Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Ultrasound Scan

It has been around 10 days since Trooper injured his leg and we had the vet out to do an ultrasound scan.

He was having 2 bute a day for 5 days then he could go down onto 1 to see what he was like. When I reduced it to 1 he was much more lame again and wouldn't rest his good leg (which he had been doing on 2 bute). This will put more pressure on his good leg as he is standing on it all the time.

The swelling has gone down a very tiny bit. To help this he has been having bandages and Compagel on it along with hosing it for 20 minutes twice a day.

The vet originally said he could go out for an hour a day which he was doing in the morning. By the afternoon he was quite worked up in his stable and had to be taken for a walk or some grass. I decided to leave him out for 3 hours a day and this seemed to work well as he was calm in the stable and resting the rest of the time but had a small amount of time in the field.

We had the ultrasound scan done in Trooper's stable as they had a portable scanner. He was sedated as they had to clip the hair of his leg and he doesn't like clippers. This also made it easier to do the scan. The vet first looked at his windgalls and said that there was no problems with his tendons in this area causing the windgalls. This is what we were expecting as he has had them for a long time. She then looked further down the leg under his pastern and found a small tare in the deep digital flexor tendon.

(Image from

He was given a cartrophen injection and I think he will be given another one next time she comes out. This is a product which is often used in animals with arthritis which has a number of effects on the immune system and tissue cells.

The vet also suggested we do a PRP (platelet-rich-plasma) injection, I think this will be done 3 weeks after the injury but I am not sure. This can also be done in his stable and all of it can be done in one visit. She said she will bring a veterinary nurse and the stable will have to be cleaned out. A blood sample will be taken from Trooper then his platelets will be drawn off. This is then injected into the tendon sheath area. This is a relatively new treatments. It is understandable how it can work as the platelets are what helps it to heal and these will be injected in a concentrated form from the horse it has come from. I am not sure how they will draw off the plasma at the farm as I would have thought they would need a centrifuge machine so that will be interesting.

Once the inflammation has gone down a bit he may also have some physiotherapy.

He is allowed to be turned out as usual during the day which is good. He usually goes out around 8.30 am, and wants to come back in by 2.30 pm. As he is 22 years old it is important he keeps moving as he might get stiff which could cause other problems. We have got to carry on hosing it twice a day for 20 minutes as it is still swollen and carry on with the bandages and compagel.

I'm going back to university on Saturday so my mum will be looking after him and I wont be around to see all this happening but my mum will keep me up to date!

Love Laura


Grey Horse Matters said...

Sounds like he's getting the best of care. The PRP should work well from all I've read. I didn't do it with Dusty because the research I did said it works best within the first weeks of the injury and by the time she was diagnosed with her suspensory injury it was really too late for it to work effectively. (In my opinion, not the vets) Then again it's pretty expensive so they are all for it in this economy. Good luck with Trooper.

Hollie Truesdale said...

I've never seen an ultrasound at work with animals before, especially horses. While I love them, I've only ever had cats and as far as I know, they don't do ultrasounds that often. That's so sad that Trooper had been dealing with this leg problem for a while. I hope the injections helped.

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