Severed extensor tendon- experiences please!

Joined
12 November 2013
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Sussex
Hi everyone, hoping I may be able to pick some brains (I apologise in advance for the lengthy post!).

In November my lovely pony stupidly stuck his front left leg through a fence, impaling himself in the process resulting in a 2 inch long hole down through the side of the knee. After extensive boxrest, painkillers and antibiotics, he went into the vets in January for a full lameness work up and scans which showed that he had severed his extensor tendon- the scan shows nothing but a big black hole where the tendon should be.
I was told he would learn to cope with it but would probably never be sound in anything other than walk and would be almost certainly in pain if he did so... so I retired him immediately and he’s been a field ornament ever since.
Fast forward to now; he is COMPLETELY sound in all 3 paces (though perhaps looks a little more awkward than he used to), bucks, farts, rears and gallops around the field like an absolute lunatic and not once has he been lame, tripped or showed any sort of instability on that leg. Farrier came last week and said that he has normal flexion in that leg again (after not even being able to pick that foot up off the ground back at the end of January!).
I was just wondering if anybody has had a similar experience? I truly thought he was a right off and was preparing myself to have him put to sleep the second he became uncomfortable, however that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen?! The vets told me that he would be classified as loss of use and I’m certainly not second guessing their diagnosis, but with the way he has improved, I have been considering bringing him back into light ridden work (with the idea that it may just settle him in the field and he will be LESS likely to break on me!!).... am I completely backwards for thinking about doing this?! Is it worth me trying?! Now would be a good time to mention that he is not on any supplements/painkillers etc. He’s a 14.1hh newforest x Welsh d gelding and I am only 5ft tall and a measly 7 stone.

Am really stuck between a rock and a hard place and would appreciate any experiences, good or bad!! Picture of the little orange heartbreaker attached!!
Thanks in advance.
 

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EKW

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28 February 2011
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We had a 3yo filly at work do this - same thing got her leg stuck in a fence and severed the tendon. This was diagnosed straight away and she had a big stookie on and an extended lump of glue stuck on the front of her shoe so she wouldn't roll over the toe.

A year on she raced for the first time. She ran a few times (I can't remember how many but she was epically USELESS as a racehorse!) she is now in her late teens and still being ridden causing carnage where ever she goes. This horse was a hurdler so jumped quite a lot.

Take it easy with your horse, bring him back into work slowly and carefully and take each day as it comes. If something doesn't feel right stop, go back a step and start it again.
 

Pinkvboots

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If his sound crack on take it really slowly and just take it easy.

One of my horses did quite a job on his suspensory I just took my time and walked for weeks, avoided uneven ground and was just very aware of it and his fine 4 years on.
 

ycbm

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Do you mean the one down the front of the cannon bone? I know of a horse who severed a hind one and it never gave them a problem after the dteadful wound healed. The vet at the time said it wasn't a tendon that was very important and the prognosis was good.
 
Joined
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He severed his over the knee- was told by surgeons that no amount of surgery or boxrest would ever fix it but that he would learn to cope in walk.
Does anybody have any ideas on rehab plans for a horse with this injury? Only planning to hack him for the moment but unsure on time scales!! He’s been turned out since January.
 

DabDab

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My big horse damaged his extensor tendon above his knee when he was two (before I owned him). 9 months later when I bought him he was sound, and has stayed that way ever since. He's 10 now. If you take a video of him trotting and slow it right down you can see his movement is slightly different in that leg, but it certainly causes him no issues.
 

EKW

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I think we did it the same way we would any tendon injury - 6 weeks walking, 4 weeks trotting, 4 weeks steady cantering before working and jumping.

The mare above cut hers above the knee too.

 
Joined
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Location
Sussex
I think we did it the same way we would any tendon injury - 6 weeks walking, 4 weeks trotting, 4 weeks steady cantering before working and jumping.

The mare above cut hers above the knee too.

Thankyou! I’ve had no issues previously with him in the 7 years I’ve owned him so am a bit clueless when it comes to tendons! Original injury was in November, he’s been out of work totally since the beginning of January. When would you suggest getting back on?
 

EKW

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If he has been turned out since january and is sound there's no reason not to hop on now and start slowly.
 
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