Suspensory ligament damage, also in Vet and SY

Madasmaz

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Hi...somewhat worried about this.

My pony has suffered minor damage to her near hind suspensory ligament. It first presented as ping-pong ball sized windgalls two weeks ago. These have now gone with use of splintex gold and stable boots at night, but no box rest. I spotted some warmth (only slight) on Wednesday eve, so asked my instructor to take a look yesterday luchtime, when she schools my pony. As the joint look a little enlarged as well in comparison to the other we both agreed it was time to call the vet. She has only been doing light exercise, walking round fields, and not anything too demanding in the school...more yoga exercises. Vet diagnosed low grade lameness and suspensory damage showing on the scan as some mottling of the ligament. We are on a week of box rest with bute, then small paddock turnout for a week before he returns to give booster jabs and rescan. I am going to turn her out with sportabac boots on, and she is in veredus stable boots 24x7 for the next week. Is there anything ese I should be doing??? I have wound myself up looking on the www, with hind suspensory damage not having a terribly good out look. Would magnetic boots help? She has been wearing SMB Elite boots since the windgalls flared up whilst being ridden as well. Worried, as she is only 8, and I know she could have a foal, but I couldn't afford to keep them both, I have had her since 1 and the thought of loosing her ....well...not got to that yet so won't contemplate it. Cheers for any advice, and only advice please....
 

ladyt25

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Personally (and I have no experience of ligament damage) it sounds like the damage is not too severe as vet only said 'mottling' and I would be inclined to think that given plenty of rest it will more than likely come right as the ligament doesn't sound like it has torn, just strained.

I would continue as you are doing, if the horse is sensible then I think the small paddock turnput will do her a load of good as I believe gentle walking helps to heal these things as improves the blood flow to the area. By all means use magnetic boots if you wish as I don't think they will harm as magnetic therapy just helps to stimulate blood flow and tissue healing which is what you want really. I woudl certainly not be thinking the worse, there are countless worse injuries horses get ad yours has age on her side. Don't worry yourself reading 'scare stories' just go by your vet's advice.

Also, from what you've said the horse doesn't even seem to be lame (although I know is more difficult to tell with hind legs) but that would be a good sign surely?
 

dressagespain

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My dressage horse is now off for 6 MONTHS on box rest for the same injury.

Heres what you can do to help it to heal quicker, normally these injuries can heal quite well, although there could be a weakness there.

1. Magnetic boots/wraps - hugely important and help a great deal.
2. Arnica cream to bring out the bruising.
3. I would advise to keep on box rest for longer with walking in hand. Then build up to walking some more. If you put the pony out and it can gallop around, it will damage the liagment more, leaving more time for it to heal.
4. A high quality glucosamin/condrohtin supplement (give a really large dose). I use collagen supplement but its not actually available on the market yet. The reason being is that tendons / liagments are made up almost entirely of collagen and you therefore need to feed it to boost the bodies ability to make collagen to repair the liagment.

JUST PLEASE PLEASE, do not turn her out too quickly, as a guide for you, my horse has 15% damage and is on 6 months rest/recup programme before he is back up to full work. I just lost a horse cos of navicular so I know where you are coming from.
 

PippiPony

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I agree, Lot's of box rest is the best thing & not turning out to early, I know it is hard, but snack ball toys & likkit's really help them. I'd use magnetic wraps if you have them - they can't do any harm. Good luck
 

auntyfred

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Mine had suspensory damage to the off hind last year. Was put on box rest for 3 months. When I started to work again I was very careful and built up very slowly. Has been sound for almost a year now and does everything that was done before.
 

dianchi

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Best thing to do is rest her, time is the best healer in these cases.
Would give her a month if not more in to not over stress it, slow hand walking after that and build up slowly.
Best to take the time now rather than have a seriously broken pony in years time.
 

conniegirl

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My lad has just done a check ligament on the front leg, weve got total box rest for 6 weeks then a very strict exercise regime to build up the strength of the leg, it doesnt look like he will be going out in the field for the next 3 months or so. Once he is out in the field and weve had it rescanned then he will be turned away untill april when i will bring him back into work slowly and see what weve ended up with!

