired for other problems. One without surgery went on to be a show hunter. They treated him by keeping him tied so he couldn't lay down. He did anyway, though. Other horse was retired already and is still going good. She ran into gate. Other two were kicked. They all took months!

        Comment


        • #5
          I was working for a vet in AZ. Man brought in a three year old appendix QH beauty with a fractured shoulder blade. The top had snapped cleanly off. Dr. Behney had his own surgical squeeze-chute-rotating-to-flat-lay-down-surgical-table that he had designed. He walked her into the chute and closed it. Tightened up all of the web belly straps. Knocked her out. Rotated the table into the horizontal position. They went to work on her that afternoon and although it took three men to pull the blade back into position, they did mange to do it and then attached a plate using screws. She was back on her feet by that night and back on the race track within, I believe, three months. Never had a problem.

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          • #6
            I don't know the extent of the horse's fracture, but an olympian I worked for, his 2008 horse had a fractured shoulder when it was younger and made a full recovery to jump in the Olympics.
            Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
            Breeding Horses Today, for the Equestrian Sport of Tomorrow.
            Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.

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            • #7
              One of my geldings ran into a steel hay feeder in 2002. Did a fracture to the head of the humerus. No weight bearing on the right front for 3 months. No bute, vet felt he needed to feel the pain so he would not use it. He was kept in a 20 x 30 pen, as he learned to run on 3 legs. February 2003 I had to teach him put weight on that leg again, and by June 2003 he was back to work. He has a dent in that shoulder,and white hair in that spot.

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              • #8
                We had a 17 year old broodmare show up one afternoon with a badly broken shoulder, non weight bearing.
                The vet came, examined her, said it was not reparable and euthanized her.

                A colt I was starting hit a tree head on with his shoulder, his owner's son was a vet, got the proper x ray machine and said it could not be fixed and euthanized him.

                We had a world champion cutting mare that was in a trailer wreck and broke her shoulder, was a clean break and with confinement, was back weight bearing in a few months and, other than some sweeny on that shoulder, muscle athrophy, she went back to cutting competitively.

                I would say that the prognosis depends on what kind of fracture you have there.

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                • #9
                  Our retired boarder horse was running in pasture and suddenly fractured his shoulder. I actually saw it happen --- he did not fall, but looked like he took a bad step in a dip in the footing. We were unable to radiograph it in the field, and he was non-weight bearing. There was a ton of swelling. Owner opted to put him down right there as horse was in tremendous pain.

                  I think it all depends on the damage and the horse's overall suitability to extended stall rest. When my horse fractured his pelvis and a radiograph was not possible, I had an ultrasound specialist vet come to my farm. It was very helpful in imaging the damage and forming a prognosis.

                  Hugs to you horse. A very tough injury.

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                  • #10
                    I love this BB! I could Google this question but would be better served asking my fellow COTHers. What is a sweeny?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Had a gelding that was kicked and fractured.

                      He was in a box stall for something like 6 months. Was not allowed out to walk. Then another 6 months or so still out of work, but more room. He was never the same, although he did improve enough to be ridden.

                      Would not do it again. At least not with a horse that was intolerant of being in a stall. It was no fun for anyone, including the horse.

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                      • #12
                        I only ever have known of two, but both returned to work. One was operated on and returned to eventing prelim I think. The other was at a barn I rode at briefly, he was successfully showing at 3'3" in the hunters.
                        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Thanks for the stories and good thoughts. She's not my horse, although I was the one to make the call to get a vet, and hold for the vet. She's about an 11 yr old Paint mare that is 1/2 TB. About 16.3 hh. Very sweet. Her owners don't want to send her 4-5 hrs away for diagnostics. She was for sale as they bought their daughter a new show horse. Not insured.

                          Personally, I think the vet was trying to tell them to give it a week, because he knows they are out of town, and may want some time to come to grips with the situation. I don't think the owners will spend the money on diagnostics that far away and surgery without a guarentee of her being returned to rideable condition.

                          I wanted to hear good outcomes just so they might know that until they get good xrays/ultrasound they won't know if the horse has a future. But, it's not my horse or my call.
                          Thanks again.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by foundationmare View Post
                            I love this BB! I could Google this question but would be better served asking my fellow COTHers. What is a sweeny?
                            Sweeney is the muscle atrophy in the shoulder area that results from nerve damage caused by an injury in that area. Depending on the severity of the damage, a horse can still perform okay after healing or have limited mobility/stability due to the loss of muscle.
                            There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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                            • #15
                              The one horse that I know that had a fractured shoulder did not heal sound. She was not euthanized in the hope of keeping her for a brood mare. She has limited range of motion on that leg, muscle atrophy in the shoulder and a club foot.

                              On another note, is that dosage of bute enough to keep this poor horse relatively comfortable for a week? I hate to think of her suffering for a week to give people time to think about what to do.
                              "The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp

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                              • #16
                                On another note, is that dosage of bute enough to keep this poor horse relatively comfortable for a week? I hate to think of her suffering for a week to give people time to think about what to do.

                                Yeah, I thought that was kind of tacky.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Vet prescribed the dosage.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    This may be a dumb question, but is anyone doing cold therapy on the swollen hot area to try to reduce the swelling?

                                    I only ask because I have a mare that pulled a hamstring in the winter (years ago), and I would do ice packs (actually zip lock bags full of snow) daily for the first week, then alternated hot/cold therapy for several weeks afterwards, which seemed to help.
                                    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      The first horse I ever owned had a spiral fracture in his shoulder. My mom bought him while he still had a cast on! I was 12 years old and rehabbed him and wound up fox hunting him and jumping 3 foot!!! He was an AMAZING horse!!!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I know of a racehorse who fractured his humerus and went back to racing when it healed. He ended up with a clubby foot, but I can't remember if it was on the fractured side or the sound side.

                                        His bigger problem was anhydrosis. He was a cool horse, and I was sorry when he got claimed away from the owner who used the lay-up facility where I worked.
                                        Last edited by matryoshka; Jan. 3, 2010, 06:06 PM.
                                        "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."

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