Check ligament help/experiences

PC Steele

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My dressage horse has done his check ligament. It took 3 vet visits and a second opinion but he has a small tear not near the bone which is worse I believe but in the middle. Have been hosing, just bought ice vibe boots. There was lots of swelling but no lameness. Vet who scanned said no turnout just controlled walking for six weeks then re scan. On the weekend though leg looked more swollen and he looked unsound in walk so vet said to box rest for 6 weeks. Vet was in a conference so couldn't talk to me at length (will ring him tomorrow) but I have booked a re scan in 6 weeks. Would you leave it longer before re scan? My horse is 20 yrs old and owes me nothing so want to take all the time in the world to hopefully get him sound enough to enjoy a bit of gentle hacking.
 

be positive

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Not a positive experience unfortunately, my friends mare did hers when she was in her late teens, she box rested with a small pen on the yard in front of the box for a couple of months, not sure on exact time frame, did some in hand walking, started riding and restricted turnout but it went again some time later, probably in part because she could not ride daily to build her up due to work hours and she is a rather lively type who kept rushing about, she is now fully retired, sound and could probably cope with light hacking if required.

Ligaments can take a long while to heal even in a young horse, I think in an older one it will take longer, I would be in no hurry to scan as it will only give a guide to how it is healing and will not make much difference to what you do with him as it is unlikely to be healed enough in 6 weeks to allow turnout, walking in hand is usually helpful for supporting the healing process whereas turnout will set back healing or redamage it if he puts the leg under any stress while it is still healing.
 

PC Steele

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Thanks for your advice. If he can retire sound ish then that's good enough for me!!!! But yes think I will leave a re scan a bit longer
 

milliepops

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Dressage horse, now 19yo - done both front checks in separate accidents. I've *touches wood frantically* had a good result.

First injury happened on the gallops. Horse very lame immediately, scanned after a week of box rest and cold therapy and the ligament was pretty much trashed. She had PRP because she was fully insured so we may as well use the money, and that one was a very severe injury! She had a long period of box rest, then very controlled paddock rest - I put up stable sized pens and linked them together in a maze so she couldn't get any speed up. It was really time consuming and incredibly boring to keep moving them but kept her quiet and happy :)
She did the injury in the February, I was starting turnout by early summer, and hacking by late August building to an hour in walk and 20-30 mins trotting daily. Back in the school starting very basic work for Christmas and in full work by Feb. We scanned every 6 -8 weeks or so, always before upping the exercise levels.

She did the second one in May last year in the field. She was slightly lame, but I knew from previous experience that was what she had done so rested, cold hosed, scanned - the vets struggled to find the hole on the scan as it was very small so much less severe than the previous leg.
No insurance and we both hated the box rest so I went straight to pen rest in the field - stable sized pens again, as the weather was fine she could stay out with her buddies and she was more settled. We scanned every 6 weeks again, I was back on board by September and in the school by about November doing straight lines in walk and trot. She came back to full work in Jan and is going better than ever now, qualified for summers at Medium and started competing AM.

Rest, rest, rest, patience, rehab, rehab, rehab! That's what has worked for us. Slow and steady, and I'd say with an older horse, keep scanning before you up the work because they do take longer to heal than younger horses. In my case the leg looked and felt tight and cold but on the scan it still wasn't good enough to start work when you'd expect to be able to get cracking. I'm extremely careful with her now, but so far, so good.
 

ycbm

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Two friends with a horse each. One returned to win BE80 after 4 months rest and then rehab. One got Medium BD points after a year off and rehab, but this owner did not a walk out in hand as instructed by the vet and caused adhesions to form.

Recovery from check ligaments seem to be quite normal, good luck with yours.
 

kamili

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My little mare did hers, twice. It was only a stretch though but the very same. She never really showed any lameness, but had that dreaded lump. Had a scan, didn't show anything so she was box rested for three months. she had to walk in hand on hard surfaces for 20 minutes twice a day to harden it up then cold hosed for 20 minutes after each session. 6 months and she started hacking in walk on hard surfaces for 30 minutes, then 45, then an hour. Then scanned again after another 3 months and she was given the all clear to come back into work in small increments, walk 15 mins walk each rein, then 2 - 3 mins trot on each rein, with increments in time for the trot every week. After a month of this she was given the ok to canter in small increments.
She's 18 months after the injury and I don't jump her much despite her being a very established jumper with a fantastic record. We did our first dressage test together and pulled in a score of 64.3% recently so I must say I am delighted with her.

All the same I am probably treating her too much like a princess, but I'm worried about re-injury as the vet says thats it for her then, she will need to be retired.
 

Wundahorse

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Our ISH damaged his check ligament recently. Scanned by Vet that confirmed the problem. Has been given Cartophen, with ice vibe boot x 3 daily. Regular walking and the application 2x daily of Compagel. He is on box rest. Luckily has a good brain to deal with this.
Today the injury looks much improved.
The injury was sustained in the field ,probably on a poached paddock.
Time and perseverance seems the key.
Good luck.
 
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