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Horse Recovering from Ligament Injuries ......HELP!

During the 2013 show season my miniature driving stallion started to have intermittent lameness issues. We took him to a lameness specialist in town who thought he may just have thin soles and suggested we put an iodine mixture on to strengthen them. His issue was not improving and I ended up having to scratch him from our World Show because it suddenly became much worse when we arrived in Texas. Upon our return home I had our normal vet out to look at him. She blocked him and felt that it was most likely a soft tissue injurt.

On 11/4/13 our stallion had his first ultrasound done by a different specialist. The vet diagnosed that on his front left he had “a focal tear/lesion of the lateral aspect of the left fore straight distal sesamoidian ligament in the mid pastern region and mild desmitis of the lest fore lateral suspensory orgin. She suspected mild to moderate desmitis of the right fore lateral collateral ligament of the coffin join based on asymmetrical appearance compared to the left fore at the same level.” He was then put on 6 months of stall rest and was able to go out in a stall sized outdoor turnout just to get some fresh air.

On 5/13/14 she came back out to re-ultrasound him. She found evidence of healing on all ligaments and recommended he start walking. He was hand walked or hotwalked for 5 minutes initially and increased 5 minutes per week until he was able to walk about 1 hour. He was also allowed to return to a slightly larger turnout area.

On 7/11/14 he had a follow up ultrasound. She saw continued healing and on some of the images she commented that if she wouldn’t have known the history of this horse she wouldn’t have known he had an injury based on the images. She recommended that the first week add a total of 5 minutes of trotting divided into intervals with walking inbetween. We give him a 10-15 minute walking warmup (as per her instructions). On the second week (which we are currently on) she wanted us to up him to 10 minutes of daily trotting in intervals. She suggested he work minimum of 4x a week and maximum of 6x.

Here’s where my question comes in. Today during his trotting we noticed that he was “stiff”. He was not pulling up lame but you could see intermittent discomfort, mainly around the curves at the end of the arena inbetween the straight aways. I have placed a call into both of our DVM’s but I am awaiting a return call. Is this normal to see when rehabbing ligament injuries? I would think like an athlete the horses would become sore returning back to work. We have never dealt with any sort of issue like this and I don’t know many people who have that can tell me stories of their experiences. So any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated. :slight_smile:

I am dealing with something very similar. My vet diagnosed a thickening of the medial branch of the suspensory in my geldings RH and swelling in the fetlock joint capsule. He was stall rested/iced/grazed for 3 months and then we were cleared to tack walk (calmer under saddle than handwalking) up to 1 hr and then I was told to trot up tp 5 mins and see how he did. My guy is 23 and obviously not fit anymore because of the extended stall rest. He feels stiff also. He is on Legend 1 x per week, previcox daily and I ice after every ride. He doesn’t feel lame just weak and a bit lazy? Is this normal…