Lost Topline - assuming from fall and subsequent injury :(

First of all, the vet has seen the horse twice since the injury occurred. I’m just posting here to see if there are any other suggestions or ideas that we maybe haven’t thought of yet (my vet and myself I mean).

My already hard keeping thoroughbred mare had a fall while out galloping around in the paddock. Fall happened May 20th to be exact. I actually witnessed it. She was very sore for a couple weeks after the fall. Within a week of the fall, I noticed her sacrum area (hunters bump?) starting to stick out. And within another week (so two weeks after the fall) her lower spine started to stick out as well. Basically her topline has just vanished. Spine sticking out. Back end all bony. However (and we have an actual weigh scale) she has not lost any actual weight. It sure does look like it though :frowning:

At this point in time, just over 5 weeks now since the original injury, she travels fairly sound. She is not right, and I would dare not start riding her or anything, but going around on her own, she is moving pretty good actually. The vet did check to see if it felt like anything was fractured, and from what she can tell it is not that.

Another very important part to mention - this horse has been checked safe in foal (due next April). And everything still looks good and healthy there. However that of course means we can’t just go giving her drugs or injections or anything like that :wink:

So - here’s my question. What can I do to try and get this topline back now as she starts to feel better? The vet feels all the atrophy is because of the trauma - the horse does not show any kind of neurological issues. The atrophy is worse on the right side than on the left through her hips and pelvis. (She went down landing on her right side). The mare is on Tribute Kalm Ultra and Tribute Essential K (and at the maximum amount I can get her to eat!) We also have her on a pure Vitamin E supplement, MSM, probiotics, and loose salt. And all the hay she can eat (24/7). Teeth were floated and horse was dewormed in the spring - all before she was bred.

The vet said I can start to lightly exercise her. However I am not a lightweight so as far as I am concerned, riding her right now is out of the question (I hate that her spine is sticking out :frowning: ) We have started with just some light free lunging. The plan going forward is chiropractic, but the vet says not yet - as she is still quite painful when palpated up through her back end and lower spine area.

Anything to suggest? Has anyone used a treadmill with an incline before? I might have access to getting one - would that be beneficial? Apparently we also can’t do acupuncture either because of her being in foal.

I wouldn’t be trying treadmills, or woo-woo “treatments” either. Nature heals this stuff; we just have to get out of their way and give it time. The best thing you could POSSIBLY do for her would be 24/7 turnout with other mares or a non-randy gelding on a pasture with a big, rolling hill–something that’s going to make her use her topline and hindquarters as she goes up and down hill grazing. A few minutes a day is no substitute for constantly moving, all the time.

Also–if your vet says you can ride her lightly, believe her. She knows she was talking to you, right, so it doesn’t sound like she believes your size is a factor.
I’d get on and start walking her under saddle–same thing, up and down a gentle rolling hill. Especially UP! This is what she needs to do to rebuild the muscles she hasn’t been using. Don’t worry about her being pregnant u/s, the fetus is miniscule at this age.

If your funds are limited, I wouldn’t waste them on any supplements other than MSM, especially since she’s pregnant. The last thing you need is to skew the proportions of vitamins and minerals. Nature does that REALLY WELL if the horse is eating 98% grass and good quality grass hay.

Get on and enjoy her! Sounds like she’s on the road to recovery and the two of you have a lot to look forward to. :slight_smile:

Lunging over poles or cavalletti?

Lunging in a chambon?

Massage? (belly lifts and such) TTouch has good ideas.

I imagine you may have saddle fit issues until she regains some topline, so doing as much in hand as possible makes sense.

I’d look at her nutrition. She’s growing a foal and healing from an injury. Is she getting enough protein? Are her needs met with regard to limiting amino acids?

If the answer is “no”…no amount of correct work will put the muscle back on. Tri amino can be great for this, along with alfalfa.

And I looooove handwalking, on hills if you can, for building up a poor horse. A nice marching forward walk. Awesome work for them :slight_smile:

If she is too sore for chiro I wouldn’t be riding her. I’ve used laser therapy on my horse with good results. http://spectratherapy.com/

What about ponying her off another horse up and down some hills?

That’s a great idea!! However, we have no hills around here :frowning: But I am going to brain storm that one for a bit for sure!! Being an ex-racehorse, she is already used to be being ponied at least :slight_smile: