Kyra

Tendon Trouble

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Hey guys! I know I haven't been around in a while, but I've just been really busy!

My 4 year old quarter horse popped a front tendon a few weeks back, and I need some advice on helping it heal. As soon as she did it, i kept her in for 2 weeks, with lots of cold hosing and keeping it wrapped. The lump softened and went down, and she wasn't limping so I turned her back out, putting her in the roundpen for a few days first. I didn't start working her again though. But now the lump is back, and very hard. She's not super lame, but she is a little off. She's not tender to the touch, and there's no heat.

Anyone have any idea what else to do to help it heal? She's in right now with her leg wrapped, but keeping her in very long is just not really an option. After a while she just gets so energetic that she starts pacing like mad and rearing in her stall. That certainly doesn't help it to heal. I would appreciate advice from those of you who have experience with tendon issues. Thank you!

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If this is a tendon issue you should probably call your vet out.

I am dealing with a serious suspensory ligament issue with my sweet mare, and am pursuing some aggressive and expensive treatments. Crucial to recovery is not allowing the horse to overuse the injured tendon/ligament. You may need to create a small area of confinement, cut pellets/grain to feed only hay and possibly find her a companion to keep near her for company and to keep her calm.

What concerns me is the fact that the injured area has changed consistency. When it first appeared it softened and reduced. Now it is back and hard - I would be concerned about scar tissue. When scar tissue forms in/on a ligament/tendon, it is basically a solid repair with little/no elasticity of the original structure. I urge you to give your vet a call.

Edited by Heidi n Q

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I did have the vet out when she first injured herself. He wasn't very concerned, said it was minor, she should just have restricted activity for a few weeks, and not be back to work for around a month. I simply don't have the money to to call him again. I just bought a car when mine died, and things are tight at the moment.

She is currently in at night and out in a small paddock during the day with one quiet old gelding. I guess I'll continue with that for now!

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I'd put her on a low protein hay (no grain, no alfalfa, where I live I'd go buy her some prairie grass hay)... and keep her confined for WAY longer than it seems necessary. Once she seems totally fine, keep her confined for at LEAST another full week, followed by a couple of weeks of very limited ability to exercise. Hand walking is a PITA, but your best bet. Even if she acts like an idiot due to too much energy, you at least have some control over how exuberant she gets.

I recommend erroring on the side of being overcautious with tendon injury repair. They take longer than it seems.

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"[tendon injury recoveries]... take longer than it seems."

From reading up about tendon injuries with Reina, this is due to the lower leg consisting of bone, tendon, skin and a blood supply which is mainly for the foot and skin. Since tendons are self-contained and do not have an arterial system, like the more fleshy areas of the body, they do take considerably longer to heal. The articles I read sometimes recommend up to 6mo, so your gal will need to be confined and watched for months.

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So, the vet did diagnose a tendon injury, and not a splint?

The reason I ask, is because of her age, the lump becoming hard, and her relative degree of lameness, and the vet not being overly concerned.

Yes, tendon injuries can scar, but far as I know, a hard lump , as in a splint, is not that common, or I would suspect her lameness being worse.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splints

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/splints-and-splint-bone-fractures-horses/

Not saying that is what your horse has, esp not seeing her, but suspicious by what you posted

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