Suspected Tendon Injury....Advice Pls

Charlie-Brown

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Hi,

So I came home last night to find my boy lame in front (NF), visible in walk but not hopping lame. I immediately think foot abcess but when I get to him there's a little bit of swelling on the tendon below the knee and slight filling down the behind the DDFT. When I say slight/little bit, I mean I spent 5 mins making sure it wasn't just me being paranoid, it was that minimal! He has quite feathery legs too which makes it a little bit trickier. No heat in foot, or evidence of injury. Chatted to farrier and my friend, both say leave overnight and see how he is today. So left him and checked this morning, less lame but more swelling down the leg :( no history of lameness or injury in the 4 yrs I've owned him so very unusual. Have called vet who are coming Monday but my worry is that he's out at grass with no access to stabling and although he's not hopping and a very sensible, plod round the field kind of chap, I'm nervous he might make it worse. Would you just leave him be or electric fence him in a small section of paddock? Or try and move him to some stabling? Have no transport or know anyone local with stables, so would be a big upheaval trying to find a livery space etc. Just really worried and any advice would be great, thank you, Lauren
 

Booboos

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The standard advice for suspected tendon injuries is box rest for 48 hours, cold hosing and the a scan when the swelling has gone down. Personally I hate box rest and think that some horses get so wound up they injure themselves worse on box rest of the first time out, so I leave mine in the field and accept that tendon injuries will take longer to heal this way. The last tendon injury Freddy has too 12 weeks to heal but scans allow you to see how things are going.
 

be positive

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I would wait until the vet has been before making plans, it may well be an abscess I know of one horse that was diagnosed as having damaged his check ligament by the vet and that proved to be an abscess in the foot with the swelling up his leg due to him resting it rather than due to injury, there will not always be heat in the foot with an abscess.
For now I would leave him where he is if he is sensible to just wander about and probably plan on keeping him in a pen if it does prove to be a tendon injury unless the vet is adamant that he requires stabling, you may need access to electricity so he can be scanned so if there is none that needs to be thought about so you are not wasting visits.
 

mytwofriends

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Please get him checked out as soon as possible. It sounds similar to my boy (although he was very lame), and he too lived out 24/7. He was bitten by an adder and I lost him on Thursday after 2 weeks. It was caught early on too.

Probably an over reaction on my part, but apart from the fact my boy was extremely lame, everything you else you described was exactly the same.
 

PorkChop

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Don't panic yet - however I would be icing and poulticing until he has seen the Vet, and if he is quiet in the field then I would turn him out tbh.

It could just be a knock or a bite but I would use the belt and braces approach until he has seen the Vet/had a scan.
 

mytwofriends

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Don't panic yet - however I would be icing and poulticing until he has seen the Vet, and if he is quiet in the field then I would turn him out tbh.

It could just be a knock or a bite but I would use the belt and braces approach until he has seen the Vet/had a scan.
Agreed. I didn't mean to be a scaremonger, but as I've just been through a horrible experience with my boy, this post was a bit close to home.
 

Charlie-Brown

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Thanks everyone for all the advice. I think realistically all I can do is pen him in etc. Might have a precautionary ring round some liveries and see anyway. Have got access to electricity as field is at my parents' house. Vet said they wouldn't scan for a few more days anyway so will just advise on Monday. We're about a month away from having a stable block put in too :(
 
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Pen him.in a small area so he can't charge about if the notion took him. Vets tend not to scan for 7-10 days to allow swelling to go down.

Does he have a digital pulse? This would be another indicator to an abcess rather than tendon injury.

All the vet will do on Monday is feel down the leg. Feel for localised swelling on the tendon. Then they will lift the leg and palpate the tendon. Start at the top by the knee and gently squeeze with thumb and finger the tendon. Repeat all the way down to the fetlock. If you get a reaction anywhere get to the bottom and Start again. I go 5 times down and would want a reaction 4-5 of those times at the same spot before I would be 80% sure of soft tissue damage.

I see a lot of tendons. It is not uncommon for there to be a wee bit of puffiness, veins up etc at the top just below the knee for an inch or two when the horse has had a hard piece of work.

Cold hosing is pointless. Only the skin gets cold, not the stuff you need to cool down underneath it no matter how long you hose for. Strap ice on. But always make sure there is a layer of something between ice and skin such as a tea towel or thin gamgee.
 

Charlie-Brown

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Thanks again to everyone who's given advice. Charlie's penned in now happily munching his hay and had his leg iced, which has brought the swelling down nicely. I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed it's nothing horrific :(
 

PorkChop

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Brilliant, keep up with icing will Monday - hopefully will turn out to be nothing, you know how horses love to keep us on our toes :)
 

Antw23uk

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Pen him.in a small area so he can't charge about if the notion took him. Vets tend not to scan for 7-10 days to allow swelling to go down.

Does he have a digital pulse? This would be another indicator to an abcess rather than tendon injury.

All the vet will do on Monday is feel down the leg. Feel for localised swelling on the tendon. Then they will lift the leg and palpate the tendon. Start at the top by the knee and gently squeeze with thumb and finger the tendon. Repeat all the way down to the fetlock. If you get a reaction anywhere get to the bottom and Start again. I go 5 times down and would want a reaction 4-5 of those times at the same spot before I would be 80% sure of soft tissue damage.

I see a lot of tendons. It is not uncommon for there to be a wee bit of puffiness, veins up etc at the top just below the knee for an inch or two when the horse has had a hard piece of work.

Cold hosing is pointless. Only the skin gets cold, not the stuff you need to cool down underneath it no matter how long you hose for. Strap ice on. But always make sure there is a layer of something between ice and skin such as a tea towel or thin gamgee.

Cracking advise thanks for sharing. Hope ponio is ok op.
 

Charlie-Brown

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So, update on Charlie today. Not great really :( Leg blown up a bit overnight since he's been in his small pen in paddock. Iced again which brought it down, but he's very tender to the touch on it today. Still weight bearing, walking virtually normally, but you can see watching him that he's trying to rest it a bit when he's eating his hay etc. I was on the cusp of calling the vet out today, but my friend came to look at it and she said to calm down a bit and wait til vet comes tomorrow, he's penned in as if he was on box rest etc so done everything I could've done....
 

JoshuaR97

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My warmblood did his tendon last year and got turned away in the end and came back into work but sadly is slightly off in trot still so is being turned away for another 6 months. Shame is once they've done it you've got to be so careful with what happens next. Even after a year and a bit he still isn't 100%
 

Arniebear

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Another who doesnt have good news im afriad. If its a torn tendon your likely to see bowing of tendon, some are dog lame others arent. My guy wasnt when he did his SDFT but dear god the legs did not look normal so i knew he had done some real damage. Then he tore his tendon sheath a year later and he was hopping lame. It could just be a tweak, My youngster has done this was lame with no heat or swelling which didnt improve with rest so was scanned and found to have no tears or holes to the suspensory but it was slightly inflammed hence the lameness and consequently has tweaked it and is off for the season :(

your doing the right thing, keep it iced and keep him quiet, i do hope you get an answer soon
 

Charlie-Brown

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Hi everyone, thanks for the thoughts! Vet came this afternoon and confirmed what I'd suspected - tendon injury of some description :( Said it was harder to pinpoint the exact area of pain/inflammation through feel, particularly as he's a cobbier sort with a bit of feather. He's back in his pen now, on some pain relief and vet returning to scan on Friday. Trying to sort out some livery so he can box rest properly. Poor lad, I'm gutted :(
 
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