Whilst he is on box rest weve been told to cold hose it 3 times a day and suppport bandage it
 

dressagespain

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Conniegirl, interestng you have been told to cold hose. Normally after the heat and pulse are gone, you better to keep it warm??? I have had a lot of 2nd opinions from different vets and they all say the same.

Interesting how all these opinions differ.
 

SDH

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Follow your vets advice to letter and have as much box-rest (but with in-hand walks & grazing) as your horse can cope with.
My horse is now loss-of-use due to a front suspensory ligament injury a year ago but another horse on my yard who did very similar injury 6months ago is now fine & back doing dressage
 

dressagespain

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Well whilst I agree that you should follow your vets advice, I think a 2nd opinion is always an option.

Just be careful and remember that even though a ligament can mend, it mends with scar tissue, so you will need to give on going care.
 

Rana

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Hi Maria

Really sorry to hear T has injured herself.

I do know of a horse who tore his hind suspensory ligament pretty badly. He recovered to full work - he was a medium dressage horse - with no problems. I can't remember the treatment plan, as he was only on the same yard as me, but I do know he made a full recovery.

I'm sure your girl will be the same
smile.gif


Vibes to her (and you!)
K x
 

glenruby

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If it is mildly lame with little u/s changes then trimming, shoeing with eggbar shoes 2-4weeks box rest and a controlled progressive exercise program over the next 6-8weeks should be sufficient.
If there is any heat in the limbs you should cold hose or ice pack the legs. If swelling continues "sweating" the limb should reduce this. Supportive bandages on all limbs can be of benefit.
In the case of a 15% injury (which is actually reasonably substantial given that injuries to greater than 25% of the ligament carry a guarded to poor prognosis) a period of 6-9months off work is normal.
 

dieseldog

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OP

My horse is an expert on this - one more leg to go and she'll have the full set
tongue.gif


It turned out when I bought her that she had both back legs with it, but PSD, so a lot higher up than yours. As she had had it years the only option was surgery which worked. She was turned out as normal before the operation as it wouldn't make any difference. After the op she had 6 weeks box rest and then allowed to go out in a tiny paddock, she isn't the sort of horse to run around. After 5 months perfectly sound til she came in from the field with her front leg lame.

She has now done the front suspensory and also managed to rip a bit of her sesamoid off. Her suspensory was described as honeycombed. I was told to turn her out for 6 months and see what happens. After 2 weeks you could only just see it, 3 months I think you would have to know that it is there and you'll only see it on a circle. It is now 5 months since she done it and I haven't trotted her up to see what she looks like for 2 months so she might be sound but I'm not going to look until September.

I would listen to your vet, he's seen the horse and the scans.
 

Madasmaz

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Thank-you all, the Danilon seems to be working and although I am now up at 5:30am to muck out and make sure she eats her breakfast, things seem to be ok. The Veredus stable boots are really proving their worth as they are not over heating her legs, even if she does insist that it is impossible to walk forwards in them on occasion (she gets two 1 hour breaks). I had a mega buy up for toys and things...likits are good, very good, in fact disappeared far too quickly and she got a little hyper, so trading in for swede (not the human type) this evening. Magnetik boots are on order (yep veredus cos they are just so easy to put on), and the snacka ball was pulled out of storage in conjunction with alot of "forgot I had that", and "that's where it went", plus the inevitable spiders and cobwebs. It is lower suspensory damage and I can know see where the ligament attaches to the bone on both hind fetlocks, and they are looking the same size. Her mini turnout now is much dependant on teh eweather as the YO doesn't like them going in very small plots when its been as wet as it has...understandable, but I do think T will be so overjoyed to see grass again that she may just get down and hug the ground, lol. I'm just thankful its happened at this time of year, I'm not too worried about not being able to ride through the winter. Once again thank-you all...ooo nearly forgot...have also added MSM to her diet...
 
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