Friday, 16 September 2011

Tendon Injury?

We have had Trooper since he was 9 and he is now 22 and he has never been lame! However, on Saturday he was lame on his right hind foot.

 He was visibly lame in walk and has some swelling underneath the back of his pastern and round to the inside. We hosed it for 20 minutes twice a day and left him in the stable. We also gave him 2 bute on Sunday and 1 on Monday. Before the bute he was resting the bad leg nearly all the time and when he went to stand on it would only do so for a few seconds before stepping back onto his good leg.

On the photo below you can see him resting his injured leg. His windgalls can be seen at the back of his leg. On  his good leg (the black one) he has three little lumps which can be seen, the top one is his windgall, the bottom two are swelling that has started to happen due to him standing on this leg all the time which is why he is now wearing bandages.

The swelling from the injury is mainly around his pastern. It was hard to get a good photo of this as a lot of it is right underneath so is only felt.

By Tuesday he wasn't looking any better so we decided to get the vet out. The vet had a feel and said it was the area that we thought that was causing the problem and she suspected it might be a tendon injury. Trooper has had wingalls since we bought him and they have never been a problem although they are quite large. She said that in horses with wingalls they can be fine for a long time but then suddenly a slight injury can cause tendon problems as they have had all that fluid on their tendons for a long time. She explained all the anatomy of his tendons in his back leg (which I could vaguely remember from first year anatomy, but have a very bad memory!), also trying to remember everything the vet says is hard. I think she said they have the deep digital flexor tendon that goes right down the back of their leg. The suspensory ligament splits in two and the deep digital flexor tendon comes in between them and she thinks the injury is to something in this area.

Image of the suspensory ligament branching (image from

 It was too early to do a scan so she gave me some bute and he is on 2 a day for 5 days (ends Saturday) and then after that he will hopefully go onto 1 a day. He wasn't particularly keen on the bute but he hasn't been having Winergy Ventilate in his feed as a bit of an experiment and when I started putting this in it again he ate all the bute fine! The bute he is having is called Pro-Dynam can be seen below, he was given this one because it was the same as the ones we borrowed and he had eaten them ok.

He is allowed in the field for an hour a day. He is good in the field and doesn't mess about so this will be fine. She also gave me some "Compagel" which helps to reduce swelling which I have to put underneath on the back of his pastern. An image of the tube and what it says on the back can be seen below. The gel is like a clear green slime. It says it is for the treatment of local inflammatory swelling including tendonitis and promotes the absorption of swelling.

He is having a scan done on Tuesday so hopefully we will be able to see what it is and how it should heal. It would be nice if he could go out in the field a bit longer because he doesn't like being in all the time and it's going to be even harder to keep his weight down if he is in all the time and not exercising.

This morning I think the swelling might have gone down very slightly which is good.

If anyone has an advice on tendon injuries then let me know!

Love Laura


Anonymous said...

Tendon and/or ligament injuries heal very slowly - the blood supply is poor. My mare Maisie had deep digital flexor tendon and suspensory injuries in one hind leg back in 2002, and finally, after almost a year of rest and rehab, was sound again, but then in 2010 reinjured the same leg. She's pasture sound, but cannot stay sound when ridden - she's got some bad conformation that puts extra stress on those structures. She's now living on a nice retirement farm. Good luck with the healing process - it takes a lot of patience.

TheHorseTalker said...

Thank you! I will be happier when he can go out in the field for a good few hours! He is 22 now so wont be doing that much anyway but will have to wait and see what the scan says on Tuesday :-(

Ruffles said...

Poor Trooper:( Hope he feels better soon. i have had two horses with tendon injuries and i know it can be very frustrating. The best thing to do is minimize their movement so they don't put extra strain on his leg. Try making some toys or something to keep him occupied.

Alica John said...

I agree that it's important to think carefully about what the underlying reason is for a website, the dogs example fits the bill perfectly :)
work injury compensation

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