ddft injury

lirago

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I posted a while back about my boy who had a small strange swelling on the back of his leg just below his knee, he wasnt lame and hasnt been.
Had the vet out he said strain to the ddft field rest for 1-2 months, cold hosing and a course of bute then re- assess.
This we have done and he is still sound so its been hard to judge if there is any real improvement. whats bothering me as I have never had a horse that has had a tendon injury is what it should look like now? There is still a slight swelling but it is firm and cool is there any one who has experience with this type of injury who could put my mind at rest whether what I am seeing is the norm or not sorry it a bit long winded hope it makes sense. He is being re assessed by the vet next week
 
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Really hope it isn't deep digital flexor tendon strain as it is a serious problem and rest is the answer. I am surprised that your vet did not scan the tendon to see if there was any obvious weakening or a 'hole' that would show up on a scan. As he's not actually lame don't get too upset. Is he still sound if you turn him in a small circle - try both directions and see if he is any worse. The only tendon injuries I have had are check ligament due to my then idiot of a horse trying to escape and jumping the wheel barrow after untieing himself and that was a hot lump of swelling which was fine after six weeks but I brought him back to work carefully and did 3 weeks walking. The other one was a ddft which showed like a bow down the back of the leg and was hot as hell. This one was more tricky and involved bute, hosing, box rest - 6 weeks and time off - a year in total. This is the more normal appearance of a ddft strain I beleive, so if its just a lump, keep your fingers and toes crossed and ask your vet more questions and if insured, they will have to pay for a scan. Hope it turns out to be nothing of any consequence and this has helped settle your mind a little!
 

RachelB

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DDFTs tend to need 9-18 months off work. I too am very surprised your vet did not scan the injury - has he diagnosed simply on clinical signs?
My horse's tear was in her foot so not able to scan, but if it is in an accessible place then ultrasound is SO very valuable for monitoring progress during the recuperation and rehab for these injuries. If you cannot scan then you will likely have to go through the same process I have, which was 18 months of rest (five months in stable, 13 months in field) followed by a lengthy rehab process... a bit suck-it-and-see! I have to step up my mare's workload very slowly, keep her at the same level of a long while to make sure it isn't going to make her lame again, then step it up again slowly. If I could afford another MRI I would LOVE to see how much has healed... and I'd give anything to be able to have it ultrasound scanned.
If the area could be scanned then I'd be rather pointedly shoving my vet in that direction TBH! But I'm no vet - just someone who has had a nasty experience of a bad tendon injury!
 

jenh166

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Hmm it is quite unusual to injure ddft so high up, normally they are damaged well below the fetlock. Also, they are usually fairly lame with ddft problems. A tweaked suspensory ligament may fit more with the clinical signs you have said. But, as mentioned above there's no way you can tell unless you ultrasound scan it.
 

squiff

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Sounds more like a check ligament injury - exactly what my mare did. Noticed a swelling below the knee at the back. Never went lame, as many that have this issue don't, just need to be careful now. Ask your vet when they come out if they think it may be this. Hope you're horse is ok.
 
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